ARchi VR Howto

Start using the ARchi VR app by following a few easy steps: Capture rooms with floor, walls, doors and windows using your iPhone or iPad; merge multiple rooms; automatically generate 2D floor plans and 3D models; and experience captured spaces as Virtual Reality.

AR Room Capture

Start Capturing

  • Press + sign on top right of start screen.
  • An Augmented Reality view will start.
  • You see a live video stream from the device camera showing the room you are in.

Capture Floor

  • Point camera of iPhone/iPad device towards the floor.
  • Move camera slowly around the floor.
  • Yellow points show detected features.
  • Keep going until floor plane is detected.
  • The app automatically stops floor scanning when the result is stable.
  • You may manually end floor scanning by the "Add Walls" button.

Hints for capturing floor
Capturing the floor plane can sometimes be tricky. When a floor is very glossy and without any structure it even might be impossible to recognize a plane.
  • Try moving to the side or repositioning your phone.
  • Try moving your phone slower.
  • Try turning on more lights.
  • Torch light of device may help on short distances.
  • Try placing a newspaper flat on the floor.

Add Walls

  • Mark corners of floor-wall edges by tapping screen when corner is in finder sight.
  • Move to the next floor-wall corner while getting feedback on length of wall in cm
  • A 10x10cm grid helps you to align the wall.
  • After first wall added you will see the angle to the last wall in degrees.
  • Angle label turns to green when angle becomes perpendicular.
  • With the help of the angle label and the grid it should be feasible to hit wall corners that are hidden by furnitures.
  • Close room walls and stop wall capturing automatically by tapping the start corner.
  • You may stop wall capturing manually by clicking "Done" button.
  • Do stop manually when the room has no closed walls.

Capture Room Height/Ceiling Height

  • Point camera towards the ceiling during wall capture process.
  • The grid changes to a height ruler going upwards from last corner.
  • Height ruler shows a 10cm raster.
  • Height label displays height from floor in cm.
  • Mark height of wall by tapping screen when ceiling edge is in finder sight.
  • The already captured walls change their transparent visualization to the new height setting.
  • Future walls of the same room will also have the new height.
  • Point camera back to the floor to continue wall capturing.
  • The room height (ceiling height) can also be changed later in the Meta Data editor.

Specify Wall Surface

  • Use a long touch to open a selection popup menu by pressing on a wall longer than a second.
  • Select the surface of the wall and click "Done".
  • The surface will not be displayed in the AR view (the wall stays transparent).
  • The surface will then be displayed in the 3D view and the VR view.

Concrete Raw Board
Plaster Smooth
Plaster Rough
Bricks White
Bricks Red
Tiles Mosaic White
Glass

Add Doors and Windows

  • Mark diagonal corners of a door or a window within a wall by tapping screen when the corners are in finder sight.
  • While moving to the opposite corner height and width of the cutout are displayed.
  • If diagonal goes down to the floor the cutout is interpreted as door, otherwise as window.
  • Doors are visualized as yellow-transparent planes with additional symbols to depict the door type.
  • Window are visualized as blue-transparent planes without additional type information.
  • Press "Undo" button to cancel current capturing process or to delete last captured door or window.
  • Press "Delete" to remove all existing cutouts.

Specify Door Type

  • ARchi VR tries to estimate door type, but you can interactively change it.
  • Use a long touch to open a selection popup menu by pressing on a door longer than a second.
  • Select the door type and click "Done".
  • The specific door type will be displayed in the AR view as yellow-transparent 3D symbol.

Opening
Left Hand (opens to outside)
Left Hand Reverse (reverse = opens to inside)
Right Hand
Right Hand Reverse
Double Swing
Double Reverse
Left Slide
Right Slide
Double Slide
Window

Specify Window Type

  • Use a long touch to open a selection popup menu by pressing on a window longer than a second.
  • Select the window type and click "Done".
  • The specific window type will not be displayed in the AR view (only as a blue-transparent plane).

Single
Double
Triple
Single with center bars
Double with center bars
Triple with center bars
Single with overlight
Double with overlight
Triple with overlight
Vertical Sliding

Specify Floor Material & Surface

  • Use a long touch to open a selection popup menu by pressing on the floor longer than a second.
  • Select the material of the floor and click "Done".
  • If the selected material provides several surface options, an additional popup menu appears (e.g., for "Wood").
  • The surface of the floor will not be displayed in the AR view.
  • The surface will then be displayed in the 3D view and the VR view.
  • The floor material and surface can also be changed later in the Meta Data editor for each individual room.

Carpet
Concrete
Granite
Laminate
Tiles Checkerboard b/w
Marble
Tile
Wood: Parquet Oak
Wood: Parquet Herringbone Oak
Wood: Parquet Tiles
Wood: Parquet 2
Wood: Parquet 3

2D Floor Plan

View 2D Floor Plan

  • Select a space on start screen.
  • Select "2D Floor Plan" tab at the bottom.
  • Zoom using standard pinch-in and pinch-out gestures.
  • When zoomed in, shift the 2D floor plan using standard shift gestures.

Specify Door Type or Window Type

  • If a door or window was not correctly captured in the Augmented Reality view, you are still able to change their type.
  • Press on a door or on a window longer than a second within a 2D floor plan.
  • Choose door or window type in the popover menu.
  • Doors will be displayed accordingly as a specific symbol.
  • Windows will NOT be displayed as specific symbol.

Share 2D Floor Plan

  • Press the "Share" button at top right.
  • 2D floor plan will be provided as SVG document.
  • Choose sharing action such as email, message, save as document, ...

Merge Multiple Rooms

Filter and Select Rooms

  • Press bottom left button of start screen.
  • Select multiple rooms to merge.
  • You may filter rooms by floor level selector.
  • You may filter rooms by name of address or building.

Merge selected Rooms

  • Press "Merge" button on the bottom right.
  • The ARchi VR app automatically generates a new space model.
  • Check the result in the 2D floor plan of newly generated model.

Hint for merging rooms
Rooms are connected via their door counterparts. Therefore door types need to fit and as well be sized and placed more or less accordingly. Check the following list of door types and their corresponding counterpart as seen from the other side of the wall.
Door Type Door Counterpart
Opening Opening
Left Hand Right Hand Reverse
Left Hand Reverse Right Hand
Right Hand Left Hand Reverse
Right Hand Reverse Left Hand
Double Swing Double Reverse
Double Reverse Double Swing
Left Slide Right Slide
Right Slide Left Slide
Double Slide Double Slide

3D Space Model

View 3D Model

  • Select a space on start screen.
  • Select "3D View" tab at the bottom.

Navigate in 3D View

  • Move your iOS device to control yaw and pitch.
  • Use the rounded buttons at bottom left to move between rooms (via predefined camera viewpoints), to change to the walk mode, and to change to the birdseye view mode.
  • Use the bottns at the center right to move forward and backward.
  • Use the bottons at the center bottom to move sidewise left and right.

Specify Door, Window or Floor Type

  • If a floor, door or window was not correctly captured in the Augmented Reality view, you are still able to change their type.
  • Press on the floor, a door or a window longer than a second within a 3D view focusing the element in the middle of the screen.
  • Choose door or window type in the popover menu.
  • The elements will be displayed accordingly in the 3D view.

Share 3D Model

  • Press the "Share" button at top right.
  • 3D view will be provided as HTML-based WebVR document.
  • Choose sharing action such as email, message, save as document, ...

VR Virtual Reality

Experience VR Model

  • Select a space on start screen.
  • Select "VR View" tab at the bottom.
  • If you want to use your iPhone within VR glasses (such as Google Cardboard or Cardboard-compatible devices) then click the "VR glasses" button at the bottom right of the VR view.
  • Turn your device to landscape mode to enter into stereo VR mode. Tab menu and status bar will disappear.
  • Turn your device back to portrait mode to leave VR mode and to get access to the tab menu.

Navigate in VR View

  • Move your iOS device (or VR device) to control yaw and pitch.
  • Touch the screen to move forward (if enabled in session settings).
  • Shake your device to start moving forward (if enabled in session settings).
  • Shake again your device to stop moving.
  • If you experience a merged multi-room space then a gaze menu (with fuse buttons) is accessible by looking down to the floor (if enabled in session settings).
  • By gazing long enough to a menu entry you will fly or be teleported to the selected room.

Share VR Model

  • Press the "Share" button at top right.
  • The VR experice will be provided as HTML-based WebVR document.
  • Choose sharing action such as email, message, save as document, ...

Release Notes

Current release of the ARchi VR app is version 1.2

Known Limitations:

  • The new ARKit technology used to detect floor planes may generate some inconsistencies during scanning.
  • Auto-merge of multiple rooms may produce wrong results.
  • Auto-merge may produce overlapping walls (which leads to flickering in 3D).
  • Pitched roof areas can not be captured.
  • "Tap to walk" in VR view is currently not available.

Being a version 1 release ARchi VR still has some shortcomings, but it may already be fun to use and might create some benefits in cases with no high requirememts for dimension accuracy. Improvements will come soon in future releases.

Ideas for Future Releases:

  • Improving auto-merge of multiple rooms
  • More architectural elements: column, stair, rails
  • Text markers
  • Interior objects (furnitures)
  • Upload to the Archilogic platform
  • 3D Export as IFC