Canon MREAL (Mixed Reality)

EnSight + Canon MR

Notes regarding using EnSight and Canon MR (mixed reality) Display

November 2015

EnSight 10.1.6(b) is the first version of EnSight to begin support for the Canon MR display device. As this is the first version of support, please report usage feedback and comments to CEI to help guide our development of the interface with the Canon MR device.

EnSight 10.1.6(b) improved support for the Canon MR display device considerably. So users should upgrade to 10.1.6(b) before reporting issues or suggestions regarding Canon MR and EnSight.


  1. EnSight 10.1.6(b) or later.
  2. OS: Windows7 or Windows8.x (testing done on Windows 8.1)


  1. Optionally set environment variables to control the position, orientation, and size of the scene and annotations
  2. Run ensight101 -canonmr   or   enliten101 -canonmr
  3. Go to Edit / Preferences / VR and user defined input, and edit the position, orientation, and size of the scene and annotations


Expectations of Operation:

  1. The user should see a 3D scene.  By default this is placed in the center of all the markers in the MREAL system.  The EnSight scene is scaled so that its bounding box is roughly the size of the bounds around all of the markers.  
  2. There should also be a plane in space where annotations are drawn.  By default it is in the -X direction relative to the data.
  3. The main EnSight window will remain on the desktop. What appears on the Canon MR 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 Canon MR there is no GUI, but just the viewport being drawn).
  4. 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 Canon MR device is just a duplicate rendering of the viewport.
  5. No Right Click operations are available within the Canon MR display.
  6. Movements of the scene with the Gamepad/Spacemouse/User input are reflected in both the Canon MR display, as well as the main desktop view within EnSight. However, movements of the Canon MR display (look up/down, left/right, etc) are not replicated in main desktop view of EnSight.

Environment Variables:

By default EnSight will compute a bounding box around all known markers, and center the data at the bounding box center.  The data will be resized so that the length of the data's bounding box is equal to the length of the marker bounding box.


You can also attach to a specific marker, or not attach to any marker, with one of these






The marker number should match the number printed on the marker board.

If, and only if, CEI_CANONMR_MARKER=none, these env vars can be used to give a center, size, and orientation.  These are the vars and their default values:







CEI_CANONMR_ANGLE is in radians.

CEI_CANONMR_SIZE is the length of the data's bounding box in mm.

CEI_CANONMR_SCALE can be set, in order to use the model’s units directly.  Use CEI_CANONMR_SCALE = 1 if the model’s units are in millimeters, or 1000 if its units are meters.  This overrides CEI_CANONMR_SIZE.

Last, it can also be nice to indicate where annotations are drawn.  They are drawn on a rectangle in the 3D world.  I used the same 5 parameters that are used in dconfig files. ORIGIN is the center of the annotation plane. ZAXIS is the vector perpendicular to the annotation, YAXIS is the up direction.  XSCALE and YSCALE are the width and height.








CEI_CANONMR_VERBOSE controls verbosity.  Defaults to 1.  Valid values are 0, 1, 2, 3.

CEI_CANONMR_MASKING controls hand masking.  On by default.  Set to 0 to disable.


If the system supports targets, a target can be used as a 6 DOF input device.  Valid target numbers are 1 to 15.  If any targets are detected, target 1 is used by default.  Like other input devices, this must be activated by going to Edit / Preferences / VR and user defined input, and checking ‘User defined input device’.  This variable can be set to change the target.


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