How To Make Your Pimax Image Crisp

Intro:

I see so many questions on forum & reddit regarding this one & we have no this info on wiki, I find it really a big problem. It was the same case for me when I first time got my Pimax & initially the image was sharp but then it got blurry & I had read this forum wiki but didn’t find an answer & put my Pimax on a shelve for 5 months.

So I try to do it a bit easier for newcomers to try to setup the image quality for the first time.

Instructions:

Editing config SteamVR file:

Finding the config file location:

We need to adjust steamvr.vrsettings file to put some values there as steam can override those & it makes image look worse. But it’s important to understand that there are can be several instances of the same file in different places, so here is a way how to check what steamvr.vrsettings file to edit:

  • open cmd (press win + R or click start button & type cmd) and run next command

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SteamVR\bin\win64\vrpathreg.exe"

please make sure you have put quotes as path with spaces won’t work otherwise

it will tell you what folder your current config files are in, then edit steamvr.vrsettings

  • When editing file ensure you place commas & quotes ("" shouldn’t be pretty quotes “”) the same way as other values in the file otherwise your added changes can be ignored or deleted by steam from config, also make sure that last lines in config arrays structures have no comma, comma should be added at the end on all lines but lasts.

Adjusting config values:


Config values in text form

I’ve put not all values here, use it just to copy paste to not type manually, but make sure you don’t delete your others config values

"GpuSpeed" : {
"gpuSpeed0" : 2000,
"gpuSpeed1" : 2000,
"gpuSpeed2" : 2000,
"gpuSpeed3" : 2000,
"gpuSpeed4" : 2000,
"gpuSpeed5" : 2000,
"gpuSpeed6" : 2000,
"gpuSpeed7" : 2000,
"gpuSpeed8" : 2000,
"gpuSpeed9" : 2000,
"gpuSpeedCount" : 10,
"gpuSpeedHorsepower" : 2000,
"gpuSpeedRenderTargetScale" : 1.5,
"gpuSpeedVersion" : 2
},
"steamvr" : {
"background" : "#FF000000",
"maxRecommendedResolution" : 16384,
"AllowSupersamplingFiltering" : false,
"playAreaColor" : "#00000000",
"showAdvancedSettings" : true,
"showMirrorView" : false,
"supersampleScale" : 1
},
"system.generated.reactor steamvr.exe" : {
"motionSmoothingOverride" : 0,
"resolutionScale" : 100
},

If you don’t have these values in your config just add it.

Notes about SteamVR config behaviour:

  • You need to know that every steamvr update it’s possible that steam can hack those values & if you notice degradation of image quality you are probably need to check it one more time.
  • On top of it gpuSpeed is changed every steamvr startup, so it decreases your overall gpuHorsePower estimation & in about 5-7 runs it will affect overlay quality if you have low/mid range video card, so you might to write a script to do it on a regular basis, or just copy the file with settings & replace it from time to time (soon though, we will have Pimax Experience software layer & it’s intend to fix this problem).

Other issues that prevent normal PiTool / Steamvr work:

If you experience something weird try to delete those folders & reinstall PiTool:

C:\ProgramData\pimax
C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\PiTool
C:\Users\%username%\AppData\LocalLow\Pimax
C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Pimax
C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\PiTool\

You don’t need delete it every time when you install new version. But if you have troubles - it can help.

I’ve write a .bat script to clean all this folders to not do it manual as it can be annoying.
Copy content from below section & put it in file with .bat extension, now with only 1 click you will clean all those folders automatically. If log complains that some files can not be deleted try to run it with administrator rights by right clicking on it & selecting appropriate option.

BAT file content

@taskkill /F /IM PiTool.exe
@taskkill /F /IM PiService.exe
@taskkill /F /IM pi_server.exe
@net stop "PiServiceLauncher"

RD /Q /S C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\PiTool

RD /Q /S C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\LocalLow\Pimax

RD /Q /S C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Pimax

RD /Q /S C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\PiTool

RD /Q /S C:\ProgramData\pimax

set /p WAIT=PiTool folders were removed. Hit ENTER to continue...

Example: we got new 262 PiTool release & it increased performance & GPU utilization but many users complained it didn’t, so after debug it was found that deleting those folders & reinstalling PiTool solved the issue.

Colours:

  • If your colours look poor & contrast isn’t great, try put +2 contrast & -2 brightness it will cause some colours crush but can overall enhance your experience. Try to play with values further. Upcoming Backlight Brightness option also should help with this problem.
  • Some Pimax HMDs like 5k+ look blueish / cold, try to add contrast +1 on red channel on top of your channels settings, e.g. if you have contrast +2 globally make sure your red channel has +3 contrast.

Fogging:

  • It’s a bit problem though, and can be a really annoying one, if you can wipe the moisture on external lenses side, if it got fogged on the internal side the only way to clean it is to dry it. So this is critically important in order to maintain your image crispness. It can be enhanced by using 5v fans or buing some mod like https://www.vrnchill.com/
  • Another option is to use external fan & point it to the noise gap & place the fan in front of you (e.g. on the floor).

Counterweight & straps:

  • If you will try to check the HMD balance by grabbing HMD in the middle point of top head strap, in point where your heads middle point is with your finger (if you use non standard strap coz cloth strap obviously won’t allow to do this)


    you will notice that HMD tends to tip in front direction as all weight is put in the front part, to make it more comfortable & make it stable (to keep aligned HMD position to keep the image crisp) you can use a counter weight, if HMD properly balanced it should stay in horizontal position while you holding it in the middle point of the top head strap. You can use velcro straps & some weight like power bank (appromixetely 200 - 300 grams depending on your head strap) or whatever works for you, e.g. attach small ballbearing as myself I had a lot of it or any other heavy thing, also you can buy a mod from third party, something like this https://www.studioformcreative.com/product-page/vive-das-200-gram-7oz-enthusiast-kit

  • If you experience comfort issues with your strap you can try Vive DAS (Deluxe Audio Strap) with 3d printed adapters (can be bought or 3D printed manually, example of adapters: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3285729, you can buy it for example here https://www.etsy.com/listing/711101821/pimax-5k-8k-htc-vive-deluxe-audio-strap google for other options). It feels a lot better. I didn’t try new SMAS/DMAS but I anticipate they also should enhance comfort a lot.

Important notes about IPD:

  • If you feel eye strain or image looks wrong (wrong geometry proportions) try lower software IPD by a bigger value (e.g. -4) coz IPD popup has wrong real IPD value shown & it was confirmed by many people, I often saw that many people are not aware about this problem & kept to using their HMDs for years with wrong IPD offset, just play with it.

  • If you need to tilt you HMD to make the image look better no need for expensive purchases, just use 2 sided velcro strap & add it between plastic bracket & face cushion on one or another side, you also can add it to all sides to make cushion thicker if it works better for your face shape, another tip is that you can add 1cm gaps in velcro strap to add some additional ventilation however it may lead to light leakage but works fine in dark room environments.

  • Also try to close one eye & by looking straight (not aside) ensure that both of your eyes see sharp. Measure your IRL IPD with ruler in front of mirror & ensure your mechanical IPD is close to this value (by using ruler as well between lenses circle centers). Then do software IPD adjustment to make popup value equal to yours IRL IPD & decrease it by -3 or -4, e.g. your IPD 64, make it in software IPD offset setting to be 60. Actually for software offsets there is better technique - you can look at vr & real object at the same distance & by quickly chaning views (put your HMD on & off) & compare difference you need to ensure your eyes don’t refocus at vr & real objects when you quickly change the view. It can help to reduce your eye strain & feel more natural wearing your HMD coz you will have the same or similar convergence as in real life.

  • Also try to move your HMD vertically to correct position where the widest horisontal lenses picture line is, if your image not properly vertically aligned after mechanical adjustment try to adjust both vertical software IPD offsets, close 1 eye, change it in the runtime to spot most comfort position where your eye is not stressed & sees relaxely, then adjust it on both sliders, open your second eye & check, don’t do it with both eyes opened as it can cause eyes strain.

  • Some people reported that they have eye strain & it was found that in some cases it was due to a persons IRL eyes vertical offset, so try to close one eye, then quickly change eyes & see if there is significant vertical misaligment, if so try to adjust one of the eyes to be on level, just a note, it’s normal for stereo picture that left & right pictures not fully vertically aligned, so try to use IRL reference & at the same distance try to achieve the same vertical difference in HMD.

  • Also another note, some people experience problems with fixing their HMD correct aligment. One of the ways to do this is to fix your HMD with your hands on your face, also make sure that you push it against face with the force you would like to have once strap is tighten, once aligned keep it in the position & adjust your head strap to lock this position.

Understanding how steam gpuSpeed works & why you need to adjust it on a regular basis yet:

How to get full clarity & sharpness in SteamVR Dashboard (overlay) on low-end GPUs with Pimax:

Replace Pimax logo on startup page with tool image that helps you to align your HMD properly.

Use this https://external-preview.redd.it/jhBORpLJ-_2y1IN7CFZt3xWLA5B-TFPuMGjZfz-D4Lc.jpg?auto=webp&s=454ff38046b142de9d05b3a352ab8fc8c922abed

Copy to :

C:\Program Files\Pimax\Runtime\resource\

Rename to: pimax_default.jpg (save the original image if you need, but the image comes with pitool updates)

This replace the Standard Pimax Logo and you can adjust ipd and offset.

Used info from other users posts:

Thanks to @SweViver for providing great posts regarding settings tips & tricks.

[update] Neal - Now uses standard quote characters around C:\Program Files (x86)…\vrpathreg.exe command (instead of “pretty” quotes)

58 Likes

Also, personally for me I have to attach a counterweight to the back of my HMD to get it to sit properly on my face (get my eyes into a proper vertical position in relation to the lenses). This should not be a problem with the new MAS, but for now it is a viable solution.

2 Likes

yes worth note, I also use counter weight though, will add it to the guide, thanks

1 Like

summarized very nicely.
I can’t think of anything else.

ahh, yes, it is advisable to completely uninstall pitool during an upgrade / update and also delete the data stored in the user folder.

Especially if another type of pimax hmd was used beforehand.

Edit:

was also important when putting on the HMD, it should be pulled properly to avoid distortion.
It makes sense to press it on the head from the front and then lock it.

observed that many users did not take it seriously and then complained about dissortations.

4 Likes

added to the summary, thanks

2 Likes

Nice guide! Pinned it.

6 Likes

When I enter the CMD and type this in it just says “C:\Program is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.”

Very nice, altough technically vrpathreg.exe is under the steam install folder which usually is on c:\ but can be on other drives depending on the install.

Try other drives, it depends on where you installed steam.

It is on C, typing this out in the CMD does absolutely nothing.

You can find the config files also with windows search…
But you must look, how is the right copy

I found the config file it doesnt do anything…

ind the cmd prompt

try going into C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SteamVR\bin\win64>
and then running vrpathreg.exe

I’m not sure why the executeable doesn’t work in the previous post

Something must be wrong with my setup because when I click on that nothing opens

oh wait you need to put in in quotes like this “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SteamVR\bin\win64\vrpathreg.exe”

1 Like

that is why we tell you to run it from the command prompt, if you just click on it the window closes so fast you wont see the result

OK which did nothing

EDIT: Adding quotes works, that really needs to be specified in the opening post…

3 Likes

yes, it does. it is because of the space in the folder name. dos does not understand it.

1 Like

yep, sorry for this, forgot to add quotes, fixed

1 Like