Tutorials

Following tutorials will help you create you first scene.

Video tutorial

An introductory video tutorial (export is SketchUp-specific, but the rest of the tutorial is generic):

Quick guide

A complete introduction: from 3D model import to online sharing of the visualization.

Import 3D model to Shapespark

Export a SketchUp model using the Shapespark extension for SketchUp (for information on how to import a model from other 3D modeling software, see the Importing the scene section of the help). Both SketchUp and Shapespark should be running. You can use the example-room SketchUp model.

  • Click Export to Shapespark button from the Shapespark extension toolbar.
  • Choose options:
    SketchUp export dialog

Add realistic lighting (bake a lightmap)

  • Open your newly created scene for editing:
    Shapespark scene opening for editing
  • You can navigate through the scene using the mouse and the keyboard.
  • Make sure that transparent materials are correctly configured. In particular, the windows should allow the outside light to enter the interiors.
    • In the Materials tab set the opacity of each transparent material to a value close to 0 (for example: for plain glass use opacity of 0.05). In order to change it you need to first unlock the imported opacity value.
    Materials tab: configuring transparent materials
  • Configure lights in the scene.
    • Walk through the scene and using the Preview button in the Bake tab evaluate how the scene is illuminated (a new window will pop up). The goal of the preview is to give an indication on how the scene will look like after baking. The noise can be ignored; usually, there is no point waiting for the preview to finish - it can be closed as soon as it gives enough information.
      Bake tab: creating preview
    • If the light coming from the outside is too weak adjust the rotation and the strength of the sun light in the Lights tab and/or the strength of the sky in the Bake tab.
    • Artificial lights need to be added to illuminate rooms without direct access to outside light, such as bathrooms or wardrobes. From within the Lights tab, place spot lights in such rooms and configure the strength of these lights.
      Lights tab: adding spot lights
    • You can also add lights in your 3D modelling program and upload the scene by choosing option Update an existing scene.
  • Bake a draft version of the lightmap.
    • In the Bake tab, set the number of samples to 100 and use the Bake button.
      Bake tab: baking draft version of  the lightmap
    • If you are satisfied with your lighting setup, bake the final version of the lightmap using 800 samples. The length of this process depends on the size of the model baked.

Polish the scene: configure reflective materials

In each key room:
  • From within the Light probes tab add a light probe in the center of the room. A light probe captures the panorama of its surroundings and is necessary to generate reflections in the nearby objects.
    Light probes tab: adding a light probe to the scene
  • Switch to the Materials tab. Now when you select an object, its material becomes highlighted on the list of materials. For each material that you would like to make reflective adjust:
    • roughness (range: from 0.0 for the smoothest materials with mirror-like reflections to 1.0 for the roughest materials with no reflections)
    • metallic properties (0 for not metallic and 1 for metals)
    Materials tab: adjusting reflectivity

Add predefined views

The predefined views (points of interest) help to navigate the scene.
  • Switch to the Viewer tab.
  • Walk through the scene and add Views in the places that you would like to make easily accessible to the user. To save the current view, click +Walk; to save the view at the same point but from the top, click +Top.
  • The first view on the list becomes the initial view that is shown when the visualization starts.
    Viewer tab: adding predefined views

Upload the scene to the Internet

Use the Upload button in the main Shapespark window:

Uploading scene to the internet

Your scene is ready for viewing. Visit the Shapespark site to get a public link to it.

FAQ

System requirements

What are the system requirements for opening scenes?

A WebGL capable browser is required to open scenes created with Shapespark (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer 11 all support WebGL).

Can scenes be opened on mobile devices?

Yes, Android and iOS mobile devices are supported. Large scenes with complex geometry or a large number of textures need to be optimized to run on mobile devices due to limited available memory.

What are the system requirements for creating scenes?

To create scenes you need a machine with 64-bit Windows 7, 8, or 10.

WebVR

Which browsers and devices can open scenes in VR?
  • Oculus Rift and HTC Vive with Firefox 55 (or later) or Chrome experimental.
  • Windows Mixed Reality headsets with Microsoft Edge browser.
  • Google Cardboard with any stock WebGL enabled mobile browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari).
  • Daydream with the latest stable Chrome mobile browser.
  • Gear VR with the Samsung Internet browser.
How to change location in VR mode?

If you use a device without a VR controller (for example Cardboard), you need to gaze at a chosen destination place to activate a timer and teleport to the place.

If you have a VR controller or a gamepad, you can use the controller button to immediately activate the teleport.

For a desktop VR experience you can also use numeric keys (1-9) to teleport to predefined views in the scene.

Using mouse and keyboard navigation with desktop VR is also possible, but such traditional input methods can cause discomfort for some VR users.

How to enter full-screen mode to use Google Cardboard with iPhone?

You need to use the Safari browser and add a home screen icon with a link to your scene (Tap Share, Add to Home Screen). The icon will open the scene in full-screen mode.

How to increase the resolution of scenes in Google Cardboard?

On high-end phones you can run a scene in higher resolution on Cardboard by adding #vrhi to the scene URL (for example https://formikodesign.shapespark.com/flat-for-a-couple-3/#vrhi

Creating scenes

Can a 3D model be created in Shapespark?

No, the model needs to be created in a 3D modeling program and imported into Shapespark.

Which material properties are imported into Shapespark?

Diffuse color, diffuse texture and opacity are imported. Other properties, such as reflection-related properties, need to be set in the Shapespark editor.

Are settings in the Shapespark editor preserved when the model is updated?

Yes, you can update the model and all the settings are preserved.

Does Shapespark require an external renderer, such as V-Ray, to bake lightmaps?

No, Shapespark has an integrated path-tracing renderer for baking lightmaps.

What is the difference between CPU and CUDA lightmap baking?

CPU and CUDA baking produce identical results, the differences are:

  • With high-end graphics cards, CUDA baking is usually faster than CPU baking.
  • CPU baking is available on all computers, CUDA baking is available only on machines with CUDA-enabled NVIDIA graphics cards.
  • If a graphics card is simultaneously used for the monitor and CUDA baking, the computer can become less responsive until the baking finishes.

Do I need to unwrap my model and export lightmap UV coordinates to Shapespark?

No, Shapespark automatically generates lightmap UVs.

What are the optimal texture sizes to use in scenes?

You don't need to optimize texture sizes. Shapespark automatically scales down each texture based on the area of the textured surface in the scene.

How do I set up the lighting for an exterior scene?

The default value for sky strength, configured in the Bake tab, is geared towards interior scenes and when used for exteriors it may lead to an overly bright image. Reduce the strength to 0.5-1.5.

Similarly, the default value for lightmap resolution, also configured in the Bake tab, is usually too high for exterior scenes because it produces multiple lightmaps, which cause long baking times. Exteriors, which are usually viewed from a greater distance than interiors, do not need such detailed light information, so the lightmap resolution can be reduced to 10-20.

How do I set up the lighting for a scene with both interiors and exteriors?

To avoid overly bright exteriors reduce the sky strength in the Bake tab to 0.5-1.5. Such a strength is not sufficient to illuminate the interiors, so to make them bright you need to add artificial light sources in all of the rooms and/or use ambient occlusion, configured in the Bake tab. Ambient occlusion is an ambient lighting technique which does not require light sources and is not physically-accurate, but when used moderately it gives good-looking results. A distance of 1 [m] and a factor of 0.05 are good initial values to try.

To reduce the number of lightmaps and the baking time, set custom lightmap resolution in the Objects tab for large objects in the scene exteriors, such as the terrain, neighboring buildings or plants. Usually, a value in the range 10-20 should be enough for good quality lighting of such objects.

Can I add custom branding to my scenes?

Yes, the commercial license allows the Shapespark viewer to be branded:

  • In the Viewer tab of the Shapespark editor you can hide the Shapespark logo and set your company name and link to your site.
  • In the Settings tab at https://cloud.shapespark.com you can set a link to your logo that will be displayed at the top left corner of your uploaded scenes.
  • For more advanced customizations you can edit the scene index.html file and modify the viewer styling in any way you like.

Exporting scenes from SketchUp

How do I install the SketchUp extension for exporting models?

The extension is installed automatically when the Shapespark application is installed. If SketchUp is running during the Shapespark installation, you need to restart it to enable the extension.

Can SketchUp models be imported to Shapespark via the COLLADA format?

This is not recommended; to avoid problems with missing textures or invalid scales it is better to use the Shapespark extension to export SketchUp models.

Trial version

What are the limitations of the trial version?

The trial version gives access to all Shapespark features except custom branding, but it can be used only for evaluation purposes and only for 30 days.

Do I need to give credit card details to download the trial version?

No, credit card details are not required to download the trial.

Purchase, renewal, support

What payment methods are supported?

Credit card, PayPal or wire transfer.

What is Paddle?

Paddle is a reseller that handles payments and invoicing for Shapespark.

What does the one year of free updates mean?

For one year after purchasing the Shapespark perpetual license you will receive automatic updates that contain new functionality and improvements.

What happens after the one year?

You can either extend the automatic Shapespark updates for another year for half of the application price, or continue using the software as is, without further updates.

What kind of support is provided?

You can ask questions and report problems via the application's integrated problem report form, on the forum, or by email: support@shapespark.com.

Hosting of scenes

Are deleted scenes or scenes on my local computer counted against my hosting slots limit?

No, only active scenes that are uploaded to your account are counted.

Can I host scenes on my own server?

Yes, the Plus monthly plan and the perpetual license allow to host scenes on own server.

My project is confidential, how can I safely present it with Shapespark?

You can present a scene on your computer without uploading the scene. Scenes that have not been uploaded cannot be accessed on the Internet.

If you would like to upload a confidential scene and share it privately with a link, you can create an obfuscated scene name by appending random characters to it (for example 'building-grymgutunsav'). Such a link gives a reasonable level of confidentiality if it is shared with care.

Links to uploaded scenes are never shared on the Shapespark homepage, social media, or by any other means without first asking for the scene author's consent.

Troubleshooting

Some faces of a 3D model are not visible in Shapespark

Shapespark renders only the front side of each face. If a face is not visible in Shapespark, the face orientation should be flipped in the 3D modeling program. External guides: The bathroom wall faces incorrectly oriented
The wall faces are oriented towards the outside of the bathroom and are therefore not visible.

Flickering artifacts on some surfaces

Flickering (z-fighting) can be visible when two surfaces overlap each other or when they are very close to each other. The problem is magnified when such close surfaces are observed from a large distance, so large scenes, such as exteriors or office spaces, are more affected.

To fix z-fighting, the distance between overlapping surfaces should be increased or, if possible, one of the surfaces should be removed (for example if a floor surface is fully covered by a carpet, the floor can be removed).

The carpet surface z-fighting with the wooden floor
The carpet surface overlaps the wooden floor surface causing z-fighting. The carpet should be moved up slightly (1 mm is usually enough).

The camera moves too slowly or quickly

Shapespark assumes real-world scale of imported models: 1 meter in the model should correspond to 1 meter in the real world. A camera that barely moves or moves too fast indicates a problem with the model scale. Such a model should be rescaled in the 3D modeling program.

For models imported to Shapespark via FBX or OBJ that use the real-world scale but do not use 1 meter as the basic unit, a different basic unit should be selected in the Shapespark import dialog (1 cm, 1 mm or 1 inch).

Importing the scene

Select an importing guide for your 3d modeling program. For other programs try importing through FBX, COLLADA (DAE) or OBJ formats.

SketchUp

Importing models from SketchUp is handled through a dedicated SketchUp extension which is accessible from the SketchUp toolbar or from the Extensions > Shapespark menu.

  • Make sure the Shapespark application is running.
  • Open the SketchUp model.
  • Open the export dialog using the Export to Shapespark button from the toolbar or the Extensions > Shapespark > Export menu item.
  • Configure the export:
    • Export type - Selects if a new scene is created or an existing scene is updated.
    • Scene name - The name of the scene in Shapespark.
    • Include sun - If enabled, the SketchUp sun is exported. The sun shadows in Shapespark match SketchUp shadows.
    SketchUp export dialog
  • Start the export and wait for it to finish.
  • The exported scene is now added to the list of scenes in Shapespark.
The extension allows Shapespark lights to be added to the SketchUp model. To add a light, use the Add Shapespark light button from the toolbar or the Extensions > Shapespark > Add light menu item. Only the position and rotation of the light are exported. Other properties, such as the size or the strength, are configured in the Shapespark editor.

3ds Max

3ds Max models can be imported into Shapespark through the FBX format.

  • Export the 3ds Max model with the Export item of the Application menu.
    • In the Select File To Export window, select the Autodesk (*.FBX) format in Save as type. 3ds Max export file selection dialog
    • In the FBX Export window:
      • Select the Autodesk Media & Entertainment preset in Presets > Current preset.
      • Inside Advanced Options > Units, clear the Automatic checkbox and choose Meters in Scene units converted to.
      3ds Max exporter configuration dialog
  • Import the exported FBX file using the Import .fbx .dae .obj button in the main Shapespark window.
    • Use Input scale of 1m.
  • To update the Shapespark scene after it is modified in 3ds Max, export it again and use the Update button in the main Shapespark window.

Export issues

If the model imported to Shapespark does not match the original 3ds Max model, check the following potential issues and their solutions.
Material properties are missing
3ds Max's FBX exporter supports only the Standard (scanline) material type. If your model uses different material types, convert the materials to Standard ones before the export in order to transfer the material properties (including diffuse color, diffuse texture, transparency) to Shapespark. Only simple material setups can be exported, texture-related nodes like MultiTexture, ColorCorrect, Noise etc. are not handled. The conversion process can be automated with a material converting script like V-RayMtl Converter (paid, preferred for V-Ray materials), Universal Material Converter (paid), or MultyConvertor (free).
Some objects are missing
Not all the 3ds Max object types are handled by the FBX exporter or Shapespark. If a 3ds Max object is missing in Shapespark, convert it to Editable Mesh or Editable Poly using the Convert To item from the right-click object menu, then retry the export.
Some objects are misplaced/mis-rotated
The FBX file may incorrectly convey node transformations in some cases (especially if the Mirror tool has been applied to the node). If an object or a group is misplaced or mis-rotated, reset its pivot using the Reset Pivot button from the hierarchy panel.

Maya

Maya models can be imported to Shapespark through the FBX format.

  • Export the Maya model with File > Export All... or File > Export Selection... menu item using the following settings:
    • Select FBX export in Files of type.
    • Inside Options... > File Type Specific Options:
      • Select the Autodesk Media & Entertainment preset in Presets > Current preset.
      • Inside Advanced Options > Units, clear the Automatic checkbox and choose Meters in File units converted to.
    Maya export dialog
  • Import the exported FBX file using the Import .fbx .dae .obj button in the main Shapespark window.
    • Use Input scale of 1m.
  • To update the Shapespark scene after it is modified in Maya, export it again and use the Update button in the main Shapespark window.
Maya's FBX exporter supports only standard Maya materials. If your Maya model uses a different material system, convert the materials to standard ones before the export in order to transfer the material properties (including diffuse color, diffuse texture, transparency) to Shapespark.

Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D models can be imported into Shapespark through the COLLADA (DAE) format.

  • Export the Cinema 4D model with File > Export... > COLLADA 1.5 (*.dae) menu item using the following settings:
    • Clear the Export 2D geometry checkbox.
    • Clear the Export animation checkbox.
    • Select the Export triangles checkbox.
    Cinema 4D export dialog
  • Import the exported COLLADA file using the Import .fbx .dae .obj button in the main Shapespark window.
    • Use Input scale of 1m.
  • To update the Shapespark scene after it is modified in Cinema 4D, export it again and use the Update button in the main Shapespark window.

Export issues

If the model imported to Shapespark does not match the original Cinema 4D model, check the following potential issues and their solutions.
Material properties are missing
Cinema 4D's COLLADA exporter supports only the standard C4D material type. If your C4D model uses different material system, convert the materials to standard ones before the export in order to transfer the material properties to Shapespark. Only the Color and Transparency material channels are exported and translated to Shapespark's base color/texture and opacity material properties. Texture-related shaders like Colorizer, Filter, Noise etc. are not handled.
Textured materials are solid red
Shapespark imports a material as solid red if it cannot find a texture referenced by the material in the COLLADA file. To help locating the textures, save the project together with all its assets in one place by using the File > Save Project with Assets... menu item and export the newly saved project.
Texture offset, rotation or scale is incorrect
Cinema 4D's COLLADA exporter may not export texture mapping correctly if an object has no UVW tag. If you find that some object in Shapespark has a texture with incorrect offset, rotation or scale, add a UVW tag to this object in Cinema 4D, and retry the export.

Revit

Shapespark has preliminary support for Revit based on exporting the Revit model to the OBJ format.

The export process is documented on the Shapespark Community forum: https://forum.shapespark.com/t/preliminary-revit-support/135

The Revit's built-in FBX exporter cannot be used to transfer a Revit model to Shapespark, because this exporter does not store material information in the standard FBX way, but it uses Autodesk's prioprietary binary representation understood only by the Autodesk tools.

Mouse

  • Hold left - look around
  • Click left (outside of scene edit mode) - walk to the clicked place
  • Click left (in scene edit mode) - select materials, lights, objects
  • Scroll - walk straight

Keyboard

  • Arrow keys - walk straight and look around
  • Page Up/Page Down - change height
or:
  • WSAD keys - walk straight head and sideways
  • Q/E - change height

Touch screen

  • Tap - walk to the tapped place
  • Slide - stop walking, look around

VR headset

  • Gaze at a fixed place - activate the timer and teleport to the place when the timer runs out
  • Click a VR controller or a gamepad button - immediately activate the teleport

Editing the scene

Following sections document all the controls in the Shapespark editor.

Lightmap baking

Bake tab

A lightmap is a texture that stores information on how much light reaches each part of the scene. The Bake tab controls the lightmap baking process.

  • Samples - The number of light rays that are emitted from each pixel of the lightmap. The more samples, the longer the baking takes, and the more accurate and less noisy the result is. Example values:
    • 10 - low quality bake to quickly detect problems with the scene,
    • 100 - decent preview bake,
    • 800 - good quality final bake.
  • Bounces - The number of light ray bounces that are traced for each sample. Higher values allow better illumination of dark, hard to reach places. 6-8 bounces is enough for most scenes.
  • Lightmap resolution - The number of lightmap pixels corresponding to 1 meter in the scene. Higher lightmap resolution improves the quality, but increases the lightmap size and baking time. The default value of 75 is usually a good compromise, it means that a 1 x 1 m square in the scene is mapped to a 75 x 75 px rectangle in the lightmap.
  • Sky - Enables the sky, which is a key light source that allows all areas with windows to be nicely illuminated. If enabled, the sky Color and Strength can be configured.
  • Ambient occlusion - Enables fake ambient light that decreases realism but simplifies scene configuration, because light sources do not need to be added in all dark areas. Scenes with ambient occlusion can be baked with fewer samples.
  • Enable filters - Enables post-processing filters that reduce noise and fix artifacts in the baked lightmap. Disabling the filters is useful for identifying the sources of fireflies in the scene. After changing this setting, you can use the Post-process button to apply it to an already baked lightmap without baking it again.
  • Flood dark limit - The threshold for the post-processing filter that masks black pixels leaking from occluded faces in the scene (for example, from underneath a picture hanging on the wall). Such black pixels are a result of a limited lightmap resolution. Can be increased if such artifacts are visible after baking.
  • Device - The device used for the baking process: CPU or CUDA-enabled graphics card. High-end CUDA devices bake faster than CPUs.
  • Preview - Generates a static render from the current camera position that shows how the scene is illuminated.
  • Bake - Bakes the lightmap and applies post-processing filters.
  • Post-process - Reapplies post-processing filters without baking again. Allows the scene to be seen with all filters disabled, or to tweak the Flood dark limit setting.

Lights

Lights tab

Lights in the scene can be added in the Shapespark editor Lights tab or imported from a 3D modeling program. The latter method is usually more convenient, because it allows light sources to be attached to 3D objects, such as light fixtures.

  • Spot - Adds a spot light in the current camera position. The spot light beam is restricted by a cone with adjustable angle and rotation.
  • Point - Adds a point light in the current camera position. A point light emits rays uniformly in all directions.
  • Sun - Adds a sun light at the zenith point of the sky. A sun is a distant light source that emits parallel rays into the direction specified by the light rotation.
The following controls operate on the light that is selected from the lights list:
  • Type - The light type.
  • Strength - The light strength.
  • Size - The light size in meters. Larger lights cast softer shadows, smaller lights cast harder shadows. Depending on the lightmap resolution, excessively hard shadows can result in a pixelated lightmap.
  • Color - The light color.
  • Angle - The angle of the spotlight.

Each light can have many instances that share all settings except position and rotation. Instances adds a new light instance.

Light probes

Light probes tab

A light probe captures a 360° panorama of its surroundings that is used to generate reflections. Light probes should be added in key rooms, preferably positioned at eye level near room centers. If a room does not have a light probe, the closest light probe from another room is used, which results in inaccurate reflections. In many cases such inaccuracies are not noticeable and can be ignored.

  • Light probes - Adds a light probe at the current camera position.
  • Bounding box - Toggles a bounding box for the light probe which is used to generate more accurate reflections of objects close to the bounding box sides. This is most useful if the light probe is generated inside a rectangular room, in which case the bounding box sides should line up with the room walls, the ceiling and the floor. The bounding box is denoted with blue lines. It is automatically initialized when the light probe is added, and can be modified with the Bounding box min and Bounding box max controls.

Materials

Materials tab

The Materials tab allows the following material properties to be set:

  • Base color - The texture or the RGB value of a solid color. Controls the diffuse color of a non-metallic material or the reflection color of a metallic material.

    By default, the base color is imported from a 3D modeling program ( icon). When is clicked, it changes to : the color can be set in the editor and is not altered during future imports of the scene.

    For base color texture, a Correction option is shown that allows two color correction operations to be applied to the texture:
    • Contrast - Changes the contrast of the texture by scaling colors around medium grey intensity. Contrast -1 means 100% reduction of contrast resulting in a grey texture, while contrast 1 means that contrast is increased by 100%.
    • Offset - Offsets the texture color in the HSL colorspace. Changing the hue (H) may be used, for example, to make a blue texture green, to change the saturation (S) to make a pale blue texture vivid, or to change the lightness (L) to make a dark blue texture light. Offset uses a fast approximate technique suitable for real-time use that works best for textures mostly using different shades of the same color, like fabric, wood, stone, vegetation etc.
  • Opacity - Like the base color, the opacity is by default imported from a 3D modeling program ( icon), but it can be unlocked ( icon). It is important to correctly configure all transparent materials before baking the scene, and in particular to let the outside light enter the interiors through windows. A good way to configure colorless glass is to set the base color to (0, 0, 0), and the opacity to a small value, like 0.05. Such setting means that the glass blocks 5% of the incoming light.
  • Emissive - Makes the material emit light with configurable Strength. Emissive materials are useful to model lights with non-standard shapes, such as fluorescent tubes, LED strips, or TV screens.
  • Double sided - If enabled, both sides of the objects covered with the material are rendered and visible. This is useful for small objects, such as leaves, that are modeled as flat 2D surfaces but should be visible from both sides. A lightmap for double sided objects is still baked only for the front side, so the double sided setting should not be used for large surfaces, where incorrect lighting of the back side is clearly visible.
The following settings change the reflectivity properties of materials. A scene needs at least one light probe for reflections to be visible.
  • Roughness - The roughness of the material. 0.0 for polished surfaces with mirror-like reflections, 1.0 for the roughest surfaces with no reflections. Materials with non-uniform roughness can use a roughness texture instead of a single value. The texture uses the base color UV channel.
  • Metallic - 1.0 for metals, 0.0 for everything else. Materials that have only some parts made of metal can use a metallic texture . As with the roughness texture, the metallic texture uses the base color UV channel.
  • Bump - A texture that models bumps in the textured surface to increase perceived geometry details of the surface. Bump maps modify how light is reflected, so the effect is best visible on highly reflective surfaces.
  • Parallax correction - If enabled, a light probe bounding box is used to attempt to correct the placement and size of reflections.

Sky

Sky tab

The Sky tab allows the default procedural sky to be replaced with a sky texture that surrounds the scene. The sky texture should be a 360x180° equirectangular panorama, otherwise it will have visible stitches. When the texture is selected its Rotation can be adjusted.

Objects

Objects tab

The Objects tab allows the geometry of the scene to be inspected and object-specific properties to be set.

Each object in the scene has a type assigned to it, for example a chair. An object can be composed of child objects that have their own types. A chair can be composed from one object of type back, four objects of type leg and a one object of type cushion. One object type can have multiple instances, for example there can be four chairs of the same type in a scene.

The tree control in the Objects tab allows objects hierarchy to be inspected. Objects are sorted to show the one with the most faces first. Sorting helps to identify the most complex objects that may need to be optimized if the scene is too large.

The selected object is marked in green, and objects of the same type as the selected one are marked in orange.

The following properties can be assigned to an object type:
  • Custom lightmap resolution - Replaces the default lightmap resolution. This is mostly useful to decrease the lightmap resolution for large, but not key parts of a scene, such as outside walls or the terrain around a building.
  • Custom collisions setting - Allows collisions to be disabled for objects through which the camera may pass (for example, a closed door).
  • Custom hide in views - Allows views to be selected in which the object is hidden. The most common use for this setting is to hide a ceiling from a top view. Another example is room names in 3D text that are visible only in the top view.
  • Walk on - This setting is only visible if the Auto climb option is selected in the Camera tab. In the auto climb mode, the Walk on option should be active for all surfaces influencing the height of the camera (all floors, stairs, terrain).

The above settings affect all objects of a given type and all their child objects, unless a child has its own values. For example, if an object of type exterior is composed of terrain, plants and road, setting a custom lightmap resolution for the exterior sets it also for the three child objects.

Scene statistics show the total size of the scene geometry (the number of faces and the size of geometry buffers used by the GPU).

Camera

Camera tab
  • Exposure - Applies exposure correction, which changes the brightness of the scene. Camera exposure does not affect lightmap baking. It can be used to make the scene brighter or darker without adjusting light strength and re-baking. Exposure 0 is neutral.
  • Gamma - Changes the contrast of the scene. Gamma also does not affect lightmap baking. Gamma 1.0 is neutral.
  • Field of view - An angle in degrees that specifies the width of the part of the world that the camera captures in a single frame.
  • Max speed - Changes the camera speed. The default value (1.11 m/s) is average human walking speed. This control should not be used to compensate for models that are not real-world scale.
  • Color map - Sets the color correction lookup texture (LUT). This is a popular technique used by game engines to alter the final look of the scene (make it brighter, darker, warmer, bluish, etc.). The texture dimensions are usually 256x16, which simulate a single 16x16x16 3D texture. On the web you can find examples of such textures and an explanation on how to create them from scratch.
  • Auto climb - Enables automatic adjustment of the camera height when the camera moves on stairs or unlevel terrain. If enabled, all floors, stairs and terrain must have the Walk on flag set in the Objects tab. The auto climb setting takes effect only in the scene view mode (not in the edit mode).

Viewer

Viewer tab

The Viewer tab allows the user to customize the look of the Shapespark viewer, create a list of points of interest in the scene, and enable the automatic tour and progressive loader.

  • Title - Sets the displayed project title.
  • Author - Sets the displayed project author.
  • Link - The site that is opened when the author text is clicked in the viewer.
  • Shapespark logo - Toggles visibility of the Shapespark logo.
Views list defines points of interest to which the user can automatically move by clicking the name of the view. The first view on the list is the initial position of the camera after the scene is loaded. Three types of views can be added:
  • Walk - Adds a first person view in the current camera position. First person views allow the scene to be explored from a walking human perspective and are the most commonly used for interior scenes.
  • Top - Adds a top view in the current camera position. Top views allow a floor plan of the whole building to be shown with the camera oriented down. In some scenes a double-sided ceiling can block the view of the floor. In such cases, the ceiling can be hidden in the Objects tab.
  • Orbit - Adds an orbit view in the current camera position. Orbit views allow rotation around the model and are useful for presenting building exteriors.
Once the view is added, it can be modified with the following controls:
  • Name - Sets the name of the view.
  • Menu position and - Moves the selected view up and down on the list.
  • Camera orientation Set current - Changes how the camera is oriented when the view is selected.
  • Show sky texture Selects the sky texture for the view. By default all Walk views use the sky texture, and all Top and Orbit views use the default blueish sky.
  • - Removes the view.

The Automatic tour option is available for scenes with more than one view. When enabled, the tour button is added to the bottom menu of the scene. The button starts a tour between all the views. If the Start on scene load options is checked, the tour starts after the scene is loaded without any user interaction.

The Progressive loader option allows the user to interact with the scene before it is fully loaded. If enabled, as soon as the scene geometry is downloaded the scene is displayed with basic colors. The quality is then progressively improved as the scene textures and lightmaps are downloaded in the background. The progressive loader activates only when the loading time exceeds 30 seconds.

Uploading and embedding

The Upload button in the main Shapespark window uploads the scene, which can be then viewed at https://your-user-name.shapespark.com/your-scene-name/.

Uploading the scene

The scene can be also embedded in any website with the following HTML snippet (you need to change your-user-name and your-scene-name; you can also adjust width, height and other style properties to match your site):

<iframe style="width: 800px; height: 600px; border: none;"
        allowfullscreen allow="gyroscope; accelerometer; vr" scrolling="no"
        src="https://your-user-name.shapespark.com/your-scene-name/">
</iframe>