Discover our new viewer

Back to overview

During the last weeks, we’ve been working on a redesign of our viewer with the help of many beta testers. Our goals were to address design issues and improve the viewer on several levels:

  • make the interface more user friendly, especially for new users
  • make it look more modern,
  • make it less distracting, and in the end, emphasize your models more.

We’ll go into all the details in this blogpost, but first here’s a quick overview of the changes:

(You can find the models that are featured in this video in this collection)

Focusing on your content

The redesigned interface is less intrusive and fades out completely when you move the camera or when an animation is playing. It lets you enjoy 3D models in their full glory.

When embedded, the viewer now also shows your avatar. A good opportunity for branding.

Responsive design

With this update, the viewer will also adapt better to different screen sizes. Whether you view models on mobile, in a small embed or on a large screen, the interface will adjust to your screen. Playing animations and navigating annotations is much easier on mobile now.

Help and keyboard shortcuts

The viewer now includes a Help screen with interesting info for both beginners and advanced users. For beginners, this screen has instructions for basic navigation and an emergency button to reset the camera. For advanced users, the help screen includes the full list of keyboard shortcuts that will let you access functions faster.

Frame-by-frame control for animations

When viewing animated models, you now have more control over playback. You can switch between time and frames, play the animation frame by frame at different speed and go to a specific time or frame.

Redesigned playlists

Along with the viewer, we’ve updated collection embeds (also known as playlists) to make them easier to navigate.

Collection: Draw these environments by Louise Lakey:

The same high-quality 3D engine

We only changed the interface and the viewer is still powered by the same high-quality 3D engine. As a reminder, the 3D engine supports Physically-based shading, animations, post-processing filters, real-time shadows, supersampling and works on mobile, desktop and virtual reality. Anything that was supported before will still be supported.

Want to know more?

Our Help Center has a dedicated section with information about our viewer, including a list of all the URL parameters you can use to further tweak its behaviour.

About the author

Maurice Svay

UX Designer at Sketchfab. Photography and 3D scanning enthusiast.


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  • overlaps says:

    Now it looks cleaner and lighter. Good job!

  • Andrey says:

    Good to hear that, esepecially about keyframe control in animations)

  • 3Rton says:

    I can’t be the only one who wants individual map channels on top of default, shadeless and matcap :/ So yeah. But I guess the new features are cool too.

  • Meir says:

    Nice job team, new viewer looks amazing!

  • joshpurple says:

    Outstanding 🙂 ! Great work, & Thank You!

  • Emartin says:

    I really like the new viewer. Good job!

  • Rafael says:

    Nice, but still no textures on Safari 9 :/

  • Laurent-Philippe Albou says:

    Very nice, light yet powerful 3D engine.
    Congratulations to Sketchfab team

  • Ken says:

    Wow!. I was Happy At first. BUT You Broke the WebVR I was Using with the Vive.. Doesnt work at all now. ;-( And I was supposed to show a demo today at work. UGH.

    • Ken says:

      You Cant edit your Comments???????? My email auto filled in the Damn username????

      • Bart Veldhuizen says:

        Ken, sorry about that. I’ll put that on our todo list. In the mean time, I’ve edited your comment and removed your email address.

    • Maurice Svay says:

      Sorry for the inconvenience. We’ll fix this shortly.

  • Krista says:

    Really bummed the new interface no longer works with the Vive for VR. I hope you all can fix that ASAP!

  • Spaehling says:

    hm to be honest, i prefer / like the old viewer more. It had an better overview and wasn’t to packed with information we have now. I think its specially the sub categories iam not prefering.

    anyway i love you, else what you doing. so i don’t care.

  • marco says:

    mi piace bel animazione del sauro giurassico

  • Chad Taylor says:

    For character animation, it would be fantastic to add audio support, especially with your new frame counter and frame-by-frame controls. It could be a super useful tool for animation performance reviews compared to reviewing simple 2D playback.

    Really like the new streamlining overall! Nice work.
    (not a small request, I know…)

  • hn21s says:

    Please add online-browser for Steam’s SkechFabVR apps.

  • Bertrand67 says:

    Chrome 51, Windows 7, taskbar stays on top in fullscreen mode… Can you fix it? The new viewer is useless right now 🙁 Btw mouse speed is too fast in first person view.

  • Kat says:

    Wow, this looks incredible.

  • Stevenb says:

    Could we make it so that the numbers on the number pad (all the way to the right of the keyboard) also work for the shortcut keys?

    Also, I think it would be nice to have a way to change the color of the wireframe with a shortcut key. You could do one of two things: have one key only that cycles through the different colors, or have multiple keys for each specific color (which may be a bit much, I admit).

    And thirdly, I noticed when I view a model and then press 5 to switch to wireframe, the wireframe that I am given is more transparent than the normal wireframe. For example, if you open a fresh model and press 5, and then manually go and change the model to wireframe with a white color, you will see that the color becomes easier to see. I’m not sure if this is intended or not, but I prefer the more visible one, and I have not figured out how to go back to the “default” more transparent one yet either, which would be nice to be able to do if it was an intended feature for those who actually like it.

    Just my 2 cents. And 2 cents isn’t worth much these days, but hey, I tried :D.

  • JCat says:

    With these improvements, is there any way to cycle through different creations in VR without having to take the HMD off in between each picture? I realize you have an app for VR headsets (which has a great UI), but that is limited to a small amount of content. In order to access the thousands of other objects, you need to select, put the glass on, take the glass off, select.. put the glass on… and so on..

  • Amilcar Zafalan says:

    Good Job. Perfect and fluid

  • husky says:

    You remove function “Hide annotation”!!!!! WHY????

  • Matt says:

    Fantastic work! Love the new viewer layout.

  • igor kachanov says:

    Great job! Thanks a lot!

  • Jakartaiii says:

    I cant change color of Wireframe by keyboard shortcuts.
    If i click 5 on keyborad I see a transparent wireframe.

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      Thanks for the feedback! Yes, that’s a known limitation and it’s on our wish-list.

  • N says:

    Kind of disappointed in sketchfab, I thought it’s not such a pain to upload a model and make it display correctly. Especially if I have packed all textures in the scene, and it works perfectly in the program.

    • James Green says:

      Hi,

      I’m sorry you’re having trouble. Could you share a link to an example model you uploaded so we can take a closer look and get it working for you?

      Thanks!

  • Omar Hesham says:

    Awesome! but please bring the wireframe button to the front of the interface so it can be toggled really fast. I use sketchfab to learn about mesh topology too! I dont want to dig for it in two menus and button presses just to enable it.

    • Bart Veldhuizen says:

      All the viewer options can now also be accessed through hotkeys. To toggle wireframes, hit ‘5’. Hope that helps 🙂

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