Alban Denoyel – Sketchfab
“We are building for 3D content what YouTube did for video”
Today we’re talking to Alban Denoyel, the co-founder and CEO of Sketchfab, which is the world’s largest library of VR content. Sketchfab is an online repository for creators of 3D models and VR environments to upload and share their projects with the world in a similar way to how video producers use services like YouTube.
We first came across Sketchfab when we discovered Instamuseum, a project by Sylvain Zimmer, which allows users to turn their Instagram feed into a gallery that can be explored in virtual reality.
That was just one example of the sort of project that can be shared with Sketchfab. As 3D and virtual reality become more mainstream the potential of this service is incredibly exciting so we caught up with the website’s CEO to find out more.
Tell us a little more about Sketchfab and how it got started…
Sketchfab is a platform to publish, share and embed 3D files anywhere on the web. On Sketchfab you can explore almost 1 million experiences in 3D and VR.
We started Sketchfab in 2012 in Paris. The core vision was that whenever you create something, you need to be able to publish it on the internet. If it’s a video, you share it on YouTube. There was no platform for the 3D file format, so we went on to create the best one we could.
As well as 3D models, you’ve more recently started to showcase Virtual Reality environments. What prompted you to branch into VR and were there particular challenges involved?
We believe VR is the greatest way to consume 3D models. A 3D model is essentially a virtual scene, and with VR it means you can walk inside the scene and get immersed within the content. The other reason that got us started is that we are now reaching a state of the tech when it’s becoming usable and available to all, and from the web. There are lots of challenges involved with VR, including how to handle navigation, huge scenes, sense of scale…
What are your plans for Sketchfab and where would you like to see it in five years’ time?
Our plan is to build the best publishing platform for creators of 3D content, and the largest catalogue of 3D and VR experiences for the consumers. Five years from now, we would like to be ubiquitous: used by creators, brands and media publications alike, as the default way to publish 3D and VR. We also want to become a destination for consumers to browse and explore virtual content, in VR and AR.
Finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?
I don’t believe in reincarnation 🙂