nDisplay Quick Start

A guide to your first steps getting up and running with nDisplay.

Windows
MacOS
Linux

This page describes how to get up and running with nDisplay for the first time.

Prerequisites:

  • Make sure you have your physical equipment — screens, projectors, and so on — set up and working correctly.

  • Make sure that the Windows account you intend to use on the primary computer has administrative rights on all computers you intend to use in the nDisplay network.

  • Make sure that all computers you want to use in the nDisplay network can receive TCP/IP communications over ports 41000, 41001, 41002, and 41003. (You can use different ports instead; see Changing nDisplay Communication Ports.)

Step 1 - Set Up Your Project for nDisplay

The easiest way to get a Project setup to use nDisplay is to create it from the nDisplay Template Project. You'll find this Template in the Film, Television, and Live Events category in the New Project window.

Create an nDisplay Project from the Template

This Template automatically enables the nDisplay and Switchboard plugins, configures some helpful additional settings, and includes some sample configuration assets.

This guide uses the NDC_Basic nDisplay Config Asset to show how to launch nDisplay with one Cluster Node and one Viewport.

If you have an existing Project that you want to use with nDisplay, you can do the same configuration by hand. See Adding nDisplay to an Existing Project.

Step 2 - Set up the Configuration File

The template project already includes an nDisplay Root Actor for the NDC_Basic configuration. Select the actor and move it around the scene to preview it in the nDisplay cluster configuration. This real-time config preview is meant to be a replica of your nDisplay setup that you can preview in any level or project.

Default nDisplay Root Actor in the Viewport

To preview other nDisplay Configurations, you can drag the nDisplay Config asset from the Content Browser into the Viewport.

Step 3 - Package and Deploy

A core concept with nDisplay is that it does not run in the Editor. Instead nDisplay runs as a separate instance of Unreal Engine launched with Switchboard. Switchboard and its companion application SwitchboardListener also run outside of Unreal Engine.

Follow these steps to launch your nDisplay cluster.

  1. In the Toolbar, click the dropdown arrow next to Switchboard and choose Launch SwitchboardListener. SwitchboardListener launches and immediately minimizes itself. SwitchboardListener needs to be launched on every computer that will be in the nDisplay cluster.

    Switchboard menu options in the toolbar

    If you don't see the Switchboard options in the Toolbar, click the double right arrow to see more options.

    Switchboard menu options under the toolbar arrow

  2. In the Toolbar, click the Switchboard button to launch the Switchboard application on your computer.

    Launch Switchboard button in the toolbar

    When launching Switchboard for the first time, a command prompt window may appear, installing required dependencies before the Switchboard window opens.

  3. When Switchboard opens, the Add new Switchboard Configuration window appears. In the window, ensure the Config Path, uProject, and Engine Dir fields are correct, and click OK to open a blank configuration.

    Add new Switchboard Configuration window

    Switchboard Configurations are a collection of settings for Switchboard and are saved to disk. They can be reloaded and switched out at any time. Typically, you will want to create a Switchboard Configuration per project.

  4. In Switchboard, click Add Device in the top left and choose nDisplay to open the Add nDisplay Device window.

    Add Device and choose nDisplay

  5. Browse and select the NDC_Basic.uasset configuration file in your project, and click OK to add all the nDisplay devices described in the configuration asset to Switchboard.

    NDC-Basic-uasset.png

  6. Since only one nDisplay Cluster Node is specified in the configuration asset, only one nDisplay device appears in Switchboard under nDisplay Devices.

    Switchboard showing one nDisplay Cluster Node

  7. Click the plug icon to the right of the nDisplay device to connect to the SwitchboardListener on the computer.

    Connect to SwitchboardListener

  8. Launch the nDisplay instance by clicking on the up arrow button to the right of the nDisplay device.

    Click arrow button to launch the nDisplay instance

  9. When the nDisplay instance launches, all other windows on the computer minimize and the nDisplay viewport appears on the desktop.

The default Switchboard launch mechanism described above uses -game mode. You can also work with cooked builds. This will require you to specify the file path of the cooked executable instead of the uproject file.

When working with cooked builds, you must update Switchboard settings to include the path of the .exe file and empty the UProject path. This tells Switchboard to ignore project location and use the cooked .exe file instead.

Path to a cooked build

Step 4 - On Your Own

This guide covered setting up and launching one nDisplay cluster node on one computer with Switchboard.

  • Use the other nDisplay configurations available in the nDisplay Template to see how to set up nDisplay on multiple machines. Ensure you have SwitchboardListener running on every machine, to connect to them from Switchboard.

  • To create a seamless view across multiple displays, see Synchronization in nDisplay for information on setting up display sync and genlock on the machines.

  • To use a tracking system with your nDisplay cluster, you must add a LiveLinkComponent to your Cluster configuration. See Live Link for more.

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