From: John Stone (
Date: Thu Aug 24 2017 - 15:37:18 CDT

  I have prototypical implementations of interactive VR rendering
in VMD already, but they are based on interactive ray tracing and
they only work with the OpenHMD toolkit thus far.

Up to now I have been waiting for a bit of cross-platform
cross-HMD-vendor standardization to occur, but it has been slow in arriving.
At Siggraph last month I met with members of the nascent OpenXR VR
standardization effort, and I'm hoping to be able to join the
OpenXR advisory panel which would let me get early access to the
in-development standard and early test implementations thereof.
I expect to use OpenXR as the basis for the more general implementation
of VR HMD support in VMD going forward, which will alleviate the considerable
development costs that would be associated with having to write different
implementations for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and various other existing
and forthcoming HMDs. It is clear that this is the right way to go when
you see some of the upcoming HMD designs that are quite different from
the existing ones, needing APIs that are a bit broader and more general.

As a hedge, if OpenXR ends up taking too long to become available to the
community, I might consider doing some kind of light weight implementation,
again using either OpenHMD or perhaps using the "OpenVR" code by Valve,
but I'm really hoping to only have to write the code once, and to base it
on OpenXR if things go the way I hope they do.

Best regards,
  John Stone

On Sat, Aug 12, 2017 at 04:29:49PM +0000, Christopher Neale wrote:
> Dear all:
> I am excited about the VMD developments that permit interaction with the
> Occulus Rift (or similar VR tech), but the only text that I can find
> (copied below) is vague enough that I don't really understand the breadth
> of what can be done with VMD and the rift.
> the site:
> has the text: One of the advanced features provided by VMD versions 1.9.3
> and later is the ability to render omnidirectional stereoscopic 3-D images
> and movies, useful to create so-called "VR" movies on YouTube and for VR
> HMD movie players on devices such as GearVR, Oculus Rift, and others.
> Am I right to understand that one has to first "render" an interactive
> world that can then later be interacted with via the rift (rotating and
> zooming the viewpoint interactively)? Or is this simply a stereoscipic
> movie?
> Can the rift be used at all without extensive pre-rendering? If so, is it
> simply a passive steroscopic viewer or can it be more immersive?
> Finally, since a stereoscopic view has two views, do I need two video
> cards, or just one?
> Thanks for the help,
> Chris.

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