Foveated Real-Time Ray Tracing for Virtual Reality Headset



Masahiro Fujita (1) and Takahiro Harada (2)

1) Light Transport Entertainment Research 2) Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.


Technical memo(May 2014)




From left: (a) Our method with 6.7M triangles Rungholt scene. 55K shaded samples. Inset picture was taken through the lens of the Oculus Rift HMD. (b) Naiive ray tracing. 1M shaded samples. Visual quality in our method is equivalent to the one produced by the na ̈ıve method when seen through the HMD. (c) Our foveated sampling pattern and k-NN filtering method. Each cell corresponds to a sampling point. (d) Other scenes. Real-time rendering over 60 fps is achieved with the OpenCL(TM) ray tracer, running on four Radeon(TM) R9 290X GPUs.


Emerging commodity high frame rate, wide angle head mounted display(HMD) VR Headsets, especially the Oculus Rift, opens the possibility of providing immersive virtual reality experience into widespread consumers. Fast, low latency, smooth and realistic rendering methods are vital for such a VR device.

We invented a new foveated rendering technique based on ray tracing. By nature, ray tracing allows flexible sampling control over the image and is extremely suitable for foveated rendering. Ray tracing also has a unified way to produce high quality shadows, reflection, etc which are important factors for immersive VR experiences.

Abstract (PDF)

Poster (PDF)




Research home