nDisplay Quick Start

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

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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 master 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 set up to use nDisplay is to create it from the nDisplay Template Project:

Create an nDisplay Project from the Template

This automatically enables the nDisplay Plugin, adds some sample configuration files to your Project, and provides a default Level that is already configured with default settings.

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

You need to tell nDisplay about the different computers you want to use in your network, the size and resolution of the screens or projectors those computers will render to, the spatial relationships between those screens in 3D space, and more. To do this, you create a configuration file that expresses all of this information in a series of settings.

Creating this configuration file is likely to be the trickiest part of your nDisplay setup, so you should approach it with care. For details, see nDisplay Configuration File Reference.

Typically, once your configuration file is set up, you only have to modify it when the topology of your network changes: for example, when you need to change the computers you are rendering to, or if you change the physical arrangement of your screens and displays in the real world.

Save your configuration file inside your Project's Content folder. You'll use it in the next step.

Step 3 - Package and Deploy

Every time you change the content in your Project, you'll need to package your game and deploy it to all of the computers that you've identified in your configuration file.

  1. In the Unreal Editor, package your game for Windows. For details, see Build Operations: Cook, Package, Deploy & Run.

    Make sure you package your game to a path that contains no spaces.

  2. Find the Engine\Binaries\DotNET\nDisplayListener.exe application under your Unreal Engine installation folder. Copy this application to the folder that contains the .exe file you've packaged for your game.

  3. Copy the folder that contains the packaged .exe file for your Project and the nDisplay Listener application to each computer that you have identified as a cluster node in your configuration file.
    You must place the folder at exactly the same path on all computers.

  4. On each computer, launch the nDisplayListener.exe file.

Now you have everything nDisplay needs deployed to each computer in your cluster: the packaged version of your application, the configuration file that defines the setup of your nDisplay cluster, and a running nDisplay Listener that is waiting for incoming instructions from the nDisplay Launcher application. In the next section, you'll use the nDisplay Launcher to instruct each listener to launch your Project on its own cluster node.

Step 4 - Launch all Cluster Nodes

Once you have your Project deployed successfully to all the computers you've identified in your configuration file, you can use the nDisplayLauncher application to start the Project on all computers simultaneously.

  1. If you don't already have the nDisplayLauncher application running, start it.

  2. Add your packaged Project .exe file to the Applications list.
    Click Add under the Applications list, then browse to and select the .exe file you packaged for your Project. The nDisplay Launcher will add your new application to the list. Click its name to select it.

  3. Specify your configuration file.
    Click Add to the right of the Config Files control, then browse to and select your configuration file.

    The path and filename of your configuration file must not contain any spaces.

  4. Click Run.

The nDisplay Launcher dispatches a message to the nDisplay Listener on each cluster node in your configuration file, instructing it to launch the packaged Project. You should see each nDisplay Listener display the command in its status window:

nDisplay Listener receiving the Run command

Then, the nDisplay Listener on each host should launch your Unreal Engine application, which begins rendering the viewport or viewports that you've configured for its main window.

When you're done, click Kill to automatically shut down all instances of the Unreal Engine on all computers, or simply shut down the instance of Unreal Engine that is running on the master computer.

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