VR News - WMR News (2020)

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Interesting post from a Microsoft Mixed Reality developer on Reddit:

I wanted to take an opportunity to share with the community one of the new things coming in the next release of Windows 10 (codename “20H1”) for our Windows Mixed Reality users - revamped Headset Display settings!

What’s up?

One of the bigger pieces of feedback we’ve heard from our customers over the last year is that our platform doesn’t make it easy for users to switch their desired refresh rates without other unintended changes. Deep in our settings page, there’s an option to change “experience options” where the values are automatic, 90Hz, and 60Hz . Seems straightforward, right? Select 60Hz to limit your headset only to running at 60Hz . However, if you were particularly eagle-eyed, you might’ve caught this line:

If you choose 60Hz, some mixed reality features will be turned off.

As many of you have noticed recently, selecting the 60Hz option not only limits your frame rate (which is what you wanted), but also changes other things, such as lowering the rendering resolution of applications and restricting the field-of-view. As it turns out, this is actually by design!

Why, you might ask, would we ever do that? Well, it turns out we have a mode where we limit certain aspects of the WMR experience when running on PCs with more restricted hardware configurations that might struggle to maintain 90fps for games. On those PCs we default headsets to 60Hz and a lower resolution as a way to ensure smooth gameplay. Of course, we always want you to have the option of opting out of that default, which is why “Experience options” exists. The option to select your desired refresh rate is actually a setting for opting in and out of that more limited experience! Of course, we didn’t do a great job of conveying that to you, the users. We also didn’t anticipate how many people would want to toggle their refresh rates independently of everything else. In our attempts to keep things simple, we didn’t give our customers enough control over these settings.

You might be thinking: “That’s all well and good but it doesn’t change the fact that I’d like to run at 60Hz without a bunch of extra things being changed. And oh, by the way, those settings are very vague and now you’re telling me they don’t even do what I thought they did.” Well, we heard your feedback on this loud and clear, so coming in the next major release, we’ve revamped those settings all up.

What’s changing?

Here are the settings on that page that are available in “20H1”-

  1. Visual quality of my home - changing these settings affects only the WMR home environment (aka “cliff house”).
  2. Adjust level of detail… - this changes some of the rendering affects we use in the home environment. In particular, the visual quality of different materials (wood, concrete, etc.) will scale as you change the setting from low to high.
  3. Change app window resolution - By default, most 2D windows launched in the home environment are launched with a 720p resolution. You can of course manually resize them horizontally & vertically to change that. However, you can opt to have them all start at 1080p. Previously this option was available as the “Very high (beta)” option under Visual quality . We’ve appropriately split it out as a separate setting now.
  4. Experience options - these are those options mentioned above that limit the experience to reduce the load on systems where the hardware might struggle to keep up with an unrestricted 90fps. You can choose to explicitly enable or disable these additional settings, or choose Let Windows decide and let our heuristics continue deciding when to toggle these on and off.
  5. Resolution - if you have a high-resolution headset like the HP Reverb, we support running it at its native resolution, or at a reduced resolution for performance reasons. Earlier headsets, like the Odyssey and Odyssey+, only support a single resolution so you won’t be able to change this setting on those headsets.
  6. Frame rate - You can now independently change the frame rate you’d like to run at, or continue to let Windows use its heuristics to determine if 60Hz or 90Hz is more appropriate.
  7. Calibration - as before, you can adjust your IPD (if supported by your headset).
  8. Input switching - toggle the input focus switching (Win+Y) behavior to be automatic (based on presence sensor feedback) or manual.

These changes are available today for PCs in the Windows Insider program - both the Fast and Slow rings include the new Settings page. Please try them out and let us know what you think!

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I read from people that have tried it that if you see a flicker now then you might see it again, as it seems very dependent on your eyes plus the panel persistence, which can vary panel by panel.

Also, we did chat about this before (HP Reverb Redux) but I agree it is a good new VR News topic for the year (you have an excuse, as you were flying late last night) :slight_smile:

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Probably too, like you and I both noted, it was very evident on the all white background of the Cliff House. Perhaps not as bad in game…I never did try 60 in DCS as I’ve been pretty happy with performance thus far.

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I think if you do try 60 then disable the motion reprojection, as 30hz is a lot less fun in VR, and stuff like DCS will still do that occasionally if you glance at a F/A-18C funny with broken LOD.

Looking forward to the new WMR for SteamVR settings being made ‘per app’ in a fancy new UI and not via a global text file edit, as that’s pretty brutal for what is meant to be a consumer product.

Also, should add this again as it still confuses a lot of people, so WMR fun facts:

Fun Fact #1. On WMR headsets there are two forms of reprojection.

  1. There’s the opt-in WMR feature called ‘motion vector reprojection’ that you switch on with your default.vrsetting file. It is off by default. This uses the GPU to interpolate a frame based on 2 axes of head movement. It is the equivalent of Oculus Async Space Warp (ASW) and Steam Motion Reprojection v2. You need to get to about a steady 50fps for it to work, so your framerate will either be 45 or 90 on a native 90hz headset.

  2. There’s the default ‘asych rotational projection’ that is built into the WMR compositor. This can’t be turned off. It uses a sample of 10 frames and if they all fall under 11ms/90hz and (1) is not turned on, then it will lock to 45 fps and use a single rotational axis to reproject. You will tend to see more artifacts in this mode, as it is only using a single rotation interpolation. It is the equivilent of the old SteamVR motion smoothing and Oculus Async Time Warp (ATW).

Fun Fact #2. WMR headsets completely ignore anything you set in SteamVR for motion projection. If you see a difference then purchase homeopathy stock asap.

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A company called Asobo did a bit of VR work for Microsoft back when WMR first came out. I missed this before, but it’s kind of fun, in a cheesy way. The Inca tour is nicely done. I wonder what ever became of Asobo? :slight_smile:

Free, and a 6GB download. Good for people new to VR as a ‘demo app’.

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I heard they were eaten by their parents.

A video showing what will be new and improved in the April 2020 update…not really sure that the video adds anything new to what we already know, you could probably skip it, save 5 minutes of your life, and just read the top post of this topic.

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So even though I haven’t been posting them…the MS WMR developers have been doing a really nice job of updating their software. Pretty much continuous development and they have been interacting nicely with the community. I guess yesterday they updated WMR for Steam VR Beta:

A common source of feedback we’ve received is that modifying the settings exposed by the Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR plugin is painful, involving modifying vrsettings files that might get overwritten by later releases. With this release we’re introducing a new visual experience for changing settings that impact our plugin.

To try it out, launch SteamVR while using your Windows Mixed Reality headset and pull up the SteamVR dashboard either by clicking the thumbstick on your controller or by clicking the Steam icon in the Windows Mixed Reality mini-menu.

From there, you’ll notice the familiar Windows Mixed Reality logo in the SteamVR dashboard. Click it with your controller to pull up the settings experience where you can now modify settings. No more clunky text files!

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So I will have to update to this? It’s not automatic update for sure. My VR quality is really bad. I have a 2080ti and 32 Gigs of RAM. It feels like I’m playing on something below the requirements. I get 40 to 59 fps in VR. Got it set to 60 but I never get that solid 60.

I think you have to be on the Steam WMR beta maybe - you can set that in your Steam WMR settings:

beta1

Thank you sir. I’ll try that.

Yay! Updated and it’s got some extra performance. So How do I turn off reprojection? I’m at 90hz but 45 fps. Smoothing, on or off?
I am playing in WMR. In Steam I cant figure out how to play DCS.
Performance is on the up. So thanks already.

They may have changed it but, I’ve always set it manually via a config text file, located at:

X:\SteamLibrary\SteamApps\common\MixedRealityVRDriver\resources\settings

In the file: default.vrsettings (is a text file)

Then look for this entry and either comment out or enter “disabled”:


// Comment out or remove this line to use the SteamVR settings for controlling motion
reprojection
“motionReprojectionMode” : “disabled”,

Putting disabled in that line did not work for me. I tried “off” too. I get only 45 with them 2 settings. Auto makes it go between 45 and 65.
This is confusing

Yeah, I think SteamVR changed things (assume that’s what you’re using) a little ways back. In the SteamVR settings | Video | Per Application | select the app, settings there’s a box to use ‘legacy reprojection mode’. This is the only place I see any mention of it now and by ‘legacy’ I assume something else is going on. If it’s fluctuating from 65-90 then it sounds like it is off, OTW it seems it should be holding at 45 (assuming your VR is a 90hz model).

Sorry, not much help here I guess.

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@jross, your post was dead on. You made me realize I needed to add DCS .
Ok, I feel dumb. I am using WMR not Steam. So my question should be, How do I use Steam VR with DCS. My DCS Is not on Steam.
Guess my performance improvement was a placebo.

A little search later I realize I have to add DCS to Steam VR. It looks pretty straightforward. I have a short day. Cant wait to get home.

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Ok, so I played a bit. I’m using motionvector. It runs the game at 45fps. I’m not that impressed. I tried auto and it was worse. I’ll keep turning down stuff. I have an Odessy + and a 2080ti… not really where I want to be. :expressionless:

EDIT: In WMR settings set quality to auto and Hz to 60. Seems to have much better performance. Must keep experimenting.

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Vsync tanked my vr performance, try ticking that off.

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Thanks @Gunnyhighway. I am really struggling here. Do I really need to have WMR, Steam and Steam VR all running? On steam VR I found DCS Open Beta settings for Smoothing. Always On is ok. Disabled killed my performance. I haven’t tried enabled yet.
Should I disable WMR and only use Steam VR?

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