Virtual Desktop - Beta [Updated May 7th]

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Virtual Desktop - Beta [Updated May 7th]

Postby guygodin » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:42 am

Virtual Desktop is a little utility that improves your VR experience on the desktop. By efficiently replicating your desktop into the Rift, the application allows you to see your desktop on a giant virtual screen. You can browse the web, watch movies or even play non-VR games. It also allows you to launch VR games and resume from them without having to take your headset off.



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After you install Virtual Desktop, a context menu item will allow you to open any game on the rift (this is useful with Unity games that require special parameters to properly run on the rift). By using this action, the game will be registered in your list of games (see below).

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A tray icon will appear in your taskbar. From there you can manage your list of games, change your settings or launch the Oculus Configuration Utility to set your height, IPD, etc.

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You can also drag & drop executables or shortcuts to add more games to your list.

Requirements
- Windows 7 (requires Service Pack 1 and latest Platform Update)
- Or Windows 8 &10 (provides much better performance)
- Oculus 0.5.x Runtime
- Oculus Rift setup in Extended Mode

Latest Changes
- Support for custom environments
- Added optional Environment Editor
- Added support for custom aspect ratio in environments with fixed screens
- Support for stereo cubemaps environments
- Support for alpha blending in model environments

Known Issues
- Video player is still in early development: It won't play a lot of formats on Windows 7 at the moment but should be able to play most of them on Windows 8. It's also failing after opening/closing multiple files.
- Mirror to monitor is experimental and might not work with all games. If you encounter issues with a specific game, you can prevent mirroring by checking "do not mirror to monitor" for that specific game.

Follow the link below for download links
Download

Virtual Desktop is free with DK1 and DK2 but if you would like to donate and help with the development effort, use the button below
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Last edited by guygodin on Thu May 07, 2015 9:06 am, edited 88 times in total.
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby drash » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:32 am

Looks interesting! I wasn't able to get very far, though.

After installing on Win8 64-bit, I switched to Extended mode, Rift is on and showing the non-icons part of my desktop, and then run Virtual Desktop. I see the eye icon in my system tray but when I mouse over it, it disappears. If I run it again, same thing. Looks like it's crashing?
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby AntonieB » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:02 am

I have the same problem :)
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby guygodin » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:27 am

Thanks for trying it out, I think this may be related to a UAC issue as I try to copy the correct (Win32/x64) DLL at launch. I've now forced the app to x64 temporarily and added better error handling so hopefully now you'll get an actual error message :)

The MSI has been updated. You should just need to install and it will take care of updating. Let me know if that solves your problem.

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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby drash » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:14 pm

Progress! Now it just says "Index was outside the bounds of the array". :)

Also note that I had to first uninstall what was already there to get this error message to show up -- installing again over the old one wasn't sufficient.
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby guygodin » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:28 pm

Hmm, is your desktop setup as your primary display and the rift as a secondary output in extended mode? And both are on the same video card?
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby cybereality » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:32 pm

Looks awesome, but I'm on Windows 7. Thanks, though.
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby guygodin » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:38 am

Ah :( Are all the folks at oculus running windows 7 ? I know this will prevent lots of people from using it and I don't blame them. I was very hesitant to upgrade as well. In fact, the only reason I switched to Windows 8 was to try those new D3D11.1 APIs and they are quite amazing for VR I gotta say.

drash and AntonieB, I've updated the app to correctly detect the desktop / rift outputs and warn you if it detects an incompatible configuration. Just uninstall the old one and install the new one and you should be able to get it to work :D
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby cybereality » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:21 pm

What's so great about DirectX 11.1 and VR?

I'm still on Win7, but I would consider upgrading if there were significant gains.
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby guygodin » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:15 pm

cybereality wrote:What's so great about DirectX 11.1 and VR?

I'm still on Win7, but I would consider upgrading if there were significant gains.

It supports stereoscopic 3D natively (kinda like what tridef does). But the feature I'm using is called "output duplication" which essentially allows me to get access to the desktop image in GPU memory. This means I can copy the desktop texture, apply distortion and send it to the rift with practically zero CPU usage. The other solutions out there (like Deskope) have to copy the surface to system memory with Blt which is very cpu intensive so the framerates and size of the desktop are limited.

I personally hate the whole app store and metro UI though. I turned it off completely. I'm using this Start8 program that brings back the start menu and disables the annoying hot corners.
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby cybereality » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:54 pm

OK, thanks. I'll be sure to check that out when I build a new computer (I'm waiting for the Haswell-E 8-core chip). Currently it doesn't make any sense to upgrade my old machine as I have too many things in the environment setup and working.
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby mscoder610 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:16 pm

No luck for me, I get an error message "Rift detected but display isn't active."

Using an HDTV at 1080p for my primary display, Rift as secondary display in extended mode. Windows 8.1 64bit, Radeon 7950.
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby guygodin » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:32 pm

Thanks mscoder for giving it a try. That message shows up when I can't match the DisplayDeviceName of the rift (from libOVR) to an output monitor in windows. At this point I guess I'll need a rift to test it out.. I'm coding against an imaginary device ><
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby mscoder610 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:58 pm

If it helps any - there's display detection code for the Rift in the OculusRoomTiny demo, if you're not already using that.

If I build and run the OculusRoomTiny demo that comes with the SDK (v0.2.5), the DisplayDeviceName returned for me is "\\.\DISPLAY1\Monitor0". There's code in RenderTiny_D3D1X_Device.cpp, UpdateMonitorOutputs() that uses that name and matches it to the correct output.
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby guygodin » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:32 pm

mscoder610 wrote:If it helps any - there's display detection code for the Rift in the OculusRoomTiny demo, if you're not already using that.

If I build and run the OculusRoomTiny demo that comes with the SDK (v0.2.5), the DisplayDeviceName returned for me is "\\.\DISPLAY1\Monitor0". There's code in RenderTiny_D3D1X_Device.cpp, UpdateMonitorOutputs() that uses that name and matches it to the correct output.


Oh sweet! Thanks for the info, I wasn't aware that they were appending a \Monitor0. I've updated Virtual Desktop, can you try it again, thanks a ton!!
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby mscoder610 » Thu May 01, 2014 7:56 am

Cool, that update fixed it for me.

I should have more time to test it later, but some initial thoughts:
- I couldn't get fullscreen game duplication to work (I tried Half Life 2 which is DirectX, and EDuke(3D) which is OpenGL based.)
- Performance does seem really solid, as you mentioned. I watched a 60FPS video in Windows Media Player, and played a little Half Life 2 (in windowed 1920x1080, since full screen didn't work for me), and both were captured very fast/ smoothly to the Rift.
- I couldn't do anything closer than a Screen Distance of about 16.1cm without the display becoming doubled / hard to converge, and at that size it's hard to read text. I'd probably add a "zoom" option in addition to the screen distance. So, instead of just bringing the screen closer or farther away, you can increase/ decrease the screen size at whatever distance away it is from you.
- An option to flip how the headtracking maps to looking around the screen on each axis would be nice. (Right now, looking up on the Rift tilts you toward the bottom of the screen - so this toggle/ option would make you look towards the top of the screen instead).

It's a solid start, definitely.
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby guygodin » Thu May 01, 2014 11:53 am

Awesome, thanks for your help mscoder!

Those are great suggestions.
- I'll double check with Half-Life why full screen duplication isn't working. I only tried with Hearthstone and assumed it worked for all games heh
- I'll add a screen size slider, excellent idea. I think the optimal settings will differ based on the resolution of people's desktops. Perhaps I could come up with default settings for each resolution in addition to the sliders.
- The inverted vertical head tracking wasn't intended. I probably just messed something up converting the RoomTiny sample to C#

Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it. I will hopefully be able to get my hands on a kit by next week so I can fine tune the experience. I also plan to support multiple displays (essentially replicating the user's desktop configuration).
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby guygodin » Fri May 02, 2014 1:46 am

Turns out that if a game uses the DXGI_SWAP_CHAIN_FLAG_DISPLAY_ONLY (like Half-Life 2) when they create their SwapChain, I won't be able to duplicate the display. So it will work for some games and not for others.

- I've added a screen size slider in addition to the screen distance. It does seem to offer a different zoom experience, perhaps it will be more noticeable with a rift.
- I think I've fixed the inverted pitch
- Fixed some stability issues when switching in & out of games
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby AxelBernadotte » Sat May 03, 2014 1:50 pm

This is great!

Or it will soon be great.

I have some feedback. I just now downloaded and tried it from the link at the top. System is Win8.1 with gtx690.

Headtracking up-down is reversed (still) so that you have to look up to see the bottom of the screen.
Calibration and making a profile worked well.
There should be an option to change your lookoutpoint. As it is now, from the default position, I would love to have a way to step back so that I see the whole screen, I would like to be able to step up down right left in a grid of 3x3 steps, and I would like to step forward (zoom in) and then scroll left right up down.
This would need 6 hotkeys.
Actually I dont think you should bother with it. You know, the DK2 is just around the corner, and that has positional tracking.
What I would like is that you implement the solution Teddy has in this demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYvwMd4JCIM

Base it on the absolute position of the headset, so that if I look closer the screen scales up, and if i move the head sideways I scroll, and if I am looking close I will scroll faster when moving sideways. That solution should be perfectly smooth and intuitive, without needing any hotkeys.
(Or for this solution it might be good with one hotkey that freezes the scale you have at a particular distance, so you can move your head closer or back without scaling up or down at the same time, but the program should at all the time keep track on where your scale would suppose to be if it was not locked, so that if you hit the hotkey again the scale pops there and becomes dynamic again. Did that make sense?)
Great work!
Last edited by AxelBernadotte on Sat May 03, 2014 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Virtual Desktop - Alpha

Postby rubixcube6 » Sat May 03, 2014 2:41 pm

I get this error message when i try to run it. I'm running Windows 7 64Bit.
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