EnSight and Oculus

EnSight supports the Oculus Rift display. This support is available for all EnSight's users, regardless of their license level.

 Requirements (updated 8-Aug-2016):

For Consumer Available Oculus Rift, you will need

EnSight 10.1.6(e) or later.

  1. EnSight 10.1.6(e) or later
  2. OS: Windows 7 or later


If you have a pre-release Oculus Rift, the following requirements are:

  1. EnSight 10.1.5(a) through 10.1.6(d).
  2. Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2, version  Dev kit 0.7 (or later) is not supported. 
  3. OS: Windows7 or Windows8.x 



  1. Set an environmental variable CEI_INPUT = oculus. Or, you can launch EnSight with the '-oculus' flag on the command line.
  2. If you have a pre-release Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2, under the Oculus Setup (Oculus Configuration Utility), set the Tools -- > Rift Display Mode to “Extend to Desktop”.  Occasionally, the window which should be drawn on the Oculus gets placed somewhere else. This appears to happen when a window from another application has been placed on top of the Oculus’ part of the desktop.

There is additional documentation in the Help -- > User Manual regarding setup and running EnSight with the Oculus Rift display.

Expectations of Operation:

  1. The user should see a 3D scene floating in front of them, near where the tracker camera is, scaled to be about ½ meter in size. Annotations/Legends/Plotters should be visible, and attached to a rectangle in the scene.
  2. The main EnSight window will remain on the desktop. What appears on the Rift device is a duplicate of what is in the viewport, with the above setup. Sort of equivalent to going “full screen” in normal EnSight (in the Rift there is no GUI, but just the viewport being drawn).
  3. To select parts, create items, you will need to raise the goggles up, and perform that operation normally on your desktop. Again, the display in the Rift device is just a duplicate rendering of the viewport.
  4. No Right Click operations are available within the Rift display.
  5. Movements of the scene with the Gamepad/Spacemouse/User input are reflected in both the Oculus display, as well as the main desktop view within EnSight. However, movements of the Oculus display (look up/down, left/right, etc) are not replicated in main desktop view of EnSight.
  6. The graphics card will need to render the image twice: on the Oculus, and on the main EnSight window. For large models, this can lead to a slow performance. You can improve the performance by opening EnSight with the -bbox flag. This flag will make the main EnSight window visualize only the bounding boxes of the parts, instead of the parts, leading to a better performance. Note that the flag will not affect what the user sees with the Oculus itself.


Oculus Touch:

EnSight does not yet support Oculus Touch controllers.


Additional Navigation (optional):

It is nice, but not necessary, to navigate the scene using a gamepad or spacemouse type of device. To do so, you will need a configuration file in your site_preferences directory (under $CEI_HOME/ensight101/site_preferences or $HOME/.ensight101).

Example configuration files

Xbox, Windows 10: spacedevice.defaults

Xbox, Windows 7 and 8.1: spacedevice.defaults

Logitech Rumblepad and older gamepads: spacedevice.defaults

With this, you should have the ability to navigate as follows:

  1. Left stick : PAN
  2. Left stick up/down + left trigger : FLY FORWARD
  3. Right stick : ROTATE
  4. Right stick up/down + Right Trigger : SPIN


For a spacemouse, there is configuration setup suggestion in the UserManual Chapter 11.15. (This only works on primary/single gesture only).

If you opt not to use a gamepad or spacemouse for navigation, you can navigate the scene using the mouse. You will have to raise the glasses in order to see the mouse movement in the main window on your desktop.


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