From: John Stone (johns_at_ks.uiuc.edu)
Date: Thu Mar 22 2018 - 11:31:04 CDT

Hi,
  Not yet. I've been waiting for OpenXR to be released so that VMD can target
a single cross-vendor and cross-platform HMD API rather than several
proprietary ones... Since we have very limited development resources,
it is impractical for me to write (and forever maintain) 3 to 5 unique
versions of the HMD interface code to allow VMD to work with HMDs.
See this web site:
  https://www.khronos.org/openxr

We are hoping for OpenXR to become the "OpenGL" of HMD programming APIs,
but it will take time. Failing that, we would likely have to choose
the most dominant HMD/platform combination and implement support for
just one.

In the interim, we may create an interface to allow VMD to
export live scenes to display in the Unreal game engine.
That approach hinges upon an ongoing collaboration we have with
colleagues at NVIDIA who have done a compelling prototype
that we want to try out with VMD.

Best,
  John Stone
  vmd_at_ks.uiuc.edu

On Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 11:20:59AM -0500, Dr. Eddie wrote:
> Hello,
> Is there any news on this?
> Thanks,
> Eddie
> On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 3:05 PM, John Stone <[1]johns_at_ks.uiuc.edu> wrote:
>
> Hi,
> ¬ No, in this case "prototypical" means that it works with a particular
> open source driver on Linux, and with a specific back-end rendering
> approach
> (parallel GPU-accelerated ray tracing on remote compute nodes), but that
> it does not presently support any of the proprietary HMD APIs such as
> the
> Oculus or Vive commercial SDKs.¬ I have had a few people play around
> with
> the prototype implementation that's in VMD now, but I'm holding off on
> going further than the protype, until a little more HMD software
> standardization occurs.
>
> The plan I am following is to implement the "production" approach to
> HMDs
> in VMD on upcoming cross-platform APIs, in particular I am hoping that
> the new
> Khronos OpenXR API will be well suited to the needs of VMD, and will
> provide the ability to support HMD hardware from multiple vendors on
> multiple operating systems, which is something not presently available
> from the existing APIs.
>
> Here is basic information about OpenXR:
> ¬ [2]https://www.khronos.org/openxr
>
> The OpenXR standard is in-development, but I expect that a formal
> specification and initial API will become available in the coming year,
> perhaps already in early 2018.¬ I have volunteered to become a member
> of the Khronos OpenXR advisory panel, which would allow me to get early
> access to OpenXR API specs, SDKs, and drivers in an early form
> when they become available for alpha/beta testing and feedback.
>
> Optimistically, I would expect to have adapted VMD for OpenXR very soon
> after I get hands-on availability of early SDKs and drivers, maybe in
> just a few weeks.¬ Timing of releases will depend on many factors, but
> I
> will definitely invest much more energy in HMD VR support once I have
> a single API to code for that has a chance of running on every major
> OS with good hardware support.
>
> Best,
> ¬ John Stone
>
> On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 02:40:44PM -0500, Dr. Eddie wrote:
> >¬ ¬ Pardon my ignorance, but does a√* prototypical implementation√*
> mean if I
> >¬ ¬ purchase a VR computer with a oculus rift or vibe I can get it to
> >¬ ¬ visualize in 3d?
> >¬ ¬ Sorry for the simple question and thanks!
> >¬ ¬ Eddie
> >¬ ¬ On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 3:37 PM, John Stone
> <[1][3]johns_at_ks.uiuc.edu> wrote:
> >
> >¬ ¬ ¬ Hi,
> >¬ ¬ ¬ √*¬ I have prototypical implementations of interactive VR
> rendering
> >¬ ¬ ¬ in VMD already, but they are based on interactive ray tracing
> and
> >¬ ¬ ¬ they only work with the OpenHMD toolkit thus far.
> >
> >¬ ¬ ¬ Up to now I have been waiting for a bit of cross-platform
> >¬ ¬ ¬ cross-HMD-vendor standardization to occur, but it has been
> slow in
> >¬ ¬ ¬ arriving.
> >¬ ¬ ¬ At Siggraph last month I met with members of the nascent
> OpenXR VR
> >¬ ¬ ¬ standardization effort, and I'm hoping to be able to join the
> >¬ ¬ ¬ OpenXR advisory panel which would let me get early access to
> the
> >¬ ¬ ¬ in-development standard and early test implementations
> thereof.
> >¬ ¬ ¬ I expect to use OpenXR as the basis for the more general
> implementation
> >¬ ¬ ¬ of VR HMD support in VMD going forward, which will alleviate
> the
> >¬ ¬ ¬ considerable
> >¬ ¬ ¬ development costs that would be associated with having to
> write
> >¬ ¬ ¬ different
> >¬ ¬ ¬ implementations for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and various
> other
> >¬ ¬ ¬ existing
> >¬ ¬ ¬ and forthcoming HMDs.√*¬ It is clear that this is the right
> way to go
> >¬ ¬ ¬ when
> >¬ ¬ ¬ you see some of the upcoming HMD designs that are quite
> different from
> >¬ ¬ ¬ the existing ones, needing APIs that are a bit broader and
> more general.
> >
> >¬ ¬ ¬ As a hedge, if OpenXR ends up taking too long to become
> available to the
> >¬ ¬ ¬ community, I might consider doing some kind of light weight
> >¬ ¬ ¬ implementation,
> >¬ ¬ ¬ again using either OpenHMD or perhaps using the "OpenVR" code
> by Valve,
> >¬ ¬ ¬ but I'm really hoping to only have to write the code once, and
> to base
> >¬ ¬ ¬ it
> >¬ ¬ ¬ on OpenXR if things go the way I hope they do.
> >
> >¬ ¬ ¬ Best regards,
> >¬ ¬ ¬ √*¬ John Stone
> >¬ ¬ ¬ √*¬ [2][4]vmd_at_ks.uiuc.edu
> >¬ ¬ ¬ On Sat, Aug 12, 2017 at 04:29:49PM +0000, Christopher Neale
> wrote:
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ Dear all:
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ I am excited about the VMD developments that permit
> interaction
> >¬ ¬ ¬ with the
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ Occulus Rift (or similar VR tech), but the only
> text that I can
> >¬ ¬ ¬ find
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ (copied below) is vague enough that I don't really
> understand the
> >¬ ¬ ¬ breadth
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ of what can be done with VMD and the rift.
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ the site:
> >¬ ¬ ¬
> [3][5]http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/minitutorials/vrmovies/
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ has the text: One of the advanced features provided
> by VMD
> >¬ ¬ ¬ versions 1.9.3
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ and later is the ability to render omnidirectional
> stereoscopic
> >¬ ¬ ¬ 3-D images
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ and movies, useful to create so-called "VR" movies
> on YouTube and
> >¬ ¬ ¬ for VR
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ HMD movie players on devices such as GearVR, Oculus
> Rift, and
> >¬ ¬ ¬ others.
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ Am I right to understand that one has to first
> "render" an
> >¬ ¬ ¬ interactive
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ world that can then later be interacted with via
> the rift
> >¬ ¬ ¬ (rotating and
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ zooming the viewpoint interactively)? Or is this
> simply a
> >¬ ¬ ¬ stereoscipic
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ movie?
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ Can the rift be used at all without extensive
> pre-rendering? If
> >¬ ¬ ¬ so, is it
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ simply a passive steroscopic viewer or can it be
> more immersive?
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ Finally, since a stereoscopic view has two views,
> do I need two
> >¬ ¬ ¬ video
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ cards, or just one?
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ Thanks for the help,
> >¬ ¬ ¬ >√*¬ √*¬ Chris.
> >
> >¬ ¬ ¬ --
> >¬ ¬ ¬ NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
> >¬ ¬ ¬ Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
> >¬ ¬ ¬ University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
> >¬ ¬ ¬ [4][6]http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~johns/√*¬ √*¬ √*¬ √*¬ √*¬
> √* Phone: [5]217-244-3349
> >¬ ¬ ¬ [6][7]http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/
> >
> >¬ ¬ --
> >¬ ¬ Eddie
> >
> > References
> >
> >¬ ¬ Visible links
> >¬ ¬ 1. mailto:[8]johns_at_ks.uiuc.edu
> >¬ ¬ 2. mailto:[9]vmd_at_ks.uiuc.edu
> >¬ ¬ 3.
> [10]http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/minitutorials/vrmovies/
> >¬ ¬ 4. [11]http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~johns/
> >¬ ¬ 5. file:///tmp/tel:[12]217-244-3349
> >¬ ¬ 6. [13]http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/
> --
> NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
> Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
> University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
> [14]http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~johns/¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ Phone:
> [15]217-244-3349
> [16]http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/
>
> --
> Eddie
>
> References
>
> Visible links
> 1. mailto:johns_at_ks.uiuc.edu
> 2. https://www.khronos.org/openxr
> 3. mailto:johns_at_ks.uiuc.edu
> 4. mailto:vmd_at_ks.uiuc.edu
> 5. http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/minitutorials/vrmovies/
> 6. http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~johns/%C3%82
> 7. http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/
> 8. mailto:johns_at_ks.uiuc.edu
> 9. mailto:vmd_at_ks.uiuc.edu
> 10. http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/minitutorials/vrmovies/
> 11. http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~johns/
> 12. file:///tmp/tel:217-244-3349
> 13. http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/
> 14. http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~johns/
> 15. file:///tmp/tel:217-244-3349
> 16. http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/

-- 
NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/~johns/           Phone: 217-244-3349
http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/vmd/