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9 Unusual and Interesting Small Churches and Chapels, As Selected by Sketchfab

09:30 - 26 January, 2017
9 Unusual and Interesting Small Churches and Chapels, As Selected by Sketchfab

Once again, thanks to our collaboration with Sketchfab, here we have a selection of 9 virtual experiences through churches and chapels from Europe, Africa and the Americas. Each small building has its own special story, either geographical, political or structural—from one building that has experienced its own mini tour of Europe, to another which contains some rather unusual building materials. The diverse sites each seem to hold secrets, all of which can now be explored through 3D scanning technology. The fascinating variation in structural forms is also apparent, showcasing how even humble architecture has the potential to create a rich list of virtual spaces. 

For a more immersive experience, all of these models can be viewed on a virtual reality headset such as Google Cardboard.

10 Models Which Show the Power of Point Cloud Scans, As Selected by Sketchfab

09:30 - 9 November, 2016
10 Models Which Show the Power of Point Cloud Scans, As Selected by Sketchfab, via Sketchfab
via Sketchfab

Traditional 3D models made up of surfaces have for a long time aided us in visualizing buildings and spaces, but they often come at a cost: large models require a lot of storage and processing power, and can become incredibly complex to the point where they are difficult to navigate. As a part of our Selected by Sketchfab series, Sketchfab has their eye on a more efficient, increasingly common method of capturing architectural spaces; namely, point clouds. Point clouds are made up of a set of points located in a three-dimensional coordinate system, that when put together merely give an impression of the surface of an object, or the façade of a building.

The method is fairly simple. The collection of data points is generated by a 3D scanner that rotates while emitting a laser that measures the distance to points on surrounding surfaces. This data can then be converted into a polygonal model that can be rendered like any other 3D model. However, the advantages of keeping the scan in point form are what makes it great; the file sizes are much smaller, and the porosity of the point clouds make it possible to see through walls and surfaces, accessing "hidden" spaces and uncommon views of seemingly familiar surroundings. Read on to find out more about the possibilities and advantages that come with point cloud modelling.

11 Historical Examples of How to Design Doorways, as Selected by Sketchfab

10:00 - 31 August, 2016
11 Historical Examples of How to Design Doorways, as Selected by Sketchfab

Our friends at Sketchfab have noticed a recurring trend: among the many 3D scans shared on their platform, a significant number are of historical doorways. Often neglected in today’s designs, doors and doorways are essential physical and mental transition points between the interior and the exterior of a building. While Mies van der Rohe’s strive for visual continuity and the use of glass doors has some critical advantages, it is not applicable – or only poorly applicable – to every design case. Fortunately, history shows that visually and spatially differentiating doors and doorways from the rest of a facade can be a resourceful alternative.

With this set of 3D models selected by Sketchfab, viewers can explore historical doorways online and discover the spatial sequences that they can offer. From framed, indented, raised, lowered, protruding and ornamented doors, these models clearly showcase the various design strategies available for you to keep your doorway design options open.

Sketchfab Strengthens Commitment to Virtual Reality With New Features

17:02 - 4 August, 2016
Sketchfab Strengthens Commitment to Virtual Reality With New Features, Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan
Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan

Online model sharing site Sketchfab last week announced three new features intended to solidify its position as one of the web's foremost platforms for sharing VR-viewable 3D models online. Originally launched in January of this year, the virtual reality features of Sketchfab's platform have proven to be popular and has even led to Sketchfab being referred to as "the Youtube of VR."

However, with its initial launch Sketchfab's VR capabilities clearly privileged simplicity and a low barrier for entry—the platform was viewable using just a smartphone web browser and basic VR headset such as Google Cardboard, and models required no extra work to make them VR compatible. As a result, Sketchfab's VR platform lacked the features of more high-end systems of viewing VR. With their latest update, Sketchfab has added useful features while keeping barriers to entry low.

6 Castle Fortresses Across Europe, as Selected by Sketchfab

09:30 - 7 July, 2016
6 Castle Fortresses Across Europe, as Selected by Sketchfab

Today, thanks to our partnership with Sketchfab, we take you on a virtual tour of some of the most breathtaking historic fortresses across Europe. The design of castles and fortress complexes are particularly interesting because of their strategic siting and defense mechanisms. As strongholds of territorial claim, fortress complexes are meant to be self-sustaining in times of conflict and contain not only defense fortifications but a suite of supporting structures such as chapels, schools, and housing. This effectively turns fortress complexes into a village within a village. These richly detailed scans hosted on Sketchfab allow us to see in detail the urban planning strategies of different historic periods and places.

For a more immersive experience, all of these models can be viewed on a virtual reality headset such as Google Cardboard.

Sketchfab Adds Support for Apps and WebVR

14:00 - 17 May, 2016

Sketchfab has announced the release of Virtual Reality apps for Oculus, HTC Vive, Gear VR, and the company’s own Cardboard, as well as initial WebVR support. Making Sketchfab available on more headsets will initially allow viewers to access a curated showcase of models, eventually expanding to the company’s entire VR collection. Additionally, users will now have the option to view any of their own models in VR, just by uploading to Sketchfab.

This 3D Model Shows the Damage Caused by ISIS to Palmyra's Temple of Bel

09:30 - 6 May, 2016

In August of last year, many of the most precious landmarks of the ancient city of Palmyra were damaged or destroyed by the forces of ISIS in a violent, iconoclastic attempt to send a message to the rest of the world. Since the UNESCO World Heritage Site was recaptured in March, the question in the architectural preservation community has been how to rebuild and preserve the buildings. That process will begin, of course, with a thorough assessment of the damage.

Shortly after Palmyra was recaptured Iconem, a French company which specializes in the digitization of archeological sites, arrived in Palmyra to lead the survey. In partnership with the Syrian DGAM (Direction Générale des Antiquités et des Musées), Iconem was granted access to the city to survey the damage to the temples of Bel and Baalshamin, the Monumental Arch, the Valley of Tombs, and the museum—all sites which are of the most cultural value and therefore were the greatest targets of ISIS's violence.

The Temple of Bel in Palmyra before the occupation by ISIS. Image © Flickr User Alessandra Kocman licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 The Temple of Bel in Palmyra before the occupation by ISIS. Image © Flickr User Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 The Temple of Bel in Palmyra before the occupation by ISIS. Image © Flickr User Alessandra Kocman licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 The Temple of Bel in Palmyra before the occupation by ISIS. Image © Flickr User Jiří Suchomel licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 +6

7 Outstanding Examples of Cultural Heritage in 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

09:30 - 12 April, 2016
7 Outstanding Examples of Cultural Heritage in 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

Using photogrammetry to capture and model existing buildings is a fantastic way to share cultural treasures with the world, and with VR features cropping up everywhere even enables us to give people virtual tours of a site of cultural significance from thousands of miles away. But beyond that, capturing a model of a building is also a great way to digitally preserve that structure at a given point in time - this technique is even being used by Harvard and Oxford to protect structures placed at risk by the ongoing wars in Syria and Iraq.

In that spirit, our friends over at Sketchfab have compiled a selection of cultural treasures that have been immortalized on their platform. Read on to see all seven models, and don't forget that you can view all of them in virtual reality using Google Cardboard.

7 Examples of How to Show Off Interiors in Your 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

10:00 - 1 March, 2016
7 Examples of How to Show Off Interiors in Your 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

When making a 3D model, just as with a physical model, one of the biggest challenges is in effectively conveying the feeling of a design's interior. This is made worse by the fact that historically, 3D modeling and viewing software has treated the design being modeled as primarily an object to be orbited around, rather than as a space to be viewed from within. The introduction of first-person viewing modes has improved this, but these still are hampered by the fact that movement is never as simple or intuitive as simply walking around in real space. All of this can make presenting interior spaces a frustrating experience.

However, there are a variety of techniques you can use to display interiors more effectively. In the second of our Selected by Sketchfab series, our partners at Sketchfab have picked out the best examples of from their platform of models that inventively show off interior spaces.

Sketchfab CEO Discusses the Impending Revolution of VR in 2016

16:00 - 21 February, 2016
Sketchfab CEO Discusses the Impending Revolution of VR in 2016, Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan. Image via Sketchfab
Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan. Image via Sketchfab

One of many companies currently supporting the growing demand for Virtual Reality (VR), Sketchfab, known for being a “Youtube for 3D Models”, has added features to their website, allowing users to exhibit their work in VR. In this recent post, company CEO and co-founder Alban discusses the likelihood of a Virtual Reality renaissance in 2016. Comparing the platform to its predecessors in digital media, audio and video, he notes that the final steps for any new form of media are: easy to use, working technology; affordable interfaces; and user generated content, prefacing that 2016 may be the year that VR reaches this final step.

Tutorial: Using Vray and Sketchfab to Render and Share Your 3D Models

11:30 - 13 February, 2016

In this tutorial, originally published on the Sketchfab blog as "Sketchfab Archvis workflow based on V‌ray baked textures," Tarek Adhami guides you through the full workflow required to take your 3D Model, render it with Vray and upload to Sketchfab.

In this article I will be talking about my workflow to create a real time rendered 3D scene in Sketchfab based on Vray realistic lights and textures.

It does not matter what software you use to model your objects since what I am going to show you can be applied to other applications that Vray (or any similar rendering plugin) can support. In this example I used 3ds Max and Marvelous Designer for modeling and Vray for lighting and texturing.

8 Beautiful Historic Buildings In 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

10:00 - 9 February, 2016
8 Beautiful Historic Buildings In 3D Models, As Selected by Sketchfab

At ArchDaily, we've said before how sharing 3D models online has the potential to change architecture for the better, allowing viewers to explore a design for themselves rather than being presented only the most flattering views via photographs. At the forefront of this 3D-sharing revolution is Sketchfab, a platform which allows users to upload their model and view it directly in their browser.

In this new series, ArchDaily is joining forces with with Sketchfab, to present the best architectural models featured on their platform, as selected by staff members at Sketchfab. In this first installment, we're taking a look at some of the best scans of historical buildings - and don't forget, all of these models can be viewed in virtual reality for the maximum architectural experience!

How To Tune Your 3D Models For Online VR Viewing With Sketchfab

11:30 - 31 January, 2016
How To Tune Your 3D Models For Online VR Viewing With Sketchfab, Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan
Image adapted from screenshot of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane model by Matthew Brennan

Earlier this month, Sketchfab announced a new feature which would allow any 3D model on their platform to be viewed in virtual reality on a device such as Google Cardboard. At ArchDaily, we think this is a huge step in defining how we will view and share architectural design in the future, and one of the best things about the new feature is how seamlessly it blends into Sketchfab's existing model sharing platform. At the same time, it's worth bearing in mind that creating a model for VR may take some extra consideration. In this post originally published on the Sketchfab Blog as "How to set up a Cardboard VR scene for Sketchfab," Bart Veldhuizen explains what designers can do to make their models as VR-friendly as possible.

With our new Cardboard VR button, Sketchfab has become the easiest way to view your designs in Virtual Reality. You can now literally publish your model to Sketchfab and view it on your Cardboard in under a minute.

As Cardboard relies on mobile devices, there are some extra things to keep in mind. In addition to displaying a regular Sketchfab model on the lighter hardware of your phone or tablet, we now render each image twice (once for each eye). So it won’t come as a surprise that you need to keep some things in mind when designing a Cardboard scene.

This tutorial will give you an overview of the most important limitations and will help you to quickly teleport yourself into your first Cardboard experiment.

Immerse Yourself in 3D Models Online With Sketchfab's New Virtual Reality Feature

08:00 - 25 January, 2016

Sketchfab, the browser-based platform for sharing and viewing 3D models, has announced a new feature on their software that turns any of their models into a virtual reality experience when viewed on a smartphone and combined with a simple headset like Google Cardboard. Sketchfab allows users to upload a wide variety of 3D model file types that could then be shared and viewed in any web browser, or embedded on websites or social media, without the need for any additional software or plug-ins. As a result, over the past few years they've built up a huge database of over half a million 3D models, and this new VR feature allows viewers to experience those models in a whole new way.

Sketchfab Begins Beta Testing for 3D Animations

16:00 - 15 August, 2015
Sketchfab Begins Beta Testing for 3D Animations, via Sketchfab
via Sketchfab

Sketchfab, an online database for 3D-models, has announced that they will soon begin implementing support allowing users to showcase not only their 3D models, but accompanying animations as well. The site, likened to a “Youtube for 3D models”, has grown tremendously in the short time it’s been active, and the new step adds many possibilities for both new users and veterans of the platform (read more about Sketchfab here).

You Can Now 3D Print With Sketchfab

09:00 - 1 May, 2015

ArchDaily by ArchDaily on Sketchfab

In response to one of their most frequent user requests, browser-based 3D model platform Sketchfab has now partnered with 3D Hubs, the world's largest 3D printer network, to introduce a 3D print ordering feature that works directly from its viewing window. With a globally-distributed network of 15,000 print hubs in their network (250 of which support full-color printing), Sketchfab CEO Alban Denoyel says that 3D Hubs is the "closest to achieving this vision" of locally-based manufacture that bypasses transport costs - which he believes is "one of the most important promises of 3D printing."

Embed Your 3D Sketchfab Models on Facebook

12:00 - 2 March, 2015

Already one of the simplest ways to share 3-D models around the web, Sketchfab has recently announced a new development that will make it even easier for architecture firms to share their latest work with their fans and students to spread their ideas among their friends: Facebook embed functionality. Simply by pasting the link to your Sketchfab work in a Facebook post, your model is instantly accessible to your friends and fans, and easy to share.

The Stadiums of the World Cup as 3D Sketchfab Models

00:00 - 20 May, 2014

ESTADIO ARENA PANTANAL / CUIABÁ by soy502 on Sketchfab

Last year, we featured a post about Sketchfab, the online platform that allows users to display their detailed 3D models through a browser display. Digital models can be uploaded to Sketchfab in over 27 file formats, from .3ds to .dwg, and are viewed online; downloading them is not required. Since our last post, Sketchfab has only grown in popularity, with users from multiple disciplines all over the world uploading their digital work for display. One such user is Soy502. An informal Guatemalan news website, Soy502 has uploaded models of eight of the twelve stadiums that will host FIFA World Cup matches in Brazil this year. These include Das Dunas Stadium, Arena Amazonia Stadium, and Mineirão Stadium. See them, as well as five others, in intimate three-dimensional detail after the break!