Motion Smoothing Feature in SteamVR Allows Lower-End GPUs to Become VR Ready

cageymaru

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
20,714
Valve Software has added a new feature to SteamVR that has the potential to allow many lower-end GPUs to become VR ready, while improving performance on higher end GPUs. Motion Smoothing senses when a VR application isn't going to make framerate and synthesizes the missing frame by looking at the last two delivered frames to estimate motion and animation. From that information a new frame is extrapolated. These synthesized frames allow the application to run at a full frame rate, eliminates judder, and keeps motion moving forward.

The reward is that the GPU only needs to render 1 out of 2 frames which lowers system performance requirements. If the system still can't keep up, Motion Smoothing can even synthesize 2 or 3 frames for every 1 frame delivered. It can even allow high-end GPUs to run at a higher resolution. Motion Smoothing is currently only available for systems running Windows 10 and an NVIDIA GPU. Valve Software's Alex Vlachos had this to say about AMD cards "We have this mostly working on AMD. We just have a few issues to sort out. AMD support is coming. Sorry I can't provide an exact timeline, but we are working on it."

What it means for you

From the player's perspective, what was previously a game that would hitch and drop frames producing judder is now a game that constantly runs smoothly at 90 Hz. SteamVR Motion Smoothing improves upon the previously released Asynchronous Reprojection to enhance the overall experience for customers across a wide variety of VR systems. Not only can lower-end GPUs now produce smooth frames in applications that were previously too expensive, higher-end GPUs can now render at an even higher resolution increasing the fidelity of all experiences on all VR systems.
 

Spidey329

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Messages
8,683
I'd be interested to see how it looks. Obviously when a TV does it for some shows, it can be uncanny (hence why some Director's tend to hate it).

If it works good enough, I could see Nvidia doing something similar at the driver level and slapping an AI sticker on it.
 

GMcDougal

Gawd
Joined
Aug 22, 2004
Messages
932
Im not sure how well this will be executed, but tech like this is going to help VR grow to the masses if it actually works
 

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
19,920
No clue if the tech has regressed or if the consoles have, but this used to be a decent way of faking 60fps in console games. At least the games that didn't require anything twitchy.
Yet both the Xbox One and PS4 games end up looking horrible with it. Things are blurry and choppy no matter what settings I use.
 

twonunpackmule

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
1,646
I'd be interested to see how it looks. Obviously when a TV does it for some shows, it can be uncanny (hence why some Director's tend to hate it).

If it works good enough, I could see Nvidia doing something similar at the driver level and slapping an AI sticker on it.

I think it'll look fine, it's more about "feel." How will it respond? I imagine a bunch of fake frames would create a bunch of lag.

Games are already running at 60fps or more. So, it won't be uncanny for people.
 

Domingo

Fully [H]
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
19,920
I think it'll look fine, it's more about "feel." How will it respond? I imagine a bunch of fake frames would create a bunch of lag.

That's definitely how it works with TV's. Even at its absolute best, it makes playing anything Twitchy VERY tough to play. Fighting games, shooters, Souls games, driving games, etc.
It's good for RPG's and hybrids (like Fallout), though.
 

cageymaru

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
20,714
That's definitely how it works with TV's. Even at its absolute best, it makes playing anything Twitchy VERY tough to play. Fighting games, shooters, Souls games, driving games, etc.
It's good for RPG's and hybrids (like Fallout), though.
The article says that it is completely different from what happens on modern TV Motion Smoothing settings.

How it works
If you have a flatscreen TV, you may be familiar with the term Motion Smoothing. TVs apply Motion Smoothing by interpolating between two existing frames to create a new in-between frame. This smooths out the frames and increases framerate, but it also adds latency – providing passable results for TV but definitely not the right way to go in VR.

The way we are applying Motion Smoothing in SteamVR is a bit different. When SteamVR sees that an application isn’t going to make framerate (i.e. start dropping frames), Motion Smoothing kicks in. It looks at the last two delivered frames, estimates motion and animation, and extrapolates a new frame. Synthesizing new frames keeps the current application at full framerate, advances motion forward, and avoids judder.
 
D

Deleted member 93354

Guest
Valve Software has added a new feature to SteamVR that has the potential to allow many lower-end GPUs to become VR ready, while improving performance on higher end GPUs. Motion Smoothing senses when a VR application isn't going to make framerate and synthesizes the missing frame by looking at the last two delivered frames to estimate motion and animation. From that information a new frame is extrapolated. These synthesized frames allow the application to run at a full frame rate, eliminates judder, and keeps motion moving forward.

The reward is that the GPU only needs to render 1 out of 2 frames which lowers system performance requirements. If the system still can't keep up, Motion Smoothing can even synthesize 2 or 3 frames for every 1 frame delivered. It can even allow high-end GPUs to run at a higher resolution. Motion Smoothing is currently only available for systems running Windows 10 and an NVIDIA GPU. Valve Software's Alex Vlachos had this to say about AMD cards "We have this mostly working on AMD. We just have a few issues to sort out. AMD support is coming. Sorry I can't provide an exact timeline, but we are working on it."

What it means for you

From the player's perspective, what was previously a game that would hitch and drop frames producing judder is now a game that constantly runs smoothly at 90 Hz. SteamVR Motion Smoothing improves upon the previously released Asynchronous Reprojection to enhance the overall experience for customers across a wide variety of VR systems. Not only can lower-end GPUs now produce smooth frames in applications that were previously too expensive, higher-end GPUs can now render at an even higher resolution increasing the fidelity of all experiences on all VR systems.

Sounds a lot like time warp. It sounds a lot like vector motion analysis similar to mpeg frame interpolation. Given the resolution you will need considerable CPU power to maintain 90fps on the resolution. Unfortunately it will break down if the user institutes relative reference fustrum change. (In other words, you can't render content that appears suddenly in frame because it was off frame before, and not rendered.) These situations include moving your head, or sitting in some sort of moving platform like a vehicle.

There is the possibility it's looking at the individual draw calls and performing x/y positional change analysis and repeating the draw call cell frame and reapplying it to a new location similar to temporal AA.
 

STEvil

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 17, 2000
Messages
2,819
The article says that it is completely different from what happens on modern TV Motion Smoothing settings.

How it works
If you have a flatscreen TV, you may be familiar with the term Motion Smoothing. TVs apply Motion Smoothing by interpolating between two existing frames to create a new in-between frame. This smooths out the frames and increases framerate, but it also adds latency – providing passable results for TV but definitely not the right way to go in VR.

The way we are applying Motion Smoothing in SteamVR is a bit different. When SteamVR sees that an application isn’t going to make framerate (i.e. start dropping frames), Motion Smoothing kicks in. It looks at the last two delivered frames, estimates motion and animation, and extrapolates a new frame. Synthesizing new frames keeps the current application at full framerate, advances motion forward, and avoids judder.

I dont think that negates what domingo said.
 

admiralperpetual

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
416
overpriced Vive users finally get tech cheap Rift users have had for nearly 2 years... Rift's new version of this is already being implemented too hah.
 

lenne0815

n00b
Joined
Apr 9, 2015
Messages
21
Jeah, that bandwaggon has long left the station, asw 2.0 is already close to release, lets give volvo another two years to catch up. ( intrestingly enough asw 2.0 also lays the foundation for eye tracked dof rendering )
 
Top