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What does 'sharpening' do EXACTLY?


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In VBS, the sharpening option in preference, what does it do?

I know my TV has a 'sharpness' option which just seems to be a low cost image filter that doesn't look very good at either high or low settings, but is the sharpening in VBS the same thing?


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No idea - but I have it on with its max setting.

I did a ton of a-b testing against my Vive Pro 1 and having sharpening on max brought the details out and brought the clarity almost on par with the Vive Pro 1. (By clarity I mean lack of image softness and additional detail).

I did a lot of testing both in Half Life Alyx and also Star Wars Squadrons. The sharpening was most apparent in squadrons. The grill on the Tie Fighter 'wings' is much more pronounced. At first I thought it was too pronounced, but as it turns out, max sharpening brought out the grill details to pretty much the same level as the Vive Pro 1.

No idea what algorithm they are using. Maybe Unsharp Mask? Who knows, but what I can say is that it accentuates details in low contrast areas.

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@Tausendberg It's just a sharpening function that's calibrated to the headset's displays. It can improve contrasting detais, highlights, and edges.

These type of filters generally work by comparing neighboring pixels and thus the end result can be heavily dependent on the image source you're feeding in. This is why this value is adjustable. PCVR headsets run off uncompressed high-bandwidth video and so sharpening works well because the signal isn't compressed.

I could try to ask what specific methods they're using but I don't think HQ would respond in detail.

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