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Thread: VR and Revit

  1. #1
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    VR and Revit

    I have recently been messing around with an HTC Vive headset and Revit.

    I just thought I would post my initial impressions for you all, maybe put up a video later if I can find some software that isnt going to overload my CPU/GPU walking around in VR and recording it at the same time.

    First off, troubleshooting in case anyone else tries it out

    I installed on a few different machines, and found differing levels of ease in recognising the headset during setup.

    What I finally discovered was that all of the errors I was having were entirely due to the HDMI cable.
    I was getting "headset connected and tracking" but unable to recognise it during room setup
    and "headset connected but not tracking". I tried hours of "troubleshoot" suggestions on forums and absolutely none of it worked because at the end it came down to my HDMI port on one machine, and on 2 other machines it came down to the display port/hdmi adapter I was using (as these machines had no HDMI outlets)

    So in short, the solution was using a different DP/HDMI adapter and everything worked quickly and easily.
    If you are getting headset errors, I pretty much guarantee they will be due to either your HDMI outlet, a faulty HDMI cable, or some kind of data/signal loss through a sub-par adapter.

    That said, I have then gone into some models using Revit & Enscape and had a walk around.

    Honestly, it's pretty impressive. People say its still a bit "gimmick" but I disagree and to be able to implicate non-technical professionals in the design process is invaluable. For example, I have some hospital models, I can put a doctor or a nurse in the room I am working on with the bed layout and medical gas outlet positions etc and all the other Equipment and they can tell me exactly what should be moved and where. Being able to put a doctor or a nurse in a model, who normally can most likely not read a plan, and implicate the end user in the design process (IMO) is gold. Also its easier to explain to them why I cant move X or Y because I can strip a wall back and show them wiring, or piping etc that may be preventing changes without significant redesign.

    I'm yet to test out Autodesk Live, Stingray, or any other plugins but I will get to it.

    I am using it currently on a Quadro K4000 and to be quite honest its not ideal, although I already knew that this is not an ideal card for VR I wanted to see how it would perform because most people are likely to have a CAD Workstation, not a gamers PC for revit.
    The headset resolution is grainy, and the image in the headset moves and jumps and jitters a lot as it redraws especially on high render settings (realistic in the 3D view properties). If I go back to uniform colors its a little better, but depending on model size still quite jittery. This jittering actually makes you feel quite Dizzy/nauseated and is not easy to handle for very long.

    Having said that, I walked around a couple of structural skeleton models I have done and its amazing, you really have the sensation also of height and as I get a little bit of vertigo normally, I was feeling weird standing over large voids or many stories up looking down although its not all that bad it does still give you the feeling of looking over an edge.

    If anyone else has used VR with Revit I would be interested to hear your experiences.

  2. #2
    Member Iberkim's Avatar
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    We just started this a few months ago. We use the Oculus Rift with Enscape to showcase for clients, troubleshoot execution early on and impress non-industry people.

    I've had basically zero problems with the setup and it runs very smooth on a PC bought for this purpose (3,5ghz Xeon, 64gb ram and a gtx1080). It has eaten everything I've thrown at it so far, rendering in highest possible quality in VR with a max wait time of 1-2 secs for it to smooth out the grains, depending on detail. But I have yet to try out full finished models with everything in it.

    Our main purpose was the client showcase possibilities for when we do turnkey projects. Secondary is construct-ability, especially when we do renovation/expansion projects under complex circumstances. Makes a world of difference to be able to stand inside the project and judge the possibilities from there, at least IMO.

  3. #3
    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karalon10 View Post
    maybe put up a video later if I can find some software that isnt going to overload my CPU/GPU walking around in VR and recording it at the same time.
    Steam... Win+G

  4. #4
    Senior Member chris.macko's Avatar
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    We have been using the oculus with enscape with pretty good results, although the headset doesn't really get broken out that often except for trade shows or the occasional client sales pitch. We tested out a 1080 gt card on one of our desktops, but ended up getting a gaming laptop with a mobile 1080 gpu so it could be checked out and used where needed. Our setup here for the conference rooms is to keep those computers pretty basic and just remote in to our workstations for running any real software. We did find a strange bug where enscape works fine remoting into a quadro card, but will crash out with an unsupported video driver when remoting into a machine with the 1080. It runs great on the 1080 machine locally.

  5. #5
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    working with HMD

    Hi,
    I have some questions regarding the use of HMD - Head Mounted Display from Oculus Rift or HTC Vive:

    1) Have you used the HMD to do work, not just showcase the model. eg: add a wall, pipes, tags...

    2) is it possible to use the HMD similar to a very large screen? My working scenario usually involves to have a window with 3d model, 2 windows with 2 sections, 2 windows with plan views, and the project browser and property.

    3) Have you used the controllers ?

    For all this could you please describe the experience; was it faster working this way?
    Thanks
    Last edited by Vasile; October 19th, 2017 at 03:49 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasile View Post
    Hi,
    I have some questions regarding the use of HMD - Head Mounted Display from Oculus Rift or HTC Vive:

    1) Have you used the HMD to do work, not just showcase the model. eg: add a wall pipe, tags

    2) is it possible to use the HMD similar to a very large screen? My working scenario usually involves to have a window with 3d model, 2 windows with 2 sections, 2 windows with plan views, and the project browser and property.

    3) Have you used the controllers ?

    For all this could you please describe de experinece; was it faster working this way?
    Thanks
    Quick update on this topic, forgot I had posted it actually...

    I have since tried it on my home PC which is a pretty specced out gaming machine (gtx 1080 ti and a ton of ram to go with it)
    It is much nicer on my gtx 1080ti very smooth and much less nausea from moving about and looking around.

    In response to your questions
    1. Not really possible to do any work in the actual model while wearing the headset. I can use the controllers to navigate my desktop and do work in the revit model but its sort of the equivalent to using alt+tab and going to another window so Im not really in a 3D environment. Also using the controllers to point and click is a bit like trying to use one chopstick to poke a button on your keyboard its a bit clumsy in that environment, I could of course use a keyboard and mouse, but I'd be doing it blind which would be a test for my touch-typing skills I suppose. Might be nice to have keyboard and mouse added like controllers so they are visible while wearing the headset....a thought for the developers maybe.

    2. As I said I can see my desktop in the HMD but I had several monitors connected - I had a large screen TV and a projector connected as the output sources but they were cloned so I cant say whether I can see multiple displays or not when I view my desktop and how that might show (ie if I just see one large screen, or it splits up somehow...cant answer this one really)

    3. Yes used the controllers, you pretty much need them unless you want to use the wasd and qe keys to move around like a video game.

    For me its an excellent tool for visual verification. I can see clashes very quickly. What it lacked for me in Enscape 3D was the ability to then tag a clash for review. I have seen Revizto offers Something like this but I have not tried it. I also need to try out Autodesk live and see what that offers. At this point I was impressed with Enscape 3D but it is limited like I say in that I didn't see any immediate way to tag or interact with the objects in the VR environment. Changes made in the model are however updated in real time in the VR environment. What I can say is that if you were an architect using it to sell a concept to a client, you would blow them away with it. Even with limited management of textures the basic rendering output from revit to enscape 3d was really impressive. The ability to change the time with your controllers and see the shadows interact in the space and the lighting coming on is also impressive. And as I say if I were to then move lights around, change luminosity etc I can see that update live so client can make demands and you can make those changes live for him/her to see the difference. For an Investment of about 3grand (includes PC and headset) I would say its Worth every penny. Thats my personal opinion, but 3K isn't a whole lot of an Investment.

    Also personally, I found sometimes in the headset, and certainly when taking it off, I felt a bit disoriented. It is quite peculiar and I can't describe it to you in any way that will suffice. You have all the sensation of vertigo and a real feel for the space of a room, and I can bend down turn my head peer over edges and inspect for example a pipe simply by moving my body around its very impressive.

    I am currently working on some spaces for a VR demo, and I am managing all the textures to try and make it a very tactile experience....having said that it is also weird at times you want to point to Something forgetting that the others cant tell exactly what you are pointing at. I found it quite useful to use the controller as a pointer in a way because I could hold it up in front of what I wanted to point out.

    I'll see if I can put up an image or two of the room/s I am working on
    Last edited by Karalon10; October 19th, 2017 at 11:17 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowyweston View Post
    Steam... Win+G
    Yeah thanks, I have discovered this for gaming recently, but I havent had the headset with me to try it out.

    I will get around to it, problem is the videos win+g makes seem pretty heavy, I will probably have to upload it to YouTube to share it.

  8. #8
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    Thank you for the answer Karalon10.

    Since the HMD is not a "productivity enhancer" for me yet, I'll postpone the buying decision.

  9. #9
    Forum Addict Andres Franco's Avatar
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    I'm Working with VR since a few months ago, I'm Running an Alienware, 32 GB RAM, WIN 10 64 Bits, Intel CORE I7- 7820 (7th Gen) 2.90 GHz @ 2.90 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080, Revit 2017.2 and Enscape.

    No major problems for the installation and set up of the HTC VIVE apart of some malfunctions related to one of the link ports that was bad from the factory, as the Alienware is a Gamer's Laptop I had no major problems with the speed of the graphics while the VR Visits, but I have a lot of glitches and bugs related to missing objects, Screen Blackouts and so on.

    Another thing to take care of is the updates for the steam software for the HTC VIVE and the updates for components like the Base Stations which may hurt performance if those components are not up to date.

    We are modeling our buildings and making a lot of VR Visits to test the quality of rendering and the speed, frankly Enscape give us a High resolution images instantly with ra good quality rendering for the glass material, Wood, Concrete, Fabric and other materials which is very impressive.

    Another application for VR is the possibility to visit your buildings to find errors as Karalon states up on this post, this is great because that way we are able to improve our design and conception for all our projects and at the end of the process we are able to make more accurate and better designs, for our clients we are making some exercises like visits and some LIVE Changes like textures and minor modifications.
    Last edited by Andres Franco; October 19th, 2017 at 02:03 PM.

  10. #10
    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karalon10 View Post
    Yeah thanks, I have discovered this for gaming recently, but I havent had the headset with me to try it out.

    I will get around to it, problem is the videos win+g makes seem pretty heavy, I will probably have to upload it to YouTube to share it.
    I've only experimented with it to SteamLink Enscape when in desktop mode* - but I imagine you shouldn't need a headset to test the record functionality, and I believe the video encoding can be set to youtube/upload-site friendly codecs & file sizes.

    *when I game, I game, I care not for sharing or streaming such.

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