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 Dealing with the screen door effect 
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:24 pm
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I just got my Rift on Tuesday, and while I was expecting a low res screen, I was surprised by how horrible the screen door effect really is.
(apart from that, I'm in love with this thing)
It's really the #1 immersion breaker in the whole thing.

So immediately I started looking for a diffuser of some kind.
The only thing I had at hand was a roll of these small clear garbage bags:
http://wanha.com/present/plasticbagmod/bag_and_rift.JPG
They have a really subtle diffuse effect which I figured wouldn't be enough but did it anyway.
http://wanha.com/present/plasticbagmod/bag_diffuse.JPG

Turns out it was the perfect amount.
http://wanha.com/present/plasticbagmod/pre.JPG (unmodified, for reference)
http://wanha.com/present/plasticbagmod/post.JPG (panel with a sheet of plastic bag fixed on)
You can still see the pixels, but they fade into a more normal looking row of boxes instead of bright spots of light surrounded by darkness.

I apologize if this solution has been offered here before, but I felt I should emphasise that this is worth doing.
The screen is so low res that a professional diffuser would be a waste of money.
Any ripples and small imperfections in the plastic can't be seen through the lenses, but laying it out neatly is a good idea.

I'm mostly surprised that a diffuser like this wasn't shipped with the DK.
It should be trivially cheap to produce and the difference in image quality is huge.


EDIT: copy pasted from later in the thread

I gave these plastic laminating sheets a try.
http://wanha.com/present/plasticbagmod/ ... ingbox.JPG
This gave me the best result yet:
http://wanha.com/present/plasticbagmod/ ... ngfilm.JPG
There's two sheets that are glued together at the edge, to allow easy item insertion.
The sheets are almost exactly the size of the panel.
I cut half a centimeter from the bottom and the edge bit that holds the two sheets together and only applied to other to my rift.
I forgot to take a picture of this opened but it's a stiffer sheet so it is really easy to apply neatly now.
There is subtle color noise diffraction going on but it is much less noticable than my earlier materials.

I guess the diffuser material here is the heat activated "glue" stuff, but it's dry and uniform so it works well for this :P
If the rift were ever to get hot enough to activate the substance, it would probably just get smooth.
Just be sure to apply glossy side down.


Last edited by shole on Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:39 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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I'm really extremely shocked out how good the effect is! It does have some minor color distortion, however it definitely works. Can't wait to experiment with this once I get my Rift.


Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:53 pm
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Those pics remind me of when I moved my original xbox from CRT tv to my HDtv the b4 pic looks like how it looked on the hdtv and the after pic looks how it was on the CRT. I think I like the blurry one more.


Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:12 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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I'm a bit afraid of disassembling my rift. Could you explain how you managed to get the plastic in front of your panel? The result is really great!


Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:22 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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zoost wrote:
I'm a bit afraid of disassembling my rift. Could you explain how you managed to get the plastic in front of your panel? The result is really great!

I imagine you could follow a teardown video to open it and tape it on.


Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:08 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Where did you get the bags?

What was the specific brand you used?


Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:32 pm
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it looks like a standard plastic white grocery shopping bag.


Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:17 pm
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Certif-Eyed!
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Just a small note, I'm not a booster of anything. OR has lots of problems, most notably the lack of wireless option.

But the screen door effect, I don't notice it at all anymore. I'd really have to look for it to find it. Your brain just tune it out after awhile, like floaters in your eye. I remember it being initially annoying, though when I first used it.

For me, it's about FOV really (C cups).

I should probably get some disposable contacts I suppose.

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Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:26 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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I actually just tried this, I used one of the clear bags you get your fruits and veggies in at the grocery store. I found an improvement though. I put a tiny drop of water (on my kindle fire screen) Then I put the plastic on top. It removed the air gap between the screen and the plastic, but still blends the color triads together. I'll post a pic using my DLSR.

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Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:53 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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Bretspot wrote:
I actually just tried this, I used one of the clear bags you get your fruits and veggies in at the grocery store. I found an improvement though. I put a tiny drop of water (on my kindle fire screen) Then I put the plastic on top. It removed the air gap between the screen and the plastic, but still blends the color triads together. I'll post a pic using my DLSR.
Won't that interfere with fine sub-pixel details, such as ClearType text, or sub-pixel anti-aliasing?

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Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:30 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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I can just use the A cups without my glasses and I get basically the same effect.


Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:32 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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blazespinnaker wrote:
Just a small note, I'm not a booster of anything. OR has lots of problems, most notably the lack of wireless option.

But the screen door effect, I don't notice it at all anymore. I'd really have to look for it to find it. Your brain just tune it out after awhile, like floaters in your eye. I remember it being initially annoying, though when I first used it.

For me, it's about FOV really (C cups).

I should probably get some disposable contacts I suppose.

The closer the lens is to the screen, the fewer pixels it can see. The C cups focus nice for me, but only see about half as many pixels as the A cups. I switched back to the A cups to get a larger FoV.

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Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:00 am
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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neat


Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:01 am
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Have been having so much fun with my Rift haven't even thought about the screen door in weeks.

Haven't noticed it either:)


Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:16 am
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Interesting. I too have started to ignore the screendoor affect but if this is easy to try would love to see the difference. @Shole could you please post some pictures of how you actually put this on the rift?


Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:39 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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nice.

Would be interested to have a play with this as I still find the screen door quite distracting. Wish I was of the ilk that no longer see it!

So any tips/guide on how you put the filter/plaggy bag in place would be handy.


Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:31 am
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I haven't noticed screen door effect for weeks :)


Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:09 am
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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Has anyone tried these iPhone Screen protector sheets in matt?
Should be a cheap way of diffusing the screen...

Edit: or use the iPad one and cut it to size. Maybe i have one spare left somewhere...


Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:28 am
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Diamond Eyed Freakazoid!
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Not bad! :)

Like others have said, SDE is the least of my concerns with the Rift right now, and I'd rather not make the colors ever more washed out than they already are.

If someone finds a trick to get rid of the motion blur I'd be very interested though! :D


Last edited by MrGreen on Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:59 am
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Its pretty interesting actually and far better than you might think. Oculus may not have needed a diffuser on the original 5" screen because of pixel density but I'm inclined to say that there are positive benefits to diffusing on the 7".

I did a test using a veggie bag from the grocery store, my tablet and a spare Oculus lens. What you lose in contrast and perceived sharpness, you gain back with a far less blown out image, a more natural grain, the destruction of the screen door and a more pleasing pixel blend (aliasing if far less pronounced). I haven't tested it on my Oculus screen yet mind you but the results seem really promising.

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Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:52 am
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Petrif-Eyed
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Bishop51 wrote:
Its pretty interesting actually and far better than you might think. Oculus may not have needed a diffuser on the original 5" screen because of pixel density but I'm inclined to say that there are positive benefits to diffusing on the 7".

I did a test using a veggie bag from the grocery store, my tablet and a spare Oculus lens. What you lose in contrast and perceived sharpness, you gain back with a far less blown out image, a more natural grain, the destruction of the screen door and a more pleasing pixel blend (aliasing if far less pronounced). I haven't tested it on my Oculus screen yet mind you but the results seem really promising.
That may be even more important when using the C-cup lenses, which magnify the pixels (and screendoor) a lot more than the A-cup lenses.

A 6-mil clear polypropylene sheet you can get at a hardware store is sometimes used for temporary outdoor rear projection screen. It is "cloudy" enough to hold an image. Perhaps it would provide sufficient diffusion, if a grocery bag is not enough. It would be worth testing various alternatives, including drafting vellum, or even waxed paper.

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Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:27 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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I simply cut out a screen sized area of the bag and taped it on.
The biggest problem was avoiding getting any dirt/dust under it.
You might see a bit of cat hair in my after-image that managed to get between the screen and the plastic.
I redid it after the photo.
To minimize the chance of uninvited particles I kept the bottom corner of the bag closed and cut the top and one side out, picking the corner and side of the bag that looked the clearest.
And then I dusted the screen and slid the bag in place, taped the opposing corners and cut the bottom and side of the bag off, then taping those on as well.
It's a good idea to only tape them lightly at first so you can adjust them for wrinkles.
Here's a picture of how I taped mine in place.
http://wanha.com/present/plasticbagmod/bagscreen1.JPG
http://wanha.com/present/plasticbagmod/bagscreen2.JPG
As you see it's far from perfect, but it doesn't need to be.

Putting water on the screen sounds like a dangerous idea, mostly in the marks it might leave on the screen when it dries.
But I have no experience on this.

Also, since it's a diffuser, the amount of diffuse is directly related to the distance from the screen, as seen in my picture of the oculus letter.
http://wanha.com/present/plasticbagmod/bag_diffuse.JPG
So having it perfectly flat on the screen might diminish the effect.

I followed this video to remove the front part.
http://youtu.be/oJ9w2ihEHxQ?t=3m51s
The edge of the screen part goes UNDER the edge of the wearable part, so get something flat in there in that direction.
In the video they just directly separate the pieces and the clips might break if you do it like that.
You can actually see the clips holding the screen on pretty well on my bag-placement pictures above.
Don't use a screwdriver or other metal bits because it will leave nasty marks on the plastic.
I used this disassembly tool I have, but anything flat should work fine. A plastic knife for example.
http://wanha.com/present/plasticbagmod/ ... lytool.JPG

After using it for a while I too forgot about the screen door effect, but I always see it when I put it on at the start of a session and I have to actively ignore it.
While this doesn't get rid of it, it's less pronounced.

I actually tried wax paper first, and while it did the effect, it had these water pulp shapes everywhere.
Cool effect, but completely unusable for this.


Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:01 am
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Cross Eyed!
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Here is an Imgr gallery of this. http://imgur.com/a/uf7U1 I had an idea... just cut an approx 1" circle of diffusion material (The direction your eyes will mostly face) then use a single drop of water to "glue" it on your Oculus. (This might not work the same as it does on my Kindle). Once you get all the bubbles out and any wrinkles (I miss a few tiny wrinkles) you will almost completely diffuse out the screen-door effect). Here are several shots of it in action. It seems to work particularly well on very bright areas of the display where the screen is most noticeable.

Image
Image
Image

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Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:35 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Wow, this works really really well! :woot

I only just disassembled my rift 30 minutes ago, and used a piece of plastic from a very thin sandwich bag (http://www.amazon.de/Frühstücksbeutel-120-St-à-1-2l/dp/B001J8C6HC), the type that comes in rolls of 120 bags.

I cut a piece the size of the display of the LCD, and used small pieces of tape to hold if down. As the bag is nearly translucent, the diffusion if much less than in the original post. But its great! You can no longer see subpixels, the the screendoor effect is much reduced, but still visible. But the image is not blurred, as the light from each pixel does not blur onto adjacent ones. It just looks much better :P

I have a little dust on my screen, so I will redo it carefully tomorrow. If anyone wants pictures on how to do it, I can take pictures of the procedure, but its pretty straightforward. You just need a butter knife, sticktape and scissors, and a sandwich or freezer bag.


Last edited by Dnhkng on Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:06 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful
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I am wondering how effective it would be to use a generic screen protector.

I imagine application would need to be done carefully since any bubbles, inconsistencies in glue, and trapped hair/dirt will be extremely visible.


Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:08 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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Can you show a photo with a HUD display? I would like to see how this affects readability. It will likely not work with my sub-pixel text rendering though...

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Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:20 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Is there some specific content to test for subpixels?
The subpixels are still there of course, just smudged out a bit.
A specific image with a non-subpixel version next to it for comparison would be ideal.

A screenprotector is not really usable as they are designed to be non-diffusive.

Bretspot:
The diffuse is not as complete with mine as in these images. (i can still see the pixels)
What material are you using?


Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:51 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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shole wrote:
Is there some specific content to test for subpixels?
See if you can read this text:
Image

Beware that it requires the display to be in its native resolution, landscape mode (R/G/B subpixel layout). Viewing it in this web browser may require resizing the page (Ctrl-Mousewheel) if you have changed your browser magnification. You can also change your browser zoom in its menu. Be sure to select 100-percent. At the LCD panel native resolution, with no browser magnification, those text examples should be sharp and crisp (but tiny).

It is best viewed on a non-IPS display (screendoor between each subpixel) but it is also readable on IPS (screendoor only between pixels). It should be readable in a Rift (even more so, with the Rift magnifying lenses).

Here is an example with another subpixel font:
Image

I have created even smaller fonts (two pixel wide characters, including whitespace) used in some commercial demos (but only readable as white text on a black background).

More info here:
http://www.sitepoint.com/two-teeny-tiny-fonts/

These fonts are especially useful with a low-resolution LCD display, such as when using the "Valve-recommended" settings in your Rift, or when using the "half as many pixels" C-cups.

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“The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen.” ―Carl Ally


Last edited by geekmaster on Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:01 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Those both look fine on mine.
I'm definitely going to experiment with more powerful diffusers at some point so I'll have a new look then.


Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:13 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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shole wrote:
Those both look fine on mine.
I'm definitely going to experiment with more powerful diffusers at some point so I'll have a new look then.
Try this smaller subpixel font. It is even more dependent on proper LCD orientation and resolution.
Attachment:
font3x6lcd.gif
Notice how it turns into colored blobs when software-magnified (ctrl-mousewheel), but how it is clearly readable tiny text at native LCD resolution. You may need to use a magnifying glass if viewing on a high-resolution LCD panel.

If you need to display a lot of "fine print" (credits and disclaimers) in the Rift, this may be a useful option. That is one of my main uses for it. It is a lot more readable when it forms real words in the context of meaningful sentences. Your brain is better able to "denoise" it that way.

A font actually designed for an IPS panel would look even better.


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Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:19 pm
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Image

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(First image reduced by X.25 to show more like your eye would see it.

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Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:46 pm
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Petrif-Eyed
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Another thing that may work: Put a motor with an excentric weight on to vibrate the frontal part of the rift. Besides decreasing the screendoor effect it will also give some (healthy?) massage. :mrgreen:
Don't try this though. Vibrations are never good for electronic stuffs in general. Especially wire connections...

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Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:01 pm
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that text looked more readable to me


Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:40 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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sorry my little peice of plastic is getting worn out from moving it around my kindle screen. I'll look for the *perfect* peice when i put one on my rift. :)

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Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:43 pm
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I just tried scotch tape with the "Satin" finish on my tablet. It's much clearer but it still helps to alleviate the screen effect with less detail loss. Go raid your Xmas wrapping box and try it. Examine the screen with a magnifying lens to get a better feeling for how it would look on the oculus.

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Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:19 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Also did the hack with ordinary trashbag plastic. Tried a couple of other plastics, from little food bags (like Dnhkng) to clear wrapping plastic but none seems to have this smoothing effect like the trashbag one.
But its hard to find a relatively unwrinkled spot on those. You will not see much of the wrinkles when looking through the lenses, but the overall effect is a bit more unperfect than without.
The smoothing effect is actually very good, no pixel information is lost, you can still distinguish one from another. A small gap between pixels is still there but not as annoying as the default effect (if you concentrate to see it).
Still searching for a more perfect plastic, which is more planar and maybe has a bit more smoothing.
Also have some little dust spots, so a change is inevitable :)

A little tip for getting the plastic sheet on the display:
Put two stripes of doublesided tape left and right on the display.
Then you can put the display on the plasticsheet which is lying on a flat surface and you wont have the trouble of readjusting.

Another (more professional) guide for disassembling on ifixit:
http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Oculus+R ... wn/13682/1


Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:00 pm
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Looking at this, seems you've replaced screen door with blurriness, at least it appears that way in the screen shots, aren't there cheap film-grade, lab-grade etc. diffusers out there?

Any optical people know what works best? I like this idea, but using trash bags seems foolish. I found some sites, but hard to say exactly what's needed.

https://www.inventables.com/technologies/light-diffuser-films

http://www.knightoptical.com/php/browseCategory.php?cat=58&catClr=

http://www.optigrafix.com/light_diffuser_film.htm

Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=O_8n_L8AxHY

Tape idea might work too.


Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:02 pm
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This is quite interesting. I used a very thin plastic bag used for fruits from the grocery. I first thought this doesn't have any effect cause I didn't see a difference
when I put this over my Nexus 7. Then tried this with my DIY rift (Nexus 7 + 5x lenses) and it worked. I can't see the RGB subpixels anymore! There is still some very very slight
screendoor but actually I like it to see a bit of a texture.

Now I need the same material without that many wrinkles (or is there even something better, any optician here please?) and the guts to open my loved Rift :)


Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:55 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Nothing is foolish if it works, especially for being essentially free and low-risk.
A plastic bag is obviously not optimal due to varying quality and wrinkling though.
I'll keep an eye out for some more rigid sheets but it should be a very thin and subtle diffusion so it won't blur or distort the image.
So far the bag has been the best I have personally found, but I'm sure there's a more optimal diffuser for this.


Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:42 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Very interesting mod! That gives me an idea - i'll have to get myself some satin finished screen protection film, cut it to size and put it into the Rift. If I manage to do this without air bubbles or grains of dust beneath it, it will look very nice I think.


Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:46 am
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