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Devil in the Details

May 06, 2016

You say you wanna resolution
- The Beatles, about the pixel count deficit in VR

Now let's discuss the visuals in VR. 
As we all know by now, VR stands for virtual REALITY, therefore we assume the look of our app to be photo realistic, right?

If you fool your brain with real 3D images, proper head tracking, surround sound, etc... the illusion will be perfect. Everything seems to be normal, as used to be.

... but even the slightest crack in the masquerade will shatter the illusion and you will feel VERY confused. It looks normal, but something is clearly wrong.

What could be wrong, you might ask. Your app uses state-of-the-art 3D assets: millions of polygons, HD photo textures, sophisticated light shading...

The reason behind this is actually very simple: the tech is wrong, not your work.
VR, as a consumer-grade technology, is still in infancy, and even the mighty Vive headset's visor resolution is inadequate.
Your eyes are so close to the (magnified) LCD panel, you WILL see the pixels in all their distorted, blurry, ugly glory.

No matter what the specs say, VR is low-res.

This hardware limitation will break your carefully fabricated illusion, and your mind will reject it.

Don't be fooled by the better-than-HD resolution of the panels.
This is not your average monitor or TV set. This is VR, where, as per Lesson 2: the obvious won't work.

Fear not though, the solution we found at PalmStorm is quite simple actually.

Lesson #4: Be unrealistic!

Believe it or not, the brain accepts low-detail scenery in VR much much easier.
There is one very important trick though:
Always assess your graphics in VR! It may look cheap and ugly on your PC monitor - but trust me, it will be jaw-dropping super awesome great in 3D!

Yours truly, 

- Laszlo, CTO @ PalmStorm

Annoyed? Intrigued? Contact me.


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