With Extended Reality(XR) becoming more and more prevalent in social apps, websites, games and the real-world, there has been an initiative for getting more people involved in the creation of augmented, virtual and mixed reality(AR/VR/MR(forms of XR)) to populate the XR marketplace. This pressure to flesh out and build the XR industry has sparked companies, developers, 3D digital artists and XR enthusiasts to produce solutions for propelling this initiative. The solutions range from XR editor platforms(MetaVrse/ARCore/ARKit), online XR marketplaces(CatchAR) and XR communities.
There is one XR marketplace that deserves special recognition, for providing digital artists the ability to showcase their 3D creations within an XR format. Alban Denoyel(CEO), Cédric Pinson(CTO) and Pierre-Antoine Passet(CPO) were “frustrated to see so many 3D creators spending hours on making great 3D models, but ending up sharing boring screenshots as there was no better solution to showcase their work,” so they founded SketchFab to solve this dilemna. The solution was to build a 3D viewer that allows people to view 3D objects within their native environment, rather than as flat 2D screenshots.
This opens the doors for digital artists to display their work in Sketchfab’s XR marketplace, either through a creative commons license or a Sketchfab sellers account. The Sketchfab viewer is embeddable in websites and mobile applications. Digital artists can still use their favorite 3D creation tools with Sketchfab’s plugins, such as Blender, Unity, 3ds Max, ZBrush and SketchUp to create and import 3D models of varying models, including GL Transmission Format(.gltf, .glb), Alias Wavefront(.obj), Google Earth(.kmz), Collada(.dae) and Blender(.blend) into the Sketchfab viewer. Sketchfab also provides a powerful editor for refining 3D models, either by adjusting orientation, field-of-view, shading, lighting, texture materials, scaling(VR), initial view position(VR) and much more.
Sketchfab’s viewer is compatible with native applications, desktop browsers(Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Edge) and mobile browsers(Safari iOS, Android Chrome). And of course compatible with XR headsets, including HTC Vive, Gear VR and Google Daydream. The viewer allows people to orbit or navigate around the model in first-person(360° panorama) or 4th person(VR). The 3D creation itself can be annotated or provide expanded details about its features. And there are customizable options for Sketchfab’s viewer if being embedded within a website or application, such as hiding the info bar or controls and enabling auto-start to automatically begin model animations.
For those seeking cool 3D models to explore, rather than creating it themselves, can browse Sketchfab’s marketplace for free or premium 3D content. Their extensive marketplace is what really brings them to the forefront of the emerging XR industry. Their marketplace will be very vital for companies, brands and individuals to streamline their creation of immersive content and experiences without having to build everything from scratch. If you need a dog for your scene, they have it. If you need a door, they’ve got it. If you need a skyscraper, they’ve got it. And with more creators joining SketchFab’s community, the marketplace only continues to expand.
In short, Sketchfab is an extensive marketplace for selling and purchasing XR assets. They have made it easier for talented digital artists to showcase and monetize their work. And for brands and individuals seeking XR assets for creating XR experiences have a convenient place to shop. Sketchfab is already an recognized name but they very well may become a household name.
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