Picture: Gravity Sketch
Gravity Sketch’s 6.0 update makes 3D design even more intuitive, and the developer is planning Apple’s Vision Pro support.
CEO Seyi Sosanya recently spoke with me about the core principles that shaped the design of Gravity Sketch and inspired companies like Ford and New Balance to use this technology. The goal from the beginning was to make it easy to use yet powerful enough to become an integral part of a design workflow.
We also talked about Apple’s headset and how its unique features will require a new approach to VR development. Gravity Sketch will be coming to the Vision Pro.
Gravity Sketch 6.0
Gravity Sketch is one of the most intuitive and versatile design apps that you’ll find for VR headsets. If you haven’t tried the app, you should check it out.
The first time you drag out a curved 3D sheet with two hands feels magical. Scaling and rotating an entire scene is also surprisingly satisfying, letting you create on a grand scale or zooming in for fine details that appear large.
You don’t need to be a 3D artist to use Gravity Sketch, but professionals have everything they need to design, collaborate with others, and present their creations for review. The 6.0 release makes tool access quicker and sharing the results with others simple. Here’s what’s new.
With the new quick-access toolbox, you can get what you need with a single click. Improved ease of use is the overriding theme of this update. Press and drag to select a brush and start drawing, switch to the paint tool to adjust object colors, or move to the arrow for precise movement and rotation.
Quick access tools significantly reduce the time it takes to design a complex object. Color just became simpler, too. Look at your left wrist (or right, if you prefer) to see a palette that lets you quickly choose a drawing color.
When drawing, a brush library is just a click away, revealing drawing, surfacing, and 3D text options in one panel. You can also set up defaults to get rolling more quickly.
Finally, the new Review mode is the perfect way to share with people unfamiliar with Gravity Sketch and 3D design tools. Squeeze the trigger to create as many new rectangular viewports as you’d like within a scene. You can drag them anywhere and set their zoom level.
When a client or coworker joins in Review mode, they can simply tap the joystick to cycle between the preset viewports. A laser pointer lets them highlight areas of interest on a model for discussion.
Gravity Sketch and Apple Vision Pro
Sosanya said a core principle of Gravity Sketch is to match the physicality and immediacy of real life, despite being a virtual reality experience. The result is responsive tools that follow hand movement.
The great thing about VR is that the user interface can be freely shaped, unlike apps designed for a flat screen, keyboard, and mouse. You have unlimited space to create in or float toolboxes and help guides. It’s a whole new way of working, yet it feels familiar, as if arranging a workbench for a project.
Rethinking user interfaces is also central to Apple’s product development. The Vision Pro, unlike most VR headsets, lacks controllers. Instead, a glance combined with a pinch, tap, or flick suffices to navigate the user interface.
Meta’s hand-tracking is a secondary system that few apps support. The Quest Pro includes the hardware for eye and face-tracking, but it has only been used to animate avatars or dynamically adjust render quality (foveated rendering).
Sosanya pointed out that designing apps for Apple’s Vision Pro will require a paradigm shift in thinking. Despite the challenge, the intention is to make Gravity Sketch available on every device that supports six degrees of freedom (6DoF), including modern VR headsets, full-featured mixed reality devices, and future AR glasses.
You can use Gravity Sketch for free or subscribe for more collaboration rooms, additional cloud storage, and enterprise management features. Check the Meta, Pico, and HTC Vive app stores or Steam for PC VR.
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