Timewarp is an Oculus technology that helps maintain fast and responsive head tracking by modifying the rendered output on the fly to match very recent orientation information.
When we render for VR, we render left- and right-eye views of the scene we are looking at – and we render these for our best predicted estimate of the orientation of the headset, at the time it will actually appear to the user. Timewarp is a technique where we allow an already-rendered eye view to be adjusted to appear as if it was originally rendered at a different orientation than the original orientation. This is done as part of the distortion rendering step. That means we can leave our prediction of the Rift’s orientation until the very last moment, and then predict it with much more accuracy – giving us a significant lower latency, which makes the VR that much more responsive.
To implement it properly, follow the source code in the Oculus sample, shipped with the SDK, called “OculusRoomTiny." It contains an showcase C++ file called “OculusRoomTiny.cpp” which clearly shows the calls to the SDK required, and the order in which they need to be made. Follow this code closely.
Timewarp is also supported on GearVR, where it can help games maintain responsive head tracking even if the frame rate starts to dip.
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