Reviewing 3D Models and Animations

Forget intermediate renders, forget playblasts. Get feedback on your models and animations interactively with the SyncSketch 3D Model Viewer

SyncSketch allows you to upload 3D models with or without animation directly into a Review, so that you and others can review the models interactively, in synchronization, ensuring that everyone is viewing your content the same way at the same time, without having to render out an intermediate animation.

Note: Reviews using the 3D Model Viewer are currently only available to customers on our Team, Enterprise and Education Plus plans.  Models with animation are only supported on the Enterprise and Education Plus plans. 

Customers on Free, Indie and the legacy Pro plans can continue to annotate 3D models and animations from SketchFab as previously.

Annotating Animations

Reviews of video clips and playblasts require annotations that are time-specific – anchored to a particular frame. Uploaded 3D animations have the same frame-accurate annotation options.  These annotations, however, are not only locked to a particular time, but also to a particular view  of the model (specifically the camera angle and distance).  

Sketches paint on the view, not the model

Sketches are linked to a precise camera position and angle. The sketch paint is not applied to the surface of the model, nor does it exist in 3D space; it is a flat paint overlay on the viewport that is only visible when the view matches exactly the camera position and angle it had when it was created.

Each sketch gets a corresponding comment

In order to make it easy to return to the exact view that will display the sketch, each sketch automatically creates a corresponding comment annotation. When clicking the comment, you will reset the camera view and display the sketch. You can replace the default text in this annotation to describe what the sketch is meant to convey, if you feel the sketch itself is insufficient.

Navigate among comments and sketches

Typed comments are also linked to the view and the frame number in the same manner.  You can navigate from annotation to annotation (whether sketches or comments) by clicking on the matching comments in the SyncSketch Comments pane. (If it is not visible, click the speech balloon icon in the upper right corner, under your user icon.)

Tip: Comments can also be used as "bookmarks" to particular views; when preparing for a synced review with your team, it can be useful to mark key views beforehand with text comments describing the view or what is important about it.

Animations also have timeline markers for frames where sketches or comments are present, just as when reviewing video clips, and you can skip through them with the Previous/Next Sketch controls at the left of the lower toolbar.  However, since one frame can hold a great many annotations on different views, the Comment pane is generally a more useful way of hopping among annotations.

Annotating models without animation

Annotating models is just like annotating animations described above, except that there's no timeline and annotations are strictly locked to the view.

Annotating UV Images

Models with UV coordinate have an additional reviewing option.  You can view the UV coordinates together with the diffuse texture map and sketch on them.  This is discussed in more detail in Using the UV Window in the 3D Model Viewer.

SyncSketch Features in the Model Viewer

The Model Viewer supports many of the same playback and display options available when reviewing video clips.  For example:

  • Held Drawings (the H icon) can be useful in its Add New Sketch mode to keep sketches on the screen until replaced with another sketch on a later frame, in order to illustrate animation guides in an animatic overlay.
  • Tracing Paper is useful for clarifying where the sketches are.  This can be important with the more sophisticated brushes that can make subtler alterations that are harder to spot.
  • Sketch visibility can be toggled off and on just as it can with video.
  • You can use the square bracket icons to mark a range of animation frames for looping and playback.
  • All of the same brush options are available in the Model Viewer.
  • Presentation mode, Link Sharing and of course synced reviews behave here as in the video Review Player.

Further Reading