Preliminary Rift DK2 Support: Alpha

I know some people are very anxious to try their DK2s in Second Life / OpenSim so I’ve released this alpha with some very preliminary DK2 support.

It works with the DK2 configured in extended mode: use the Windows key + right-arrow to move your viewer window onto the Rift’s display, then Ctrl+Alt+3 makes the window full screen and switches into Rift view.

Have I mentioned that this release is very preliminary? It does not work with direct mode yet as the current Rift SDK 0.4.1 Beta does not work in direct mode with OpenGL. Also, in this alpha, head orientation is tracked but not yet head position. Plus there’s no display of any UI. And Advanced Lighting Model must be turned on. For more details on usage, see the Release Notes.

I haven’t tested this alpha with a DK1 yet but it should in theory work. Note though that the mirrored windows mode used in previous viewer releases for the DK1 is and will not be supported by the new Oculus software.


  • Windows installer: Alpha, 19 Aug 2014.
  • Mac OSX installer: Sorry, no Mac OSX installer this release.

Comments (45) Leave a comment

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  4. Ai Austin

    David, you mentioned that its worth setting the Rift as the second screen to 75Hz specifically via the Windows screen resolution or Nvidia control panel. I have looked and although the Rift does show as the second screen,for some reason when I look at the options for the refresh rate its a completely blank selection. The monitor in windows shows as generic pnp monitor too. I wonder how I can make it see the proper named driver there and present the refresh speeds available to include u75Hz specifically.
    My Asus 3D screen does show correctly and show its 120hz and 144hz modes on the no. 1 screen.

    1. David Rowe Post author

      On my system I can set the Rift’s refresh rate in Control Panel > Display > Screen Resolution > Advanced Settings > Monitor.

      Another thing I just noticed on the Oculus forums is that disabling DK1 Legacy App Support in Rift utility can help solve juddering.

  5. Mike Higgins

    Had a DK2 for a few days, just got it working with your viewer, went to InWorldz where I do a lot of vehicle development. Wonderful to walk around a place I built myself!
    On many of my vehicles I read the camera rotation when in mouse-look mode and use that to steer the vehicle. When in Oculus Rift mode, this points backwards and makes my vehicles spin around unless I turn until the Rift is facing directly away from the IR camera. Once I was sitting that way, then steering by looking where I wanted to go worked! Using the came code I wrote to turn the vehicle to follow the mouse left and right in mouse-look mode!
    Now I have sailed a frigate ,kayak surfed on a big wave, windsurfed over a wave to catch big air and fall back down into the water wearing my Rift! Open Simulator (and that other virtual world) are going to add a million fun new things to see and do with a Rift!

  6. Phil

    Thanks very much David, this is great!

    I have just one little problem at the moment – my chat window suddenly stopped displaying in Rift mode (was working fine with this build till today). I can hear it toggling when I ctrl-T, I can even see the mouse cursor changing when it goes over it, it’s just not displaying. Do you happen to have an idea of what could cause that or how to get it back?
    I’ve tried changing skins, setting full opacity for floating windows, changing UI depth, and reinstalling.

    Thanks again, I really enjoy using your viewer with the Rift!

  7. vonnegut

    Excellent! Just got my DK2. Works a treat. Looks amazing! Runs great as well,
    Again thanks for your work David.

  8. Ai Austin

    David… I know the health and safety warning overlay is something a lot of folks are talking about…

    But its particularly bad in this context as CtrlAltStudio seems to force the HSW up EVERY time you switch from 2D to 3D mode… could it be that its losing the fact its already been seen since program launch? I see some in the forum saying it depends how you switch to the HMD.

    I hope Oculus come to their sense on this and make it more flexible in use by understanding that the HSW should be a one off issue per user and not imposes like this – I assume in response to worries of US lawyers. Tail wagging the dog as usual.

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Yes, the HSW is very annoying! I saw that thread when trying to deal with it. Hopefully Oculus will address the problem in the next SDK.

      I’ve addressed it best as possible in the current alpha: it actually automatically goes away after a few seconds the second and subsequent times you toggle into Riftlook.

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  10. JCat

    Purchased my DK2 in July 2nd, so probably won’t have it until Sept. sometime. SL was one of the main reasons I bought one. I had DK1 for a short period; not long enough to know there was SL support. My question is, will I get motion sickness easily in the current SL ? I know I did with at least half the demos on DK1. Samples like Rift Coaster and Titans of Space were no problem, but trying to move around in Tuscany did me in for an entire evening. I realize CTS DK2 support is alpha, but was wondering how people are handling it so far? Any tips on what not to do to avoid that awful feeling? Thanks

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Second Life / OpenSim is not the ideal Rift application because of often low and variable frame rates. It’s worth reducing draw distance and graphics quality to achieve higher frame rates. Unfortunately, with the current alpha, Advanced Lighting Model has to be turned on which lowers frame rates, but I’m working on making it work with just basic shaders. Also, once I add in Rift camera positioning support, this will reduce the incidence of queasiness for many people. (Different people react quite differently to different aspects of the VR experience.)

      1. Alan

        I have felt ill with a number of the demos. This one, it was moderate. Definitely head tracking will make a big difference. I also want to figure out the suggestion where they say to disable your primary monitor. Something about the conflicting refresh rates and video cards not being able to keep up. They talked about this on reddit.

      2. Phoenix

        Your argument its somwhat wrong by default. At least the way I get it.

        SL viewers in fact are quite capable to handle what it needs for a smooth DK2 experience, as your alpha prototype for DK2 definately is proofing.

        The way I got it, your approach is that you are only trying to integrate the DK2 HW into the client as seamless as possible from a technical point of view.

        Everything beyond that is totally up to the Content Creators in SL. Its their job to build in a way that supports the DK2 and what it needs to support the 75fps, regardless what challenges and restrictions might come with it. My rig and the mostly mesh related setup I put in place on my VR testing ground in SL, is cabable to run 80-110fps with the current alpha release.

        And nope I won’t start another argument with SL users that run totally outdated hardware, or whoever thinks that runing around a club thats rendering a totally absurd number of faces, most likely due to uneducated user when it comes to render efficient avatar components, like redicilous hair sculpties and their absurde facecount, in a time when SL is supporting native meshes for almost 3 years by now.

        Anyway, thanks! I am glad about and fine with that current state of alpha that you managed to get up and runing already and given my experience I am quite confident that its not going to be the viewers itself that are limiting the VR experience in SL. At least not when it comes to the totally unanswered question of the possible VR viewers GUI and the UE/UX that comes with it. But that is a totally different topic.

        1. David Rowe Post author

          Hi. I’m glad you’re enjoying the alpha. You’re right that content creators have a big role to play in making great Rift experiences.

          The problem with viewer frame rates is that though you may have a high one, it is inconsistent: in the statistics bar you see individual frame timings varying quite widely around the reported average. Plus you get drops in frame rate as you turn and different content comes into view. For the best immersive VR experience you need a steady frame rate – 75Hz for the DK2 and possibly 90Hz for the consumer edition – with each frame consistently arriving on time, especially when turning or there’s movement.

          On the plus side, Second Life / OpenSim is typically not a highly dynamic environment like a first person shooter, and so is more forgiving as are its users. It certainly provides a compelling experience!

          1. Phoenix

            When it comes to unwanted viewer framerate dropes, I am with you. But most of them are related to the viewers GUI themself (alot of them are introduced due to FS GUI hacks). So in fact, as long as you don’t start to render any GUI, like in the alpha right now, those are pretty much neglectable.

            Yet I am totally with ya, in fact stabalizing framerate to that 75Hz, in one way or the other for sure would be a huge improvement, as oversampling is as worth as undersampling.

            And while I am on it another hint. Since the recent alpha of yours only runs in window mode, it would be worth to let people know, that for the best experience, at least for windows 7 users, they should disable aero for the time being.

            The latency issues that are only introduced by aero, as long as applications are forced to run in windowed mode, are quite a big deal. So whoever is experiencing juttering when runing ctralt-alpha, should give disabling aero a try for the time being.

            Another thing to mention, Flycam mode seems to introduce alot of juttering due to the client itself, compared to avatar centered view. So at least from my experience, turning of aero and staying within avatar centered view, gives me the best experience, for the time being.

            Looking forward to the further updates, cause they for sure are going to make things only better.

  11. Roman

    Hi David

    I tried your ‘very preliminary’ release with the DK2.
    The experience was mind blowing! If this is preliminary, I want to see the advanced one. :-)
    Yes it has some rough edges, but in comparison with the DK1 I really could start to like SL on the Rift…. (Ordering now a Xbox 360 Controller)

    Keep up the good work.

    Thanks a lot

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  14. Estelle Pienaar

    Hi, finally I could enter SL for the first time with a rift. It was a great experience! Thanks a lot for your great work and making it possible.

    Here are some remarks about my experience: Although I had constant 40-50fps, there was a lot of unpleasent studder when moving with my head (to a point that I avoided moving my head to not get motion sick). I also had the feeling that the field of view was following slower than I moved my head which was a very weird feeling. Turning with the keyboard keys was less studdering and moving forward/backward was totally fluid. I also noticed that this alpha version doesn’t detect the head movements to the front or back yet, only to the side/up&down.
    I couldn’t click things because the visual mouse symbol seems to be off from it’s real position.
    One more thing that could be a great improvement: It would be great if it would be possible to stear with the mouse like in the “My Neigbour Totoro” demo (—the-bus-stop-scene). Maybe by adding a keyboard shortcut to start/stop stearing with mouse?

    Thanks again for all your fantastic efforts!

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Hi Estelle, I’m glad you’ve finally made it into SL with a Rift.

      If you can increase your FPS a bit more it would probably help your experience: reduce your drawing distance and/or turn shadows off if they’re on.

      Yes, as you noticed, head tracking isn’t yet implemented. Nor is UI / mouse interaction this alpha.

      For steering options, have a look at the Preferences > Graphics > Display Output > Mouse moves… options. There’s also an option, “Head turns avatar”, that you might like to try out.

      1. Estelle Pienaar

        I tried to use the DK2 again today, but now the two rift displays were turned by 90 degrees (one over the other instead one next to the other). I tried a restart, unplugging the headset, playing with the preferences. Nothing helped, the picture is landscape instead of portrait…

        1. David Rowe Post author

          Check the Rift’s display orientation is set to “landscape” in Windows Control Panel > Display > Screen Resolution

          1. Ray

            I just went through the nightmare of enabling the 2nd display orientation rotation, on my HP Envy 14, which is designed to not allow this feature!! And having “switchable graphics” on top oof everything, means hunting for non existent/disabled settings in the catalyst control center AND the Intel graphics properties applications! After a few hours hunting and reading, you’ll find the solution is to edit 5 or 6 registry entries to restore an “Orientation” drop box to the Windows7 screen resolution control panel. Thanks to the guys in an HP/Intel help thread, who figured this out about two years ago.

          2. David Rowe Post author

            Wow, that sounds like quite the ordeal! It’s a real shame that Oculus has their Rift display show up in portrait mode by default.

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  16. William

    Please remember to turn on the Oculus Rift setting inside of the viewer. I did not see this listed in the instructions, and asked a fellow Resident about how to engage the Rift.

    Avatar > Preferences > General > Display Output > Oculus Rift (requires restart) [set this to active option]

    Other than that, it’s a solid experience! I must say, I’ve really enjoyed it this morning. LEARN YOUR HOTKEYS. :)

      1. Alan

        Good catch. That was a showstopper for me. Now I got it working. This *rocks*. Definitely seeing my own av’s body was freaky! :D I’ll probably need to amp up my graphics card though. Lag giving me a little queasy feeling. XP

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  18. Ai Austin

    Nice David, thanks. At last I am in a populated world rather than all alone inside isolated demos of the Rift :-)

    It was hilarious to look down and see my avatar, legs and shoes :-)

    The Xbox 360 controller or some other 3D movement and camera controller is a must to be able to use things when your eyes are covered.

    Tricky to coordinate and use the keyboard where it is needed though, I am constantly having to pull up the DK2 off my head to see the keys. The 3D Nvidia Active Screen I have been using before with the CtrlAltStudio viewer does let you see the keyboard!

    It is a pain as you know to switch between the extended desktop and direct to rift modes. But things do work, and it gives us an idea of the possibilities. Thanks for giving everyone access to your viewer to try out the Rift DK2 in a world with some real content.

    1. Dillon R

      Hi Ai Austin,

      Some tips. I had the same keyboard issues a few months ago when testing with the DK1. What I did was download xPadder. It allows you to record and bind keyboard macros to gamepad buttons. So I bound the arrow keys to my Xbox controller’s d-pad (analog stick too touchy) so that I could use it to turn and move forward/backwards.

      I bound the A-button to jump, and then, I’m not sure how different this version is, but do this at least in later viewer releases, I found whatever the key combo was to activate VR mode (I think it was control-alt-3, or something similar in the last viewer) to the X-button. That also worked as a quick head-position reset (double-tap X).

      Xpadder and a few minutes configuration made it a MUCH more pleasant experience.

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Hi. You need to press a key on your keyboard to make the warning go away. A mouse-click doesn’t do anything, but perhaps I could make it so that it does.

      1. joe

        pressing keys does not do any thing. if i press f and return back i will be flying ingame. so i dont know if it can see the input.

        1. David Rowe Post author

          It can take a few seconds for the annoying HSW message to go away after pressing a key, especially the first time it’s displayed.

    2. joe

      it seems the viewer is trying to use my Graphics Card: Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000 when i have a gtx 670mx i dont understand why.

      1. joe

        i have fixed the problem. under manage 3d setting in nvidia . i had to set preferred graphics processor to high-performance nividia processor.
        must be a problem with mx cards wanting to use intergraded. fixed now thank you

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