Back when virtual reality (VR) started to reemerge as a consumer product one of the difficulties developers had was getting the immersive qualities of the technology across to new users. One avenue that proved to be particularly successful and seen everywhere today are mixed reality (MR) videos, seeing the player in the virtual world. To facilitate an easier production process LIV came along, launching into Early Access in 2018. This week LIV Inc. has announced plans to exit Early Access, updating to v1.0.0 with several new features.
The biggest feature coming in v1.0.0 and one which users have been after for a while is Avatars. LIV Avatars only require a VR headset to use – no webcam or capture card is required. Using less CPU and GPU power than regular cameras, the Avatar perspective is controllable on the fly, with 4 types of viewpoint to choose from: Selfie, Third-person, First-person, and Gamepad.
Easily switchable using a single controller, the system will also support full-body avatars using SteamVR trackers. Going into further detail LIV Inc. states: “Avatar settings are saved against a camera profile – which means that you can set up many different cameras, avatars and behaviours all as different profiles. Switch between them instantly now using the profile dropdown.”
The other main addition is proper support for Kinect v2 on Xbox One. This means that the sensor is as fast as any normal camera, calibration is easier with faster background removal and smarter post-processing smooths out those edges. “With the performance improvements, we’re hoping to enable more of you to make use of the Xbox One’s Kinect sensor – it’s the best depth camera still commonly available, and the one we feel provides the best image today, adds LIV Inc. “So, just like any other camera in LIV, all the juicy profile improvements apply here too. You can set up advanced effects (like our LUT effect, or the mask effect) on your Kinect and easily toggle between them at runtime without any jank!”
LIV Inc. hasn’t stated when the v1.0.0 will go live but expect it to be soon. As further announcements are made VRFocus will keep you posted.
The full changelog for v1.0.0 is as follows:
- Avatars! More about this up top, how did ya miss it?
- Kinect support – no seriously, scroll up!
- Per-camera tracking source controls!
- Camera profile switching is now much faster when it can be – more here as we improve things further!
- AMD support! It’s not 100% of the way there yet, so bear with us – it’s finally possible to get things capturing!
- Better foreground blending for legacy titles.
- Automatic calibration updating! Not all games support this yet, but you’ll notice that for a lot of them you’ll be able to change everything about a camera now!
- Calibrate with games running! Just hit ‘Begin Calibration’ in the usual place and it’ll detect that there’s something running.
- Simplified tracker management – we now expose options only if you need them, making it easier to work out what will make a difference when testing games!
- Better feedback when changing cameras, and when capturing games.
- New remote control commands for switching camera profiles and launching the compositor.