Update: July 8th: Linden Lab has suspended viewer support for the Oculus Rift. This article has been updated accordingly, notably with strikethroughs on links which are no longer valid.t.
On July 2nd, I posted about the release of the latest Oculus Rift project viewer, version
184.108.40.2067313. As I’m actually Riftless, I could do little more than take a surface poke at the viewer and leave it to others to have a more detailed look – and they have done so, and found things to be less than favourable.
Ai Austin / Austin Tate is perhaps best placed in terms of overall feedback having gone through using an Oculus Rift HMD with the new viewer in several scenarios, all of which he has documented in his own blog, some of his initial finding having been reported in the comments following my original article. The problems he’s encountered include:
- In all cases and with all graphics settings tried, the HMD view is over bright and washed out pastel in colour. He also notes the Pixel Luminance Overdrive setting, which had been present in earlier versions of the Rift project viewer is now absent
- A failure to show any objects, wither in-world or attached to an avatar, with full or partial transparency when in HMD Mode (so, avatar hair, for example will not render). AI found that disabling Atmospheric Shaders in the viewer resolved this – but is not entirely a desirable solution
- The image resolution in the HMD is low and jagged, and altering the viewer’s graphics settings apparently has no impact
- Numerous UI-related issues in HMD mode, including: UI elements in fixed positions which cannot be changed via viewer settings; object and avatar labels and interaction icons fail to show; mouse pointer fails to display
- Additional visual and display issues.
His experience mirrors that of other Rift users, including TTech (who also commented on this blog), and a number of users who have tried this 4.1.0 release of the viewer and have commented on the Oculus Rift forum thread ( see feedback commencing with this message onwards).
Commenting on the viewer at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, July 5th, Oz Linden said:
At this point, I don’t have any real comment. It’s a Project Viewer, and one explicitly labelled Experimental at that… the point is for people to try it and let us know what they find out.
To help let the Lab know what people find out in using the viewer, I’d like to point to a bug report – BUG-20130 – raised by Rai Fargis.
While I am flattered that staff at the Lab do read this blog, if you are experimenting / trying the new Oculus Rift project viewer and experience specific issues, please add them to bug report rather than documenting them in the comments following this article (general feedback here is welcome, obviously). Doing so, and including with information on your system set-up, relevant log files, etc., guarantees your feedback is seen and recorded by the Lab, encouraging them to investigate issues.
When reporting problems, one thing to keep in mind is that this version has leapt forward several iterations in terms of the Oculus SDK; therefore comparisons with earlier versions of the viewer may not be helpful (outside of possibly pointing to removed options which proved useful in dealing with specific issues in the past). Rather, specifics of issues encountered with this version will offer a better means for the Lab to start / continue investigations.
At the moment, viewers operating in HMD mode have no means to tell the simulator they are doing so. Therefore, the Lab doesn’t have a means of accurately determining the numbers of people using Rift HMDs – and metric which could be useful in the future; as such, it is something which may change with a future update to the viewer.
With thanks to Ai Austin, TTech, Rai Fargis, and Jeanette Doobie