Display Builder - Watchout softedge calculator

Display Builder is a utility to speed up the configuration and layout of multiple displays in Watchout and other media-server software.

Configuring arrays of overlapping displays for video wall applications by hand can be tedious and error-prone, so I created this utility to make the process faster and easier. Originally designed for the calculation of softedged projections for mapping projects, it can also be used with a negative overlap for walls of flat-screen displays or LED panels.

In the hope that the utility may be useful to others, I decided to make it available for download. The software is distributed for free; See the licence file in the zip file for details. See the enclosed readme file for installation notes.

Version 4

Version 4 now includes a Java 17 runtime, compatible with Mac OS 10.14 and adds support for hi-dpi displays.

Display Groups: Each 'Display Group' can contain multiple columns and rows of Displays with the same characteristics. To add Displays with different resolutions, physical sizes or orientations, add a new Display Group and configure the Displays as desired. Groups can be positioned relative to the stage, or to another group. The currently selected Display Group is highlighted on screen - click on another group to select it.

Physical size calculations: Enter the physical dimensions of a Display in order to calculate the area of the projection surface. After setting the physical scale of the first Display Group, modifying the size of Displays in subsequent groups will calculate the stage size. This allows the use of Displays with the same pixel resolution but different physical dimensions (e.g. 2 HD monitors with different screen sizes). Once physical dimensions are entered, a physical reference grid image can be exported.

Display Builder Project files: You can now save Display layouts for reuse. When loading files, you may overwrite (replace) or import (add to) the project currently open. When starting the application, Display Builder opens the 'default_project.xml' file from the 'data' folder. You can modify or replace this file to change the project defaults.

Custom resolutions: Most standard resolutions are available by default. Custom resolutions may be added by modifying the 'display_resolutions.xml' file in the 'data' folder.

Display Group Setup

  • Add, delete, duplicate or rename the Display Group.
  • Quickly choose from standard display resolutions, and set display rotation.
  • Set player and display names or I.P. addresses.
  • Use multi-output setting to assign multiple displays per player.
  • Optionally enter physical display size to calculate total projection area and pixel density.
  • Modify the stage size to use a different pixel size than the display resolution (or calculate stage size
    from the physical size).

Display Layout and Softedge

  • Choose the position origin, relative to the stage or another Display Group, and the alignment
    of the group and pixel offsets from the origin.
  • Set the number of displays (horizontally & vertically), and the stage origin.
  • Specify softedge (as pixels, percent or metres). Use negative values for non-overlapping displays.
  • View or set the total surface area in pixels (and see the corresponding physical size).
  • Automatically fit displays to a specified projection area.

View Options

  • Choose colours for displays - grouped by row, column or player - to differentiate them on stage.
  • View crop values for each display to aid the creation of media proxies.
  • Toggle the visiblity, and set the size and colour, of the layout grid.
  • Toggle the visibility and set the orientation of a physical reference grid.

Export Options

  • Export display data to CSV files, as a projector list for Disguise, or copy displays to the clipboard for pasting directly into Watchout 4, 5 or 6
    (2D Displays only for v6).
  • Generate alignment image for all displays, or greyscale/colour line-up images.
  • Generate a physical reference grid.
  • Generate warping grid images as a visual reference during geometry correction.