Something needs to be done about the photoscan search function ASAP

Hey guys,

Im not going to link any specific models and risk being punished for it, but ill explain what I consider a major issue with this website.

I am a video game developer and purchase a significant number of models from Sketchfab. When you are purchasing models for real $$$, there is no problem, as there is a dedicated section that has quality enforced, for paid models.

The issue however comes with Sketchfab’s total ignoring of an issue that has been creeping up on them, and is engulfing the photogrammetry site section.

A lot of developers scan high quality photogrammetry meshes, and list them for free with attribution enabled for downloads. Many of these users have a combination of paid models, with a few ‘freebies’ thrown in, and a large number of users simply list all of their scans for free. A lot of these models are extremely useful for video game developers, and they should be easily accessed/visible.

Since mobile phones amongst other devices have been developed with LIDAR/Photogrammetry features, there has been an absolute tsunami of users who treat Sketchfab as their free storage and post literally hundreds and thousands of absolutely unrecognisable scans. I have seen thousands of scans that are absolute messes of triangles, of which I genuinely cannot even tell what they are supposed to be, or what that user has scanned. These users are not only listing these publicly, but enabling download on their listings.

The reason this is a huge problem is because when you enable downloads, you remove essentially the only relevant filter you have to find good quality free 3d scanned meshes. Every day for years Ive typed in the word scan/photoscan/photogrammetry/photoscanned, put the sort by to most recent, and seen what uploads there have been for the day, since this huge influx, that has been made extremely slow and inefficient. Now if these users would just leave downloads disabled, or if sketchfab enforced at least a certain quality level for downloadable assets based on the fact they should be at least usable to somebody in some form, then this wouldnt be a problem.

These people would be able to use sketchfab as their own storage, and keep their models publicly visible if you really want to search for them, but easily filterable as not being usable meshes, via a download filter. Currently, the people who are listing genuinely high quality meshes, but giving them out for free, are being absolutely buried by these people. There are tons of museums and other groups that list a lot of stuff periodically, but unless you check the site regularly, you’re going to miss them as a result.

I spoke to Sketchfab support and explain this issue and how they are making significant sections of their own website unusable, and their response was literally suggested I use the paid models filter instead. So essentially, they proved they have absolutely zero idea how real professionals are using their site, and how important it is to have properly filtered content, and that all of the people listing fantastic meshes for free should not be visible, and instead should be buried under the mountain of mess that Sketchfab is allowing.

Now I appreciate people can upload whatever they wish and I am not some sort of arbiter of quality nor is it up to me to say what is and is not useful/usable, but If you saw some of the messes people are uploading, there would not be one serious user on this site that would say that it belongs in the search results. I also appreciate not everyone is going to be an expert scanner or artist from day 1, and that users might want to store their progress as they improve, but there needs to be action taken by sketchfab to create a system where these people can use sketchfab as their own personal 3d viewer bank if they want, but keep the search function clean and filtered to models that at least meet a certain benchmark.

Please fix this issue, its already ruined other sites like CGTrader whos tag system has been hijacked by people trying to get extra clicks by tagging their models with every single filter, and sketchfab for the longest time was clean and full of primarily decent if not great models in the scanned sections, but now its the opposite. 90% of uploads are a total mess and dont belong in search results, it makes sketchfab look like a mess, makes it look and feel unprofessional, and makes me not want to check the store everyday anymore.