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Rendering images

You can use Sketchfab to render images of your 3D model. Sketchfab calls this a screenshot. But it's a bit more than that. You can render at a different resolution than the viewport, up to 4k. You can also render PNG's with transparent backgrounds. Here's the getScreenshot method in action:

api.getScreenShot(function (err, result) {

The result is a base64 encoded image. You can decide what to do with that. You can download it as a file, send to an API or even use it as a texture in your 3D model. Base64 encoded images are just a long string of text. It's up to you to convert it into something that's useful for you.

img element

This example renders and image and directly displays it in an image element on the page. You see that we can use the base64 image data directly as the src attribute of the image element. Here we provide the getScreenshot method with additional arguments for the width and height.

api.getScreenShot(1024, 1024, function (err, base64) {
  img.src = base64;

Download image

The next example shows how you can download a render. Here's the code that I use to download a single image. There are probably many other ways to turn a base64 into an image file. This is just one way to do it.

const downloadImage = (data, name) => {
  const a = document.createElement("a");
  a.href = data; = "_parent"; = `${name}.png`;

Move camera

Until now we've rendered the current view. Sometimes you want to use a predefined camera angle to render from. First you move the camera. Once that's ready, you can make a render. We'll need to use the setCameraLookAtEndAnimationCallback callback to tell us when the camera is done moving. Read more about it in the chapter about detecting camera movement

api.setCameraLookAt(settings.position,, 1, function (err) {
  api.setCameraLookAtEndAnimationCallback(function (err) {
    api.getScreenShot(1024, 1024, "image/png", function (err, base64) {
      downloadDesign(base64, "kettle");

Here's what's happening:

  1. move the camera to a new position and target
  2. set a callback that fires when the camera is done moving
  3. render the image
  4. download the image

Transparent background

To render an image with a transparent background, we first need to make the background transparent (yes!). Check out how to do that in the chapter about backgrounds. Once that's done, we can render the image as a PNG.

Render resolutions

As mentioned before, we are not bound to the viewport size. We can render at any resolution we want. The maximum resolution is 4k. That's 4096 x 4096 pixels. You just specify the width and height as arguments to the getScreenshot method.

When the viewport has different proportions than the image size you specify when rendering, Sketchfab will expand or contract the image on the left and right side. You can see an example of what this means in the example above. Try out the HD and HD portrait renders.

Render and use as texture

You can download a rendered image, but why not use it as a texture in your 3D model? This could be useful in interactive experiences.

Check out the texture chapter for more information about using images as textures. You also need to make sure your 3D model has proper UV coordinates to display the texture correctly.