User, Metric, and Computational Evaluation of Foveated Rendering Methods

Nicholas T. Swafford 1 , Jose A. Iglesias-Guitian 2 , Charalampos Koniaris 2 , Bochang Moon 2 , Darren Coskery 1 , Kenny Mitchell 2

Edinburgh Napier University 1 , Disney Research 2

ACM Symposium on Applied Perception 2016

Left: Our foveated resolution method on UE4 and the Elemental Demo c Epic Games, Inc. Right: Our foveated resolution, ambient occlusion, tessellation, and ray-casting (respectively) methods. Areas outside the circles are rendered in lower detail (peripheral).


Perceptually lossless foveated rendering methods exploit human perception by selectively rendering at different quality levels based on eye gaze (at a lower computational cost) while still maintaining the user's perception of a full quality render. We consider three foveated rendering methods and propose practical rules of thumb for each method to achieve significant performance gains in real-time rendering frameworks. Additionally, we contribute a new metric for perceptual foveated rendering quality building on HDR-VDP2 that, unlike traditional metrics, considers the loss of fidelity in peripheral vision by lowering the contrast sensitivity of the model with visual eccentricity based on the Cortical Magnification Factor (CMF). The new metric is parameterized on user-test data generated in this study. Finally, we run our metric on a novel foveated rendering method for real-time immersive 360 content with motion parallax.

Video (available to download in the last section)