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  • Plane9 v2.5 released!

    published on 12/7/2016 8:44 PM

    One more release has made it before the end of the year reached us. The original plan was to focus on getting Vive support in but inspiration was surprisingly lacking and it didn’t help that I stumbled on a bug in Valves OpenVR library. They quickly fixed it once it was brought to their attention so this release now comes with oculus and vive support. It will try to start up using oculus first and if that isn’t detected it will start OpenVR for vive. There is a setting in the configuration window that you will like if you have both but prefer to use the vive instead of oculus.

    The vive is mainly a standing experience and oculus seems to moving towards that as well. This posed a rather difficult problem since the scenes now need to work in VR while sitting, standing and walking around. I think I found a good balance with this so the scene should work well in all those scenarios but it’s not perfect. All scenes have been adjusted to support this and I’m happy to say that the end result was well worth it. Adding to this difficulty I also activated the layered support for vr scenes. Since all scenes have to be in real world units this worked surprisingly well. Some scenes look just amazing together like the sphere beat combined with inside cube where you can walk around this beating sphere. It certainly brings the music to another level and this is of course just the start. In total there are now 76 scenes that works well in VR!

    But don’t worry that this is a VR only release. There are multiple major changes in other parts of the visualizer as well.

    Bloom The bloom has been rebuilt from the ground up and it looks much better now than the old bloom.

    Scene combiner Before each scene was rendered into a 8 bits per component surface and thus each scene had to do it’s own gamma correction. Since we can render up to 7 scenes at the same time this lowers the performance we get and the quality because of quantization artifacts when each scene is combined with the next. To help with this all scenes now render to HDR buffers. We then do a postprocessing pass that has the following effects

    • High quality gamma correction
    • Banding removal. Banding can completely destroy a scene and is especially easy to see in very dark colors.
    • Compute luma to improve fxaa quality
    • Simplifies scenes since all this is done for them
    • Can in the future skip gamma correction to output to HDR monitors

    Speaker setup A bug has been reported a few times that I managed to track down to users of a any speaker setup that isn’t mono, stereo or exactly 5.1 with front, center, back, sub. Those affected noticed that the spectrum were not that well matched to the music.

    Removed scenes Quite a lot of scenes have been removed in this release mostly because I didn’t think they matched the quality I wanted or just didn't fit as music visualizer scenes.

    Example of v2.5


    The full release notes


    • Support for OpenVR and HTC Vive
    • Greatly improved bloom
    • Enable anisotropy for mipmapped surfaces. Brings large quality improvements to some scenes
    • Added global dither/banding removal for all scenes
    • Changed render target to be HDR for improved quality in scene layer composition and to prepare for real HDR monitors
    • JXR, HDR loader
    • Panoramic image support
    • Support point sampled textures
    • Show how long time is left before recording is completed
    • Respect pause and quit for oculus
    • Removed individual scene gamma and made it global for all scenes
    • Let the studio application log into it's own log file
    • Set transitiontime, sceneminruntime, scenemaxruntime from command line in recording mode
    • Support damping and rate decrease/increase for waveform
    • Better shader random functions
    • Fog shader function
    • Autoflush studio log file
    • Support for height textures in materials
    • Only allow the scene to change once because of silence
    • Enable layered scenes in VR for much greater variety. Can be disabled in options if your system can't handle it.
    • Play button on each scene in the studio timeline to quickly be able to see how the scene looks in its layered form


    • Fixed issue on setups that contained anything else than exactly mono, stereo or 6 channel (front, center, back, sub) speaker setup
    • Changed to ACES tone mapping for almost all scenes to improve dark colors
    • Target OpenGL core profile
    • Take screenshots from texture and not individual windows
    • Asteroids node explosion bug
    • Dont quit when any key is pressed in windowed mode
    • Make sure we load in the correct texture during preloading
    • Improved FXAA
    • More accurate gamma correction
    • Approximate 2x improvement to video recording speed.
    • Scenes could look wrong during transitions when reduced sizes were used
    • Qt 5.7
    • Oculus SDK 1.9
    • Fixed wrong movement of close object for Oculus. Makes the VR experience much better.
    • Large quality improvement on streaks and all scenes using it
    • Limit to/from transition scale to 100% max
    • Replaced "tiles" texture used in a few scenes
    • Improved quality of a few textures

    Removed Removed Bumpy Interference, Creation,Liquid Metal,noise walker,copper bars,particle cloud,my brain hurts,spiral interference,star,Kaleidoscope,twist,Quaternion,Digital Heart,Glowing Spike Ball,2DKIFS,crystal,glow lines,ToTheRoadOfRibbon, 3part color, meta ice,star scenes,spectrum waves,dotfunnel