Introducing MASSIVE by Sketchfab (Alpha)

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Thanks to an initiative with Iconem and CNRS – a department of the French government – last year we teased that we had begun to explore how to to support much larger data sets with our embeddable 3D viewer. Today, as part of our ongoing initiative to bring any and all 3D content to the web, we’re proud to reveal the Alpha version of our latest product: MASSIVE by Sketchfab.

While currently still in Alpha, this year’s SIGGRAPH Festival provides the ideal platform to unveil our new technology. We look forward to hearing from you on how this could be leveraged for your needs to help us build toward the best possible experience and feature set.

In this example of scanned photogrammetry data from the Dordogne river region in France by Sketchfab community member Gerpho, you can use our player to zoom in and out of an area that comprises 80 million triangles and 40 million vertices.


Note that some UI elements on this embed are currently disabled. Use the lower-right fullscreen button for a closer view. Right click or SHIFT+click to pan the scene.

MASSIVE uses a combination of data streaming and automated Level of Detail (LOD) mesh processing to make it possible to browse much larger 3D models in a browser.

We currently support OBJ and PLY datasets and theoretically there is no size limit on the data we can display. In practice though we’ll be working with you to determine suitable parameters appropriate for upload and maintenance.

Here’s another aerial scanned example by Sketchfab community member Pix4d and DigiArt.

Our technology can handle any appropriate 3D data set, so it’s not limited to map data. Here’s an example of streaming in greater fidelity at an archaeological site by 3DFlow.

Note, we are currently only using vertex color to add color information to meshes which can mean that at a distance fewer vertices will not provide enough detailed information and detail resolves as you move closer. We are also working on optimized texture support that will make for a much smoother and more detailed experience.

We are also continuing to work on optimizing MASSIVE for mobile and low-powered devices and slower connection speeds. If the above example does not play smoothly for you, you can watch a video of the same scene below.

MASSIVE by Sketchfab will launch in 2019 and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with the latest developments over the coming months. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more on how MASSIVE could be leveraged for your needs and potentially help us further develop the product, please reach out to our Enterprise team.

About the author

Paul Chambers

Paul Chambers

Artist Evangelist & Community outreach at Sketchfab, freelance CG Generalist, render-farm tinkerer. Zelda worshipper.


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  • Phil Gosch says:

    Awesome news, this looks really great! Congrats to the whole team 🙂

  • Leandro Rodrigues says:

    This is really amazing! MASSIVE definitely will be a powerful engine for large scale scenes with photogrammetry.

  • I like the quick response regardless of how much you are zoomed in. Great Job!!!

  • Sasa says:

    Great stuff! Looking really good 🙂

  • How was this shot ? Drone ? Can we do this with a Drone ?

  • Aaron says:

    Very kewl! Will this new method of streaming high resolution objects allow for higher res zbrush sculpts with vertex color applied to be uploaded? I would be excited to see this :p

  • Stefan says:

    It is a wonderful concept, and I know it is a work-in-progress, but I think you are asking for honest feedback, so here goes: Yes, it is impressive and yes, it is fast, but the Dordogne Valley model, to me, looks ‘pixellated’ (‘triangle-ated’) at every zoom level. It is useful for a model overview, but upon zooming in, it should look clearly-defined like a ‘normal’ model.

    Perhaps the level of triangulation at every zoom level should be increased a little (at the expense of load time), or better still give the user some control over the level of detail shown.

  • Awesome!!! Congratulations to the team involved in this launch. I think the scope of Sketchfab will just become bigger and bigger and consequently increasingly present in our lives everywhere!

  • Andrei Surin says:

    Great! Must have feature especially for large POINT CLOUDS datasets. Like in Potree.
    Please, add!!!

  • Oh, guys! This is awesome news! Congrats to all!

  • Karen Reedstrom says:

    Keep me posted for developments and launching. I am interested for online training projects.

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