Unigine has released a new version of their popular DirectX 11 benchmarking software called Heaven, a piece of software that can put significant load on your hardware, no matter how powerful it is. The Heaven benchmark is one of the best looking benchmarks that can also take advantage of the latest graphics technologies such as tessellation and stereoscopic 3D support. The newest version of the benchmark builds on top of that and ads some new features among which is an enhanced 3D Vision support (already introduced a while ago) as well as an improved support for multi-monitor configurations including the introduction of support for the Nvidia 3D Vision Surround setups (multi-monitor stereoscopic 3D). Of course the Heaven benchmark also supports multiple other stereo 3D modes besides 3D Vision, it can already work in anaglyph 3D mode or Side by Side, even iZ3D monitors are supported. There is a free basic edition of Unigine’s Heaven benchmark that you can download and use and the commercial pro version of the software only adds some extras that might be of interest to professionals using Heaven for serious benchmarking. It is interesting to note that the Heaven DX11 Benchmark software is based on the company’s Unigine graphical engine, meaning that all that you see in the benchmark can be realized in an actual game with the game engine, including stereoscopic 3D support. And quite recently Unigine have also released a game of their own based on that engine that also supports stereo 3D, the game is called Oil Rush. If you haven’t seen it already you are welcome to try it out, it comes with a very good stereoscopic 3D support and although there are some minor things needed to be fixed the game still looks very nice.
March 11th, 2012 · 6 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision
February 3rd, 2012 · 4 Comments · Stereo 3D Games
Oil Rush is pretty much the first real commercially available game based on the impressive Unigine engine that has up until recently been used mostly for benchmarking video cards using the very popular Heaven benchmark. The game has been developed by the makers of the Unigine engine itself, and since the more recent versions of the engine have official stereoscopic 3D support, the game also supports it. Oil Rush is a real-time naval strategy game based on group control that combines the strategic challenge of a classical RTS title with the fun of Tower Defence type of games provide in a vast water world with very nice and detailed graphics. The game is multiplatform, so it is not available only for Windows, but the most stereoscopic 3D features are supported in the Windows version, including support for 3D Vision. Oil Rush is a game that you may want to try playing in stereo 3D mode as it does work very well.
Oil Rush Supports DX9, DX10, DX11 and OpenGL rendering modes in the Windows version that I’ve tried. With the OpenGL support for stereo 3D being limited to only anaglyph mode, while in all DirectX modes you get full support for anaglyph, Side by Side, iZ3D monitors as well as 3D Vision. Have in mind that you will need to activate Vsync in order to be able to use the game in stereo 3D mode with 3D Vision. There is no official 3D Vision profile for the game available in the latest video drivers, even in the latest beta released just a few days ago, but activating the 3D Vision mode from the game launcher does produce very good results in stereo 3D mode. You can also run the game with disabled stereo 3D mode and then activate 3D Vision when the game loads, but then you may experience some issues with setting up the best parameters for playing the game comfortably and also have some visual artifacts.
Activating the 3D Vision mode from the game’s launcher apparently loads different settings and also disables the convergence adjustment, but there is also a stereo 3D effect slider in the game’s options menu. With the 3D Vision mode active and all the depth pushed to the maximum the game still looks a bit flat, especially for people that are used to play with a lot of depth. But as I’ve said not activating the 3D Vision mode from the game menu and forcing it directly inside the game, although leaves convergence adjustment unlocked and allows higher depth adjustment, may lead to having some visual issues and thus resulting in not so good experience, so you may be better off with the official 3D Vision mode activated and a bit flatter image. With the official 3D Vision mode activated from the launcher you will notice that the cursor is rendered in 2D at the screen depth, but that isn’t that much of a bother actually, and most of the HUD is also rendered at screen depth, although there are some elements that may slightly pop-out and that can create unpleasant feeling when moving the cursor over them. Other than that there aren’t any visual issues with the game running in stereo 3D mode with the 3D Vision option activated from the game launcher, so it is something that you may wish to try yourself and if you do you are welcome to share your feedback about the game below. The good thing is that the game developer is quite actively working on improving the stereo 3D support in the game and getting rid of the issues…
Update: Apparently the game runs directly without going through the launcher pictured above for the Steam version, so if you’ve got the Steam and not the standalone version of the game, then try running it through the “launcher_x86.bat” file located in “C:\program files (x86)\steam\steamapps\common\oil rush\”, instead of directly through Steam. Also the game developer has announced in their official forum that they plan to address the stereo 3D issues in the next 1.03 update that should be available next week.