2019 has been a tipping point for VR. There has been a proliferation of high-resolution, innovative headsets with better optics, and there has been great new compelling content with richer graphics, including Beat Saber, Asgard’s Wrath, Boneworks, and a number of Pro VR applications.
Image quality is crucially important in VR, and Variable Rate Super Sampling (VRSS) has been purpose-built to improve image quality for VR games and applications. A typical VR user puts on a standard HMD and looks at the center of the screen. Reducing aliasing in the center of the screen is paramount to improving image quality and helping to provide a flawless immersive VR experience to the user.
VRSS leverages NVIDIA Variable Rate Shading (VRS), which is a key feature in NVIDIA’s Turing and future architectures, to apply different shading rates in different regions of the screen to increase image quality.
VRSS accomplishes this through fixed-foveated super sampling: increasing the shading rate in the center mask region of the screen, while keeping the sampling rate unchanged in the peripheral region. The center mask region can be supersampled up to 8x to optimize image quality and reduce anti-aliasing. The maximum shading rate achieved is limited to the MSAA sample count per pixel, so 8x supersampling is enabled via 8x MSAA, 4x supersampling is enabled via 4x MSAA, and so forth.
VRSS can be applied to all VR games and applications that are DX11, Forward Rendered and have MSAA. The VRSS functionality resides in the NVIDIA Driver. The best part is that developers do not have to write any code to integrate VRSS, they just need to submit their VR game or application to NVIDIA for VRSS testing. NVIDIA will test the VR game or application, and if it benefits from VRSS, then it will be considered for whitelisting in the NVIDIA Driver. VRSS benefits both new and existing VR games and applications.
Read the Developer Blog, NVIDIA VRSS, a Zero-Effort Way to Improve Your VR Image Quality, here.