More Headtracking & Z-Buffer vs. Geometry 3D

More Headtracking

Some of you have noticed that various racing games in the published games list did not support headtracking. That has changed! vorpX now has headtracking for most Codemasters racing games and various other titles that don’t support looking around with the mouse. How good this works depends on how a particular racing game handles head rotation internally, so it’s not always as perfect as in shooters or other games that support mouselook. But in all games I tried so far it’s definitely better than no headtracking at all.

Just in case anyone wonders :) : This does only apply to the few games that did not have headtracking until now. All other games work as perfectly as they ever did.

Depth Buffer 3D vs. Geometry 3D

vorpX supports two different modes to create a 3d effect. The main mode is a fast Z-buffer based reconstruction, the second mode is geometry based 3d that renders two distinct views (not available for all games so far). In all games that support both modes you can easily switch between them on-the-fly, making it easy to compare them.

Both methods have their pros & cons, what you like better will definitely be a matter of taste, and might even differ from game to game.

Z-Buffer 3D:
+ Very fast (almost twice as fast), 60Hz almost guaranteed (very important on the Rift)
– Usually worse depth perception
– Some artifacts due the 3d creation (mostly less annoying then the geometry 3d artifacts)

Geometry 3D:
+ Usually better depth perception
– Slow (roughly half the speed of the Z-Buffer mode)
– Often annoying artifacts (misplaced shaders/reflections, effects/ui at wrong depth etc.)

No easy choice. Personally I tend towards the Z-buffer mode in most cases though. High speed really is extremely important on the Rift, and (somewhat surprisingly) in many modern games the Z-buffer method does even look better than the geometry 3d.

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16 comments on “More Headtracking & Z-Buffer vs. Geometry 3D”

  1. Jim

    Hi Ralf, can’t wait for VorpX. Have a couple of questions:

    1.) If the head tracking is mouse based, is there anyway for you to get around the mouselook OR analog movement restriction (KB & M or Controller but not both) in many games (most notably Skyrim/Oblivion/Morrowind/Fallout)? Head tracking is of course crucial but 2 speed/8 direction limited movement is likely equally immersion crippling.

    2.) Would limited positional tracking be possible at all for those of us with Hyrdas to strap to the back of our heads (possibly through camera manipulation seperated from avatar movement as I imagine roll works)? I actually bought mine some time before the OR kickstarter (& it has actually sat on a shelf not doing much since then) but I would think most Rifters will pick one up now given 50% off promotion, the Gallery kickstarter success & Tuscany demo support.

    • Ralf

      1) vorpXs headtracking handler can act as a gamepad, which can be used to handle this. Mouselook works better though, so my recommendation is to use Skyrim etc. in mouse mode. But it’s your choice, maybe you like it better the other way.

      2) I’ll look into Hydra-support some time after the initial release, as always no promises though :) .

  2. Grant

    Good work. Will VorpX have the option to actually view it in normal 2d (but with the warping)? Its one thing I’ve found currently playing on a HMZ with TrackIR that sometimes the 3d is simply not good enough (3dtv play) and I’d rather play in 2d.

    • Ralf

      Yes, that’s no problem. 3D can be turned off while everything else is still available.

  3. 3dRat

    How do you get the roll part when mouse normally does not perform it??

  4. Luis

    Are the artifacts present in all games? It would be great if you could make a table out of your list and put a note on each row on how artifacts affect the game, if there are any for said game, and maybe even post a picture.

    Great work!

  5. Barry

    Do the driving games you have no added headtracking support to work in the various camera modes, e.g. cockpit view / hood view etc? or is it just the chase cam view? Awesome work either way!

  6. mattijs van de walle

    Do you support roll movement too? From the explanation and the fact that you refer to mouse look it seems that do not do head modeling. What i mean by that is that it seems to me that when you look up…your eyes don’t move up higher from the ground as they do a tiny bit in real life, instead it seems you use the standard tilting the camera approach…do you? Or do older pre-rift games also already move the camera where the eyes should be???

  7. mattijs van de walle

    woops…so roll IS supported?? I didn’t read through the whole thread.
    Is it supported in ALL the games the driver supports?
    i think you are gonna make some money on this…you’ll get mine for sure if it works at advertised.

  8. Ray Rodriguez III

    How about disabling the Rift head tracking and using TrackIR instead? The reason I want this is the TrackIR works fine with a motion platform simulator (mount the camera on the platform) where the Rift tracking will not work properly on a motion platform until/unless someone comes up with a software solution to tell the Rift how to compensate for the motion of the platform vs. the movement of the wearer.

    Thanks for all your hard work, I’ll be one of the first to buy VorpX!

  9. eqzitara

    Im happy you are giving option of standard/geometry 3D. I think if rift gets a huge following modders might be able to figure something out for poor compatibility games.

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