We are proud to share with you this interview with Alban Denoyel, Co-founder & COO of the website Sketchfab.com. You may not know Sketchfab yet and that’s why this interview is made for you. Check it out:
Could please introduce Sketchfab, where does the idea come from and what’s the technology behind the curtain ?
Sketchfab is a web service to publish interactive 3D models in real-time online without plugin. Our 3D viewer can be embedded on any webpage as easily as a YouTube video. The idea came with the release of WebGL, a project initiated by Mozilla and backed by the Kronos group. WebGL is the first technology enabling to display 3D graphics natively in a web browser. My co-founder Cédric Pinson was one of the very first 3D developers to work on this standard as a freelancer for clients such as Mozilla. He started as a side project to work on a platform to let anyone use this great technology. I joined him in January 2012, and we launched publicly the website in April 2012. Pierre-Antoine joined us in September 2012 to take care of product development, and we have a worldwide team of contributors.
Could you define how you think Sketchfab can help the 3D artists in their daily workflow ?
Cédric worked for 12 years in the 3D industry, and realised 3D artists always faced the same problem: until now, there was no way or service letting them show their work to someone (client, colleague) who doesn’t have a 3D software. With Sketchfab, they can easily upload a model and then just share it online or embed it on their own website.
You already have developed some plugins for most popular 3D softwares. Can we know more about the pipeline from the exporter to Sketchfab and the coming plugin ?
Today, we have exporters letting you publish your 3D models directly from your 3D software in 1 click. We have one for 3DsMax, Maya, Blender, SketchUp and SolidWorks. We will soon release exporters for Zbrush, Cinema4D and AutoCAD. Our exporters are made by our community of users, so feel free to ping us if you want to contribute on others!
You’re always adding new option to Sketchfab website. Can we’ve an idea of what you think is the most useful for an artist today in Sketchfab and can you tease us with some new coming options ?
I think one of the most useful feature of Sketchfab is the availability to embed our viewer anywhere, even on Facebook. We try to release new features every week. Here is a quick overview of major upcoming features:
An image-based fallback providing a 360° interactive view when WebGL isn’t available
A material editor letting you fine-tune your rendering in real-time online in the viewer
A feature to automatically reduce the size of big meshes and provide a low resolution / high resolution version.
Improved profile settings
and… a surprise feature will release soon and which is pretty neat, stay tuned!