Google Cardboard? How to do stereo panoramic rendering?

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Hi all,


I recently went to the AIA convention in Philadelphia, and was quite impressed with what was going on in the VR world. Since then, any of our projects we have designed with Revit LT have given us the opportunity to easily create "stereo panoramic" renderings, and send them to our (and our client's) smartphones. From there, we drop our phones into Google Cardboard to view the renderings. 


This is pretty cool, especially when seated inside of a clients existing kitchen, and letting them view the proposed kitchen rendering using the cardboard goggles. For the spatially challenged, it very quickly helps them understand what they might see when the kitchen is complete (impressionism aside).


I would LOVE do do this with our Chief Architect projects as well. Does anyone know how I might create "stereo panoramic" renderings? Or how to send the model into another program where I could easily do this? (We also use Revit LT, Sketchup, and AutoCad) I try to export to an autocad file, and then to Revit, but it looks like I'll have to re-assign all the materials all over again. Like everything, I'm looking for an easier way.


While I did just start playing with the Chief Architect 3D viewer app (which is also pretty cool), I would still love to figure out how to utilize Google Cardboard.


Any help is greatly appreciated!






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Stereoscopic images are popular and a feature we are investigating – thanks for the suggestion.  The Chief Architect 3D Viewer is our current solution, what we have termed “VR without the headset”

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And thanks again for the 3D Viewer app! It's especially nice on an iPad. I do look forward to it's continued development. 

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You can export a Chief file to Sketchfab (probably 3DS is best), which has VR capabilities. The 3D Viewer is way easier, though, since you don't have to muck around with environment settings the way you do in Sketchfab.

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Currently running an experiment with trying to share these models with some clients. Here are my results:


- Using the 3D Viewer: Export was rather quick (3-4min) and file appeared in my account. Uploaded and clicked the 'share' and was a bit dismayed to find the template email rather confusing, even to me (having more experience than my clients who would ideally be getting this email). It reads:  


"I would like to share my Chief Architect® 3D Viewer model, "Chief - Voyer - Permit - 0924", with you.

To view the model I’ve shared:

    1.  Open the 3D Viewer app
    2.  Tap the settings icon
    3.  Select the 'Cloud' option
    4.  Log in to your Chief Architect account
    5.  Tap the folder icon
    6.  Select the 'Shared' option
    7.  Tap 'Activate Share Invitation'
    8.  Enter this code: 43317 82332 50507 

If you do not have a Chief Architect account, take a moment to create one, it’s free.

If you haven’t already, you can download the free 3D Viewer app to your mobile device.

    iTunes App Store:
    Google Play Store:

For more information about the Chief Architect® 3D Viewer app, visit" 


So you're telling me that my clients need to go through registering an account? That is total crap - no client wants to register just to see their model, and should not be forced to do so. Entering the model number should be enough to download the file.


Anyway I logged in, downloaded the model, and went through it. Kind of difficult to get around it, especially when outside - inside, the sojurn is quite nice. Wish there was a list of pre-set views that could be easily cycled through, to put the client in a certain spot/view that they could use as starting points for which to explore the model.


So thinking maybe there is another solution, I did some research and going to test out QRVR, the website that you can host your models on for free and seems to have a nice feel for mouse-based exploration, as well as 3D viewer capability.


Exporting to SketchUp: Exported to 3D Studio mesh. Export was very quick, <1 min. Got a message that the vertex limit of 65535 was reached - wonder what that will do to my export. Created a new SketchUp file. Import 3DS File, choose the exported file. Under Options - 'Merge Coplanar Faces'. Importing... takes about 3 minutes or so... now that it's imported I see that some of the surfaces are triangulated, which looks bad. Wondering if the export from here to qrvr will turn out OK. Set up some basic camera angles to see if they translate in the export (they're called 'scenes' in sketchup, and have the ability to control layer sets and hidden geometry, much like the Cameras in chief do). I save my File, and also save a copy for a future template file of this so that I can use it on future exports (after I delete the geometry - I'll go clean it up later).


Exporting to QRVR: So I go into the Extension Warehouse and download the extension. It installs without me needing to restart the program. I go to the qrvr tab and choose 'export' - noticing the extension is .pdf for the file... seems to be taking a bit of time to initialize... oh there it is! About 10 minutes or so of export, which is quite a long time. Let's see if this is worth it... sends me a QR code and says to use the app, which I already downloaded. I scan the code with my phone and it downloads very quickly. Pulled it up on the app and the rendering looks great - using the qrvr app is pretty enjoyable too, and I can put it into VR mode. You can try for yourself if you want, here's the code they sent me the model will be online until Oct 2... this link will take you to the browser version of the file


Still it takes quite a bit of time. I would maybe offer this as a 'premium' service or ala-carte - I've been thinking about how to entice clients into the higher $/sf range options I have and access to the 3D model is one of those things. Overall, I think the extra time of getting it into qrvr were worth it - oh yeah I can 'play' the walkthrough which cycles between the cameras I set-up in the file, which is great.

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David do you use sketchfab much to show your designs to clients?

Can you tell me more about this?


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Stereoscopic viewers:


1. irisVR - Scope -  to become a paid version in November - VR viewing using a headset linked to computer


2. qrVR - 3D model viewing (and VR  viewing) - to become a paid version shortly

They have an issue with lighting as you have to adjust for each scene.


3. Sketchfab - 3D model viewing (and VR  viewing) -  free version allows anyone to see your model,

paid version gives control over who views model.


Notes to Scott Harris:

Your comment: The Chief Architect 3D Viewer is our current solution, what we have termed “VR without the headset”

should be updated with the “VR without the headset” comment changed to something like "3D model viewing without the headset"

VR is a completely different experience to viewing a 3D model on a screen and I assume Chief will eventually offer a similar option.


Kylejmarsh comments on the complexity of using the current version of the 3D Viewer is a good insight

into the "complexity" of using the 3D Viewer.  I assume Chief is aware of this and I look forward
to the KISS Version (Keep It Simple Stupid - no disrespect intended)  The Viewer is a good first
effort and I am sure will be improved with later versions.








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