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 Rendering stereo without stereo drivers 
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:28 am
Posts: 6
Hi there! I'm a graphics programmer and been told to make the game compatible with eMagin Z800 device WITH some stereo effect.
After researching a bit, I found that nvidia stereo drivers are not supported anymore.
So the only way to use the device is just plugging it as monitor and rendering simple flat image in 800x600.

What exactly stereo drivers did? rendering images for two eyes with interlacing very fast? rendering each eye to a half of the output?
Maybe I can simulate them if set up rendering correctly and mess with pixel shaders a bit?


Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:38 am
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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The Z800 uses page-flipping, which is a frame-sequential format. This means each eye is presented with a full resolution 800x600 image alternating very quickly. The way the image in the PC syncs with the image on the headset is by using the DDC channel on the VGA cord. This ensures that the correct image is displayed on the correct panel of the headset. This is all done at the GPU driver level. Without the sync signal, you may get unreliable results. So mainly you need driver support for this (from Nvidia) and thats not going to happen with modern hardware. You could always setup a legacy rig, with XP and an Nvidia 7900 card.

You can also try software pageflipping, which does the alternating of frames without the sync signal. You can use the Stereoscopic Player to test this. Iz3D also has a shutter mode, which may or may not work for your particular application. The issue is that if the program drops below 60FPS, then the glasses will lose their sync (meaning the eyes would swap). This can be very problematic, and it would not be easy to tell when of if this actually happened. But its worth looking into, as if you application is not intensive then maybe this would work.

Also, there is an SDK, maybe they allow direct stereo rendering though that.

Last thing, on eMagins site ( http://www.3dvisor.com/support/ ) they list Vista/7 stereo drivers. Is this just bogus, or do those drivers really work of the HMD?

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Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:28 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:28 am
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>they list Vista/7 stereo drivers. Is this just bogus, or do those drivers really work of the HMD?
can't check because my current drivers are already higher version than v197.45.
also, i still have XP, lol.

i'll try to do something with iz3d and SDK but it looks like both of them need updated firmware (which is a physical chip sent by emagin. are these guys mad? the device has usb, quite enough to upload any updates). and it looks like i don't have this updated firmware - can't see "-03" mark anywhere.

thanks for the reply anyway ;)


Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:48 am
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Well then your best option is probably to buy something like the Nvidia 7950, which is the last card that will work with those old legacy drivers.

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Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:33 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:28 am
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unfortunately my app won't work at 60fps on 7950.
tried iz3D - no luck. shuttering speed is just not enough and not configurable.

can you suggest me some more workable hardware? actually, we are making a special training software for parachute jumpers, so device must cover the whole eyes with our realtime stereo rendering. at least because parachuters should feel when the ground comes closer. it is not important for us is the device is Z800 or something different, i just didn't know it is so hard to make it work.


Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:37 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:47 pm
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Hey MrF: I just realised that CyberReality has nailed this one already as usual.

If you are wanting to use your Z800 with your OWN software (IE, you have source code access) then you just need to use the Emagin SDK! This will allow you to handle the viewpoint shift yourself, then flip the frames. So, your game would set up a left eye viewpoint, render, setup a right eye, render, etc. I believe you will need to be running an updated firmware on your Z800 however, think it cost me $100 to get mine upgraded.

I believe you'll get the best performance using this method as well, and have the most control of the 3D effect.


Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:48 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:47 pm
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@CyberReality: YOUR RIGHT!!! They do list Win 7 drivers. Crazy. That sucks, now I have to try them! I'll be stoked if I can use my Z800 again with modern hardware, if its better than the unmarked page flipping with IZ3d that switches eyes if it drops below 60hz...


Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:50 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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@MrF: The Sony HMZ-T1 HMD is coming out pretty soon (within the next month) and should be a decent amount better than the Z800. It should have modern support from Nvidia or AMD for rendering in stereo from any 3D app. The only thing missing is a headtracker, not sure if that is being used in your application or not.

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Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:22 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:28 am
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Looks very nice and we don't need the headtracker as well (because we have it as separate device anyway).
But the whole thing must be done within the next month too, so I'm not sure we can rely on this Sony thing because it also may take an unpredictable amount of time to make everything run well with it. So we're going to update z800's firmware, but thanks for telling about sony, we'll can definitely use it next time.


Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:47 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:28 am
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Yep, so I've got HMZ-T1 now.
So I turned up stereo 3d in nvidia control panel, went through the wizard, watched some nice stereo screenshots from games
BUT
there is totally no stereo in any 3d apps - tested on Metro2033, Just Cause 2 (which both are officially supported for stereo) and my app.
Anyone had the same problem?
I know, I should post it on nvidia forums probably, but - just in case if someone of you knows.

I think this document proves that stereo should work in almost any direct3d 9/10/11 app (driver does all): http://developer.download.nvidia.com/wh ... _Guide.pdf


Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:20 pm
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Golden Eyed Wiseman! (or woman!)

Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:47 pm
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MrF: so, you could see stereo using the headset running the Nvidia setup program and slideshow, but not in the games?

Is this using 3D Vision or 3DTV Play? Is the HMZ-1 supported natively by 3D Vision?

Generally speaking, if you can see stereo in the setup, games should just work. In the past on my old VR rig, my Z800 had to be the PRIMARY monitor to display 3D effects (back then, I think 3D had to be on the primary, not sure about now). I doubt this can be the problem if you can see demos/slideshows in 3D fine, but it might be worth trying to make the HMD the primary just to eliminate that possibility.

In game, have you tried to enable stereo mode using the hotkeys etc? Perhaps its just starting the game in mono mode and you just need to switch it on? On my setup, I have a 3D Vision dongle and the green light on it comes on when in 3D mode. If you are running a setup without 3D Vision glasses and dongle however I guess you won't have this...

As a possible way to know if 3D vision is actually turned on, you could change the 3D Vision output from HMZ to anaglyph. Then, when you load the games, if you dont notice red/blue effects, you'll know 3D is definitely not turned on.


Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:15 pm
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3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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You have to use Nvidia 3DTV Play, so make sure it is installed and shows the icon when you look in the stereo settings on the Nvidia panel. You may have to pay for this software, if you are not already a 3D Vision customer. Make sure that 3D is enabled, and that it is not set to "hidden when game starts". You can also try pressing Control + T to toggle 3D on/off in the game. Its probably something simple like that.

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Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:24 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:28 am
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>MrF: so, you could see stereo using the headset running the Nvidia setup program and slideshow, but not in the games?
yes

>Is this using 3D Vision or 3DTV Play?
I have a GTX260 videocard and Win7, downloaded and installed 285.79 drivers, installed 3DTV Play (trial) and the update from this thread's first post:
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?show ... 15785&st=0

> my Z800 had to be the PRIMARY monitor
tried it as primary and in clone mode

>In game, have you tried to enable stereo mode using the hotkeys etc?
yes, no reaction

> Perhaps its just starting the game in mono mode
"hide stereoscopic 3d effects when game starts" is turned off.

>As a possible way to know if 3D vision is actually turned on, you could change the 3D Vision output from HMZ to anaglyph. Then, when >you load the games, if you dont notice red/blue effects, you'll know 3D is definitely not turned on.
yes, I only notice anaglyph effect in nvidia test/slideshow

>so make sure it is installed
it is, tried reinstalling several times

>shows the icon when you look in the stereo settings on the Nvidia panel
yes, when using the HMZ, but shows simple "3D vision dicover" text when configured for anaglyph (probably 3dtv useless for anaglyph)
-----

SOMEHOW it works now. just reinstalled 3dtv one more time and rebooted.
Thanks for advices anyway!


Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:37 am
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