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Virtual Reality (VR) & (VRaugmented reality)

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@barkestFlipping the Normal, I seem to see the issue is that things like the slab tool etc when exported as fbx creates only one side so flipping the normal is good for one side only, maybe there is a workaround or another format for exporting.

Need to get right into this to see how best to view a VW 3D model in VR.

Wonder where VW is heading in this as hopefully the cardboard VR experience will be advanced in the near future.

Hint Hint.

Is VW looking at SteamVR as a third party to produce VR????


Edited by Alan Woodwell
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If you have a 3D App like C4D or Modo, you can use their optimize commands

to purge all strange artifacts and extra points, delete or reject legacy normal tags

and finally order face normals again.

This will work in one go as all parts are separated as single meshes and components

on different classes/layers.


In C4D there should not be much problem to export to a game engine,

Modo even has direct exchange to game engines and now its own VR Beta.


Also these Apps have all tools to do complex UVW mappings or bake complex

geometry or GI into Textures.

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6 hours ago, digitalcarbon said:

Your model should be able to be exported as a .fbx file then imported into Unity, then by creating a first person controller in the file you can walk around. this should be the same result as exporting your model as Web view in VW at present. The main difference is the Virtual Reality aspect of the walkaround. you need (I think) a platform that will provide the VR experience.

I have much to learn so stay tuned.


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Hi all, I have been playing with a Vectorworks 3D model which i exported as a fbx file, imported this into Unity and then imported SteamVR asset to unity which provides the VR camera rig and in the video it shows the results. This was after trying a few different VR programs that were available with the HTC Vive that i am using. But this was a simple process. You will notice that some surfaces you can see through like the ceiling, in the model from above its solid but inside you see to the sky above. Still a lot of learning to do but now I have the HTC Vive i can really see whats going on.

Stay tuned for more and if others can contribute to this steep learning curve glad to hear from you.




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Great !


13 hours ago, Alan Woodwell said:

You will notice that some surfaces you can see through like the ceiling, in the model from above its solid but inside you see to the sky above.


For performance reasons 3D Apps normally show Faces from one side only (except C4D).

And in the past, for the same reasons, you would delete all Faces you can't see, like top

and bottom faces of columns, walls, ....

So normally you would correct all Faces Normals to point towards the side you wan't to see.

If imported geometry is so bad that you have no chance to realign all Face Normals there normally

is an material option for 2-sided which will show Materials also from the other invisible side which

is kind of uneconomic brute force as it applies to all faces, not just the flipped ones.

That's what C4D does by default.


But beside just showing or rendering geometry, correct Face Normals are expected for so many

other operations like GI, IOR refraction for transparent material, geometry editing like edge beveling

and such that it normally is worth to correct normals when you transfer from a solid modeling App

like CAD to a surface modeling 3D App.

Either manually by selecting the faces and using a Flip command, or more automatically by an Align

command when more objects selected. Align works mostly well with geometry imported from VW,

as it can export each CAD volume separately. If a whole VW Class would export as a single mesh

and contain touching elements that share one or more vertices, it would fail.


Unfortunately VW does not export correct Face Normal Orientation.

(Otherwise C4D and FBX export is great !)

This is mainly for Extrudes and everywhere these are used in PIOs like Doors, Windows and Slabs.

Top and bottom faces have the same face normal direction. So you will see a slab from one side

but can see through from the opposite side.



Edited by zoomer
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On 24/12/2017 at 12:48 PM, digitalcarbon said:

so could i turn this into a game and then everyone could "play" with to work out all the choreography?


Yes but its not a magic button. You need to do some set up work first such as colliders etc. But its not a 'huge' amount of work although there is a fair bit of up front learning.

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I always try to solve the issue at the front end so after testing out a few things i have found that converting certain things to generic solids seems to solve the issue of normals.

Some materials dont seem to export via the fbx, will have to investigate further. exporting a nother format like obj, collada and 3DS can get you the textures.

Lots to experiment and have a friend that uses the Vive in engineering so i am heading to talk to him wen we all get back to work.

Stay tuned.


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Yes Generic Solids Geometry exports fine.

Also you can pack many extrudes in an Add Solid to force nice geometry :)


I think the FBX export is a bit broken in VW 2018.

For me it forgets some of the materials image textures.

But as far as I remember it worked well in VW 2017.

So maybe worth a try.


If you have no C4D I could repair some C4D exports faces for you and resend as FBX.

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Hi, If you are using Unity look at VRTK a group that is building packages and coding that can be added to unity and they support HTC, Oculus, etc. Really easy if you don't know programming.



I hope by spreading this i will learn and other may learn and then teach me more. My aim is to use VW models and place them directly into a VR environment and place clients into the design using a VR headset. VIVE HTC is my at present.


This is a great place to start if you dont know programming, setting up using the VRTK assett. 






This is so Cool, now i can teleport around the house, pick up items and throw things, lol.

Will do a video of how it works.

Learnt it from this video, So good and simple.





Edited by Alan Woodwell
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Hi again, i love holidays as you have time to learn things.

So as before using a Vectorworks model, exporting as FBX file then importing into Unity3D then using VRTK Virtuality toolkit was able to set up model to Teleport around and interact with objects. See video, i followed a tutorial and was able to achieve the teleport around and picking up objects all withing a Virtual Reality environment using the HTC Vive headset and controllers. This is amazing, and so simple that VRTK has created this toolkit that has all the components available for you to do heaps without needing to learn scripting.

This puts the client into their design in a virtual environment.

This is great, and so exciting. (Small things amuse small minds)

HTH others

See video below





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OK..so i watched the video...trying to figure out how to use this...


Currently i have expected people to get a 3d nav and fly around in VW viewer but that never took off.


But what you are offering is that if the 3d is placed into Unity then people will be more likely to buy a headset etc and use?


Not trying to cut your idea down at all...i totally get it... but right now i am having tremendous trouble getting people to use Bluebeam Revu & Onshape as a way to view project information in one location.


Do i think that a team of 10 will have weekly meetings in the "Game" moving stuff and leaving notes (in the game)??  I personally would love this...but i don't see it catching on.


Or am i using it wrong?


Todays reality is that just to get all the team members up and running on Skype is a challenge.

For every project i have to set aside time (4hrs) in the beginning to train in the use of Skype, GoTo Meeting, Bluebeam Revu & Onshape.


Also, when i deal with offices, the people in those offices cannot just run out and get stuff.  They need to ask the IT dept.

Example: one office could not even watch my youtube videos because IT had youtube lock out.






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Hi, How I would use this is for the Clients. We currently use WebView and 3D walkthrough on a large TV screen to present the idea to the client. I see this is an extension of the presentation process to provide clients with a fuller immersion to assist them to fully understand what they are getting.

Currently this is used in a number of office here in Sydney, engineering and for selling apartments and houses.

I first saw this at an apartment display suite where i walked around the apartment using the HTC VIVE which was amazing in the same way i am doing it now.

When one person is viewing via the headset the same image is displayed on the large screen.

I see it only for enabling the client to better understand the design.



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Yes would do at work.

Unity allows you to export the "game" so you can play it on other devices but to see it in VR the other party would need VR glasses otherwise i would use Web View as its produces a similar result, as both are viewed on a screen.

I haven't looked into conferencing yet, but we only work locally high end residential.


PS Image prop don't import into Unity very well, prop appears black, all extrudes with textures are ok.


Edited by Alan Woodwell
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15 hours ago, Alan Woodwell said:

This puts the client into their design in a virtual environment.

Be careful before you start sticking clients in VR goggles. A relatively large (>10%) portion of the population have an extreme reaction to VR and become nauseous extremely quickly when wearing VR goggles. If you are going to use them with clients, at least ask/warn them about this potential before you start them and have a fall back to displaying on an open screen if they start to feel sick.

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Pat, good note as this is the case, must get them to sign a waiver and discuss this prior to using.

There is a lot of work going into resolving this issue. The new technology now is so much better than earlier ones. I first experience VR in the early 90's at the Sydney University when we created a studio for a startup lab for research and technology and i felt dizzy within seconds.

We have a large screen that we show the design on and this would be an add on.


Edited by Alan Woodwell
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Definitely improving, but some people are more sensitive than others. I would hate for an enthusiast of the technology to put a visor on an important client and have them "toss their cookies." I would think it would be hard to recover from an event like that. Especially if it was early in the design process and if they were still talking to other designers.

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On 28/12/2017 at 6:44 PM, Pat Stanford said:

Definitely improving, but some people are more sensitive than others. I would hate for an enthusiast of the technology to put a visor on an important client and have them "toss their cookies." I would think it would be hard to recover from an event like that. Especially if it was early in the design process and if they were still talking to other designers.


There is also the chance that the client loves it and signs up. AR, MR and VR is not all doom and gloom (although you make a fair point).





Edited by barkest
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One of the ways that you can reduce the motion sickness is when you move around by teleporting to spots is adjusting the 'blink' of the headset. As you start to move the headset fades to black and then back at the new position. this way you appear to blink and as you teleport and reappear in the new spot. You can adjust the time of the blink, usually set to 0.5 sec.

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I haven't done the experiments on this by myself. But this is another way to reduce motion sickness -- 



But no matter what, I believe that motion sickness will still be there unless the headset has some optical magic implemented, something like this --


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@Chih-PinHi, Thanks for these references. After playing with the walk through i fully understand what they are talking about with adding the nose piece, something to give you the feeling of reality like the hands in front of you and the front of the roller coaster. Using the teleport method for moving around is useful because this way a person can be standing in a room and just turn around and i have found no nausea. 

What my wish is that Vectorworks can develop the program either VW or an add on that can do what i can do with these other programs.

Current work flow is build model in VW, add all materials. Grab all objects that have same material and export as objects (.obj) this way you have no issues with normals. Window and door objects need to be exploded at present as there are a number of different materials to use, (Glass and Frame). Be aware of the scale of your drawing, generally my design layer is 1:100 but Unity is 1:1 so you have to scale the model and you may have to rotate the model -90Deg. Textures may have to be exported separately by using export 3ds as this will export the textures but the models have issues with normals so that why i am using the .obj files.

Once in Unity i open new file (Project) and import all the objects and textures (assets), import the Steam VR and VRTK assetts which have all the premade scripts on them.

Then you set up the teleporting, doors and pickup objects and add lights and you are good to go.


If VW can pull all this together into one package within VW that would be wonderful.

Looking forward to this.


See Video, Using HCTVive.

Looks fast on flat screen but within the headset and VR is is the same as looking around your space.

@JimWHi, a challenge for VW. Hopefully this or something like this in coming in the not too distant future.


Happy New Year to all






Edited by Alan Woodwell
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