CtrlAltStudio: Stereo 3D and first pass at Oculus Rift Support

CAS-logoCtrlAltStudio is a relatively new viewer to appear for use with both Second Life and OpenSim. The work of David Rowe, it is based on Firestorm, and the project is revisiting the use of stereoscopic 3D in the viewer, building on the release of the NVIDIA 314.07 video driver.  More recently, David has also been working at a first pass at Oculus Rift integration ahead of LL’s own work with the headset.

Version Stereoscopic 3D View

A proof of concept image with CtrlAltStudio (image: David Rowe)

After various proof-of-concept and beta iterations, the 3D-capable version of CtrlAltStudio appeared on July 27th, 2013.

Version of the viewer (release notes) uses OpenGL quad-buffered stereoscopic 3D, and requires NVIDIA graphics drivers with 3D Vision support (314.07 or later). It also requires monitors set to 120Hz, and for the viewer to be running in full screen mode. It should work with GeForce GTS250 or better, NVIDIA Quadro cards, AMD Radeon HD 6000 or better and FireGL V7600 or better with recent drivers.

To control the 3D capabilities, David has added an additional Display Output tab Preferences > Graphics, and an additional toolbar button, labelled 3D, which toggles the stereo view on / off.

Sadly, I don’t have the glasses to test the viewer itself, so will have to leave that to others to report on how things look.

Version Initial Oculus Rift Support

Second Life in Oculus Rift via CtrlAltStudio (image; David Rowe) – click to enlarge

On August 25th, David release version Alpha with initial Oculus Rift support (release notes). This is well ahead of the Lab’s own implementation of support for the headset, and people shouldn’t expect it to be in any way a complete integration of Rift support. As David comments on the blog post announcing the release:

If you want to stick your Rift-kitted head into Second Life or OpenSim and have a look around, well now you can. I’ve added some basic Oculus Rift support to CtrlAltStudio Viewer Alpha: you can look around and move about but there is no UI. Full Rift support including UI will come when Linden Lab release their viewer with Rift support in the not too distant future. But in the meantime you can now at least enjoy the sights of your favourite virtual world locations.

Options for Oculus Rift have been added to the Display Output tab in Preferences > Graphics, directly below those for the 3D stereo controls.

The Display Output tab of Preferences > Graphics, showing the 3d vision and Oculus Rift options
The Display Output tab of Preferences > Graphics, showing the stereoscopic and Oculus Rift options

To use the headset with the viewer, David recommends that you first sit down, then get to where you want to be before you don the headset. Once there, wear the headset and toggle “Riftlook” (using the 3D toolbar button or CTRL-ALT-3) to look around and use the arrow / WASD keys to move, remembering that “forward” is in the direction in which the Rift is pointing when “Rfitlook” is enabled.

So if you have the Oculus Rift SDK, why not download CtrlAltStudio and give it a go. Just do remember, the viewer is still Alpha, and subject to limitations, possible odd behaviour.

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