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VR Source

(To be removed) Read data from virtual world to Simulink model

VR Source will be removed in a future release. For more information, see Version History.

  • VR Source block

Simulink 3D Animation


Use the VR Source block to provide interactivity between a user navigating the virtual world and the simulation of a Simulink® model. The VR Source block registers user interactions with the virtual world and passes that data to the model to affect the simulation of the model. The VR Source reads values from virtual world fields specified in the Block Parameters dialog box and inputs their values to a model.

Examples of some ways that you can use a VR Source block to input data from a virtual world to a Simulink model include:

  • Use sensor data from a virtual world to control a simulation. For details, see Add Sensors to Virtual Worlds and Detect Object Collisions.

  • Provide interactivity between user navigation and interaction in a virtual world and the simulation of the model.

  • Have a simulation react to virtual world events, such as time ticks or outputs from scripts.

  • Use static information from the virtual world, such as the size of a box, to control a simulation.

For example, you can specify setpoints in the virtual world, so that user can specify the location of a virtual world object interactively. The simulation then responds to the changed location of the object. The VR Source block can read into the model events from the virtual world, such as time ticks or outputs from scripts. The VR Source block can also read into the model static information about the virtual world (for example, the size of a box defined in the virtual world 3D file).


The current internal viewer window (vrfigure) properties are saved together with the Simulink model. The next time that you open the model, the internal viewer window opens with the same parameters that were saved, such as position, size, and navigation mode. When closing the viewer window, the Simulink software does not alert you if these properties have changed.

To open the Block Parameters dialog box VR Source block:

  • When you first add a VR Source block and it is still not associated with a virtual world, double-click the block.

  • Otherwise, in the Simulink 3D Animation™ Viewer, select SimulationBlock parameters. If the viewer is not already open, you can open it by double-clicking the VR Source block.

You cannot use the Simulink Coder™ software to compile a model that includes a VR Source block.



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Output signal that drives the virtual reality visualization of nodes selected in the Virtual World Tree.

Data Types: double


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By default, the full path to the associated virtual world 3D file appears in this text box. If you enter only the file name in this box, the software assumes that the virtual world 3D file resides in the same folder as the model file. You can specify a VRML file or an X3D file.

  • Click New to open an empty default virtual world editor. When you either enter a source file name or use the Browse button, the New button becomes an Edit button.

  • Click Edit to launch the default virtual world editor with the source file open.

  • Click View to view the world in the Simulink 3D Animation Viewer or a Web browser.

  • Click Reload to reload the world after you change it.

Enable this parameter to display the virtual world after loading the Simulink model.

Enable this parameter to make the virtual world accessible for viewing on a client computer. If you do not select this check box, then the world is visible only on the host computer. This parameter is equivalent to the RemoteView property of a vrworld object.

The description is displayed in all virtual reality object listings, in the title bar of the Simulink 3D Animation Viewer, and in the list of virtual worlds on the Simulink 3D Animation HTML page. This parameter is equivalent to the Description property of a vrworld object.

Specify the sample time for the block, or specify -1 to inherit the sample time.

This box shows the structure of the virtual world 3D file and the virtual world itself.

Nodes that have names are marked with red arrows. You can access them from the Simulink 3D Animation interface. Nodes without names but whose children are named are also marked with red arrows. This marking scheme makes it possible for you to find all accessible nodes by traversing the tree using arrows. Other nodes have a blue dot before their names.

Fields with values that you set have check boxes. Use these check boxes to select the fields whose values you want the Simulink software to update. For every field that you select, an input port is created in the block. Input ports are assigned to the selected nodes and fields in the order that corresponds to the virtual world 3D file.

Fields whose values cannot be written (because their parent nodes do not have names, or because they are not of virtual world data class eventIn or exposedField) have an X-shaped icon.

Enable this parameter to show node types in the virtual world tree.

Enable this parameter to show field types in the virtual scene tree.

Version History

Introduced in R2011b

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R2023b: To be removed

The VR Source will be removed in a future release. Instead, use sim3d classes and Simulation 3D blocks to interface MATLAB® and Simulink with the Unreal Engine® 3D simulation environment. To get started, see Create 3D Simulations in Unreal Engine Environment.