What is Foveated Rendering?

In the world of virtual reality, there are many different ways to render good graphics. One method often being used is called foveated rendering. It is an excellent way to focus on whatever the player is actually seeing, and move the rest in the background. Our human vision works in similar ways, as we can’t see an entire room in focus right away either.

Foveated Rendering is the Future of VR

It takes quite a lot of resources to properly render virtual reality graphics. This is why the most expensive headsets for desktop users require an incredibly powerful computer as well. One needs a good CPU and GPU combination to properly experience VR. Mobile headsets can use the hardware found in one’s phone, which often leads to less spectacular results.

This is where foveated rendering comes into the picture, no pun intended. By using this method, VR developers can focus on objects as the human player sees them. Everything else will become blurred, as it is not in focus at that moment. This should, in theory, put less strain on available computing resources regardless of which device is used to experience the VR content.

Since the human eye can only perceive details of objects in focus, there is little use in putting everything on display right away. While we would all like to bask in the glory of stunning 4K graphics everywhere we look, our eyes can only see so much detail at once. Ensuring some objects are displayed through foveated rendering makes a lot of sense. There is no point in wasting computing resources, after all.

In the end, rendering parts of the image within one’s peripheral vision at  a lower resolution makes a lot of sense. It is not something that is difficult to implement, yet it requires some trial and error to get right. All VR developers should take notice of foveated rendering and how it can make their projects more popular and powerful. It is a technology that goes a very long way in the world of virtual reality.

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