Download VR modelling tool Gravity Sketch for free
Gravity Sketch has made Gravity Sketch, its virtual reality design software, available free for individual users.
The move makes the desktop tool, which provides “the power of a CAD package in a VR tool”, available free for use in commercial work, including the option to export assets in FBX and IGES export.
The software remains in active development, with last week’s January 2021 update to the desktop version adding support for object sub-groups and new features for navigating large 3D scenes in VR.
Create parametric 3D models in virtual reality, then export them to other DCC or CAD applications
Gravity Sketch enables users to create 3D objects in virtual reality, then them export in a format usable in design pipelines: unlike voxel-based tools like Adobe’s Medium, it exports parametric models.
Although primarily used for industrial design, the software is also used in concept design for entertainment.
For sketching, you get an Ink tool, which enables you to draw in space, with curve thickness determined by the speed of the gesture and pressure on the trigger of the VR controller.
The software supports 3D layers, making it possible to sketch on one layer, then use the Stroke tool – which gives consistent thickness – to draw final curves on another, akin to inking a 2D drawing.
Surfaces can created from splines or drawn freehand, with the option to convert them to Sub-D surfaces.
The software imports 3D assets in OBJ format, and exports them in OBJ, FBX or IGES formats.
Now free for individual artists – including FBX and IGES export
Although the software was initially available either as a feature-limited perpetual licence, or via a range of subscription plans, Gravity Sketch has simplified its pricing structure.
The software is now available free to individual users, with the free version also getting support for FBX and IGES exports, previously only available via paid subscriptions.
In its blog post announcing the move, Gravity Sketch says that it hopes that making the core software free will enable it to reach “a more diverse user group”.
Commercial subscripions remain available – although they are now priced on enquiry – and provide studios with support, training, and access to Gravity Sketch’s work-in-progress co-creation features.
New in the January 2021 update: support for object sub-groups
Perhaps to reassure existing users that the software remains in active development, the firm has also just released its January 2021 update: the fifth major update to the software.
New features include the option to arrange 3D objects in sub-groups as well as groups, plus a new Minimap system and the option to bookmark camera viewpoints, intended to make it easier to navigate large scenes.
The subdivision tool menu has also been redesigned, and there are a number of improvements to object editing: you can find a full list of changes here.
Pricing and system requirements
Gravity Sketch is available for Windows 10. The desktop app was previously available for Macs, but is currently no longer available on macOS “for the time being”.
Supported VR headsets include the HTC Vive, Oculus, Windows Mixed Reality and Valve Index headsets. You can find a full list in the online documentation. The software supports both AMD and Nvidia GPUs.
Individual artists can use the desktop software for free, with a cloud-based Gravity Sketch Landing Pad account also providing 1GB of online storage.