VR Sketch 18.0.0 (release candidate 1)


VR Sketch 18.0.0 “release candidate” is ready. This version is roughly three times faster than any previous version, in terms of how many frames-per-second a given model is displayed with.

Please try it out and report any issue. We are being careful about this release because many things have changed internally. Unless there are bugs, you should not notice a lot of changes, apart from:

  • dramatic performance improvement!

  • reduced GPU memory usage

  • drawback: the models take more time to load (+60% in some examples); we hope to improve that in the future.

  • the settings dialog box contains new options letting you control the light levels, shadows, and so on.

  • we ported some algorithms from the Quest back to the PC version: how the edges of faces are drawn, and how the shadows are computed. If you are running VR on PC, you might notice that the edges now look a bit less regular than they used to (not necessarily worse or better, just a little bit different) and the shadows are less fuzzy.

  • all the rest should continue to work—all the editing tools, multi-player capabilities, and so on. Please report any issue you find! If anything at all worked in previous versions but stopped working, it is likely something we don’t know about, and we would like to hear about it.

Of course, the main change is performance: VR Sketch 18 can now open and display models that are three times as complex as before, and comfortably display models that previously would be too slow. For example, with PC VR on a basic NVidia GTX 1060 graphic card, a hugely complex model that used to run at 8 frames per second—far too slow for VR—now runs at 36 frames per second—not good but at least usable. Similarly, on a standalone Quest 2, we can now open and view a relatively big model (a 94 MB .skp file) which was completely out of reach. It runs at an uncomfortable 27 frames per second, but it does run, whereas previous versions would just run out of memory and crash.

These are extreme examples. The real benefits for VR Sketch 18 is likely for intermediate cases. It can speed up a given model from 24 frames per second to 72! This is the most important kind of examples. 24 is so uncomfortable that you shouldn’t use VR for even one minute; 72 is perfect (the refresh rate of headsets is typically between 72 and 90 Hz).

If people are interested, I can write a technical explanation of some of the techniques we used. It took us a long time (many months) to reach the current point, and we would like to share the insights and techniques we developed along the way.

Armin Rigo


You know I’m always interested in those technicals. Have you put in anything to warn if a model might be too complex?

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A general update: on the standalone Quest 1, the display is completely broken (highly non-fluid and more), unlike on the Quest 2 where I am usually running my tests. I am now trying to debug what is going on.

Forgot to reply to myself in this thread: Quest 1 is still quite a bit slower in VR Sketch 18 than in previous versions. For now, you need to install a previous version of VR Sketch to use the Quest 1 (when standalone). Details are here.

Just noticed this. Thanks for the update.