StereoVR Toolbox™ Beta002 Installation & Usage Guide (obsolete)


StereoVR Toolbox plugin suite and the StereoVR HMD Viewer™ are easy to install with our pkg installer, but do require two pieces of other software be installed first.

Step 1: Download and Install FxFactory 4.1.9 or later (see info on website for appropriate version for your version of Mac OS X.)

Step 2: Download and Install the latest Oculus Runtime for OS X (v0.5.0.1 as of March 26, 2015)

Step 3: Set your Gatekeeper to “Mac App Store and identified developers” in System Preferences–>Security & Privacy panel. The Oculus installer may have required the setting be “anywhere” but our installer and app are officially signed with an Apple certificate.

Step 4Launch FxFactory, click the “Catalog” tab and locate StereoVR Toolbox under the Dashwood product grouping. Click “Download Trial.” Follow the instructions presented by the installer. (If you had already installed a previous version and do not see “upgrade” then press SHIFT + OPTION to first uninstall and then re-download the trial and install.)

After installation StereoVR Toolbox will be unregistered and function indefinitely in trial mode, but this is where you can purchase a license if you prefer to work without the watermarks.

Note:FxFactory is accepting pre-orders for a special “early adopter” one-time fee of $599 USD (50% OFF expected release price for the whole suite.) Purchasing a license will remove the watermarks in the beta release and will work for all future releases and upgrades. For academic or enterprise sales contact The anticipated release date for v1.0 is July 28, 2015.

You will also see the app icon for the StereoVR HMD Viewer in your dock, which is where you can launch it (after you have set up and turned on your Oculus Rift DK2.) The app resides in ~/Applications.


Make sure you have quit  your host app (FCP, PremierePro, AE or Motion) and re-launch it so the Dashwood StereoVR effects are loaded during launch.


Oculus Rift DK2 setup:

MacPro users with two graphics cards should ensure the Rift and the primary editing display are connected to the same GPU. On the black MacPros this can be done by connecting the Rift to the HDMI port and editing monitor to Thunderbolt port 5 or 6 (the bottom two.)

Connect the Oculus Rift DK2 and then open the System Preferences—>Displays control panel.
Make sure that Mirror Dispays is NOT checkmarked and then click the Gather Windows button so you can see the Rift’s displays panel.

rift_display_settings Make sure that the other settings are 1080p at 90 degrees and 60Hz.

Now you can launch the StereoVR HMD Viewer from your dock.


Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects and Speedgrade users:

Once you launch AE, PP or Speedgrade select Preferences–>Playback and turn on Mercury Transmit and then checkmark StereoVR HMD Viewer. We also recommend “Disable Video Output when in Background” be unchecked so you can still see a live output from the host when adjusting the StereoVR HMD Viewer parameters.


Note on Render settings for Final Cut Pro users:

It is recommended that you turn off Background Render and do not render your sequence when working with the HMD Preview effect filter in Final Cut Pro for sending frames to the HMD Viewer app. If you render the effect it will longer request frames in realtime as you play and therefore not transmit those frames to the HMD Viewer app. We are currently working on a special plugin for FCP X (similar to Adobe’s Mercury Transmit) that will automatically send frames via A/V Output.

If you have already accidentally rendered the HMD Preview plugin you can easily delete the renders with the “Delete Generated Library Files” option in the File menu of FCP X.

It is also recommended that you generate and use Proxies in Final Cut Pro. On underpowered systems proxy playback looks better than the “Better Performance” view setting.

Video walkthrough of beta002 features

I have prepared this video which demonstrates the usage of the HMD Preview plugin with the external application, as well as the plugins available for reorientation of equirectangular (LatLong) projections and compositing of 2D elements on the projection. Both Premiere Pro CC2014 and Final Cut Pro X are demonstrated. I encourage you to sit back and watch the demo before attempting to use the plugin and app.

Here’s the demo from beta001 for historical reference:

Beta 001 only included the HMD Preview plugin. The other components in the plugin suite were hidden in these beta releases because we were focusing on improving those components first.  We are already working on beta 003 (with even more plugins and special surprises) and plan on supporting other HMDs as the SDKs are released. If you discover a bug or other issue please submit to our tech support ticket system and provide as much information as possible; the dimensions and codec of the footage you were working with, the model # of your Mac, the version of the host app (ie:Premiere Pro CC2014, Final Cut Pro X 10.2, etc.) the OS X version, and the amount of RAM and VRAM on your system.

Thanks for your help in beta testing StereoVR Toolbox.
Tim Dashwood


Revision History:

v1.0 Alpha preview April 15, 2015:

NAB2015 preview of HMD Viewer and some of the plugins.

v1.0 Beta001 (June 3, 2015):

Initial release. Only included HMD Viewer app and HMD Preview plugin for performance testing.

v1.0 Beta002 (June 27, 2015):

New Version of StereoVR HMD Viewer app
Brand new and fast rendering pipeline
Perfectly smooth V-sync with Oculus Rift @ 60fps
Automatic Detection of Oculus Rift HMD
Option to set default yaw to 180˚
Floating resizable preview window

New Mercury Transmit plugin for Adobe hosts 
Sends frame-sync video to StereoVR HMD Viewer app
Works in After Effects, Premiere Pro & Speedgrade

New Plugin filter “Reorient Sphere”
Reorient equirectrangular projection on x,y,z axis
Mono or Stereo 360˚ with forward/backward preview

New Plugin filter “Project 2D on Sphere”
Place 2D elements on equirectrangular projection
Mono or Stereo 360˚ with forward/backward preview

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11 Comments for StereoVR Toolbox™ Beta002 Installation & Usage Guide (obsolete)

  1. leeGS says:

    Only mac?

  2. Tim Dashwood says:

    Yes only Mac. System requirements are posted here:

  3. Russell Anderson says:

    This is fantastic that it exists, but Oculus discontinued support for MacOS. So this software is a ticking time bomb :( What a bummer for Oculus.

  4. Tim Dashwood says:

    Hi Russell,

    First of all I want to clarify that Oculus did NOT discontinue support for Mac or Linux, they simply “paused” development “in order to focus on delivering a high-quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software and content on Windows.” Their words, not mine.

    Second, Palmer Luckey’s comments during E3 about Mac’s current GPUs “not even close to what we’re pushing for our recommended spec” specifically referred to gaming (which require rendering complete scenes twice, with millions of polygons.) Projecting a 360 degree texture on the inside of a cube only requires 12 polygons which is easy to do on any current GPU. I’m projecting on a smooth sphere made up of 64×64 segments (among many other GPU operations) and still maintaining 60fps on a MacBook Pro. I think Palmer’s statement probably had more to do with Microsoft announcing Oculus will be the HMD supplier for Xbox One. By the way, Oculus’ spec only calls for i5, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GTX970 or AMD 290 or better. I’m pretty sure any of the AMD Firepro cards in the MacPro exceed the performance of the 290.

    Third, and most importantly, I would like to mention that the Oculus Rift (DK or CV) is just one of many HMDs coming to market. We plan to support as many as we can and that’s why we use the term “HMD” and not “Rift.” We are just waiting on SDKs. The Rift DK2 is the one available now and there are an estimated 60-100,000 of them out there so it makes sense to support it right now. From our perspective these devices are very simple. They are a USB device that provides a quaternion for orientation and we render the view to the display. We don’t even care about position.

    We develop for Mac because that’s what we, and every post-company we work with, use in the editorial and post-pipeline. We are also utilizing Mac-exclusive APIs like IOsurface and Core Image to reduce latency as much as possible. All other processing code is written from scratch using many Mac exclusive technologies and some GLSL. There is absolutely no javascript, python, or open-source library used by other 360 post apps. We got this running so fast because we barely touch the CPU when processing the frames.
    Developing exclusively for Mac also means we only really have to support two models: MacPro with dual AMD GPU and all other Macs with Intel/Nvidia GPUs. Developing for Windows would require a gigantic investment to re-code almost everything from scratch, and I really don’t think we could maintain our policy of never charging for upgrades or support if we became a Windows developer. If we were ever bought by a huge company with deep pockets then it might be possible. ;)

    All kidding aside, if we can make the product successful on the Mac then we will of course explore the merits of developing a version for Windows. Until then we are focusing “on delivering a high-quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware and software” on Mac.


  5. Hugo says:

    Firstly many thanks for creating a great suite of tools, it offers some great features for 360 content.

    We’re currently only just starting out with 360 filming and have concentrated our efforts primarily around capture. Unfortunately we don’t have access to an Oculus and so we’re using mobile head mounts while we develop content and skills.

    We use Final Cut for post editing 360 video, can we install and use your plugin without an Oculus headset and still export ok to view 360 video content on mobiles?

    Thanks again, Hugo.

  6. Tim Dashwood says:

    Hi Hugo,
    Yes you can still use the plugins without a rift connected. In fact one of the plugins, HMD Preview, is designed for simulating a HMD view without an actual HMD.

    The only issue you might run into is that the installer checks if the Oculus runtime is installed and may abort the installation if it is not. The next version will allow the installation to complete even if the oculus runtime is not installed.


  7. Hugo says:

    Perfect! Thanks for the info Tim.

  8. Art says:

    Hi Tim,

    Glad to see some new mac tools for VR. Although it does not look like it from the info I have seen here, is there any parameter for creating the stitch? We have a 12 camera rig.

    We are using Kolor right now, but that software is not great.

  9. Tim Dashwood says:

    Hi Art,

    We don’t do stitching in our toolbox. There are already at least 3 or 4 capable stitching apps available. Our goal is to provide the missing tools between stitch and publish/distribution.


  10. Hugo says:

    I’m having trouble setting up the plug-in using FCP 10.2.2 and OSX 10.11.1. I can’t seem to get the HMD Viewer to get a signal from host, any ideas what might be causing the issue? Using a MacBook AMD Radeon R9 M370X 2048 MB card if that’s any help?

  11. Tim Dashwood says:

    Hi Hugo. You should be running beta004. This page is an old one for beta002 and is only here as an archive.