Valve has today released a new VR content creation tool suite called Destinations, a free program that lets you create, share and view community-created photogrammetry scenes, game worlds, and other 3D models. Both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift users can take advantage of the free software, as it contains support for both Vive controllers and XBox gamepads.

Like the collection of ‘Postcards’ scenes made available in Valve’s The Lab, Destinations lets you walk around (and teleport) through real world environments built using photogrammetry, a technique used to recreate the size, position and texture of real world objects and places with the use of cameras and software like RealityCapture, or PhotoScan, the tool used to create The Lab’s ‘Postcards’. The platform will also allow the creation and distribution of fictional computer generated spaces.

See Also: 4 Videos That Take You Inside Valve’s ‘The Lab’

Destinations Workshop tools aren’t exactly simple either, as to build 3D scenes you’ll need to have knowledge of various programs such as Autodesk ReMake, Maya, or Blender, but if you don’t mind wading through free guides, like the one published by Valve’s Adam Foster (aka ‘Cargo Cult’) on photogrammetry, you’ll soon be able to contribute to the community’s collection of room-scale Destination scenes.

‘Destinations Workshop’ on Steam

According to the wiki entry on how to create Destinations, Foster’s ‘English Church’ scene, which circles a large church in the English countryside, used around 450 photos using a DSLR and some other minor equipment.

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destinations valve

Foster created a number of scenes, already available through the Destinations Viewer, a more end user friendly’ application that lets you download and explore community-created scenes available on the Steam Workshop.

If you’re looking to develop scenes using the new Destinations tools—making anything from the very real Mars Destination seen above, to the CG scene below—a wiki in now available from Valve that discusses step-by-step instructions of how to bung it into the companies Source 2 game engine.

destinations cg
a rendered example using the ‘Destinations’ tool suite

Destinations Workshop Tools includes:

  • The Source 2 tool set used internally at Valve. Once installed, you can find the Destinations Workshop Tools in the Library under Tools.
  • Several example Destinations created with photogrammetry
  • An example map that users can copy and modify which highlights how to use Source 2 tools to add interactivity to a Destination
  • The Destinations Viewer, where users can browse and explore Destinations downloaded from the Steam Workshop. Once installed, you can find the Destinations Viewer in the Library under Software.

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  • jlschmugge

    I can see this creating a decent community. I’m already thinking of places to hike to and make my own photogrammetry scene.

  • Asalada

    Half Life 3 confirmed?

    • Frikster42

      Don’t jinx it you fool!

  • Johnny Phan

    Why don’t they port Half Life into VR already? How hard can it be? Just render 2 cameras instead of one. I’m fine with using ASDW to move around, not much can be done there anyway. If they do that I will buy the headset immediately! I mean to be fully immersed in HL world? Ravenholm? Come on! That has to be the best experience in the world.

    • yag

      hum, HL² has been officially made playable in VR since long. You can even play it with motion controllers ! (see HLVR mod).

      • Raphael

        Ummm… not it isn’t. Valve broke support this year and the rumour is because of complaints from the nausea minority. HL2 was great last year… this year the only way it works is via vorpx and that is nothing like native VR.

        • yag

          Nice job, Valve.

          • Raphael

            The only way to get HL2 working now is with Vorpx. :(

          • Magnus Roe

            I didn’t try it, but when I played HL2 a couple of weeks ago there was a VR mode check box in options.

          • Raphael

            Yes, and if you had tried it you would have found the vr doesn’t work even with check box enabled.

        • yag

          Do you know if HLVR still works ?