Combined VR and Desktop - is it possible?!

Hi, I’m making the switch to real time from offline and making good progress, but VR is new to me and I have almost no experience. I’ve just completed a project where I we were tasked to produce a project where the final delivery was both desktop AND VR in one build. Dynamically lit too. I have a few questions on this…

  1. It would seem to me you can’t really combine the 2 as frame rate profiling considerations would be very different for both for one reason. Is this correct?

  2. Are there any other major reasons why it would not be a good idea to produce a combined project?

  3. Is it generally a bad idea to use dynamic lighting in VR, (for the obvious cost reason, or any other)

  4. We had a LOT of glass in the project, does this impact on frame rate in VR?

  5. Frame rate on screen was just about acceptable, some of the time, when viewed on screen, but when profiling in the headset the frame rate pretty much halved, what’s the reason for this?

Thanks in advance.

With regards to dynamic lights, if you can get away with them not casting shadows that helps, but in general the less dynamic lights you need the better. And when you do need them only cast shadows if you need to.

Translucency can be tough on VR. You may get some savings by making transparent materials additive if possible. I’ve gotten big savings on particles by doing this, but it won’t always be sufficient.

Most likely you are falling below the native frame rate on the headset. For example on the Vive you either are going to be running at 45 fps or 90 fps. There is no middle ground. If your frame rate would have been 88 fps it will downgrade you to 45 fps. So its very important to stay over 90 in that case.

Thanks for the feedback, super useful. That is very handy to know regarding headset frame rate. Did you have any thoughts on the viability of a combined desktop/VR build? I think it’s madness personally but I have a project team who are pushing it through.