Virtual reality is a hot topic in the AEC space today. There are many ways to bring your Revit model into a VR environment. One of which is a bit like building your own “game” using a gaming engine such as Unity, however this route which requires software development experience. In the AEC space, a slew of software companies have popped up to make it easier for the layman to bring their BIM models into virtual reality. One of which is Enscape, who seeks to create a seamless workflow between Enscape and Revit.
Working with a game engine from the ground up can involve more complex processes such as exporting from Revit, importing to the chosen game engine, and writing scripts for photorealistic renderings or VR. Enscape and Revit actually work together using Enscape’s Revit addin to eliminate some of that manual labor.
Real-time Rendering and Virtual Reality
When using Enscape and Revit, one feature that is rather impressive is the ability for real-time rendering and virtual reality. With this feature, any revisions to a design in Revit can be instantly transferred to your Enscape rendering or VR environment which obviously increases efficiency when working with VR as a presentation medium. Just imagine how much work would go into exporting and importing your Revit model to a game engine every time you made a change to your Revit model. With Enscape and Revit, those changes are reflected instantly.
Supported Model Formats
Designers may have several modeling applications in their toolbox and interoperability is one of the most important factors when introducing a new tool to their workflows. With that being said, Enscape supports modeling software other than Revit such as:
If you’ve ever wanted to navigate through your Revit model using your fancy new VR headset, that is now possible using Enscape + Revit.
As of today, it looks like most of the major VR headsets are compatible with the Enscape + Revit workflow:
If you’re looking to purchase the best headset for use with Enscape + Revit, there is a great post on the Enscape forums which shares one user’s experience when comparing the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive:
1. Is lighter and seemed to be have a slightly better resolution (marginal).
2. Entirely powered by USB so is useful if you want a portable option
3. Not as glasses friendly compared with the Vive.
4. HDMI only
5. Battery operated controller (quick and easy to change)
1. Tracking was superior to Oculus Rift
2. Heavier, but comfortable with the deluxe strap
3. Easier for those wearing glasses
4.Requires 3 power sockets to use
5. Multiple connections (HDMI and Mini-DP)
6. Wands are rechargeable so have to watch use.
When working with a game engine to develop a home grown virtual reality solution, the learning curve is steep. Game engines require quite a bit of configuration and testing to become a standalone VR environment. When using Enscape and Revit, users won’t need to learn any additional software. Simply install the Enscape addin and you can start walking through your projects in one click.