Modeling in VR

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  • This is probably getting a little ahead of things given the Sketchup version is still in alpha, but once you've got the basic features dialed in, a next step might be to allow us to not only view our models in VR (an immersive walkthrough experience at 1:1 scale), but to be able to actually model things. This would require mapping the sketchup drawing tools to the Oculus and Vive controllers, which would take some careful thought, but the result could be incredibly powerful. Having used the VR sculpting app Oculus Medium before, I can testify to the power of being able to create in VR. It's intuitive and fun- like sculpting in real life, but way easier and with the ability to scale things up and down infinitely and unconstrained by the laws of gravity.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Sketchup was working on just such a feature currently. They'd be foolish not to. And as a strictly rendering program, I understand if this isn't something Enscape feels comfortable delving into. But if you felt so inclined, it would make you even more of a must have program. I'm not sure if it's even possible though. The tool-mapping alone might be complicated enough that it would go beyond the ability of a plugin to handle (fundamental questions like how one draws a line, selects and manipulates objects, not to mention inputs lengths (no keyboard), would all have to be answered). Does that sound possible?

    (Revit would be great to model in as well - but the controls are so complex I don't see it being realistic - at least until headsets have higher resolution and text is more legible). Unreal Engine's VR editor is probably the best example out there besides custom built programs like Medium and Tilt Brush -

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  • TowerPower that is a really interesting VR. Especially the animations. I am pretty sure that was not done in SketchUp. What tool did you use? I would like to be able to render that type of animation and animated texture in SketchUp & Enscape.

    I am not sure that I see VR as a driving force in the business community as a way to provide walk troughs' or product presentations but in the entertainment field I would definitely agree.

  • That video wasn't me I'm afraid ;). It was done in Unreal Engine (a game engine), which is increasingly being used to do things like architectural walkthroughs these days because the quality hasn't gotten so good. The software is free actually - they make money when people sell the games they've created, so it's effectively free for everyone else. That said, it's a very steep learning curve. I haven't used it myself, but it looks like a complicated program (coding experience isn't required, but it helps). There's no simple workflow for importing Sketchup either - so while it sounds enticing, I'm glad I never bothered spending all the time to learn it because Enscape has made the task much easier! If you really want some of the more advanced features though, such as animation and customization, it may be the way to go.

  • Thanks for the input guys.

    I've forwarded this topic as well to our developers.

    It's complex, a lot to handle with GUI and the controls, let's see what we can realize.

  • Awesome, thanks Jonathan. It would certainly be an incredible feat if you managed it.

    A first step (prior to messing with any of the controls) might be to enable flexible model scaling, like I described here ( Dollhouse Mode in VR )

    Oculus Medium has a similar system , where you hold down on both middle finger triggers and move your hands out or in to scale the model up and down, much like one does on a phone touch screen, pinching your fingers to zoom in or out. One big difference between Medium and Google Earth is that in Medium, you're stationary, and you can manipulate the objects your sculpting much like you would in real life, picking them up, turning them over, and (unlike real-life) shrinking or inflating them. Both systems have merit, but I think it would take some testing to find the right mix.