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Video Wall Output with AppWall Plugin

AppWall application is designed for rendering the Unigine world into the configurable number of windows. The number of AppWall monitors is not limited. They can fit any display configuration and can be rendered both in the windowed and the full screen mode.

Notice
This plugin cannot be used on Mac OS X.

The following display configurations are supported out of the box (only if monitors have identical resolutions):

  • 1 monitor (1×1)
  • 2 monitors in a column (1×2)
  • 2 monitors in a row (2×1)
  • 3 monitors in a row (3×1)
  • 4 monitors in a row (4×1)
  • 5 monitors in a row (5×1)
  • 4 monitors (2×2)
  • 6 monitors (3×2)

See Also

Launching AppWall

In case you use one of these configurations, you only need to specify a plugin library (lib/AppWall_*) with the usually required start-up arguments (such as rendering API, window size, etc.) in the launcher.

Shell commands
main_x86 -extern_plugin AppWall
  • Unigine engine automatically detects the number of available monitors and if they fit any of the supported configurations, it automatically creates the appropriate number of windows with Unigine viewports.
  • You can use 32-bit, 64-bit, debug or release versions of the library. (The engine automatically loads the appropriate version of the library depending on the specified main application.)
Notice
It is not possible to use AppWall with:

Four monitors in 2x2 configuration
2×2 configuration
Four monitors in 4x1 configuration
4×1 configuration

How to Set the Number of Windows

If you want to set the number of AppWall windows manually and use another supported configuration, you need to specify two specific start-up arguments in addition to the usually required ones:

  • width — sets the number of monitors in a horizontal row
  • height — sets the number of rows, i.e. how many monitors there are in a vertical column

For example, if you want to launch AppWall in 6 windows (2 rows of monitors with 3 monitors in each row):

Shell commands
main_x86 -width 3 -height 2 -extern_plugin AppWall

Do not forget to specify other required start-up arguments as well!

Customizing AppWall

AppWall can be easily customized to support the desired configuration of monitors. You can create AppWall that renders Unigine viewports into the arbitrary number of windows with custom viewing frustums (symmetric or asymmetric ones).

AppWall Cameras

AppWall have one primary viewport, while all others are rendered as auxiliary ones. By default, the primary display is the Unigine engine viewport used for one-monitor configuration. It uses matrices of the Player used by the engine to view the scene. Other displays are arbitrary cameras with any perspective and facing whatever direction needed. Each display has its own model-view and projection matrices. Both the primary monitor and auxiliary ones can be enabled or disabled, if necessary.

  • The primary display can be set to any monitor (for supported configurations it is already set).
  • Each display has its own model-view and projection matrices.
  • By default, only a primary one has an interface (render system GUI, editor widgets, wireframe, or the profiler). However, separate GUIs can be drawn on all monitors (see the sample for more details).
  • All viewports have their own viewport and reflection mask to selectively render nodes and reflections from them.

Default Configurations

For default configurations, the primary display is set to the following monitor:

  • For 1×1 configuration, the 1st (and only) display.
  • For 2×1 configuration, the 1st display.
  • For 3×1 configuration, the 2nd display.
  • For 4×1 configuration, the 2nd display.
  • For 5×1 configuration, the 3rd display.
  • For 1×2 configuration, the 1st display in the column.
  • For 2×2 configuration, the 1st display in the 1st row.
  • For 3×2 configuration, the 2nd display in the 1st row.

How to Set Up Custom Cameras Configuration

Rendering of AppWall viewports is controlled by wall.h script (found in <UnigineSDK>/data/core/scripts/system).

To implement a custom camera configuration, comment the wall.h out in the unigine.cpp system script and wrap your custom code around with #ifdef HAS_APP_WALL ... #endif in the render() function of the system script:

Notice
Also you can directly modify the wall.h script.

There are two possible setups depending on how the primary monitor is rendered. It can be drawn by:

  • The default engine renderer (the same as when a usual one-window application is rendered).
  • The AppWall renderer itself (which is safer if you are going to use asymmetric frustum for the primary monitor and modify its model-view matrix).
Notice
Only one of two renderers should be enabled at the same time.

The following example demonstrates how to create a 3×1 monitor configuration and choose the renderer for the primary monitor.

1. Using default engine renderer

The first variant is to render the primary monitor by the default engine renderer.

  1. In case the created configuration is not supported by default, set the primary monitor via engine.wall.setPrimary():
    Source code(UnigineScript)
    // The primary display is the 2nd one in a row and
    // it is positioned in the first line of monitors.
    engine.wall.setPrimary(1,0);
  2. Enable all auxiliary monitors via engine.wall.setEnabled() (they are disabled by default). The primary one should be disabled, as it is drawn by the default engine renderer.
    Source code(UnigineScript)
    // Enable the 1st and the 3rd monitors in the first row.
    // The third argument of the function sets 'enabled' flag.
    engine.wall.setEnabled(0,0,1);
    engine.wall.setEnabled(2,0,1);
  3. Set projection and model-view matrices for auxiliary monitors via engine.wall.setProjection() and engine.wall.setModelview().
    Source code(UnigineScript)
    // Settings for the 1st monitor
    engine.wall.setProjection(0,0,projection_0);
    engine.wall.setModelview(0,0,modelview_0);
    
    // Settings for the 3rd monitor
    engine.wall.setProjection(2,0,projection_1);
    engine.wall.setModelview(2,0,modelview_1);

2. Using AppWall renderer

Another variant is to render the primary monitor by the AppWall renderer. This variant can be used, for example, if you want to set up symmetric frustums for all monitors.

  1. Disable rendering into the default Unigine viewport via engine.render.setEnabled():
    Source code(UnigineScript)
    engine.render.setEnabled(0);
  2. Enable all AppWall monitors including the primary one. As a result, all three viewports will be rendered by AppWall renderer itself:
    Source code(UnigineScript)
    // Enable all AppWall monitors:
    engine.wall.setEnabled(0,0,1);
    engine.wall.setEnabled(1,0,1);
    engine.wall.setEnabled(2,0,1);
  3. Set model-view and projection matrices for all three monitors.
    Source code(UnigineScript)
    // Settings for the 1st monitor
    engine.wall.setProjection(0,0,projection_0);
    engine.wall.setModelview(0,0,modelview_0);
    
    // Settings for the 2nd (primary) monitor
    engine.wall.setProjection(1,0,projection_1);
    engine.wall.setModelview(1,0,modelview_1);
    
    // Settings for the 3rd monitor
    engine.wall.setProjection(2,0,projection_2);
    engine.wall.setModelview(2,0,modelview_2);
Last update: 2017-07-03