Umbra readies visibility tool for VR revolution

Umbra readies visibility tool for VR revolution
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

March 17th 2014 at 10:07AM

GDC 2014: Graphics specialist says its optimisation can halve the processing time for VR rendering

Umbra Software has added virtual reality-specific optimisations to its flagship visibility tool in anticipation of a coming hardware revolution.

The graphics specialist is introducing Stereo Camera functionality, a new sophisticated feature for optimising VR applications, to Umbra 3.

Oculus Rift has already rekindled interest in VR, and reports are building that Sony is preparing to unveil a competitor of its own this week at GDC.

Umbra said this addition to its visibility tool will help by optimising the performance so that the highest degree of fidelity can be achieved automatically. It quickly determines what the game engine needs to draw so that no time is wasted on the hidden parts.

“The stereo effect in VR requires that the image is drawn twice, once for each eye,” Umbra explained in its statement about the upgrade. “The Umbra 3 Stereo Camera feature eliminates the need for doing the visibility operation individually for both images. Instead, Umbra 3 uses the results of a single visibility operation with no additional cost – effectively halving the required processing time.”

The Finnish toolmaker sees the visual performance requirements for VR as achieving a high level of immersion, while ensuring low overall latency. Umbra claims that the optimisation can help games reach 120 fps – double the recommend 60 fps for VR games – to give players a comfortable experience.

Umbra will be demonstrating its new tech at GDC in San Francisco this week. And you can find out more about the tool on the firm’s website.

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