Viewing my Scene/Model

I just learned a very valuable (and somewhat disappointing lesson. When viewing my scene/model with the Shapespark tool, from the “edit” page, or using Chrome it looks different than when viewing the scene/model with Edge or IE. Look at the images below:

Since I cannot control what a potential customer would be using to view the scene/model, is there anything that can be done to make things show up more realistic looking in Edge & IE?

IE and Edge and unfortunately also Android devices do not support a WebGL extension (EXT_shader_texture_lod) that is needed to generate the reflection effect.

We plan to work on shaders that would generate the reflections without using this extension, but it is a larger undertaking that requires to switch the reflection system from using cube maps to octahedral maps.
We don’t see any easy solution that would allow to have reflections on all devices quickly.

That is good news to hear. Probably will not happen before my trial expires though.

JFYI I have not see this issue with some of your competing products.

Sorry to hear this issue is a showstopper for you :frowning:

Since you were testing other products, could you share your insights how Shapespark compares to them?

And what are the competing products? That would be interesting too.

You could look at Sketchfab, SimLab Composer & 3DVista.

Thank you. I know 3DVista and Sketchfab and they are different in the usage and capabilities. I never really tested SimLab Composer. Is it possible to have the same freedom in the usage of the model?

Well, I wouldn’t compare 3DVista to Shapespark, it’s really just a spin-o-matic type tour so the quality comes from the 360deg. rendering, not an independent online game engine. kind of comparing apples to oranges there unless I’m missing something extra that 3DVista does.

Yes, 3DVista is primarily a 360deg viewer but it comes fairly close to the walk features of the VR capabilities of Shapespark (IMO). It also has some interactive capabilities (the ability to set “targets” for walking through as well as the ability to popup additional information about the model content).

I just updated my model (see link earlier in this thread). Still have some things to learn/improve but think I have made some progress. At this point, it seems to me my biggest challenge is learning how to deal with the exterior settings. In this particular case, I see the following things that bother me the most (not about the product in particular but rather in my ability to handle them correctly):

  • Exterior Lighting - Although I think I have improved it, I think it could be better.

  • Relationship of model and HDR background - This is an area that I do not think I do correctly. I have not figured out how to make a better relationship between my SketchUp model and the background. I see two problems in this area; 1) I do not think I have the model located at a height that corresponds well to the background image and 2) I did try some different settings for the FOV but once again do not think I have a very realistic relationship between the model and the background.

  • Grass - I think I have not done a good job in picking a texture and adjusting its setting to cause any kind of good blending of the grass in my model with the grass in the background. I thought about opening the background jpg image and cutting a portion of the lawn and setting it up as a texture to use for the grassy areas in my model.

  • Reflections in the Tunnel - Yes, I am picking up a lot of reflection from the grassy area outside the building. Maybe others my see that as OK but I wonder if it is overdone and if so, how do you correct that?

  • Microsoft Browser Quality - I know this is nothing I can correct but since the people I want to share this with primarily use IE & Edge, they do not see the same quality that I see in the Shapespark tool or Chrome. :grinning:

I welcome feedback on how to handle these areas and any other suggestions any of you might have. I sill have a couple of weeks left on my trial so have time to make some adjustments. :grinning:

At some point in the near future (before my trial expires), I plan on posting a “Trial Review” to pass along my opinion of the Shapespark tool.

Grass: You should find a texture with less visible tiling which can cover a larger area and a more realistic looking surface. Maybe you have a look at Also, remove any reflection and add a bump map to it. I usually never use a plane surface but add some varieties to the height.

Browser: Latest statistics show that IE and Edge are used by less than 10% of the user. But I know in offices it might be still the favorite browser because of lack of choices.

Background: To achieve a more satisfying result you should have a much larger area for the ground of your model. Also, find some nice treeline to cover the “seems” between your model and the HDR. You can find some nice in the Sketchup warehouse. I think this is a good choice: Treeline

1 Like

Thanks for the comments/recommendations. I will do some more work before my trial ends. :grinning:

Hi Jan.

I want to come back on this point again. For us as developers of interactive 3D models, it is essential that we can provide a solution which works on all common devices. This is a big selling point that models have the same quality on whatever device you open it. When promoting this solution to a client who uses IE or Edge or an Android he will not be satisfied with a big black plane which is actually a reflecting lake. So the interest in using and paying for models done with Shapespark are limited for this person.
Maybe it would be possible to give the octahedral map solution a higher priority?

1 Like

Hello @tim. If reflections worked on Android and IE but without support for roughness and metallic maps on these devices (the viewer would just use some average roughness and metallic value from the map for the whole surface), would such solution be acceptable for now? The reason I’m asking is that such mode could be implemented without a switch from cube map based to octahedral map based reflections, so it would be a smaller effort.

1 Like

I think it is better than a black surface. Would be worth a try.


Hi @jan
I do agree with Tim, the worst selling point for shapespark is not having the reflections working in some browsers(like internet explorer, although there’s an alternative like chrome), but especially in android which doesn’t have any alternative, and most of our clients will have surfaces looking strange like mirrors, chrome bars etc.

It would be great to give higher priority to the solution to make it work in android devices, although in the short term it would be worth to give it a try to the solution youre proposing :slight_smile:


1 Like

Hi @jan. Is there any progress you can tell us about with the problem of reflections?

1 Like

Maybe just add separate slider for reflections on android? So if there is a map it would be replaced with tha value on IE and Android? That would be great.

Hello @tim and @mfarys, we have this change implemented and are testing it.

1 Like

It works well on Android, IE and Edge, the change will be included in today’s release.