VR Sketch 18.0.x

VR Sketch 18.0.0 was released! This version is roughly three to five times faster than any previous version, in terms of how many images-per-second a given model is displayed with.

Update: current version is VR Sketch 18.0.4. See the end of this post.

If you run into serious issues (like controllers not working—we could not test all controller models so far, but we might be able to in a couple of months), then the previous working version 17.0.8 is still available for download.

This version’s changes:

  • 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.

VR Sketch 18 can now open and display models that are three to five times as complex as before, and comfortably display models that previously would be too slow. For example, with PC VR on an older 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—still not great 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).

For people using the Quest 1 as a standalone headset, this release is problematic because the new internal techniques don’t work at all on Quest 1. We did not find any good solution: you have to manually switch to the “Quest1” release channel from your phone. Of course, if you use the Quest 1 as a tethered headset only, then this does not apply and you can just upgrade VR Sketch on your PC as usual.

Thanks for reading so far, and please report any bugs!


hi Arigo
I updated your plugin both for Oculus en Quest 2…i was waiting for this option of getting “through” walls…I had it already with Oculus but with Quest 2 it is top…I noticed a great speed improvment with Oculus… not no much with Quest 2 . maybe because my models are on the cloud… but anyway I do enjoy walking slowly through models and feel it is “almost” reality…
best regards

18 is working great! However, I’ve noticed that “move” (at least using freehand) behaves different than before, (as far as I remember). The object I move stays in place, until I release it in a new place. This makes “move” more similar to “copy”. I realize there is a object color difference but I still get constantly confused about it, and unsure whether I am moving or copying. I much prefer the old version where an object I am currently moving around isn’t visible in two places at once.

Hi Pierre,

Thanks for the feedback! Do you mind sending us the URL of the cloud model that doesn’t get faster on Quest 2? That would be helpful to check what is going on. You can send it to arigo@baroquesoftware.com if you prefer it not to be public. Thank you!

Hi Adrian,

That’s likely a bug. I think that something crashes internally when you start moving the object. Thanks for the report! I will soon release a version with a fix. It will also contain some other small fixes—we got automated error reports already, which are very useful for us to quickly find and fix issues.

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Release 18.0.1 is out. See the updated links in the first post at the top of this page. It contains fixes for the problems we found so far:

  • Occasionally, operations like moving vertices failed to move anything. Fixed.

  • While moving or copying faces, they are drawn in a blue or green preview which was drawn incorrectly. Also, the original faces that are being moved were still visible at their old position while moving.

  • Fix for the tutorial.

  • Fix for crashes that could happen when loading some models.

Release 18.0.2 is out for Quest 2/Pro only. The only change should be improved performance for these standalone headsets.

The z-fighting(*) logic has been tweaked. It is now a little bit worse than before but it comes with a large performance increase, so it’s probably a good trade-off. The new version is available from the Oculus App Lab as usual.

The PC VR version was not changed, as there are no performance benefits there. That’s why the PC VR version is still at 18.0.1, because 18.0.2 would be identical.

(*) z-fighting is the bad visual effect we get when two faces are in the same plane. This can occur with Sketchup models with faces from different groups/components. For example, you can have a white face in a group, a red face in a different group, and move the groups so that the two faces are exactly at the same position as each other. In that case, as you can see in Sketchup itself, the face is drawn partially white and partially red, but not consistently: every single computed image shows the red face, or the white face, or even a pattern of whites and reds. This leads to a highly flashing result if you keep updating the image in Sketchup (e.g. while you rotate the camera around). In VR, the problem is only worse because the image never stops updating at all. This is a known problem with 3D rendering, and there are approximate workarounds. It turns out that the workaround employed in VR Sketch 18.0.0-18.0.1 has bad performance effects on standalone headsets. The one we are using now in 18.0.2 is faster, but might work less well in some corner cases—notably if you look at faces from a grazing angle.

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Release 18.0.3 is out, for both PC and Quest. It fixes the animation for dynamic components. It also fixes the teleporter beam: when we aim through a transparent window, the window stops the beam in version 18.0.0 to 18.0.2. This was not intentional: the beam should go through the window.

(Note that if the window itself is an animated dynamic component, then the beam does stop on the window and will trigger the animation. Typically, the animation is along the lines of opening/closing the window, and after the window was opened you can teleport through the gap.)


Release 18.0.4 is out. Changes:

  • Quest 2/Pro: fix a bug where some editing-related visual effects wouldn’t be visible. Notably, after you selected a face, nothing was displayed instead of the blue dots pattern.

  • When editing a component, you always had the “hide rest of model” checkbox; now you can also choose a transparency level. The rest of the model is still displayed in a greenish tint, but can be half-transparent instead of just either present or absent. The rest of the model also projects half-shadows.

  • The floating digit keyboard to enter distances was tweaked if your unit is inches: you can now enter half and quarters inches. Some other fixes have been done, too, so it might work better than previously.

  • The Pico Neo 3 code was finally updated to VR Sketch version 18. We have also added support for “passthrough” for Pico Neo 3 (but note that the image quality is worse than the Quest 2, and far from the Quest Pro).


Armin Rigo