Is there a list what the different Pitool setting do?

I would like to know what the individual settings actually do. I cannot find any documentation.

What exactly does Parallel Projection do? I know it can solve the clipping issue, but how does it achieve this?
I believe Smart Smoothing is inserting guessed frames when 90 fps cannot be reached stable. Is that correct?
Hidden Area Mask. I believe I read here it prevents the game rendering pixels not seen on the lenses of the pimax?
Compatible with Vive only game: I have no idea what this does.
Field of view: How much in degrees? Normal/ Large / Small are different from what I hear, depending on your refresh rate. Is there documentation how much it is for each setting?
What is motion Compensation?
I know Pimax VR home is just the grey planet before starting Steam VR
Why is language always set to weird letters after installation instead of just English/Chinese/Japanese etc?
What does GPU Catalyst do exactly? I believe its supposed to improve Graphics Card utilisation, but it just makes my image stutter if I set it to any other value than 0. Does someone know why it does that?

Thanks for answers


This link needs updating but can help with some explanations.

FoV (source Hmdq)

  • Large: 160° Wide
  • Normal: 140° Wide
  • Small: 120° Wide
  • Potato: 100°? Wide (not tested)

Smart Smoothing

Smart Smoothing Activates when your fps is 1/2 or less refresh rate. So 45 or less reprojects to 90 if refresh set to 90hz.

Language Not sure. Mine set to english haven’t paid too much attention.


Parallel Projection adjusts the screen for some titles that are not compatible with the canted lenses. It does cost performance so don’t turn it on unless you need it. If you start a game, especially one with an in game HUD, and it looks wonky, you have to turn it on.
Smart Smoothing is like reprojection on the Vive or ASW on Oculus. If your frames are low and you turn it on, it will help by cutting frames in half by using “Brainwarp” magic to make it seem smooth.
You are basically correct about hidden area mask. Helps performance.
Compatible with Vive only make the Pimax look like a Vive to Steam for a game that might not be compatible. I have never needed it.
Helio explained the FOV.
I think motion compensation is for using your Pimax without lighthouse. Not sure.
I think the weird letters are for native readers of those languages. Chinese and Japanese are written in the characters appropriate for those languages.
That is the best I know. Hope it helps.


Thanks! What does „adjusts the screens“ For parallel projection mean exactly? How does it adjust?

This thread might help you.


Motion compensation is for mounting a tracker (or Vive Wand) on a motion rig so the game engine knows the players current levels I think.


And I really wish it worked.

I thought I’d try to illustrate this somewhat confusing topic. Also, PP has nothing to do with clipping, instead it fixes “double vision” (left and right eye images don’t line up).

Ideally, a VR app would support a “camera” view (eye position, marked in green) which is lined up with the “canted” (angled) screens of a Pimax headset. That would mean that each “rendered” (drawn) pixel would “map” (translate) directly to each Pimax LCD panel pixel, represented by the blue rectangles, in the image below.

Standard VR headsets have screens which are “colinear” (flat, in the same plane) which means that they would need to render far more pixels to achieve a wide FOV (field of view), which is what is also rendered by the Parallel Projection option. That theoretical headset would have huge panels, as denoted by the red rectangles.

Pimax uses canted screens so that they can support a wide FOV without needing physical screens as large as the red rectangles.

If a VR app doesn’t support the Pimax-required angled views, the PP option indicates that the app should render the larger (red) rectangular views, which the Pimax driver remaps (stretches) to the angled screens (blue). Notice how the outer areas of the red rectangles are stretched to the much smaller outer edges of the (blue) screens. Those outer (red) areas use many more pixels to represent a single destination pixel (blue) on the canted Pimax panels.

These “extra” pixels are why the PP option is so costly. It takes many more pixels to render an image, compared to the destination pixels on the canted screens.


Pimax Home impacts performance without offering any benefit (perhaps in future it will offer an initial alignment test etc), best to turn it off.

I recently turned SteamVR Home off as well for the same reason because I’m now in the habit of using PiTool to launch things, because PT can be configured to load custom settings per app, but SVR Home can be useful so up to you :+1:


Ohh wow thank you! That was what I was looking for! :slight_smile:

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Motion rig? Like a racing chair? What do you mean „level“? The height of your chair? Can’t you use a play space mover for that? An additional tracker would be expensive for that purpose.

Smart smoothing seems to activate as soon as fps falls below 90 not 45, if you have the Hz set to 90.

Are you sure it can compensate below 45? I assumed the fps gets lowered so the software has an easier time inserting a frame each frame instead of predicting when it falls below 90.

Okay don’t use it due to some artifacting. Think then it halfs the fps when it drops below say 90 when activated and reprojects 46 to 90.

Motion rigs, racing chairs etc, leveling meaning in this case canceling out the motions its doing in real life VS the virtual view.

If the chair leans you back to simulate acceleration your head would move into the chair back or headrest of the seat of the virtual vehicle.
You would need to tilt your head downwards a bit to still be looking straight forward in VR.
Putting a tracker or controller on the chair itself and enabling motion compensation bound to it removes the motions of the chair from your VR view so your real world movements would not be visible to you.


Ohh! Now I understand! Thanks! That awesome for Pimax to include. But someone wrote it does not work yet?


Dunno, dont have a rig to try it but thats the idea anyway.

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So many great answers here!

This should really be documented somewhere.
I am surely not the only one searching for this info. Best would of course be a link from Pitool itself to a document on the official website, but maybe it would also warrant a pinned thread with the explanations here compiled?

The short explanations on the Pitool itself are very difficult to understand in my opinion.

Ohh, can someone maybe also tell me what GPU catalyst does?I forgot to mention it in my original question. I assume it’s meant to improve graphics card utilization, but I just get bad stutters whenever I set it to any value except 0.


I totally agree.

Pimax should have it documented on their PiTool release page in “plain English”… :nerd_face:

Since that’s out of our hands I like the idea of a Wiki post (and have thought about doing it many times but never gotten to it)… :+1::upside_down_face:


Plan on creating a special Category maybe Piguides that will be restricted somewhat like Quorra Support for replies. But will make each topic posts a wiki.


Either they were referring to the fact that many games don’t support the canted camera views or that there’s a problem with the Index’s implementation of PP. I cannot attest to the second issue (since I don’t own an Index), but I read that there is some sort of problem.