Before uploading to your Sketchfab profile, you'll need to create a 3D model or scan. There are plenty of software options out there - we've highlighted a few popular ones in the Creating 3D Models section.
Exercise: To walk you through the uploading process here, though, we’ve prepared a sample 3D model for you to download. Head to this model page and click Download under the viewer to download the FBX file available.
1. Prepare your 3D Files
Sketchfab supports lots of 3D formats, and your choice will depend on your 3D software and project needs. If you’re unsure which to use, we recommend either OBJ or FBX files - both are reliable, support most 3D features, and most 3D software can export them.
It’s best to prepare your models by combining all your files into a ZIP file. Not only does this allow you to upload your textures/materials all at once, it also reduces upload size and time.
Now that you have a 3D model ready, it’s time to upload. First, you’ll want to login to your Sketchfab account.
Once you’re logged in, you can upload in two different ways:
- Click Upload in the top-right corner on any page
- Drag and drop your 3D files anywhere on the page
Once you start the uploading process, a window will appear for you to fill out more information about your model - title, description, categories, tags, etc.
3. Check the appearance
Once your model is done uploading and processing, you should be able to see it on the Models section of your profile. Now we can take advantage of a number of Sketchfab tools to make it look even better.
You’ll notice you can move, rotate, and zoom your model by clicking, dragging, and scrolling in the Sketchfab viewer. There are many navigation options, including shifting your model’s lighting and sorting through annotations.
Once your model is in a position you like, click the Save View button in the top-left corner of the model page viewer. Clicking the Save View button will save the default position/orientation and set the thumbnail preview for your model that people will see on Sketchfab or when used as an embed. (You can always edit this again later, if you’d like.)
To edit the presentation of your model, you can explore the 3D Settings. Within this section, you’ll find a number of options and post-processing tools:
Changing your model's rotation axis
In the Scene tab, you can change your model's orientation by 90° increments around the x-, y-, or z-axis, or you can fine-tune it by selecting “Show advanced rotation”.
Before setting the lighting for your model, you'll want to choose between Lit (default) and Shadeless. Shadeless will remove the effects of any lights from your materials. This is often a good option for 3D scans, or models with baked lighting.
Sketchfab offers a few ways to light your models. Real-time dynamic lights simulate different kinds of lights sources like direction, spot and point lights. You can choose from one of the six presets in 3D Settings, or you can manually add a light.
Let’s try manually adding one.
Click the Point light under the Lighting tab. Point lights simulate small sources of lights, such as light bulbs. Because the model's position affects the lighting, try clicking the light you just made in 3D Settings and dragging it around your model. You’ll notice the difference, especially when moving the light further away from the model (showing it becomes less intense).
Add an annotation to your model by clicking on the Annotations tab and then double-clicking anywhere on your model. A window will appear and you can enter a title and a description. (Plus, you can add links, images, and other formatting if you’re familiar with Markdown.) Click anywhere outside the annotation to close it.
Adding post-processing filters
Sketchfab offers a number of visual effects that are great for fine-tuning your renders, making them more photorealistic, or changing the mood of your scene.
Let’s explore a few examples:
The Sharpness effect lets you enhance the definition of the model and reveal more details. Adjust the value from 0 (no sharpening) to 100 (maximum sharpening).
The Vignette effect darkens the borders of the image. It is a good way to focus the attention on the center of the scene.
- Adjusting the Amount value will change how much of the image is darkened.
- Adjusting the Hardness will change how the smooth the transition between is the darkened part and the original part.
Congrats! Once your model looks how you want it, it’s time to publish so people can see it.
Click the Publish button in the top-right of the 3D Settings view or in the right column of the model page view (under Manage this model) to make your 3D model visible online.
To offer your model as a free Download for others, you can click the Free option under Manage this model. Choose a license and you’re good to go.
From the model page, click Share to show off your model on social media, or Embed to share it almost anywhere else on the web!