OpenXR support for IL-2 and DCS for Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets (2024)

Just played a bit around with the Upscaler in the Toolkit with DCS...

Man, what a difference! Everything is such crisp and clear through the ´sharpening´...incredible! I can´t believe, never made use of this option before as it is such an improvement in visual quality. The landscape is such beautiful now - you could easily spot the runway miles away from 20.000ft.

Spotting other aircrafts in the sky is very much improved. And the co*ckpit ´wear and tear´ is much better pronounced.

Just try the following in the OpenXR Toolkit:

Upscaler set to FSR

Size to 88% ( for example, but it´s what I´ve just set spontaneously )

Sharpening: 100% <--- THAT´S THE ONE!!!!

Through the image has become massively crisp, there are induced some tiny shimmering effects on very small thin lines here and there - nothing to bother about for me and not really recognizable as a downside, but those tiny shimmerings surely had been coverer before by a standard overall bluriness without additional sharpening in comparison.

Really recommend to try this out and make a view of your own. Easy to switch back or adjust those setting to ones likings.

Will try what the sharpening effects could do for IL-2 next ...

... so, after checking the sharpening effects with IL-2, I came to conclude, that it is not so much pronounced as in DCS on the first view.
While the ground and assets look a bit less foggy, there is not so much of change visible there. But this has to do with less graphical fidelity in IL-2 of the maps like Stalingrad or Moscow ( on the other hand, this is why IL-2 perfroms much, much better in VR than DCS ). Also the wasn´t so much a change visible in the IL-2 co*ckpits, as those are in anyway very sharp and detailed ( using 4K textures in IL-2 ).

But where the sharpening effect shines in IL-2 is on the aircraft models. So much more detailed in external view and the view on other warbirds. Spotting is improved and identifying more easy with more sharpened and detailed aircraft models. When a swarm of P-47´s and P-51´s engange dirctly from the front and passing close with high airspeed it just felt much more realistic and faster to me as you could observe very small details on the opponents, when they are passing close. Also hunting a train on the ground, the train looks much better as it is sharper and better visible. Haven´t looked yet at the Rheinland map with a few more hills or attacking ground assets.

In DCS the effect is much more visible due to the much more detailed landscapes and cities of the Nevada map and Syria.

How the Upscaler in OpenXR Toolkit works

There are three option belonging to the Upscaler:

1. Upscale to choose from ´none´, ´NIS´, ´FSR´

NIS is Nvidia developed upscale method, which works with Nvidia cards only.

FSR is AMD developed upscaler, which works with both Nvidia and AMD cards. The Internet says FSR is the much better and more performant upscaler method compared to NIS, so FSR seems to be the one method to choose from.

2. Size

With the size could be defined the image resolution which should be rendered and then upscaled from there to the target resolution.
100% size is exactly the target resolution ( in my case approx 3160 x 3060 for HP Reverb G2 set to 100% renderscale within the OpenXR developer tool ).

If set the size in the OpenXR Toolkit upscaler to 88% the GPU renders an image size of approx 2700 x 2700 and the FSR upscaler algorythms scales the set size of approx 2700 x 2700 up to 3160 x 3060. By this the render process frees performance, means you´ll get more FPS. How much more differs. on system and settings.
It is said, that the Upscaler is more efficient on mid- and low-range system and less efficient on high end systems.The purpose of the upscaler in anyway is to get more performance, while maintaining the visual quality of a high resolution image.

2.b There is also an ´Anamorphic´ option which could be set to ´on´ or ´off´. With this setting the width and heights of the image could be scaled individually. Didn´t tried that out, as I don´t see the need to use it. But it provides the possibilty to only scale the pixel count in the width or heights of the image.
Wouldn´t expect the image to be streched horizontally or vertically as anamorphic means it would be then adjusted back to the format image ( like 16:9, 4:5 or in case of the HP Reverb 1:1 defined by the main API OpenXR developer tool ). I would leave Anamorphic at ´off´ to keep the process of use easier.

3. Sharpening
That surprised a lot in DCS and improved the image crispness and clarity very much. It also cost a bit of performance, which could be balanced out by adjusting the uspcaler size as in point 2. There were several mods before for DCS like ´Reshade´ among others, which provide more sharpness in VR, but with the OpenXR toolkit it is now very easily doable with very good results in sharpness and performance. I´ve set to 100%, but could be dialed down for individual setting.

I would start with the sharpening set to 100%, observing then the FPS counter, if performance got lost through the process, while getting a much, much sharper image and then get back the lost FPS by dialing down the upscaler size. Looks like these two functions work very good in combination in the OpenXR Toolkit.

OpenXR support for IL-2 and DCS for Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets (2024)

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