First and foremost, we want to thank you for your support and assure existing users (and anyone that buys Gravity Sketch between now and 25th January) that you will keep access to all of your features and will get a special status confirming you supported us in our earliest stage. As part of this transition, we are providing IGES and FBX export for the community.
This article covers the reasons for making this decision, what this means for new and existing users, and where Gravity Sketch is headed. It’s quite long but we wanted to be open and thorough for you all. If you have any questions about this transition or want specifics of anything below, please get in touch through the website or on our social platforms.
We are on a mission to help creatives work more effectively and expressively with digital media; improving communication and through doing this help define new creative workflows. leveraging digital 3D design in your creative pipeline shouldn’t require months of training. A few years ago the emerging VR ecosystem gave us the confidence to dive headfirst into developing Gravity Sketch as a VR first creation tool. We were met by a dedicated community of early adopters who have supported us throughout the first few years of our journey; with great feedback and through the purchase of the tool which helped us grow a team. We are so proud and grateful to see the growth of this amazing community. We have hit a milestone that we’ve been working towards for almost three years. We’re excited to announce that we’re gearing up to make the community even bigger by providing our core creative toolset for free to all individuals.
What are we doing?
On January 25th, we are making Gravity Sketch free to all individual users on all platforms. This also means the software will soon be moving out of Early Access on Steam and Oculus Rift stores. Don’t worry, we are far from done with the development of the tool, however we feel the software is at a place where we can consider the current version a production ready tool for several workflows.
Why are we doing it?
Over the past few years the tool has been adopted by a healthy number of users who have helped influence the direction of the development as well as our business model. To truly achieve our mission of accessible digital 3D creation, making the core product free is the best way forward. Through this move, we hope to achieve two separate, but connected goals:
- Democratise digital 3D design by lifting any barriers for creatives to get involved (we understand VR is still a great barrier, however the iPad version is around the corner).
- Better understand and support more creative workflows: Where are the challenges? How can the use of our platform improve creative communication?
Providing a free product allows us to welcome a more diverse user group. Early Adopters have helped support the development and R&D. These users have been instrumental to what we have built to date; many of whom brought Gravity Sketch into their formal workflow which resulted in business contracts that helped accelerate our revenues to the point at which we can support and grow the team and platform.
Providing a free product allows us to welcome a more diverse user group. Early Adopters have helped support the development and R&D. These users have been instrumental to what we have built to date; many of whom brought Gravity Sketch into their formal workflow which resulted in enterprise contracts that helped accelerate our revenues to the point at which we can support and grow the team and platform.
We are announcing this now to extend Early Adopter status to as many people who are interested in supporting us and to give ample notice to people who intend to purchase Gravity Sketch over the holiday period. If you do decide to buy the app we thank you deeply and ensure you that every pound/dollar spent will go right back to the community through the product’s development and making the application more powerful for all. We feel it is only fair to be open and transparent about our intentions moving forward to keep the trust and support of the community.
What is the difference between the core (free) and business versions?
- Core: The free version of Gravity Sketch contains all of the creation tools that are in the current version of Gravity Sketch available on the app stores. We are also adding in IGES and FBX* export options, which were previously available only to business users. Individuals using the core version of Gravity Sketch will have an individual LandingPad account that they can use to access their files through a browser outside of the software.
- Business: We provide a range of tailored features, onboarding, training, and support services to business customers alongside their deployment of Gravity Sketch. As part of this, business customers also get a secure organisation wide LandingPad account allowing them to manage user access and permissions, centralise files/content management, expansive storage, and access Co-Creation features for real-time collaboration.
For the time being, Co-Creation is only available to business customers until we can further develop and optimize the hosting technology to support individual peer to peer usage.
Note: *FBX is only available on tethered PC headsets, we plan to add FBX export to LandingPad in the future so that all users can export to this format.
What does this mean for existing users?
To all you current users, we can’t thank you enough for being part of this journey. You will retain access to all of the features you had before and more to come. We are excited to enter the next phase of development with you; this move to free makes our relationship with you even more important. Your continuous feedback and promotion have helped us make great decisions in the direction and development of the tool.
Aside from getting access to IGES and FBX* export, Gravity Sketch won’t change that much for you in the near term. However, to thank you, all existing users (and anyone that purchases the app between now and when we go free) will get:
- 5GB storage on LandingPad (compared to 1GB for free users)
- ‘Early Adopter’ status on your LandingPad account
Gaining ‘Early Adopter’ status will yield priority access to future features and services. Throughout the year we plan to build a content library and will be giving you access to bonus content, including additional reference models, example sketches from the community, and early access to certain features. As the platform grows, you will be the first to receive these types of bonuses and your voice will be elevated within the community.
Early Adopters do not need to create a LandingPad account to access the creation tool (it is required for new Free users), however, for the full Gravity Sketch workflow experience across devices we highly recommend signing up!
What’s going on with LandingPad?
LandingPad will grow into a much more powerful part of the design workflow. The platform already allows us to deploy and manage the software across multiple devices as well as allow you to manage files across any device you use Gravity Sketch with. The decision to put more focus on the platform and smoother workflow has been driven through user feedback and feature requests, giving us conviction to building out this part of our ecosystem.
We want to make LandingPad more valuable to the overall workflow and Gravity Sketch experience. Seamless file management was the first step but there is a lot more to come. We are bringing features to LandingPad that are bespoke to the digital 3D design workflow, for example:
- Web inspector, which provides the ability to inspect and view sketches and 3D files in the browser removing the need to download the full file if you’re only after a peek.
- File tagging and commenting: share notes and comments on a file that you are working on outside of the VR experience.
- Sharing and managing files: keep your files organized and share project files with your collaborators.
These features are almost critical to mobile device users (e.g. Quest), where plugging in your device to extract files is a waste of time and breaks the creative flow.
What does this mean for new users?
From the 25th January 2021, anyone will be able to download Gravity Sketch for free on all app stores. To enable the full experience you will need to sign up to a LandingPad account in order for us to deploy the features for your end-to-end workflow.
What does this mean for business customers?
Going free removes the financial barrier employees experience when looking to explore the tool. Now they can use Gravity Sketch for as long as it takes to identify how it best fits into their professional workflow. If the tool becomes widely adopted and brings value we are here to share more about the business offering and can set you up with a trial of the business version.
How can you stay close to the development of Gravity Sketch?
The community is the key to everything we have built today, without the support and feedback we would not be where we are now. As they say ‘nothing is free’, we need feedback. We are banking on growing the user base and in turn gaining more insight into your workflow and how we can improve the tool for wider professional adoption; ask more from us as we continue to develop the platform. Without this we can’t keep going and growing, so show your support through using the tool and letting us know pain points, and help your colleagues and the rest of the community get up to speed working with Gravity Sketch.
Plug into the community on Discord, Instagram, and YouTube, where you can contribute to the discussion, share your inspirational work, as well as keep your eyes out for competitions and opportunities to be featured on our workflow page and blog.
We have a pretty close knit beta slack group which we work closely with to prove out alpha features that are coming to the platform or fun ideas that may never come, we will be expanding this a little over the year so if you are interested in being really active with feedback (engaging with the product team daily or weekly) please apply to be a part of our beta here.
What does this mean for the future of Gravity Sketch?
There are a number of exciting things in the near and distant future that we hope you will be excited about.
- We have been working hard on developing our iPad app, with a lot of work going into developing an intuitive UI around the Gravity Sketch geometry engine. This will be released in early 2021.
- New creation and collaboration tools across Gravity Sketch (VR, iPad) and LandingPad for all users: more subd and surfacing, more mannequin features, camera controls, more creative reference materials. It’s possible in the future that some new features may be provided as dlc or similar.
- LandingPad feature development: we are going to develop tools to allow you to access content anywhere from any device you access Gravity Sketch through.
- Collaboration for more users: as we further develop and better understand our collaboration technology we hope to bring this in some form or fashion to all users including free users.
The video below contains an interview with Oluwaseyi Sosanya, CEO, and Daniel Thomas, CTO, explaining in more detail why Gravity Sketch is going free, and what it means for the future of Gravity Sketch.
If you have any questions about this transition or want specifics of anything above, please get in touch through the website using the button below, or on our social platforms.