CtrlAltStudio provides Oculus SDK 0.4.3 support

CAS-logoOn October 24th, Oculus VR released the latest software version for their SDK. Among the many updates came support for Unity Free developers (Unity versions 4.5.5 and up), and experimental support for Linux.

As a result of the release, Strachan Ofarrel (aka Dave Rowe in the physical world), has updated the Windows Alpha version of his CtrlAltStudio. The new release, version Alpha 4, issued on november 2nd, 2014, provides SDK 0.4.3,  a number of additional Rift display options and some more general updates:

  • Rift display options:
    • Dynamic prediction: adjust prediction based on latency feedback
    • Timewarp: re-project scene during distortion rendering
    • Timewarp waits: wait until the last moment to do timewarp
    • V Sync: wait for and swap buffers at monitor vertical sync
    • Low persistence: display low persistence images
    • Pixel overdrive: over-drive brightness transitions to reduce artefacts
  • Updated GPU table now includes NIVIDIA GTX 970 and 980 GPUs
  • A fix for Riftlook mouse hover target and context menu locations for in-world objects
  • A fix for Rift positioning in third person orbit camera view.
The new Rift display options can be found in Preferneces > Graphics, and are enabled by default. No restart is required on disabling / enabling any of them
The new Rift display options can be found in Preferences > Graphics, and are enabled by default. No restart is required on disabling / enabling any of them

All of the Rift display options are enabled by default in the viewer, and no restart is required when disabling / enabling them, allowing for rapid-fire experimentation. In addition, and in relation to them, Strachan provides the following advice in the release notes and blog post accompanying the release:

The “Timewarp waits” option shouldn’t really be made visible to the user, but in my testing I found that it seemed to help to be able to turn it off if rendering at significantly less than the frame rate the DK2 is set at. The variability of the frame-to-frame timing in Second Life may well be why.

The optimum settings depend on what frame rate you’re achieving and your personal preferences and sensitivities to different display behaviour: if you’re achieving the ideal of 75Hz including while turning your head then the default of all options enabled is best; otherwise you will probably want to try disabling one or more, consider configuring your Rift display to 60Hz, and possibly try enabling triple buffering in your display driver.

As with the previous ALpha releases with DK2 support, this version will install into its own directory, allowing it to be used alongside the release version (although it will obviously over-write Alpha 1 or ALpha 2, if installed). Also note that with this release:

  • There is still no support for the Rift’s with direct mode
  • The Advanced Lighting Model option in Preferences > Graphics needs to be enabled
  • The Oculus 0.4.3 runtime is required.

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