As part of an ongoing initiative to bring any and all 3D content to the web, French 3D file repository Sketchfab is introducing the Alpha version of its new MASSIVE by Sketchfab system for large size 3D files.
The new software, which is being unveiled at the SIGGRAPH Festival in Toronto, is scheduled to launch in 2019. It is the result of a “massive” initiative undertaken in collaborations with Iconem, a startup that specializes in the 3D digitization of endangered cultural heritage sites, and CNRS, a department of the French government.
Last year Sketchfab began teasing its new ability to support much larger data sets with its embeddable 3D viewer. For example, in the scanned photogrammetry data from the Dordogne river region in France by Sketchfab community member Gerpho (click on the image below to view the 3D file), you can use the Sketchfab player to zoom in and out of an area that comprises 80 million triangles and 40 million vertices.
MASSIVE by Sketchfab 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.
The system currently supports OBJ and PLY datasets and theoretically, there is no size limit on the data it can display. In practice, though, Sketchfab will be working with users to determine suitable parameters appropriate for upload and maintenance.
Sketchfab’s MASSIVE technology can handle any appropriate 3D data set, so it’s not limited to map data. Below is an example of streaming in greater fidelity at an archaeological site by 3DFlow (click on the image to see the 3D file).
The Sketchfab team is working on optimized texture support that will make for a much smoother and more detailed experience. They are also continuing to work on optimizing MASSIVE for mobile and low-powered devices and slower connection speeds. If the above examples do not play smoothly, you can watch a video of the same scene below.