robert young

Oculus Rift views and advice?

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I know there are past discussions about this but not so many contemporary posts since Oculus was updated. I broke down and purchased Oculus Rift and with the best will in the world I am completely underwhelmed. But maybe it can be salvaged with more tweaking. The first underwhelming aspect is that Oculus seems to think we are all children and mustn't tweak anything, because in the settings menu they don't even tell you that there is a debug app. It's not a debug app at all. It is an (apparently) absolutely vital tool to get the Rift looking half decent in P3dv4. Trouble is the pop up explanations are threadbare, so aside from the up-sampling parameter I have absolutely no idea what any of the other params do.. Moreover, the P3d v4 VR menu is also full of really badly described and obscure params which have no coherent meaning but I'm sure a few tweaks there could improve things.

While I accept that the Rift's resolution is of necessity quite low compared to a monitor, the lenses seem to be of very poor quality with acres of chromatic aberration, artefacts and terrible blurring, and that's quite apart from the screen door effects etc. Yet I can run P3d on a really low screen resolution, and far lower than Oculus's and I still get very crisp ground textures and not bad gauge clarity. There is something wrong here because the setup video by Oculus is not just amusing and extremely well done, but reasonably crisp. How can it be that P3d is a pale VR shadow of that demo?

Anyway, I'm sure there will be an expert here who might be able to explain in detail if possible all of the relevant params in both the Rift's setup/debug and also P3d's VR settings menu which seems to have been designed by someone who enjoys torturing you with deliberately obscure descriptions. Grateful thanks to anyone who can unravel the mysteries.

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1 hour ago, robert young said:

I know there are past discussions about this but not so many contemporary posts since Oculus was updated. I broke down and purchased Oculus Rift and with the best will in the world I am completely underwhelmed. But maybe it can be salvaged with more tweaking. The first underwhelming aspect is that Oculus seems to think we are all children and mustn't tweak anything, because in the settings menu they don't even tell you that there is a debug app. It's not a debug app at all. It is an (apparently) absolutely vital tool to get the Rift looking half decent in P3dv4. Trouble is the pop up explanations are threadbare, so aside from the up-sampling parameter I have absolutely no idea what any of the other params do.. Moreover, the P3d v4 VR menu is also full of really badly described and obscure params which have no coherent meaning but I'm sure a few tweaks there could improve things.

While I accept that the Rift's resolution is of necessity quite low compared to a monitor, the lenses seem to be of very poor quality with acres of chromatic aberration, artefacts and terrible blurring, and that's quite apart from the screen door effects etc. Yet I can run P3d on a really low screen resolution, and far lower than Oculus's and I still get very crisp ground textures and not bad gauge clarity. There is something wrong here because the setup video by Oculus is not just amusing and extremely well done, but reasonably crisp. How can it be that P3d is a pale VR shadow of that demo?

Anyway, I'm sure there will be an expert here who might be able to explain in detail if possible all of the relevant params in both the Rift's setup/debug and also P3d's VR settings menu which seems to have been designed by someone who enjoys torturing you with deliberately obscure descriptions. Grateful thanks to anyone who can unravel the mysteries.

Yeah I remember the first initial shock I got at how bad the quality of the Rift is out of the box. I was prepared for the shock though and absolutely committed to VR so I pushed on. Your very valid issues depend on hardware to solve.

First thing is you have to apply supersampling in the debug tool. You need a setting of at least 1.5 preferably up to 1.7 but it depends how good your GPU is.

  • A 1080 will do 1.5,
  • a 1080ti will do 1.6,
  • a 2080 will do 1.7
  • a 2080ti is over priced overkill.

Second you need to alias P3D.

  • MSAA 8x is what you are aiming at and works well on 1080 cards up.
  • The SSAA settings work but introduce stutters when the plane is not flying in a straight line. Some say 2x is ok but I found even on a 2080 it will cause stutters from time to time when the plane is banking.

Third you need to fix the low brightness with HDR and preferably shader mods. The colours can be made to look very natural with work. You also need to introduce true to life visibility reductions which make the world look more natural and hide some of the aliasing uglies at the extremes of the view.

Fourthly, make sure your eyes can focus properly at the focal length of the headset.

Fifth, get plenty of sleep before flying and have a positive attitude. Take lots of breaks until you are used to it. I can now have the headset on for many hours without any issues and probably less eye strain than staring at a pancake monitor. If you are not totally committed to VR, you will convince yourself that pancake monitors are better and fall back to the old ways.

Seventh, no need to crank up your P3D settings too high because you won't be able to see them anyway in the headset.

Eight, the only cost to VR is a bit of extra CPU overhead, but in 4.4 the situation for the CPU is generally better. Try to aim for a modern processor though and clock speeds 4.5GHz or higher.

Nine. Don't bother with controllers, P3D doesn't use them as yet.

Ten. When it is all sorted you will realise VR is already a vast improvement for flight simulation and you will not go back.

Edited by glider1
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few things:

1) oculus tray tool, supersample=1.8, asw=off

2) p3d vr settings: single-pass rendering (better performance but some issue with dynamic lights, else stereo), gazeselect=off (for mouse control)

3) p3d settings: msaa 4x or 8x, i lock to 30fps but unlimited works ok for slow planes, hdr settings can help for night conditions

4) hmd setup--correctly setup interpupulary distance using the slider on the bottom side, must wear glasses or contacts 

biggest thing for image quality for me is 1 above.

if you go to the vr forum here on avsim, you'll find more advice and settings.  

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Thanks Glider. Some succinct points there. A few questions if I may: I have a 1080ti now and get very good fps particularly with anything other than complex airliners, so can easily run at 1.5/1.6 but to be frank it is still very underwhelming. You are right about the brightness. VR seems to exaggerate the HDR problem in P3d particularly late afternoons when the aircraft interior is lit up like a christmas tree from the sun but outside the landsape looks very dull (I do have reshade and a few tweaks to eliminate this).

The thing I am keen to know is whether single pass or stereo pass will make much difference and whether any other of the p3d VR params will make the slightest difference? Also of course the frame rate counter/fuel/g force text in p3d disappears in VR, and presumably need to as they'll look cross eyed or blurred?

You might remember me discussing naked eye-crossed viewing without the need for a VR headset. Well, the interesting thing is that for a while I put the headset down and looked eyes only at the stereo mirror image on the 2d monitor, and crossed my eyes. The image not only appeared in 3d but it was completely crisp and extremely sharp, and much sharper than through the Oculus. Of course that doesn't help much because it's impossible to get rid of the two outer images with the naked eye, but nevertheless perhaps it indicates that part of the Rift's problem is that the lenses are just not up to it.

Are there any other tips you could offer please? Like: Do I need AWS on or off, and does it help to halve the frame rate to 45, or are there any other useful tweaks apart from your suggested AA and supersampling? Thanks for chiming in!

Edited by robert young

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5 minutes ago, kdfw__ said:

few things:

1) oculus tray tool, supersample=1.8, asw=off

2) p3d vr settings: single-pass rendering (better performance but some issue with dynamic lights, else stereo), gazeselect=off (for mouse control)

3) p3d settings: msaa 4x or 8x, i lock to 30fps but unlimited works ok for slow planes, hdr settings can help for night conditions

4) hmd setup--correctly setup interpupulary distance using the slider on the bottom side, must wear glasses or contacts 

biggest thing for image quality for me is 1 above.

if you go to the vr forum here on avsim, you'll find more advice and settings.  

Hi kdfw,

Just posted a reply to Glider1 before I saw yours for which thanks. The Oculus debug app appears to have the same adjustments (asw/supersampling etc) as oculus tray tool so is there much point in getting the latter?. Yes I did see quite a few posts in the VR forum but most of them are rather old now and perhaps might not be appllicable to latest developments. 

Edited by robert young

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10 minutes ago, robert young said:

Hi kdfw,

Just posted a reply to Glider1 before I saw yours for which thanks. The Oculus debug app appears to have the same adjustments (asw/supersampling etc) as oculus tray tool so is there much point in getting the latter?. Yes I did see quite a few posts in the VR forum but most of them are rather old now and perhaps might not be appllicable to latest developments. 

haven't used the debug tool but if it's doing the same, then no need to switch.  

as for the hmd vs. monitor image quality, the hmd display is right next to your eyes (with fresnel lens) so you'll see the pixels more than you would if looking at a monitor at some distance away.  

so you do see the vc in 3d right?  also, there's a zoom function added in recent p3dv4 rev so it allows you to zoom into a gauge.

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21 minutes ago, robert young said:

Thanks Glider. Some succinct points there. A few questions if I may: I have a 1080ti now and get very good fps particularly with anything other than complex airliners, so can easily run at 1.5/1.6 but to be frank it is still very underwhelming. You are right about the brightness. VR seems to exaggerate the HDR problem in P3d particularly late afternoons when the aircraft interior is lit up like a christmas tree from the sun but outside the landsape looks very dull (I do have reshade and a few tweaks to eliminate this.

The think I am keen to know is whether single pass or stereo pass will make much difference and whether any other of the p3d VR params will make the slightest difference? Also of course the frame rate counter/fuel/g force text in p3d disappears in VR, and presumably need to as they'll look cross eyed or blurred?

You might remember me discussing naked eye-crossed viewing without the need for a VR headset. Well, the interesting thing is that for a while I put the headset down and looked eyes only at the stereo mirror image on the 2d monitor, and crossed my eyes. The image not only appeared in 3d but it was completely crisp and extremely sharp, and much sharper than through the Oculus. Of course that doesn't help much because it's impossible to get rid of the two outer images with the naked eye, but nevertheless perhaps it indicates that part of the Rift's problem is that the lenses are just not up to it.

Are there any other tips you could offer please? Like: Do I need AWS on or off, and does it help to halve the frame rate to 45, or are there any other useful tweaks apart from your suggested AA and supersampling? Thanks for chiming in!

Yeah single pass rendering is a must.

AWS definitely off. It causes stutters and P3D automatically adjusts the frame rate for smooth depiction in multiples of the headset native frame rate (90Hz). I lock Vsync at 46 but don't think it matters because P3D provides a lock no matter what even on unlimited it will either be 90,45,30,22.5.

Shadows are another issue to look into. Mid quality is fine for a lot of things depending on your card. 

You want 256res clouds for extra performance and higher res is not fully appreciated in the headset anyway. Reduce cloud layers to 3 if possible.

Adjust all your settings around a real world visibility of roughly 70nm. No need depict things you won't see in the headset.

There are a lot of little tweaks that help once you stop trying to emulate what was possible on the flatscreen monitor.

It is really weird that the supersampling settings aren't in P3D considering they are so important to image quality.

Yeah I remember looking at stereo image cross eyed it did appear very sharp but way too small!

The Oculus drivers need four cores. If you mask them off to less, they will stutter.

I am running i7700k HT off works well on four cores but am at 5.1GHz. HT on 250 works well too.

Don't run both Oculus home and P3D together it can cause device hung issues. Either have P3D VR enabled or Oculus home but not both. You can look at the virtual desktop just fine with the headset on with P3D running so long as P3D is not already in VR mode.

Biggest tip of all is to not analyse how much worse the depiction of VR is compared to pancake monitors. VR has other benefits that more than compensate.

Edited by glider1
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Understood Pilot1. Yes I see in 3d and also super sharp cross-eyed naked eye, but as you say the image is too tiny to be useful. When you say switch off Oculus home, I could have sworn the instructions say it must be on to enable the Rift at all, or perhaps I am confused between "Home" and something else. I concur there is no point in having miles of scenery and autogen enabled as you can't see it anyway. I'm getting pretty good performance in smaller aircraft (8700k running at 4.7 ghz). I am gradually getting used to the fuzzyness and see that the vertical position of the headset is crucial as the more focussed sweet spot is absolutely tiny.

I'm not quite converted yet to 3d but it is wonderful to look down and see the depth. Just had my first bout of slight motion sickness which really surprised me. Just one more question, is there a difference between setting supersampling in the Rift settings and simply upping the up/downsampled DSR settings in Nvidia Control panel to a similar 1.5-2x resolution, or is everything dictated by the Rift? Thanks again for your very useful answers.

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9 minutes ago, robert young said:

Understood Pilot1. Yes I see in 3d and also super sharp cross-eyed naked eye, but as you say the image is too tiny to be useful. When you say switch off Oculus home, I could have sworn the instructions say it must be on to enable the Rift at all, or perhaps I am confused between "Home" and something else. I concur there is no point in having miles of scenery and autogen enabled as you can't see it anyway. I'm getting pretty good performance in smaller aircraft (8700k running at 4.7 ghz). I am gradually getting used to the fuzzyness and see that the vertical position of the headset is crucial as the more focussed sweet spot is absolutely tiny.

I'm not quite converted yet to 3d but it is wonderful to look down and see the depth. Just had my first bout of slight motion sickness which really surprised me. Just one more question, is there a difference between setting supersampling in the Rift settings and simply upping the up/downsampled DSR settings in Nvidia Control panel to a similar 1.5-2x resolution, or is everything dictated by the Rift? Thanks again for your very useful answers.

i have oculus home on when starting p3d, it has to be running (just minimize).

yes, the eyes have to be at that certain sweet spot for the best image, that's one of the other issues with using a freznel lens as correction optics.  but i'm used to it now.

i don't think nvidia settings apply to the rift but you can try.

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1 hour ago, robert young said:

Understood Pilot1. Yes I see in 3d and also super sharp cross-eyed naked eye, but as you say the image is too tiny to be useful. When you say switch off Oculus home, I could have sworn the instructions say it must be on to enable the Rift at all, or perhaps I am confused between "Home" and something else. I concur there is no point in having miles of scenery and autogen enabled as you can't see it anyway. I'm getting pretty good performance in smaller aircraft (8700k running at 4.7 ghz). I am gradually getting used to the fuzzyness and see that the vertical position of the headset is crucial as the more focussed sweet spot is absolutely tiny.

I'm not quite converted yet to 3d but it is wonderful to look down and see the depth. Just had my first bout of slight motion sickness which really surprised me. Just one more question, is there a difference between setting supersampling in the Rift settings and simply upping the up/downsampled DSR settings in Nvidia Control panel to a similar 1.5-2x resolution, or is everything dictated by the Rift? Thanks again for your very useful answers.

The supersampling(VR) I think is the same idea as DSR but you don't use it in VR. Sorry by Oculus Home I mean not to use the virtual desktop feature while P3D VR is enabled. Caused issues for me. Could depend on driver versions etc. 8700k great cpu. If you mean head tracking is sensitive it is important to make sure the sensors are not too close to your head. Your motion sickness will get less over time (should) make sure you are feeling fresh. After all you get sick in real planes too until you get used to it. Tiredness is a problem no good being tired and flying in VR.

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Oops apologies for confusing pilot with glider!

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