Matterport 3D 'Mesh View' Examples Converted to Virtual Reality by Vicator

Video: Vicator created this virtual reality demo using the We Get Around "before" bathroom renovation 3D Tour 'mesh view' using the Matterport object file (.obj) | Video courtesy of Vicator.

[Editor's Note: Peter Thor is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Vicator, a Sweden-based company that specializes in developing leading-edge Virtual Reality (VR) applications for mobile devices and Head Mounted Displays (HMD) such as Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift. Peter is a member of the Matterport User Group Forum.] We invited Peter to create VR experiences with some of our Matterport 3D models and write about it.]

by Peter Thor (@PeterThor_se@Viacator_labs)

Photorealism and computer generated images have come a long way in the past 10 years. At Vicator, we prototype the use of Mobile VR and Desktop VR as an enabler to engage customers in unique interactive experiences. Recently we have been exploring the use of 3D depth scanned models in Virtual Reality settings – in this particular case, models captured with the Matterport Pro 3D Camera.

WalkAround™ 3D Tour powered by Matterport | To get started, click on the blue 3D Showcase bar (takes about 10 seconds to load); to walk around, use the arrow keys; check-out the dollhouse and floor plan views (lower left icons); click to fly-in and walk around | WalkAround Tour by We Get Around Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod

Lately we were handed a set of Matterport models, courtesy of We Get Around Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod. We started playing around with adaping the models for the Virtual Reality platform. Our goal was to see if it was possible to create immersive Virtual Reality applications based on the 3D depth scanned Matterport models.

WalkAround™ 3D Tour powered by Matterport | To get started, click on the blue 3D Showcase bar (takes about 10 seconds to load); to walk around, use the arrow keys; check-out the dollhouse and floor plan views (lower left icons); click to fly-in and walk around | WalkAround Tour by We Get Around Chief Photographer Dan Smigrod

We initially focused our efforts on converted this Matterport 3D model to the Oculus Rift DK2 VR Head Mounted Display (HMD) and working on a desktop PC.

Today (15 April 2015), there exists no automatic push-of-a-button to convert a Matterport 3D model directly to commercially available Virtual Reality Head Mounted Displays.

[Editor's note: Also today, Matterport did a soft launch of Matterport VR Showcase Beta viewable on Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus. See this Matterport User Group Forum thread for the Matterport video announcement and discussions.} 

We used Unity 5 3D gaming engine software as our development platform and we were able to convert the models after some post-processing, adaptions and reduction of the total amount ot data.

Video: Vicator created this virtual reality demo using the We Get Around Luxury Real Estate 3D Tour using the Matterport object file (.obj) This big model is run using a regular computer and Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus DK2. It needs more work to run on mobile devices compared to just crunching large captured houses with amazing computer power. With careful segmenting of the rooms in the buildings it is however fully possible. | Video courtesy of Vicator.

The mesh captured by the Matterport Pro 3D Camera scanning process can be big and there are limitations in Unity in the amount of triangles a mesh can contain. We had to work around this limitation. Next step was to add some atmospheric elements such as illumination and lighting.

Next came the addition of collision detection with the floor and walls followed by implementation of the Oculus Rift Character controller and camera rig. The results are promising.

Video: Novel exploration of a house, Baldakinen, built using 3D-modelling- and Virtual Reality tools to explore how they can aid in the design, prototyping and inception phase of house construction. Features Binaural Audio (on selected sources) using RealSpace3D Audio by Visisonics and Oculus Rift DK2 by Oculus VR. | Video courtesy of .

After this we approached another Matterport 3D model captured by Dan titled Before View: Bathroom-Bedroom Renovation. This 3D model includes a master bedroom, a bathroom, a smaller toilet and two closets.

The amount of data contained in this model was more suitable to be able to be converted and run on a mobile device (Samsung Gear VR using a Galaxy Note 4 and Google Cardboard using a Nexus 5). These devices are much less powered than today's high-end PC's. We successfully created versions for both of these devices and include this Youtube video from the Gear VR version in this post.

It is obvious to say that customers will be consuming digital models in an even more novel and highly immersive mode in the near future.

Desktop and mobile devices are becoming increasingly powerful; thus paving way for more detailed graphics in the specific application. When the novel graphics are coupled with audio and interactive elements, such as a dynamic outdoor environment or performing changes to the indoor light atmosphere simulating a nights (even though the capture
session was done at daytime): a multitude of oppurtunities emerge.

As a teaser of how different 3D Virtual Reality models can be blended together, we've included a ”portal” to a Matterport model positioned on the living room table in the house ”Baldakinen” which has been designed from the ground up with the help of Virtual Reality. This YouTube video is included in this post.

Samsung Gear VR

By using Virtual Reality as a design for architectural exploration, it enables inhabitants to immerse themselves in the house before anything has been built in a more novel way than mere 2D drawings. It has been shown that choices regarding room sizes and wall arrangements can be envisoned and experienced more intensly in Virtual Reality than on the sketch board.


[Editor's Note: To contact Peter Thor or for help with Vicator Virtual Reality solutions such as creation of Virtual Reality Applications, please visit]


Dan Smigrod

Founder, CEO & Chief Photographer, 3527 Knollhaven Drive, NE, Atlanta, GA 30319-1908, USA