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  • Plane9 v2.2 released!

    published on 2/11/2015 8:48 PM

    Now Plane9 can check off Oculus Rift support on the todo list. I managed to get my hands on a DK2 last autumn and have been trying it out since then. There are very few good applications out there with VR support. I annoyingly discovered that I’m very sensitive to VR and quickly gets simulation sickness. For example when trying any of the rollercoaster demos I usually can’t even get down the first hill before I have to take the kit off. But as long as I, as the vr character, am still then I don’t have any issues.

    So this also means that the VR compatible scenes for Plane9 are geared towards this. In just about all of them so are you still while you can look around to see what happens in the scene. This should make for a rather good VR experience even for beginners. Something different than the few other VR music visualizers that exists is that Plane9 uses both transitions and uncommon postprocessing effects like embos or posterize that can give the scene a completely new direction.


    What’s quite interesting is the new feelings you can get from using a Oculus Rift. Take the 'Music star' scene. If you leave it running for a short while with some music playing, then soon enough so will you realize its just you and the particle field/life form in this world. What can then make a rather disturbing feeling is when the particle field in front of you dies with the music. Leaving you all alone in this completely black and silent world. It’s certainly not a feeling I have even had a program made me feel before.

    Music star

    Some other goodies in this release is support a new threaded engine for a smoother experience. There is also now support for 150% and 200% render targets if you have the GPU to spare for increased quality. Plane9 now tells Nvidia Optimus to use the dedicated GPU, so if you have such a laptop you might see a large performance increase. I also discovered that on multimonitor system so was the total render area rendered for each monitor. This means that if you have 3 monitors you could see an almost 200% performance boost. What took a lot of time in this release was the internal change to use Qt for window management, changing to GLM for math and adapting the OpenGL’s right handed coordinate system and upside down textures.

    Here is the full change list Added

    • Oculus Rift support! VR mode will treat background and foreground scenes as standalone.
    • Added support for 150% and 200% resolutions for improved quality for the ones that have the GPU to spare.
    • Run updates on a separate thread
    • Preload some shaders to reduce scene switching latency
    • Use Qt as main window manager
    • ScreenNode: Added look at
    • Change scene using space in windowed mode or right arrow in screensaver mode
    • Use GLM for math
    • Follow OpenGL and use right handed system with Z going out from screen
    • Tell Nvidia Optimus to use the dedicated GPU
    • 12 new scenes
    • Added ability to start a playlist in VR or Windowed mode from the configuration screen
    • Collect total and free GPU memory if we can


    • SoundTexture: Increase quality by using 16 bit texture
    • SoundTexture: Accumulate result for a better result
    • Increased quality of the fast noise
    • All screens were rendered for each monitor in a multi monitor setup.
    • Memory leak on layered scene if moving to the same scene
    • Large increase in quality of earth textures. Now requires at least 100Mb GPU memory to show just that scene
    • Qt 5.4.0
    • Last scene wasn't shown in the configuration screen


    • Removed FreeImage library. Used Qt instead
    • Removed clover and blobbies

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Carsten Pache
24 Feb, 2015
The screenshots were taken from my main system which has an onboard Intel HD Graphics 4600. I also tried Plane9 on an older PC with an Nvidia graphics card - on this system the Earth scene looks much more like the screenshot on top of this page.
But nevermind - although it would be nice if I could use the Earth scene on my main PC, too, there are many other scenes that look just beautiful. Great work, Joakim!
Joakim Dahl
23 Feb, 2015
You should see it lit up on some of those screenshots. What you could try if you have a AMD gfx card is to update to 14.x drivers. I noticed that older drivers did behave strange on that scene but it was fixed after a driver update. If that doesn't help I'm not sure what can be done without some intense debugging using the same gfx card that you have.
Carsten Pache
23 Feb, 2015
Yes, I saw the sun ;-) But is it intended that the earth is nearly always quite dark?
For example: or or (the first one is the brightest earth I got to see).
Joakim Dahl
20 Feb, 2015
Just wait, the earth will rotate around the sun and show the other side.
Carsten Pache
20 Feb, 2015
The scene "Earth (Standalone)" shows just a black earth with some lights (cities at night?) on my system (Intel HD Graphics 4600) as if the sun is on the wrong side of the earth. Is this a problem of the graphic card?
Unknown user
15 Feb, 2015
Thank you Joakim
Joakim Dahl
13 Feb, 2015
Easiest is to just look at a playlist in the playlist directory. The only other thing you can set is a "ShowTimeMax" per scene in seconds. Useful if you want to match a song exactly and only show each scene the exact amount of seconds. I have added command line syntax to the documentation
Unknown user
13 Feb, 2015
I like it. Thank you.
Where can I find detailed documentation on the playlist syntax ?
Where can I find detailed documentation on the command line syntax ?