Interactive 3D Lidar models in Sketchfab

Getting 3D models of Lidar data from QGIS onto a model sharing site such as Sketchfab used to be a hassle, with a number of steps as described here:  https://github.com/mike-gill/qgis2sketchfab

All this has changed with the 3.x release of QGIS.  The Qgis2threejs plugin has been revamped, with a new viewer, and the option to export 3D models to the glTF format.  Luckily supports .glTF files, and so the files exported from QGIS can be directly uploaded to Sketchfab without any intermediate steps.  Here are some basic instructions (in this case making use of QGIS 3.2).

  • In QGIS, make sure the Qgis2threejs plugin is loaded
  • Add a surface model dataset created from Lidar data to the map [eg a Digital Surface Model (DSM) or a Digital Terrain Model (DTM)]
  • Add any other datasets (eg a hillshade) to the map.
  • Click on the Qgis2threejs button 
  • In the dialogue that opens, in the DEM section, tick the surface model.  A 3D view of the map should appear, similar to that shown below:

  • Use Scene > World settings to change the vertical exaggeration.  There are other settings that can be played with.
  • When you are happy with the scene, choose File > Save Scene As > glTF (.gltf, .glb).  Save the file.
  • The upload button in Sketchfab can be used to directly load the .gltf file.
  • Here is a screenshot of the model in Sketchfab
  • And here is the finished model (with a few annotations added in Sketchfab):

 

 

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