Room Optimization

SteamVR Lighthouse 2.0 for Motion Capture environment setup


It is important when using SteamVR and lighthouse tracking that reflective surfaces in the mocap environment be covered or removed.

I use masking tape to cover many of the reflective surfaces in the room. Masking off shiny switch/outlet covers and chrome plated doorknobs, etc. 

Especially important is to mask off any shiny objects that are at high elevations, for example this chrome plated lighting fixture that was located in the center of my playspace would sometimes cause noticeable tracking errors from the highly reflective surfaces. covering the the polished surfaces with masking tape drastically improved the overall quality of the tracking!

Glass surfaces are also extremely reflective (this includes PC towers) and can cause VR trackers to appear to flip out or fly away randomly due to reflections causing tracking errors! 

🍎 It's important that trackers and receivers have a clear line of sight. For this reason I have placed all RF radio dongles near the ceiling: 

This is the fixture I created using two strips of plastic and hot glued the dongle 'docks' to them.

The antenna array is mounted to the ceiling for best line of sight to the receiving trackers and keeps it away from inductive surfaces such as a metal PC case. (don't mind the DLP projector, it's not part of the mocap system!). 

🍎 Another consideration if using many multiple body trackers is to ensure no data throughput bottlenecks are caused by placing too many receiver dongles on a single USB controller.

I use two USB 3.0 hubs connected to a dedicated USB3.0 PCIE card with proper USB3.0 cabling (eg. two Blackweb BWA17HO010 hubs).

The 'antenna array' is located such that it is directly visible from all parts of the room and is away from any large metallic objects to avoid attenuating the signal.

I use the Inateck 2-Port USB 3.0 PCI-Express Card (KTU3FR-2O2I) as recommended for use with the Vive.

This concludes the Room Optimization guide!!

🍎 However it should also be noted that no amount of room optimization will solve wobbly trackers - one VERY IMPORTANT consideration for reducing jitter in the mocap is the way the trackers are mounted. Wobbly mounts such as elastic straps and some 3d printed solutions often result in jittery mocap!!

Luckily there are some simple-to-fabricate and inexpensive tracker mounting solutions and all of the materials can be found at a local hardware store.

Jitter-Free Feet Tracking:

A solid and convenient option for securing a tracker to a shoe for minimum jitter is to make a simple shoe tracker mounting plate. The plate distributes forces over a large surface area and keeps elastic jitter to a minimum.

Other 3D printed or elastic mounts may work great in social games but still wobble or move around when sprinting or jumping which is not ideal for mocap. It's preferred to use a more robust tracker mount when creating motion capture. Since Shoe Plates are laced directly into the shoes they have little tendency to become offset or change location over time! For demanding calisthenics exercises like jumping or running the plates work well. And shoe laces can be tightened to further reduce jitter.

Shoe plates are also very simple to fabricate needing only two small pieces of plastic plates and a drill bit to punch the holes for the laces to pass through - then simply use a spare pair of tennis shoes and thread the shoelaces to the plate for the ultimate foot tracker!!

Just an alternative I thought I might share.. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Jitter-Free Head Tracking:

When not using a HMD you may use a head tracker. For a jitter-free Head Tracker mount you can build a tracker helmet like the one I put together using inexpensive PPE gear.