Premium and Enterprise customers have access to "app-free" Augmented Reality (AR) features of mobile devices, with no mobile app required. App-free AR relies on glTF / USDZ files generated by Sketchfab and ARCore / ARKit features of modern mobile devices (Android / iOS, respectively).
How do I enable app-free AR?
App-free AR is currently available to Premium and Enterprise customers. Once you upgrade to either plan, you will find a new setting available to you in Model Properties called "Allow AR". Turn this setting on to enable app-free AR on the model.
How do I change the default scale of the 3D model in AR?
To define the default scale of a model when it's loaded in AR, use the AR/VR "World Scale" tools in 3D Settings. It's best to edit 3D Settings on a desktop browser. The "Floor" and "Initial Viewing Position" settings only affect VR, not AR.
If you upload your model in FBX format, we will try to detect the scale automatically. Otherwise, Sketchfab's processing assumes models you upload are measured in meters. So, if you export your 3D model measured in meters, the AR world scale should already be correct by default.
The "World Scale" number in 3D Settings overrides that and tells the Sketchfab viewer how many "units" in your 3D model file are equivalent to one meter. So, for example, if your models were exported in inches, you should set the World Scale to 39.37, because 39.37 inches equals 1 meter.
|Your model scale||Equivalent Sketchfab World Scale|
Each time you change this setting and click Save Settings in the top-right corner, the glTF and USDZ file must be regenerated at that scale. This can take a few minutes. Similarly, each time you make changes to material settings or re-upload a model, the glTF and USDZ files are regenerated using the new settings.
There are some caveats:
- When a model is first processed, Sketchfab ensures the World Scale is set to something that fits the model into a 2m×2m×2m cube, regardless of its original measurements in meters
- However, that default World Scale is ignored by the initial glTF/USDZ export, and Sketchfab ensures the AR/VR object will be between 1cm and 3m in size, regardless of its measurements in meters
- When you manually change the World Scale, the model is reprocessed, but you must change the world scale by at least 5% for the change to take effect
How do I view 3D models in AR?
Once the glTF and USDZ files are ready, anyone viewing your model will be able to click or tap on the [AR] button in the viewer to enter AR mode.
On desktop browsers, clicking this will open a popup with a QR code to open on mobile. This popup has some customization options. See Managing AR embeds, below.
Following the QR code from your mobile device camera or tapping the AR button on mobile will go directly to AR. This works by providing a special link for your device to open the glTF (Android) or USDZ (iOS) file.
Once you reach this point, the file is on your mobile device and no longer linked to Sketchfab. The rendering of the 3D model and the user interface are completely controlled by Android's glTF Scene Viewer and Apple's AR Quick Look.
What devices support AR?
Viewing 3D models in AR on mobile devices requires relatively recent hardware and software.
- iOS: iPhone 7 and newer or iPad 5 and newer, running iOS 12+
- Android: Devices with ARCore 1.9 support on Android 8+
How do I manage AR in embeds?
A typical Sketchfab viewer looks like this. This is an HTML iframe that embeds a sketchfab.com page in your website. It's very similar to how you might embed a YouTube video.
It starts like this: https://sketchfab.com/models/07ca1ff39a134fdf83aeaaa567c6d682/embed
Hiding Embed Elements
If you have allowed AR on a model, the AR button will be visible in the embedded 3D viewer by default. But, you probably want to hide most or all of the other buttons (the information and links at the top, the Sketchfab watermark at the bottom left, and the controls in the bottom right). This is done by adding URL parameters to the iframe code.
For example, adding ?ui_infos=0 the end of the /embed URL will hide the information bar at the top:
If you want to only have, for example, the AR button and the fullscreen button, you will need to hide all the other elements. The URL might look like this:
Here's the embedded result:
You can also switch the viewer UI to "Dark Mode" to make the buttons more visible on light backgrounds. This is done by adding the ui_theme=dark parameter:
Here's the embedded result:
AR Loader and QR Code
It's also possible to customize the AR loading and QR code popup.
- Setting ui_ar_help=0 will remove the link to the sketchfab.com model page below the QR code as well as the help link during the "Loading" screen.
- Settings ui_ar_qrcode=0 will remove the QR code and the links.
- If you remove both, the popup will simply say, "Please open this page on a compatible mobile device"
With QR code and link
With QR code only
With neither QR code nor link
With help link
Without help link
For more information about embedding models and using embed URL parameters, see Embedding your models.
How do I link directly to AR mode?
It is possible to create a link directly to AR mode. A link like this will go straight to AR mode if opened on an Android or iOS device.
You could, for example, make it a QR code for your visitors to scan:
The following features will not translate to AR because they are specific to the Sketchfab viewer and not contained in the glTF/USDZ or supported by the AR viewers on Android/iOS:
- Environmental lighting
- Post-processing filters
- Position and orientation of the model
- Shadeless or Matcap rendering
A good way to approximate how your model will look in AR is to set these options in 3D Settings:
- Lit rendering
- No lights
- A neutral environment such as Industrial Room, set to brightness of 1
- No shadows
- No post-processing filters
- No "complex" materials such as refraction or clear coat
Additionally, the glTF and USDZ file formats have their own limitations, such as not supporting certain types of materials and rendering styles. For more details, please see glTF and USDZ.