CtrlAltStudio Viewer Updated to Oculus SDK 0.6:

I’ve updated the CtrlAltStudio Viewer to the Rift SDK 0.6, ready for people to try out. I’m not promoting it as a recommended release until it’s had some user testing, though.

Changes of note:

  • Works in both direct and extended Rift display modes. If using extended mode you no longer need to drag the viewer onto the Rift’s screen before toggling into Riftlook view.
  • Advanced Lighting Model no longer needs to be enabled in order for Riftlook to work.
  • The hardware cursor used in previous versions has been replaced with a basic crosshair software cursor. It may not look pretty but it should still work as before.
  • There’s a new “Mirror Rift display to desktop” option in Preferences > Graphics > Display Output.
  • If you install over the top of a previous version you’ll probably want to press the “Reset” button for the “UI depth” Display Output option.

Note that if you switch between direct and extended Rift display modes, you’ll need to restart the Oculus Configuration Utility and the Oculus VR Runtime Service. To restart the Oculus Configuration Utility, right-click the utility’s tray icon and select “Exit”, and start it again from the Windows Start menu. To restart the service, find it in Windows’ Administrative Tools > Services. Or you can reboot your PC.

More details in the Release Notes.

I can achieve a pretty smooth 75 FPS experience on the Rift if the scene’s not too complex, though only if I have my main monitor set to 120Hz. If I set it to 60Hz I only get a somewhat juddery 65 FPS on the Rift. I haven’t looked into this yet and am keen to hear how other people get on. Note: You can use Ctrl+Shift+1 to display a statistics window in Riftlook.

Viewer download:

  • Windows installer: Alpha, 3 Oct 2015.
  • Mac OSX installer: Not available.

Comments (48) Leave a comment

  1. Austin Tate

    Anyone who is a CtrlAltStudio user got their CV1 yet? David, got yours.. were you a Kickstarter DK1 backer maybe?

    Mine is an 8 minutes in …26… pre-order so ought to be soonish… though everyone is clamouring for information on the Oculus Forums.

    I do see some movement on the Linden Labs Rift/VR development site after over 14 months of inactivity… but things might take a while.

    I have had to update my system to runtime 1.3 and Oculus Home to use with my DK1, so I can recompile my Unity3D things for the new runtime, which appears to be necessary for them to run on the CV1… whereas I had thought anything compiled and working with runtime 0.8 would be fine.

    I wonder if David thinks CtrlAltStudio would work with 1.3 without a lot of new work? It would be great to see it updated and hence hopefully working with the CV1 going forward. for the moment, VR in OpenSim/Second Life is not operational by any route for runtime 1.3 users as far as I know.

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Yes, I was a Kickstarter backer but haven’t received notice of my CV1 shipping yet. SDK 1.3 has significant changes over 0.6 – 0.8; I am hoping that there will be more news on Linden Lab’s Rift project viewer soon.

  2. TTech

    Hey David, no need to reply.

    I hear that Oculus sdk 1.3 ATW (Asynchronous Timewarp) works very well. I remember hearing that SL on Rift has a hard time getting up to frame rates 75/90 hz. I think this sdk can really help. I’ve been reading user postings claiming/confirming that it works well to hide fps issues.(https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/4d3s0j/atw_is_amazing/)

    This may be the last request to update the ctrlartviewer, this seem to be the sdk we all been waiting for. Good software to use with Oculus CV1 headset. Am not sure if linden labs will ever update their viewer to this lastest SDK, you’re our last hope =p

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Hi! Linden Lab are actually working on updating their Rift project viewer. I’ve not heard anything about any release date, though.

  3. Gary Wheeler

    Got ctrlalt to work again. There were two subdirectories under local and roaming I had to delete. I will remember not to try to oculus rift setting again, lol

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Hi Gary. I’m glad you sorted it out!

      If it happens again, you can edit your settings.xml file:
      – Open the following file in a text editor:
      C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Roaming\CtrlAltStudio Viewer\user_settings\settings.xml
      – Find the “OutputType” key.
      – It will have a comment, “Configures the type of output to display: 0) normal, 1) stereoscopic 3D, 2) Oculus Rift.”
      – In the accompanying “Value” string change the value from 2 to 0.

      The viewer should then start up in normal display mode again.

      1. Gary Wheeler

        Thanks. BTW I used to look down my nose at those expensive 3d graphics cards in computer stores, thinking that I didn’t need that, I knew Autocad, Datacad, Sketchup and stuff and they didn’t need those. Turns out they do have a niche!

  4. Gary Wheeler

    After uninstalling your viewer, I tried to install it again. Am still getting the viewer trying to start and then the message:
    “Unable to initialize Oculus Library”
    and there is no way to get beyond that message. Somehow windows remembers I tried to get it to work in the oculus mode. Won’t allow the viewer to stary. :0

  5. Gary Wheeler

    Thanks very much for your hard work David.

    I have been using virtual worlds for 2 or three years, and have the current Firestorm version installed on this laptop. I installed your latest version of the 3d viewer, hoping it might show two separate images to show 3d, sort of like google cardboard and the old stereoptegons. Messed with settings in Preferences, but had no luck. Maybe I am going about this wrong.

    In desperation, i clicked on the Occulus Rift setting in preferences. Now the viewer crashes when trying to find the occulus rift stuff and I can see no way around this. Had to uninstall the viewer. Am using Windows 10. Maybe I am just a cheap bastard trying to get free software to work on a 20 dollar US, cardboard viewer? lol

    All the best,
    An old architect and tinkerer in California.

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Hi, As you’ve found out, CtrlAltStudio Viewer doesn’t inherently support Google cardboard: the “Oculus Rift” display output setting only works if a Rift is attached. The “Stereoscopic 3D” display output setting almost certainly doesn’t work – unless your graphics card / display driver has a setting to output the stereoscopic OpenGL data in side-by-side stereo.

      1. Gary Wheeler

        Yes, that seems to be the case. Wasn’t sure that the dual window screen stereo was part of sophisticated 3d video cards.

        Looks like my only remaining option is IslandOasis, but that probably requires a Rift also.

        thanks for the info

      1. ross

        so when it comes out the new version of the firestorm? because I heard that will be released in the coming days

  6. TTech

    Hey David it been awhile. I have some concerns, It doesn’t look like SL is going to officially support the Rift. it seems like their focus for Rift support has been moved to “Project Sansar”, They also said that they can’t get the fps performance needed from SL to get a comfortable VR experience. With that in mind do you still have the intention to provide Rift sdk 0.8/1.0 support?

    Thanks for your time, from DK1 to DK2 am still eager to experience SL with better hardware.

    source: http://districtvr.com/creators-second-life-comes-project-sansar/

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Hi! I haven’t been keeping up to date with Linden Lab’s plans for Second Life and the Rift. However, it seems that they are currently updating their Rift project viewer. From http://blog.nalates.net/2016/01/17/second-life-news-week-2-2/

      “The Second Life Project Oculus Rift Viewer version is finally being updated. … We do know that all the updates in the last year have to be integrated into this version. So, it is probably going to take some work.”

      … so keep your fingers crossed! Though the Oculus Rift experience in Second Life will never be the best it’s still quite compelling.

      In the meantime, the most recent CtrlAltStudio Viewer build works with runtime 0.6, 0.7, and 0.8, even though the viewer is built with SDK 0.6. I really should update the viewer but unfortunately am flat out busy on other things.

      1. Dalek Hax

        David, do you know of anyone willing to integrate your Stereoscopic code in the imminent new Firestorm code? I know you modestly described it as a “hack”, but it’s still the best we’ve ever had!

        I think the chances of LL ever adding stereo3D are remote, even if as you say, the “proper” way of doing it is basically there, since like TTech says, I also get the impression that Linden have more or less given up on VR-SL and are diverting all their energies to Sansar.

        I’m worried also with Firestorm’s policy of blocking older versions of their viewer that the last alpha of CtrlAltStudio will shortly become heavily feature deprecated at best, even if they were only able block “pure” Firestorm (does anyone know?).

  7. Jack Honeycutt

    Thank you again for your support. I love using this viewer in 3D in SL. I donated in the past, and will donate again.

    I was behind 120Mbps down and 10Mbs up. Your viewer ran great. I have just moved to another country. Now I have 10Mbps down, and 5Mbps up. My modern desktop computer with a fast Nvidia video card will arrive soon. Do you think 10Mbos down is enough to run in 3D?

    Thank you again for this great viewer.

    Jack, now in Ibarra Ecuador

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Hi Jack, 10/5Mbps should be fine for running Second Life (though content will download slower of course). The 3D graphics doesn’t use any more bandwidth; it’s just extra graphics processing load for your computer.

  8. Maurizio

    Thanks a lot, ctrl-space does the trick.
    Regarding the three arrow cursors, they disappeared after rebooting, now the cross cursor is back, even if sometimes is hard to find it.

  9. Maurizio

    Great job.
    A couple of comments regarding a couple of minor bugs that I found in my config (rift 0.7, win 7).
    right clicking on an object and selecting edit, the edit box appears, but it’s far on the left and is impossible to see anything. I have used the same function in the SL viever and the interface is all visible.
    On top of that, there is a strange behavior after exiting UI mode. After closing for example the edit window, the view ends up looking down at the floor, instead of ahead. even the following navigating commands act like the avatar is leaning forward. for example, while in flying mode (pgup) the forward arrow directs the av to the ground instead of forward. the situation gets worst every time you open and close an edit window. The only way to reset is opening the preferences and resetting the ui settings.
    Last note: in my configuration I see three different cursors. more than a screen apart each other. just the leftmost is operating.
    That’s it, I was just feeling to report these minor issues that I have found.
    Great job, anyway, and thanks for everything,

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Hi Maurizio,
      Yes, in this viewer you need to position the edit and other dialog boxes more centrally on the screen in order to see them well in Riftlook view. You can do this in normal view before entering Riftlook, or you can click their title bar and drag them to be more central while in Rifflook.
      If your view ends up looking down at the floor, try pressing Ctrl+Spacebar to “zero” your view / sensors.
      I can’t think how you’re seeing three cursors but the viewer cursor should be the “+” cursor. It may be that the operating system cursor isn’t successfully being hidden for some reason.

  10. Bridget

    how come you all didn’t tell everyone that it was going to affect the version? i have been dealing with voice issue’s since the new update came out

  11. Steph

    I have a slight problem with using the 3D mode.

    In order to make the 3D mode to work the refresh rate has to be set to 120 Hz, Sadly the program keeps it at 144 Hz instead. I already tried to uncheck the 120 Hz option in the menu, but it makes no difference. Even changing the initially refresh rate to 120 Hz doesn’t help, As soon as the cltaltstudio starts up, the refresh rate is changed to 144 Hz.

    Other games that i play , don’t have this trouble at all. If someone has an idea to make this work for me , would be great.

    Your’s steph.

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Hi Steph,

      To use 144Hz displays with the viewer and NVIDIA 3D Vision, you may need to set one or both of your graphics card and monitor to 60Hz so that the 3D Vision driver automatically doubles things to 120Hz when the viewer starts up.


  12. Alan

    Works like a champ! Win 10, RT .7. Unfortunately, it looks like my main monitor only supports 60 Hz so I can’t compare to 120 Hz. I did disable the setting for mirroring the display on my main monitor so not sure if that matters. A little juttery still, but nice to have something working. :) BTW… is there any way to “free look”? In the official viewer, you could zoom around and look at your own avatar, for example. I typically do that by alt-clicking on something and then zooming around. Looking through keyboard shortcuts I can’t find a way to do that in this viewer tho.

    Anyway… thanks for getting this working once again!!!

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Yes, you can get into “free look” … First, get into 3rd person view – depending on your “Mouse moves cursor / view” setting, either scroll out with your mouse wheel or press Alt and scroll out with your mouse wheel. You can then orbit around points etc. with your mouse and Ctrl, Alt, and Shift keys as usual. Press Esc to get back into 1st person view.

  13. Ai Austin

    Maria Korolov posted a note on CtrlAltStudio developments…


    I added a comment there which I hope reflects what david has actually said….

    I think the headline here needs clarifying… its not a gloom and doom scenario and a loss of capability… far from it.

    David has done a great job of providing early access for Stereoscopic 3D initially and more recently Oculus Rift users to Second Life and OpenSim. He has experimented with different styles if UI to those being developed by Linden Labs in their own Rift project viewer with information being exchanged as developments proceeded. He always said he saw his own code enhancements being stop gap measure and that eventually the Linden labs code base would make its way into third party viewers, so at that time his own developments of the Oculus Rift enhancements could cease.
    Remember that CrlAltStudio is actually base on the Firestorm code base along with a set of enhancements for Stereo 3D, Oculus and various controllers (Kinekt and Xbox 360 gamepad). Firestorm at some stage presumably will be able to take the Oculus and other enhancements when formally released by Linden Labs. My understanding from David’s blog comments is that this will mean the enhancements in CtrlAltStudio are no longer needed.

    The Oculus SDK and runtime, as well as input controllers are themselves in a big state of change as Oculus and the various software platforms prepare for the CV1 (Consumer version 1) release and a Runtime/SDK which supports that (the soon to come version 1.0). Meanwhile there have been big changes in how the VR images are rendered on the Oculus HMD and the GPU drivers that support that. All good in the longer term, but very difficult to keep up with as a developer. David has done a stunning job of keeping a running VR viewer going for Second Life and OpenSim through these many changes in the last year or more. I bet he will be glad when a stable software base is in the core viewers so he can work on other interesting things in this sphere.

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  15. jey

    can we get an update so we can wear more than 5 clothing/tattoo layers like firestorm currently can?

  16. Ai Austin

    One thing that has always been awkward in the Linden labs viewer and CtrlAltStudio when in 3D mode is if you sit on a chair, vehicle or object, the “Stand” button is not visible and I don’t know of a key combination that lets you stand back up. I think it would be worthwhile having a (keyboard?) control that does that without having to exit 3D mode.

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  18. CaptainOculus

    Confirmed functional SDK runtime 0.7 on windows 7 pro x64. Using Direct Mode, switching between using Rift and using monitor image will persist on Rift. I assume this is probably normal. (yellow led on load of viewer then blue persists after switching back to monitor)

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  20. JT

    win10, oculus 0.7. Works a charm, figuring out the camera controls is a bit tricky but you get used to it quickly. Is there a way to alter scale? My avatar feels a little small despite the fact that it is apparently over 7 feet tall. Oops.

    1. David Rowe Post author

      Thanks very much for the info. I’m still on Windows 8.1. on my Rift-able PC, so it’s really good to know the viewer works on Windows 10 with Oculus 0.7 runtime.

      No, there’s no way to alter scale. However, make sure that you’ve measured and set your IPD in the Oculus Configuration Utility correctly.

  21. JT

    It works! Thank you, i finally get to see SL in 3D. Wow, impressive. Gotta extend my thanks and gratitude, this is looking awesome.

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