What are the best plugins and applications to help you create and experience VR from your Revit models? In this guide, we will explore some of the most popular and useful options.
There are two ways to virtually view and interact with an RVT model environment: Real-time interactive (import the model into a 3rd party software) and standalone executable (doesn’t require other software to run).
Since the first two plugins are more accessible to students, we needed to figure out how to export Datasmith files to them.
Export Revit to VR
You can export the 3D model using the Datasmith Exporter to view and interact directly with all types of virtual reality devices.
After installing the Unreal plugin and restarting Revit, a new Datasmith tab will appear in the Tabs ribbon.
Next, we import the .udatasmith file into Twinmotion and UE…
Method 1 – Twinmotion
This one is used to create standard immersive 360-degree videos and interactive presentations. When converting BIM to VR with the Datasmith Exporter, all the necessary model information is compiled in Twinmotion in seconds.
In Twinmotion, click the eye icon on the top bar and then click the VR icon. From there, we can walk around the project and interact with it.
Presenter (formerly known as bimMotion) allows users to move around a project without having Twinmotion installed. Enable VR mode in Presenter for a similar virtual reality experience.
To create a presenter file:
- define a starting point on the screen.
- Export the project.
Method 2 – Unreal Engine
UE is capable of almost anything as seen in any video game, including having multiple players in the same scene simultaneously, a lot of interaction, driving a car or spaceship, creating custom effects, etc. The program features great complexity and capability in graphics, physics, and more.
Unreal Engine imports the same .udatasmith file generated by Datasmith Exporter.
After connecting the virtual reality headset, launch the VR Preview of the project.
Select the Standalone Game option from the Launch drop-down menu to export an EXE.
Epic Games offers a free 1h 14m course for learning how to create virutual reality walkthroughs – This course teaches basic theory and best practices, adding teleportation and interaction to scenes in Unreal Engine, creating VR-based user interfaces, and optimizing the content.
Method 3 – Enscape
Enscape works directly with Revit for an integrated visualization and design workflow. It’s considerably the easiest VR tool for Revit presentations.
Start the application through the Enscape tab > Click on the VR Headset icon.
Drop-down the EXE icon menu, then select Exe Standalone, to export an executable exe file.
Method 4 – SimLab VR Composer
The SimLab composer offers a versatile user interface. Both the composer and the viewer work together for the experience. You can find useful tutorials on the website.
Users can transfer models by clicking on “Transfer to SimLab” or “Link with SimLab”. In both cases, a new SimLab Composer window opens to view the model and its environment.
To start the interactive mode, drop-down the VR viewer icon and select Show in Viewer. Within the Viewer Modes window, select PC VR.
Select EXE File under Export panel.
VRpackage is the common file format of SimLab software packages that can be imported into the cloud and the free viewer.
Method 5 – Iris Prospect
Iris Prospect is installed as a Revit plugin, which can be accessed via the add-ins tab. Open the 3D view and then click View in VR.
Make sure the all elements are checked in the Properties tab, then click Start Processing. When the process is complete, click Launch.
Interactive 3D models enhance communication between users and viewers of Revit projects. VR integrations range from simple plug-ins added to the user interface to complex third-party applications.