Frequently asked questions
VR Sketch is an extension/plugin for SketchUp that lets you use SketchUp while inside virtual reality (VR).
With any SketchUp file open you just click "Send to VR" and you can start walking around your file.
It's not just for viewing your files, you can draw and edit while in VR. All the major SketchUp tools are available in VR, so you can push/pull, move, draw, copy, scale and much more.
- SketchUp 2017 or more recent. (See also "Does VR Sketch work on Mac?" below)
- Our VR Sketch extension. Download here and more instructions here
- A VR headset. We support many common headsets.
- Unless you are using Oculus Quest, you need a VR-suited computer and graphics cards. For recommended system requirements see HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
Yes. We have spend lots of development time optimising VR Sketch to work with files of all sizes. If your files are super large your hardware (normally your GPU) may struggle. We have also found that keeping your geometry inside groups and components helps speed things up.
Note that Oculus Quest's GPU is much less powerful than a PC's. For the Quest, the answer to the question above is No: it will struggle to render models that are a lot larger than the medium-sized demo model "Cliff House".
Yes. VR Sketch supports two modes:
- Directly from the machine running SketchUp, where the person in VR can view and edit the model currently opened in SketchUp. Any changes done in VR are immediately reflected on the SketchUp model, and any changes done on the screen in SketchUp are immediately reflected in VR. This allows direct collaboration between two persons, one in VR and one on the screen.
- If you upload a model to the cloud, then any number of VR installations can view it and make simple annotations without using SketchUp any more (but the model cannot be edited). These VRs can be far away from each other. If several people view the same model at the same time, then they see each other's avatars in VR, and can talk to each other via voice-over-IP.
The trial license of VR Sketch is for trying out the direct mode. Uploading a model to the cloud requires storage space on our servers and is thus limited to non-trial licenses. On the other hand, if you only want to use VR Sketch to view cloud models, you can do so with no license at all---you are always allowed to view models uploaded by someone else (including the demo models we provide), as long as you know their URL.
Yes, VR Sketch works with SketchUp 2017 Make and Pro, or any more recent version of SketchUp Pro.
SketchUp 2017 Make is free and appears to be still provided by third-party professional web sites like CNET: download SketchUp 2017 Make (MD5 5c98d5afc594cdac0bcc0e5bf8c37f73, SHA1 c077886fd56b0aa30f81502af1f753f107be8448, SHA256 9841792f170d803ae95a2741c44cce38e618660f98a1a3816335e9bf1b45a337).
They have different advantages and disadvantages. VR Sketch is designed so that you can very easily swap between VR and the screen to take advantage of both tool sets.
You don't need to. Just click "Send to VR" and put your headset on. You don't need to export your work either.
VR Sketch has a real-time link with your SketchUp file, this means that any changes you make in VR are instantly updated in SketchUp and any changes you make in SketchUp are instantly seen in VR.
To save your work, just click save as you normally do in SketchUp.
Yes. You can use Oculus Quest either to view cloud models previously uploaded, or directly with a PC or Mac as if it were tethered (but without needing a cable).
Yes, since VR Sketch version 11.
Mac requires Oculus Quest for now, because we cannot directly connect any of the common tethered VR headsets to Macs. It is also recommended to have SketchUp 2020 or more recent for editing in VR with a Mac.
The #1 rule for VR comfort is: the VR view should not be subject to any acceleration. This is not an absolute rule, but it is what causes motion sickness in some people. This is because the headset cannot physically give your body the impression that you are accelerating---it can only fool the eyes. This can result in sickness, similar to being a passenger in a car on a mountain road. Some persons are more prone to it than others; it can take anywhere between a few seconds and half an hour to make the user sick, if at all.
We feel it would be quite unprofessional to submit the majority of users to a feature that appears fine at first, but renders them sick after a while. This is why we give the warning.
There are four ways to move around in VR Sketch:
- Teleporting. This looks unnatural at first, but is actually often the easiest and most comfortable option.
- You can "grab" the world containing the model, and move it. If you grab with both hands, you can scale the model, too. This is the fastest way to go at a very different location or to get a larger-scale overview. To get back at 1-for-1 scale, use the teleporter again.
- You can use the joystick (if you have the teleport tool selected): move it up or down to walk. Be careful about motion sickness. You can disable this completely in the context menu (press the "B" or "Menu" button).
- Experimental: in the same context menu, you can choose the walk/jog/run options. It makes teleporting not instantaneous; instead, it is done in a series of steps. It gives a feeling similar to real-life steps.