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: version VR Sketch 18.0.1 was released to fix a few immediate problems.
- VR Sketch 18.0.1 for PC/Mac
- standalone for Quest 2 or Quest Pro: see the App Lab
- standalone for Quest 1: READ THIS!
- Other standalone headsets: the update is coming later.
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!