10 innovative Sketchfab artworks

Artist Marko Ivanovic takes a look at 10 of the best and most innovative uses of the emerging 3D content sharing platform, Sketchfab…

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Whenever a new platform emerges, one is often blind to the potential which such a medium can offer. Given time though, the artist – the practitioner – comes to meet with the true nature of the creation. Often, a tool is defined by the will of the hand that makes use of it. Wood can become a chair in the hands of a carpenter, or twigs can become kindling to light in fire. A single path must always diverge through the visionary eyes of separate voyagers. So can be said for the art of Sketchfab, and the voices that have spoken upon the once hollow space, shall they now echo beyond the bounds of its original blueprint.

Summer Afternoon by Zale

This user has sought the opportunity to tell a story using Sketchfab’s animation features, breaking the bounds of static 3D scenery and creating a sense of narrative. Presenting a summer afternoon conversation of a cat with its owner, Zale definitely had some fun in this project with its creative approach, along with presenting an interesting 2.5D mixed art-style. A refreshing sight on a site that hosts mostly isolated 3D meshes.

Ai by XkungWork

An incredible character presentation – XkungWork brought this character fan-art to life by animating the character in full glory and adding facial expressions that catch you off guard – contributing to its narrative emotional value. Other than that, a greatly executed Japanese-styled model with a presentation that’s nothing short of delightful.

Pirate’s Nest by Andmish

Simply an incredible piece of environmental slice of life, showcasing a pirate character in his casual daily routine. An astounding animated piece displaying the true narrative potential of such an inherently static platform. Great job done by Sketchfab user Andmish. You can also check out his other work here.

Musashi by Jo Kawaguchi

Greatly executed piece of static artwork with a great sense of design aesthetic and style. At first you would think it’s a well designed static wallpaper, but this is Sketchfab so it’s a given that you can actually move and rotate the camera, and this art piece is successful in maintaining its quality consistently throughout. It’s definitely more than a 3D character. It’s a statement, a moment of narration captured with style.

FTM by luyssport

“Wow, just wow!” is the initial reaction the moment the camera rushes through the stone corridor of this desolate environment narrative piece. Executed with incredible style and FX that manage to portray the feel of motion, even though everything in the scene is completely static. Plus there’s a lot of fun in discovering what lurks behind the house once you rotate the camera. A great job done well!

Feet Study by Miki Bencz

There’s something about presenting a very incredibly dull and simple topic in a very effective way. Feet Study by Miki Bencz is one of these artworks that have you amazed at the contrast between execution and topic. Presented in a very loosely painted style resembling that of a traditional painting, yet able to rotate in 3D with the art displaying great choice of color contrast. Again, a unique take on showcasing art on this platform.

The Journey by EmilieStabell

So weird and unusual, yet a satisfying piece of hybrid artwork. This artwork can’t quite be called 3D, nor should it be called 2D, and neither is it exactly 2.5D. Perhaps 2.43 + 10/pi D. Given how it’s animated, yet quite stylized, it gives off an unusual, yet satisfying vibe and is a great character (set of characters?) to showcase.

Long Dream by Sean Wade

This user captured one of his favorite comic book moments in 3D glory, while maintaining the relevant hand-drawn style. It’s an exceptional standout piece that immediately catches the eye, because of its great execution and narrative value. The purpose of art is always to convey emotion, and this static moment does it so well, although you aren’t quite sure what you’re feeling – it’s definitely strong.

Ponyo by Antoine Basin

An incredible choice of scenery that does a great job at conveying the indefinite moment of a girl running on swimming fish in the dark ocean. With Sketchfab you are only allowed to pick one moment to convey through dynamic animation and effects, and there is great skill in picking such a moment that will make the most out of it. This work does great justice to the system.

Paper Monsters of the Jungle by TocoGamescom

The ultimate combination of stylized characters, environment, animation, and choice of character narrative that can plausibly be indefinitely looped. Not trying to be too realistic, but relying on a great choice of concept, portraying paper monsters in motion, and delivering a flawless job in the limited Sketchfab viewport.

The dawn of a new era

In my last article (The evolution of the 3D portrait), I concluded the story with a call to arms for artists to innovate and use new technologies to break new grounds. Life is about breaking through limits and discovering potential for even the smallest samples of work, and whenever you turn your back on the potential of the moment, you are accepting mediocrity and mediocrity inhibits true progress for the joy of humanity, that ultimately prevents conflict and hate. This is why your job as an artist is much more important than that of a self-serving careerist. You have the responsibility to push yourself, and to bring out the best in others by taking the first step forward.

If all relinquish this responsibility, then the natural course is redundancy, boredom, and disaster. The question is whether you’re going to be the hero or the side character of someone else’s heroic story, forever regretting that your art merely existed but never pushed against the current, and leaving your personality truly a forgotten entity in the end. Art is more about life than it is about art, and the truth is bigger than a career choice. Therefore your life should be dedicated to the truth, and your art should always be a reflection of yourself, no matter what form it takes. Digital ‘art’ is just one way of expressing that truth, and if you anchor yourself to said virtue, you will discover the true meaning of the word art. Only then will you learn how to create, other than merely resembling other people’s creations.

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