Virtual Reality Implementation

  • Hello,


    At our firm we use Enscape regularly to design, show clients options, and render images. I have been tasked with researching and implementing VR within Enscape. I have already come across a few helpful threads like the Next Gen 2019 VR Headset support and this VR Headset, which should I buy?.


    The latter of the two threads is older and talks mainly about the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which I initally looked into, however, with the newer headsets that have been released or are going to be released, I am wondering what would be the best option. The former thread mentions a lot of the newer headsets, but I am unsure of which is the best option as some of them require work arounds to utilize Enscape in VR. While I am sure I would be able to get these up and running, I can't always be at these meetings, so ideally we would use something that is pretty easy and straightforward to use.


    What we would use this for would primarily be for client meetings. We would want to be able to have the clients walk around in VR and be able to see what they are seeing on the screen, as well as to be able to still make changes in Revit as we go. We do a lot of renovation work, so if possible, we would also like the ability to be in the physical space and allow the clients to see the new space in VR as they walk around and interact with the existing space. (I'm not sure of the ability to do this or not, or how well, but it would benefit us greatly in some situations). Another thing that would be great is ease of use and transport. The Quest looks very enticing due to its ease of transportation and set-up, but it seems the Enscape team still has a ways to go before implementing this into the program as they have with the Vive and Rift.


    Right now I am leaning towards the Rift S or the Odyssey+ for their price, quality and what seems like their ability to work with Enscape already. The Quest still entices me, but I'm not sure on it yet. There is also the HoloLens, but I'm not quite sure it's what we are looking for, especially at its price tag. Am I on the right track here? Does anyone else have experience or insight into the direction I should go? Any help and or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

  • bwilson , my dear apologies for the delayed response - I remember preparing a detailed answer to your questions and recommend what you could go for, but it was not posted properly it seems.


    Generally, right off the bat, you'll always be able to make adjustments to the model in Revit (or any other supported CAD solution) while someone else is or is not wearing a dedicated VR headset. So what you're trying to achieve should be completely possible.


    When it comes to the Oculus Quest, this device will not (probably never) completely officially supported by Enscape (by providing standalone files for example) since this device is simply not powerful enough. That doesn't mean that we will never support further VR standalone devices in the future - once they're powerful enough, we can look into ways of providing support accordingly. Still, there have been quite a few positive reports already when it comes to using it with an application like ALVR or VRIDGE for example (streaming Enscape into the Quest) - given that the internet connection via WIFI is decent!


    Furthermore, you mentioned "Right now I am leaning towards the Rift S or the Odyssey+ for their price, quality and what seems like their ability to work with Enscape already." - both are valid choices, both are officially supported by Enscape, although the Rift S will have the better quality overall objectively. Build quality wise, screen quality wise, but it's also a bit more expensive. The Hololens is not supported at all yet. We're still investigating possible use cases when it comes to this, in the future, once the Hololens may be more affordable and widespread, we can also think about implementing support for this device as well. :)


    jure , what would be your budget? And what is generally the hardware you have available, most importantly which GPU is in your machine which you want to use for VR?

  • I work with laptop with builtin geforce 1050 gtx right now but am willing to invest in some more powerful solution since I know that will probably not be enough for good quality VR. I'm thinking of getting dedicated PC and VR set just for client presentations.


    I am willing to invest up to 2k for a solid solution.


    Thanks!

  • jure - The best setup that I can recommend that would future-proof you would be something that has an NVIDIA RTX card included at the very least.

    Then, depending on what CAD you are using, you will also need to make sure that the CPU will be up to the System Requirements the CAD would recommend, as the CAD will utilize the CPU, whereas Enscape utilizes the GPU. As your using Revit, then you should refer to their System Requirements, for instance here for Revit 2020. Enscape uses real-time ray trace rendering, so this is why I recommend an RTX card, as they bring developments to this technology.


    Knowing all that, you then need to decide whether your VR set up will be stationary, or whether you will be wanting to transport it about to clients for instance, in which case you will need to decide between a Desktop or Laptop.


    Furthermore, if you go for a direct cable connected VR headset, which are the only types of headsets we currently officially support, then you will not have to worry about Wif-Fi speed so much (although it wouldnt do any harm to get the fastest you can regardless). However, if you start to look at something like the Oculus Quest as your VR Headset, for instance, where you can run Enscape via streaming to the headset (although we don't officially support this at this stage), then you will need to make sure you have super fast Wi-Fi, so something with 802.11a to be able to use 5 GHz. Currently, the fastest standard is the 802.11ac standard, but it will soon be surpassed by the new 802.11ax standard, scheduled for release in late 2019.


    These are the things to consider, but to recommend one type of machine over another is tricky, as there are so many choices out there, from off the shelf to custom built rigs. Lastly, I would recommend consulting your local hardware retailer and let them know what you want to achieve, what software you are wanting to run, and they will be able to help you out further,

  • Actually I'm using Sketchup... But anyways Rift S looks like a viable option. I'm just a bit worried of the lack of adjustment for interpupillary distance...

    I will definitely be using desktop for now since I'm not planning to upgrade laptop any time soon. I'm planning to have presentations in out conference room so portability is not important for now.


    Does it make sense waiting for Vive Cosmos since it should be out any time now?

  • jure - according to the developers, as the Vive Cosmos will be the first headset to ship with HTC's own Vive Reality System, instead of SteamVR, we will not be supporting this at the present time.


    You're not the first to request this and so I have up-voted the related story in our developer agenda, and if enough demand exists, then I would imagine the developers will look at this more closely.

  • Thanks Pete Chamberlain. Based on first Vive Cosmos reviews it looks like it's not something I would be worth investing in.


    I'm actually leaning now more towards Rift Quest because of the new PC link option that they introduced recently. Is that something that is going to work out of the box with Enscape?

  • jure - The Quest will require some 3rd party streaming software to work with Enscape, and in this regard we do not officially support the Quest.

    Saying that, a number of users have had success in running the Quest this way, and I would advise you to refer to this thread to get the information you will need to get this working.


    The problem with these self contained HMD's is that they just don't have the graphical computing power to run Enscape on their own, and until that changes, you will most likely end up running Enscape on a machine that can handle the graphics and then streaming it to the HMD. Fast Wi-fi is a must in this case.

  • jure - that could well be. It does appear this is the way it is going. I mean, it's not really a limitation currently, it's just that 3rd party software needs to be used, and that means we cant officially directly support this. With Oculus Link, perhaps that is what is required to change this situation.