How to convert Enscape to VR using Oculus Quest?
Enscape3D is one of the most widely used tools in the AEC industry for real-time rendering. With a simple and quick rendering engine, Architecture & Design professionals have found an easy way to share photo-realistic renders and videos with clients. As Enscape integrates with 3D modeling software like Revit & SketchUp directly via plugins, adding Virtual Reality to the mix of visualization tools has been a feature available for some time now on PC-tethered headsets like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
With the launch of Quest & Quest 2, a lot of users have been searching and asking for ways to get the Enscape visualization experience on standalone VR. In this article, we will share our learnings from a deep dive into how to view Enscape models in the Oculus Quest 2 headset. So, let's get started:
Is there an official Enscape App for Oculus Quest 2?
The short answer is No. As of September 2021 - there is no official app that you can download for viewing Enscape designs on the Oculus Quest 2. This does not mean that there is no way to view your design, but officially Enscape supports the PC-tethered headsets only. Check their official VR headsets supported by Enscape page for more details.
What are the steps required to view an Enscape design in Oculus Quest 2?
The workaround in order to view Enscape models on Oculus Quest is by using Airlink - a wireless way to play PC VR experiences on the Quest. Since this works primarily for PC VR experiences, you need to make sure that you fulfill the hardware requirements for these experiences. Here's the checklist:
CPU: Intel i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
RAM: 8 GB
OS: Windows 10
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon 400 Series or better
If your system meets the requirements, you need to install the latest Oculus runtime on your PC.
Next, you need to enable apps from Unknown Sources from Settings --> General --> Unknown Sources
From the Settings --> Beta tab, enable Air Link option to connect your PC to the Quest wirelessly.
Once Air Link is ON, open Enscape & click on the VR icon.
On clicking on the VR icon, you will see the model pop-up inside the VR headset and you can navigate using the Enscape VR menu & settings. Also, you will be able to see the VR view on your PC in this mode.
While this process does help you get an Enscape model in Oculus Quest, you need to be aware of a few limitations to using this in your presentation workflow:
A VR-ready PC is required to use this workflow
A good WiFi router close to the PC is needed
Performance and resolution is not high-quality in most cases
Portability is highly limited as the PC needs to be connected to the Quest
Can I pre-render 360 images from Enscape for portable & wireless VR?
Enscape easily allows you to create 360 panoramas from your designs. They can be an extremely valuable and easy method to enable your VR workflow on the Oculus Quest - without losing portability and cloud-based collaboration. To enable this workflow, you need to first learn how to create 360 panoramas from your Enscape design. This knowledge base article from Enscape is a very good resource. In fact, the process is extremely intuitive as you need to follow these steps:
1) Click on the 360 Icon and choose Mono or Stereo panorama options. For VR presentations, we recommend the Stereo option as they provide a sense of depth when viewed immersively. For sharing on PC/mobile devices, the mono format will work just fine.
Source: Enscape 3D
2) You have the option to upload the panorama to your Enscape account or download it to your PC. Click the "Manage Uploads" section in the Enscape Toolbar to view your panoramas. In the same window, you will find an option to download a 360 panorama to your PC. For Oculus Quest presentations, we recommend downloading the file.
Source: Enscape 3D
3) Now that you have the file, you need to use a 360 to VR software where you can upload multiple panoramas, link them with hotspots, add interactivity using notes, links and videos to prepare a complete 360 virtual tour for your clients. We recommend you sign up for a free trial of SENTIO VR to upload the panoramas and customize the client presentations.
4) Once your tour is completed, you can download the SENTIO VR Oculus Quest App, enter a 6 digit code and your 360 walkthrough is ready to view. The benefits of this workflow are:
High-quality resolution in VR headset
Interactions and information can be added to the experience
PC is not required to be connected to the Quest
Once uploaded to the cloud, the designs are available for access anytime, anywhere
At SENTIO VR, we believe that the future of VR presentations in the Architecture & Design industry is going to be dominated by cloud-based experiences on standalone VR headsets like Oculus Quest 2. With a few workarounds, you can view your Enscape 3D designs on the Oculus Quest 2. In addition, with an easy workflow to create and edit 360 panoramas exported from Enscape, you can prepare client presentations that are immersive, cloud-based & do not require high-end PCs connected to the headset as an option for enriching your VR workflows.