Valve Releases ‘Destinations’, a Free VR Creation Tool Built on Source 2 Engine


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.

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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