For those who have little to no experience using traditional sculpting tools, Oculus Medium can provide the means to create very complex models that can be further refined in additional software or even, in some cases, exported directly into Enduvo for use in your lessons. In this article, we will cover how to create and export a model directly from Medium into Enduvo. But before we talk about that, let’s cover the system recommendations.
- Processor: Intel i3-6100 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or greater
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 960 4GB / AMD Radeon R9 290 or greater
- Memory: 8GB+ RAM
- OS: Windows 10 only (Windows 7 and 8.1 support discontinued as of 1/14/2020)
- Headsets supported: Rift and Rift S (NO Quest support at this time.)
- Unofficial Vive support possible through Revive
As you can see from the minimum specifications, Medium is a very demanding program and will tax your system, especially with more complex projects. Medium uses a voxel based system, which is great for sculpting in 3d space, but highly demanding on your PC’s processor and memory. It is important that you take these specifications into account before deciding to try out Medium.
Learning the Basics
Similar to other VR modeling programs, Medium uses a tool and palette approach to it’s interface. On your support hand you will find:
- Tool wheel for tools to define your sculpt (and additional workflow options below it)
- Step forward and backwards for undoing and redoing work
- Scene graph that works like Photoshop layers or the outliner in Blender
- File menu for adjusting settings, saving, loading, exporting, and more
Your primary hand holds the active tool and controls additional menus. On this hand you will find:
- Slider to adjust area of tool influence
- Color wheel to choose paint colors
- Stamp menu to change various clay settings and choose from an extensive list of stencil-like stamps
When you first load Medium up, you are prompted with the option to watch a series of short tutorials on the basics. It is highly recommended to do so before jumping into your first project. These will give you an introduction to the tools you need to hop in and start creating your first sculpt. For further tutorials beyond the introduction, check out the Oculus medium youtube channel here. There you can find more advanced tutorials that will cover everything you can do in Medium in greater depth.
What can you create in Medium?
The sky is truly the limit (along with your PC’s processing power) when it comes to what you can create in Medium. There are however a few approaches that Medium is not necessarily the best option for. Medium is not the best option for straight-edged, inorganic modeling. The nature of Medium as a sculpting program makes creating hard-edged, man-made shapes more difficult than other modeling-based options. Medium is also not the best for creating things that need to match real-life measurements precisely. Your ability to finely control models is somewhat limited in this regard. Stamps are a way around these limitations and you may find some success in using them for this purpose, but be aware that if you intend to create very precise mechanical models, you may find Medium a less than ideal solution.
What Medium excels at is organic sculpting. Sculpting clay in VR makes creating natural, nuanced shapes an intuitive process that anyone can jump into right away. However, to bring a 3d sculpt into a real-time environment like Enduvo requires attention to performance, and sculpt poly count in Medium very quickly grows out of hand with even simple shapes. This is great for creating detail, but complicates performance in real-time environments. Luckily, Medium offers a few options on export that can help optimize your meshes to perform well in real-time environments like Enduvo.
Exporting your Creations
Upon export, at the top of the menu you have the option to choose between raw, real-time, or 3D print presets. These are preset starting points for the workflow of your choice. Raw will export the mesh losslessly, and is intended for projects that will be imported into further modeling and texturing software for retopology, baking, texturing and so on. This is a more advanced option as it requires additional potentially costly software and advanced skills. 3D print will optimize your mesh for use with 3D printers rather than for use in 3D environments. Neither of these presets are a good starting point if you plan on bringing your content directly into Enduvo, as neither generates texture files. If your goal is to take your painted model directly from Medium into Enduvo, you will need to start with the real-time preset.
Real-time will utilize the built-in decimator to optimize your project by reducing the triangle count in your model. Beneath the slider you will see an approximate triangle count for every given percentage of triangles. Poly-count guidelines can vary depending on what the model is or in what context it will be rendered, but best practices are to reduce the poly count of a given model as much as possible to maximize performance without significantly degrading the quality of your model, and in accordance with its significance to the scene. As Medium creates very high poly models, you will always want to reduce this slider as far as possible without significant degradation to your model.
As for the additional settings: texture size, texture space, and texture file format can all be left at their defaults under the real-time preset. Enduvo does support both TGA and PNG texture formats, so it is your preference as to which you choose. The mesh file format option should be set to OBJ. Currently, the FBX file Medium generates will not properly render the associated textures in Enduvo. This can be fixed by bringing the exported models into outside modeling software and re-exporting, but if your goal is to create a direct workflow between Medium and Enduvo, you’ll need to export as an OBJ to preserve your texture work. Once your settings have been chosen, press export and exit Medium. From here, you can bring your file directly into Enduvo as you would any other 3D asset.