3D model repository Sketchfab just added a nifty little feature that should appeal to 3D animators. You can now upload animated models to Sketchfab, making it much easier to share and browse animated models as you don’t need to install a professional application. Currently, the startup supports FBX files, such as files generated by Mixamo.
Sketchfab renders both skeleton animations and solid animations. Thanks to solid animation, you can simulate an object movement in space (translation, rotation and scale). Skeleton animation lets you rig your model with a skeleton and script movements. But if you’re an animator, you already know all this.
By default, the Sketchfab player endlessly loops an animation. You can also play and pause an animation, move to a specific frame and rotate around your 3D model. It’s pretty powerful and works quite well for many different use cases.
For example, you can create a portfolio of your animation work on a video game. No need to launch a game:
Or you can show how your product works:
Or you can animate a 3D scan of you in Mixamo:
As a reminder, the New York-based startup hosts hundreds of thousands of 3D files. It has become a sort of YouTube for 3D files. Recently, the company raised $7 million.
The startup plans to make money with premium tools to creators, a marketplace for 3D models and sponsored content. Its 3D player is now rock solid and won’t bring your browser to its knees thanks to WebGL and other recent browser improvements.
And of course, many tech enthusiasts are currently excited about virtual reality. Sketchfab already supports VR headsets, letting you view 3D models in… 3D. The platform could become an essential tool for 3D creators as more people hop on the VR bandwagon.