How Game Artists, Developers, and Designers are Using Sketchfab
Sketchfab is used by all kinds of creators—including game developers, artists and designers—to publish and share interactive 3D projects online. In this article we’ll take a look at some useful Sketchfab features and explore how different game studios use Sketchfab as part of their work.
Game Studios by Thomas Flynn on Sketchfab
Sourcing 3D Assets
No matter what kind of game or experience you are building, having access to a diverse library of high-quality 3D assets can really speed up prototyping and production. Home to over 1 million downloadable 3D models, Sketchfab offers both free Creative Commons licensed assets and royalty-free assets from the Sketchfab Store.
You might recognize Sketchfab-sourced 3D assets in some of your favourite games. The game Inscryption for example uses various free 3D assets from Sketchfab and does a great job of artist attribution in the credits:
Inspiration & Learning
As an artist—2D or 3D, concept or production—you are constantly evolving your art style and improving your skills; there is often no better way to do this than by studying the creativity of your artistic peers. The wealth of 3D models being published daily on Sketchfab is a constant source of inspiration and reference for many artists.
Thanks to Sketchfab’s Model Inspector, it is possible to peel back the layers to see how a model was created. By opening the Model Inspector (the ‘i’ key on your keyboard or layers menu in the bottom right corner of the viewer) you can explore a model’s geometry, normals, texture maps, UV layout, bone weights, and more.
Sketchfab’s viewer and inspector have made it the default choice for many 3D art instructors who need an easy way for their students to submit 3D assignments. Students participating in the Howest Digital Arts & Entertainment undergraduate course in Belgium regularly upload their 3D creations to Sketchfab, tagging their models with the relevant course tags so that their instructors can find and assess their work.
As Oskar Kuijken, one of the lecturers at Howest DAE, shared in his Spring 2021 course wrap-up:
We use Sketchfab very often at DAE. It is a super handy tool for presentation, but also for inspecting models, checking wireframes, texture layouts, etc.
You can explore the latest uploads from Howest DAE students here.
Promotion & Marketing
When you’re promoting your game’s latest release, real-time 3D provides the opportunity to show off the creations of your talented art team. More engaging and interactive than 2D images or text descriptions, 3D models from your game can be embedded anywhere and help generate interest in your game. Take a look at how some game companies are using Sketchfab.
Epic Games uses Sketchfab to present interactive 3D versions of some of their latest in-game outfits.
Sometimes studios that are crowdsourcing a game will use a 3D model to help drive excitement and engagement. Can you spot the Sketchfab embeds in these campaigns for Psychonauts 2 and Homeworld 3?
Below is a list of just some of the studios that have published content from their games on Sketchfab. Click through to explore their amazing 3D models and scenes:
- Gearbox Software – sketchfab.com/gearboxsoftware
- Wargaming.net – sketchfab.com/wargaming
- Funktronic Labs – sketchfab.com/funktroniclabs
- Snowforged Entertainment – sketchfab.com/snowforged
- Company of Heroes (Relic) – sketchfab.com/companyofheroes
- Amplitude Studios – sketchfab.com/amplitude
In addition to the studios that showcase their assets on Sketchfab, thousands of talented game artists also use Sketchfab. One such artist is Jasmin Habezai-Fekri, 3D Environment Artist at Airship Syndicate and ArtStation Learning instructor.
3D Asset Management
Managing the development of 3D assets can often be a daunting task, especially now that more creative teams are working remotely. Thankfully, Sketchfab for Teams—our robust content management tool that lets teams share, manage, review, and collaborate on 3D projects—is here to help! Sketchfab for Teams makes it easy to:
- Upload, convert and distribute 3D assets
- Search and access your assets in a central repository
- Invite all the people who collaborate on your project
- Assign and manage access rights
- Share, comment on and annotate 3D models
Try Sketchfab Today
Anyone can sign up to Sketchfab and begin using all the core 3D features for free. If you’re interested in using Sketchfab as part of your professional work, check out the perks of our paid subscriptions.
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