Sketchfab Uploader Extension for SketchUp

Upload your SketchUp models to the 3D (WebGL) viewing and sharing website Sketchfab

Description

sketchfab-logo-512When I originally wrote this extension, I had been looking quite a while for a way to share interactive 3D content from SketchUp on the web in a way that didn’t require installing a browser plugin. At the time, there were some Javascript-, Flash-, or VRML-based solutions, none of which were easy to work with. This has changed with the advent of WebGL, which came as a promising technology that is solely based on modern browser capability. By now, most browsers are perfectly capable of rendering models very nicely (even on mobile devices). As an example, below is a WebGL model of one of my projects (click to start and then use your mouse to navigate it):

(for some colorful eye candy, try this one, too)

Sketchfab is a very easy-to-use website that lets anyone upload 3D models, display them using WebGL, and share them with the world. On Facebook, WordPress, and many other places you can even just paste a model’s URL into a status update and it turns into an embedded 3D file. Since one of the upload file formats is COLLADA, it is easy for SketchUp users to upload their work there (the DAE and KMZ export format is natively supported in both the free and Pro versions of SketchUp). What had been missing was a SketchUp extension to makes this process more automatic.

The extension that you can download and install from this page adds a menu item “Upload to Sketchfab” to the File menu in SketchUp. All you need to do before you can upload your models is register on Sketchfab’s website and get a “secret API token” that links your uploads to your account. You can find that token on your personal account settings page after registering.

After uploading your model, you can edit parameters and materials, grab a thumbnail or adjust the default view on the Sketchfab website.

Usage

Go to File > Upload to Sketchfab > Upload Model… to send your entire model (or only the selected objects) to the cloud. Make sure you have first received your API token from the Sketchfab website. You will need to paste that token into the uploader dialog.

Some Tips:

  • Read this tutorial about how to best prepare your SketchUp model for upload.
  • SketchUp has the ability to assign materials to both sides of a face (front and back). This sometimes causes trouble and I would strongly recommend you remove the backface materials. You can do that automatically for your entire model using ThomThom’s Material Tools extension.
  • Text labels, dimensions, construction-points and -lines don’t upload (this is hard-wired into SketchUp’s COLLADA export function).
  • Inserted images in SketchUp need to be exploded before upload so that the textures show up properly.
  • For SketchUp versions before 2014: the post_url function that this extension uses does not accept returned data. Therefore what is shown after an upload is a bit workaroundish. This has been fixed for newer SketchUp versions.
  • At this point, uploaded models can’t be updated using this uploader.

Downloads

You can now find this Extension in Trimble’s Extension Warehouse. For an easy install (and update notifications), browse to it from inside SketchUp (2013 or newer) and install it directly.

Alternative Downloads

Linked below are the installation files (RBZ and ZIP formats) for the current and some previous versions of this extension.

To install these files, follow the SketchUp folks’ instructions. You can also find this Extension on GitHub.

Screenshots and Videos

Here’s a video that shows how you can obtain the plugin and the upload process in more detail:

Uploader Dialog
Uploader Dialog

Revision History

  • Version 2.4 (12/12/2016):
    – Added help menu item
    – Code cleanup
  • Version 2.3 (12/7/2016):
    – Fixed dialog issue in SU 2017 (min/max size)
    – Fixed extension loader code
  • Version 2.2 (1/18/2016):
    – Code cleanup, wrapped in my module for consistency
    – Updated Sketchfab logo
    – Token field hides content (password input)
    – Removed support for instanced upload (doesn’t work for Sketchfab)
    – Moved html dialogs into separate files
    – Included local version of jQuery, updated jQuery
    – Checkbox selection now saves state
    – Set maxlength for input fields
  • Version 2.1 (3/17/2014):
    – Wrapped external modules in my namespace
    – Consolidated code
    – Moved temp files to TEMP folder
  • Version 2.0 (3/11/2014):
    – Added more export options to dialog (2014)
    – Added error handling in uploading code (2014)
    – Changed upload to SSL (2014), 2013 was always SSL
  • Version 1.8 (3/8/2014):
    – Uploads ZIPped models now
    – Gives option to only upload selection if something has been selected.
    – SketchUp material names are now preserved on upload.
    – SU 2014 only: Option to include/exclude edges
  • Version  1.7 (2/18/2014):
    – Fixed temp location cleanup
    – Removed thumbnail image export
    SU 2014 only:
    – Added new upload method
    – Implemented multipart upload via new API
    – Added option to open model after uploading
  • Version 1.6 (7/15/2013):
    – Changed temp location to user folder to remove permission problem
  • Version 1.5 (5/10/2013):
    – Reorganized folders
  • Version 1.4 (12/11/2012):
    – Support for updated API (incl. private/password functionailty)
    – Included SketchUp source tag in JSON
    – Exports edges by default now
    – Removed thumbnail upload (not supported anymore by API)
    – Better string cleaning on upload
  • Version 1.3 (7/20/2012):
    – Fixed filename problem to prevent permission issue
  • Version 1.2 (7/19/2012):
    – Uploads a thumbnail now
    – Provided more error checking
  • Version 1.1 (7/18/2012):
    – Changed json assembly to Ruby side – more reliable
    – Uploads large models now
  • Version 1.0 (7/13/2012):
    – First release

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