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  • Writer's pictureArkify Team

How To Post Your 3D Scans To Sketchfab

A quick guide to sharing your 3D scans online + how to use Sketchfab Lab Experiment's Screen Shots tool to create high resolution 'renders' from your post.

If you've recently found us through our Sketchfab page, you may have noticed we have nearly 100 uploads! One of the advantages of publishing your models on Sketchfab over other 3D sites is their unique 3D viewer, which allows your model to be viewed in 360° and in AR. Uploading your models to Sketchfab is a wonderful way to showcase them, whether it's a 3D scan from us or any other accepted file type!

While the process isn't complex, there are some things that can be added to your upload to make it shine. In this guide, we'll be teaching you how to upload your first model to Sketchfab. We'll go over choosing the best 3D settings, making sure your 3D scan is discoverable on Sketchfab, and creating a high-resolution screenshot of your scan using Sketchfab Lab Experiment's Screen Shots tool.

Let's begin!

Step #1 — Uploading Your Model


Navigate your web browser to Sketchfab and click the orange "Upload" button in the upper right of the screen. Next, select your 3D scan by dragging and dropping it into the window, or by clicking the "browse" option.

Adding a description

A good description serves two functions— 1. It delivers important information on your model while increasing viewer interest and 2. it increases the "discoverability" of your model on Sketchfab's site. In their help article, Making Your Model Discoverable, Sketchfab states it is "important to make sure your models show up in search and galleries by including relevant titles, descriptions, tags, and categories."

Sketchfab suggests discussing the following in your description:

  • What inspired your work / a story behind the model

    • For a 3D scan, this might be a brief story about where the original scanned object was found or what you found interesting about it.

  • What tools and software were used to create the model

  • Technical details of the model

Catagories and Tags

Below the description, select the category that best matches your model. You can select up to two different categories in total.

Don't forget to add tags to your 3D scan as well! Tags are important in helping people use Sketchfab's search to find your model. Coming up with useful, relevant tags can sometimes be challenging, so it's important to get creative. We recommend thinking of different ways to describe the item you are posting. What would someone looking for a similar item type? For example, we are posting a 3D scan of a popular women's athletic shoe. Some possible tags might be: shoe, shoes, womens-shoe, womens-footware, (shoebrandname), footware, sneaker, runningshoe, athletic-shoe...

Download Settings

If you choose to let others download your model you have two options— 1. users can download it for free, or 2. you can charge users money for each download. To use the second option, you will first have to become an authorized seller on Sketchfab. If you choose to sell your scans, you should take into account that a percentage of your sale will go to fees for Sketchfab and Paypal and price them accordingly.


For free models, Sketchfab lays out up to four options to select from— Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives, and Share-Alike. Each option is accompanied by a detailed description, so it is easy to understand which ones suit your needs. Note that you can select more than one of these options, i.e. you can select both Attribution and Non-Commercial. Based on your combination of choices, Sketchfab will delegate the correct license to the model CC BY, CC BY-SA, CC BY-ND, CC BY-NC, CC BY-NC-SA, CC BY-NC-ND, or CC0.

For downloadable models, you have two licenses to choose from— Standard and Editorial.

  • Standard: Users can use your model for anything they like, including commercially.

  • Editorial: It is recommended to use this when your 3D scan shows IP that is not yours. Users are not allowed to use them for commercial or promotional purposes.

Step #2 — Editing 3D Settings

Now that we've outlined a bit of information about the 3D scan we're posting, we can move on to the 3D settings. Before selecting the blue "Edit 3D Settings" on the left side of your screen, don't forget to hit the orange "Save" button in the bottom right of the screen!

Importing Missing Textures

If your imported model looks like the picture above, you may need to import your textures! Doing so is easy. In the upper left of the screen, navigate to the icon that looks like a square picture frame to edit materials. Under PBR MAPS, click on "Base Color" > Texture > Manage Textures > Import Texture > and select your 3D scan's texture from your computer. The texture should now be applied to your model!

If you scroll down a bit more, you can also adjust material attributes like roughness, subsurface scattering, opacity, emission, etc using the editor's sliders.

Adding Lighting

After applying your material, you may notice your model is a little dark. We can fix that by adding some lighting to the scene.

Tab over to the light bulb icon to access the lighting settings. Make sure "LIGHTS" at the very top of the tab is set to "ON." Sketchfab has six presets for you to choose from to quickly set up your scene's lighting. Once you've selected your preferred preset, you can adjust the lighting under "LIGHT PROPERTIES."

To add a bit more realism to your scene, we recommend turning on "GROUND SHADOWS" just below the light properties.

Post Processing Filters

Post-processing filters are the fun part! Here you can experiment with different effects on your model to see what makes your 3D scan really stand out! For the majority of 3D scans, we recommend you try applying the following filters:

Enhancing Your 3D Scan:

  • SSAO — This will enhance the appearance of occluded parts of your 3D model, increasing the look of depth and detail.

  • SHARPNESS — This slider will enhance the overall appearance of detail in your scan.

  • TONE MAPPING — We recommend experimenting with the Brightness and Exposure sliders, in particular, to further enhance the lighting and visibility of your model.

Adding Artistic Flair To Your 3D Scan:

  • GRAIN — This adds an adjustable film grain effect to your scene. For further effect, you can opt for an animated grain if you so choose.

  • CHROMATIC ABERRATIONS — This is a color distortion effect that creates a unique rainbow bleed around the borders of your scan. When used correctly, it can really make a model pop!

  • VIGNETTE — This effect will darken the edges of your screen and create a framing effect that will draw the viewer's focus to your 3D scan.

Adjusting Your 3D Scan's Orientation

If your scan is looking a little lopsided or listing in any odd directions, you can fix that under the GENERAL tab (gear icon). Under GENERAL> Straighten Model, make sure "Show advanced rotation" is checked. From here you can use the rotation wheel to orient your scan.

Adding background color

In our opinion, the background color is one of the most underrated effects you can apply to make your 3D scan pop! You can find the background color settings under GENERAL > BACKGROUND > Background type > COLOR. Use the color picker to experiment with different shades and colors. The higher the contrast between your 3D scan and the background, the more it will stand out!

Saving view

The last thing we need to do before publishing our 3D scan is to choose our thumbnail. This is an important step as it's how your model will appear to Sketchfab users before they click on it. In a pool of other equally amazing 3D models, first impressions can be vital!

First, orient your scan in the 3D viewer how you'd like it to appear in the thumbnail. Hover your mouse over "Save View" in the upper left corner of the 3D viewer to reveal a grid that will show you if your scan is centered. When you are happy with the orientation, click "Save View." A preview of your thumbnail will appear in the upper left corner once it has been saved. You are able to repeat this process as many times as you need to get the perfect thumbnail.

Once the thumbnail has been saved, click "Save Settings" and then "Exit" in the upper right corner of the screen to return to the model's description.

Step #3 — Publishing Your Model

To publish your model, simply press the orange "Publish" button in the lower-left of the screen. Make sure to review your description and tags before publishing, so that everything is correct! Once published, navigate to your model to see the final result via clicking on the "SEE MY MODEL" in the pop-up or by viewing it on your profile page!

Adding your 3D scan to a collection (optional)

Once you have accumulated a number of 3D scans on your profile, it may be helpful to add them to a collection. Your Sketchfab followers are able to subscribe to individual collections, which can help your 3D scans find an interested party more quickly + increase visibility! Collections are also a helpful way for you to organize your scans, allowing you to locate them more easily.

Step #4 (Optional) — Creating A Screenshot 'Render'

If you'd like to quickly generate a 'render' (that's actually a high-resolution screenshot) of your model without going to the trouble of setting up one in a software like Blender, you can use Sketchfab Lab's Screenshot Tool!

Loading your 3D scene

With Screenshot Tool loaded in a new window of your browser, click the blue "LOAD 3D SCENE" button in the upper right corner of your screen. In the pop-up, select "FROM URL" and paste the URL of the 3D scan you published to Sketchfab.

Exporting your screenshot

With your model loaded, you can choose the orientation of the screenshot the same way you oriented the thumbnail view. Screenshot Tool also lets you create screenshots of things like the matcap and wireframe! To do this, simply click on the model inspector (the stack icon in the lower right of the 3D viewer) and select the view you'd like.

Customize the settings on the right of the screen as needed for your project. When you are ready to capture the screenshot, click the blue "Export Screenshot" button on the middle right side of your screen. This will download the screenshot to your computer.

Final Result

Here's how our screenshot turned out! If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to our mailing list in the footer below! We share updates every time we post a new blog + if we are running any specials on 3D scanning services!

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