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The 3D Model Importer App Guide

(last updated April 2019, v0.37)

Before you begin, download the latest version of the 3D Model Importer from the Library. Once you get the app running, you should see this:

load model

Choosing a Model

Click "Load Model". By default, this will open a browser in the "Models" folder. This folder has some example models if you'd like to use one of those.

open model

If you'd like to use your own model, it must be in the glTF, obj, or glb format. If your application doesn't export in these formats, or if you already have a model of a different format, you can consult this list of exporters and converters to find the right tool. Of the tools on the list, we have found success using Sketchfab as a converter.

Here’s a quick 15-second run-down of how to download files from Sketchfab. When downloading something, don’t forget to check the CC and license-use for the file and always credit and link back to the artist if possible! For this project, we used Willy Decarpentrie’s Mech Drone model.

To use your own model, select it from the Load Model command.

Exploring your model

The 3D Model Importer uses a special type of controls to allow you view your model from different perspectives in 3D. You can rotate around your model by left clicking and dragging. You can pan around the scene by right clicking and dragging, and you can zoom in and out by scrolling.

The unique aspect of our orbit control system is the ability to “refocus” on a particular point of your model. You’ll notice, if you zoom in on your model, that the parts closest to you become blurry as you zoom in. To prevent this, you can double click on any part of your model to set this point as your center of focus, so that it never becomes blurry as you zoom in on it. If you double click off of your model, the center will be reset to the center of the model.

Advanced settings

When a model is open and displaying in the 3D Model Importer, you can click the Advanced Setting button to adjust the scene. The Advanced Settings are are very briefly explained below.

  • Model Settings handle how the app handles materials, textures, and animations if supported by the model. (reference)
  • Lighting Settings handle the lighting in the scene. People are often surprised at how much proper lighting makes their work pop in the Looking Glass. (reference)
  • Quality Settings are useful to balance between visual quality of render and render performance. (reference)

Congratulations! You’re now ready to view models on 3D Model Importer! If you make something particularly interesting, consider tweeting a video of it at us on Twitter or sharing it with us in the Forums.