Category Archives: CtrlAltStudio Viewer

Oculus CV1 Support Added to CtrlAltStudio Viewer: 1.2.6.43412

I’ve updated the CtrlAltStudio Viewer “as is” to work with the latest Oculus Runtime, i.e., able to be used with CV1 Rift as well as DK2s and DK1s. This is a courtesy to CV1 owners who wish to experience Second Life in VR.

Be aware, though, that the viewer is still based on the old (Dec 2014) codebase of Firestorm 4.6.9 so is quite out of date with many features and fixes missing. Furthermore, the viewer is not optimized for VR — the FPS is not really high or consistent enough for “proper” VR. Some people are more sensitive to such rendering issues than others; however, it does let you get a taste for what user-created VW’s like Second Life can be like in VR.

Other changes of note:

  • Added “FOV multiplier” and “Pixel density” display settings that let you tweak the displayed field of view and number of pixels rendered in the process of generating the Rift images. Depending on your graphics card capabilities, you may want to increase these for better visuals or decrease these for higher FPS.
  • Added an “Enable All GPU Features” display setting that enables all graphics settings. If you have a new, high performance graphics card but graphics preferences such as “Basic shaders” are disabled this means that your graphics card isn’t recognized by the viewer; you can use this new setting to enable the display settings.
  • Added support for the Xbox One controller: a “Combine Xbox One triggers” joystick setting lets the left and right trigger values of the Xbox One controller be used to fly up and down the same as you can use them with an Xbox 360 controller.

For more details, see the Release Notes.

Usage instructions and tips.

Viewer download:

  • Windows installer: 1.2.6.43412 Alpha, 18 Jul 2016.
  • Mac OSX installer: Not available.

NOTE: This viewer is no longer being maintained. See the Viewer page for details.


Others’ blog posts:

Oculus CV1 Support?

Hi! I’ve been flat out busy; everything seems to happen at once. On the Oculus Rift front I haven’t received my CV1 yet and I’m waiting for updated news on Linden Lab’s Rift project viewer. Linden Lab are working on it but I’ve not heard any inklings of when an update with CV1 support might be released.

Long term, Linden Lab’s Rift code is the correct code to include in third party viewers; mine was just a rough stop-gap measure to satisfy immediate desires to experience Second Life and OpenSim in virtual reality. And stereoscopic 3D support should be able to be added into a viewer, taking advantage of the Lab’s Rift code stereo capabilities.

In theory, even though it’s significantly out of date compared with other viewers, the current CtrlAltStudio Viewer code could be updated to SDK 1.3 to support the CV1. I’d love to do this but really have very limited time, and there are significant changes from SDK 0.6–0.8 to 1.3. So right now I’m waiting for more news on the Lab’s Rift project viewer and my CV1.

UPDATE, 11 Apr 2016: From Friday 8 April’s Third Party Viewer meeting courtesy of Inara Pey: Linden Lab are actively working on their Rift project viewer. Some things are still not working but they hope to have an update soon. They are committed to getting it working, with the latest SDK and CV1 support. See the meeting video starting at 6:57.

UPDATE, 24 Apr 2016:

LL tweet 24 Apr 2016

UPDATE, 22 May 2016: From Friday 20 May’s Third Party Viewer Meeting courtesy of Inara Pey:

Testing of the updated viewer is being carried out. There are still “a few” issues to be resolved, and it is hoped that the update will be available (still as a project viewer) in a couple of weeks.

See the meeting video starting at 2:08.

UPDATE, 3 Jul 2016: Linden Lab have released an update to their Oculus Rift viewer. This is great news! More information:

CtrlAltStudio Viewer Updated to Oculus SDK 0.6: 1.2.5.43397

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: 1.2.5.43397 Alpha, 3 Oct 2015.
  • Mac OSX installer: Not available.

CtrlAltStudio Viewer Plans 2015 – 2016

I developed CtrlAltStudio Viewer as a stop-gap measure to satisfy immediate desires to experience Second Life and OpenSim in virtual reality: stereoscopic 3D was implemented while waiting for the Rift DK1 to be delivered; then DK1 and DK2 support each added when they arrived. Always with the expectation that CtrlAltStudio Viewer will be abandoned when Linden Lab finish their Rift support and other third-party viewers incorporate it.

It’s been quite a long “stop-gap”; much longer than expected! But at last there’s hope that the consumer CV1 Rift will finally be delivered, sometime in Q1 2016. Before that, a Rift SDK 1.0 version is due in December this year. Hopefully, Linden Lab will finish off their Rift support promptly for CV1 when it’s available so that their code can be adopted by other TPVs. Development of CtrlAltStudio Viewer will stop at that time.

In the meantime, I am trying to find time to keep CtrlAltStudio Viewer somewhat up to date. Unfortunately, time is in short supply for me these days. However, I have the code working with SDK 0.6 in direct mode with a basic software cursor. (There’s no hardware cursor in direct mode.) I have a few issues to sort out and will release an alpha as soon as possible, “as is”, to see how people find it. Not polished but should be usable.

After that, I may update to a more recent Firestorm codebase, or perhaps update to SDK 0.7 or even SDK 1.0. It just depends on Oculus and Firestorm updates, people’s needs, and my time availability.

CtrlAltStudio Viewer Updated to Firestorm 4.6.9: 1.2.4.43384 Alpha

This alpha release of the CtrlAltStudio Viewer updates to the Firestorm 4.6.9 plus hotfix codebase, and the Rift SDK 0.5.0.1. A fix is also provided for left-clicks on objects; though like right-clicks, left-clicks work best with the cursor in the left eye’s view.

Please also note that this alpha requires Rift extended mode and Advanced Lighting Model needs to be turned on.

Viewer download:

  • Windows installer: 1.2.4.43384 Alpha, 20 Jun 2015.
  • Mac OSX installer: Not available.

Release Notes

CtrlAltStudio Viewer Updated to Firestorm 4.6.7: 1.2.3.42797 Alpha

UPDATE: I’ve promoted this to be the recommended alpha release for Windows.

This alpha release of the CtrlAltStudio Viewer updates to the Firestorm 4.6.7 codebase and is available for people to try out. Notably, this update includes Linden Lab’s Project Interesting code, which should make loading world content significantly faster. Details of this and other changes and known issues can be found in the Firestorm release notes.

This alpha also fixes a crash some people experienced with the preceding 1.2.3.42796 Alpha.

Please note that this alpha still does not work with Rift direct mode and Advanced Lighting Model needs to be turned on. It is built using the 0.4.4 Rift SDK.

Viewer download:

  • Windows installer: 1.2.3.42797 Alpha, 18 Mar 2015.
  • Mac OSX installer: Not available at present.

Release Notes.