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PostPosted: 09 Apr 2015, 00:32 

Joined: 21 Oct 2014, 23:48
Posts: 52

Fullscreen VS Borderless

Most instructions result in borderless windowed (impersonating fullscreen). This is a common trick for manual PLP, with only one downside: no Crossfire or SLI support. Some game engines quite consistently allow fullscreen with SoftTH. The biggest of these is Unreal Engine 3. When SoftTH V3+ becomes available (shortly), more games will support fullscreen.

Monitor Setup

A good Manual PLP monitor combination is required, where pixels line up (& other more minor factors). Many different layouts that line up pixels well can be found here. Listed below are PLP setup sizes that are documented.

(Microsoft Flight Simulator X Steam Edition 2014, using layout 19-27-19 "Common Lightweight")

  1. Small PLP Layouts --- center sizes 21.5" - 24" ---- total gaming pixels: 2,220,000 - 5,200,000 -- weight class: 1-8 / 30
  2. Big PLP Layouts ------- center sizes 27" - 34" ------- total gaming pixels: 3,732,000 - 9,101,000 -- weight class: 4-17 / 30
  3. Very Big PLP Layouts --- center sizes 36" - 42" --- total gaming pixels: 3,628,000 - 14,516,000 -- weight class: 4-30 / 30
  4. Enormous PLP Layouts - center sizes 47" - 84" -- total gaming pixels: 3,628,000 - 14,516,000 -- weight class: 4-30 / 30

Blog post reviewing your PLP layout size & shape choices http://www.wsgf.org/blog/imusrt/2015/07/05/plp-layout-size-shape-review

My current favorite for Manual PLP is 19-27-19 "Common Lightweight" (16:9 1080p center, 10:16 sides, & side resolution lowered from stock). This setup is fairly big, decent quality & hides one bezel. It remains lightweight: One decent graphics card drives it well. Use it up close for deep gaming immersion. With vision covered, you are There.

Understanding the Instructions

  • Windows 10 variation:

    • When instructions say "ShiftWindow," Win10 users should use WinShift instead. Or better still, use Borderless Gaming (latest version).

    • On a few games in Win10, using SoftTH fullscreen may require physically swapping left & right monitors with each other.

  • Many games require at least one change to menu settings or in-game save (e.g. change resolution). This often creates the data we want to edit. This is not always documented.

  • Base PLP gaming resolution, or "fullscreen" (in pixels): [width of all 3 screens together] x [height of center] (e.g. 3520x1080).

  • Border calculations: We are often imitating fullscreen, in windowed. This often requires borders within one's resolution calculations (but not always).
    • Resolution "no border" means one should use base PLP resolution. If no "border" instructions, assume base PLP resolution is used.

    • Resolution "+ border" means one should use base PLP resolution plus horizontal/vertical borders' width, respectively, in pixels. If users have reduced their window borders in Windows/Registry to the minimum allowable thickness, the horizontal border total is 8px & vertical is 31px (Windows 8, probably Windows 7 too). Windows 10 bit different: similar "+ border" values are still often needed, but Win10 borders look tiny by default.

    • "+ border = borderless" means same thing as "+ border".

  • "ShiftWindow" word implies:
    • In-game & already windowed, with ShiftWindow prepped to trigger.

    • WARNING. Borderless Gaming (BG) works far better (latest version). Strongly recommend using BG instead of ShiftWindow/WinShift. BG works perfect in Win10 & auto-spreads borderless. An excellent cutting-edge window-spreader.

  • Borderless Gaming (BG usage, recommended instead of ShiftWindow):

    1. Right-click game-name in left-pane & Add To Favorites.

    2. Now select game in right-pane, & then right-click it; in popup, select "No Size Change."

    3. Then select game again (in right-pane), & then right-click it; in popup, select "Set Window Size."

    4. Enter values (prompted): X-coordinate= -1x left-screen-width; Y-coordinate=0; window-width & height your fullscreen (i.e. not +border).

  • "SoftTH" implies copying both d3d9.dll & config.SoftTHConfig (which one generates previously, required for proper PLP) into the game's main exe folder, & selecting PLP resolution from launcher/in-game settings. Occasional variations, which are included in instructions.

  • In-game settings can be maxed for both borderless & fullscreen, unless specified. Games are generally tested maxed, often with VSync & Motion Blur both turned off (optional).

  • FOV tuning: FOV adjustment is sometimes instructed. Involves first setting game's FOV so that PLP's center screen matches your single-screen view (e.g. 1080p). Can then adjust FOV further to taste. To set FOV to game's intended view, use any of these methods (all have strengths):

    • Stickies. Boot game to checkpoint, don't touch mouse. Mark single-screen game-object (e.g. gun, car, house) at its corners with tape/stickies on your screen. (The best object-type varies per game. Use an object that changes with FOV.) Then boot game to PLP & same checkpoint. See how well object lines up with stickies. Adjust PLP FOV until object size matches.

    • Or screenshots. Very accurate for either fullscreen or perfect-borderless (fullscreen dimensions). Method:

      • Drag PLP screenshot into image editor (use Gimp) & decrease View until whole image is visible.

      • Drag single-screen screenshot on top of PLP screenshot.

      • Open Gimp menu: Windows, Dockable Dialogs, Layers.

      • In Layers window, click top layer's eye symbol on & off to compare.

    • Or screenshots (quick & dirty). Use Windows Preview creatively. Not accurate.

    • Or calculate FOV instead. Tester prefers going by feel. WSGF calculator does not appear to work for PLP, but there are others. Calculation details https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Field_of_View

  • Instructions do not account for bezel correction/compensation. It's an added complication & not required for good spread. Provides minimal benefit for additional effort & regular failure or problem.

  • Mouse Clipping. When using mouse, Windows 8.1 GUI sometimes interferes with game. This is not always documented. Limiting mouse's movement corrects the problem. Details under Mouse Fixes below.

  • Mouse too sensitive. When a game is spread, it sometimes amplifies mouse movement. This is not documented. Fix by adjusting in-game sensitivity.

  • If having trouble, visit Manual PLP: How To Spread Games.

  • (Dragon Age Inquisition 2014)

    Rare Tips & Fixes

    • If game hangs or chugs, try quitting MSI Afterburner (or similar program), or running game in compatibility mode Windows XP SP3.
    • Active config files can often be deleted to force creation of fresh version.
    • If resolution change causes a missing texture, restart game.
    • Calculating aspect ratios (sometimes must include borders).
      • For 1.777778 type number, calculate: width / height = #.#### (E.g. 3520/1080=3.259259259)
      • For 16:5 type number, calculate (e.g.): 16 (static number) / 3.259259259 (enter your aspect ratio) = 4.909090909 (i.e. 16:4.909090909).
    • Very rarely, if thick margins show on center screen, you must correct game's refresh rate (either by in-game settings or config file edit). Very rarely, restarting game or deleting config file fixes it. There is also a permanent fix via registry edit (link needed)
    • Prefer borderless? If instructions are for fullscreen, you can quite often turn it into borderless. First follow fullscreen instructions. Then at the end, make game windowed (in-game or file edit) & spread with ShiftWindow. This technique is quite often successful & works fine with SoftTH, but not with Unreal Engine.

    • Mouse Fixes:

      • NoMousy hides mouse pointer. Download: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,143370.0.html

      • PrimaryLock

        • Download: https://steamcommunity.com/linkfilter/http://s382701517.online.de/apps/PrimaryLock.zip

        • Forum source: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?s=853252cddc79643d01e128d4ed25a412&t=2228230&page=2

        • Mouse clipping. Keeps your mouse in center screen's game area & away from an interfering OS GUI.

        • Very light-weight utility. Works on both windowed & fullscreen.

        • Occasionally fails, & OS GUI remains a nuisance.

        • How to use: No install, store it anywhere. Just double-click PrimaryLock.exe to activate. Close app to deactivate.

      • Cursor Lock

        • http://www.snakebytestudios.com/projects/apps/cursor-lock/

        • Mouse clipping, same as PrimaryLock

        • A last resort. Setup is bit annoying. PrimaryLock works more often.

        • How to use: Install, then run "Setup Cursor Lock". In Shortcut tab, checkmark Lock Program & enter Game.exe location. (Sometimes may also need to select DirectX tab and checkmark DirectX9.) Click Create Shortcut, close utility. Double-click the new shortcut (every time), then run game.

    • High FOV Fake Fixes:
      • Hold up your aim properly. This reduces FOV glaring anomalies.

      • Sketchy: reduce aspect ratio by 0.15 (e.g. in config file, 3.259-0.15=3.109). Feature is not always available & nearly never needed. When it exists, use to improve FOV & gun location. But this very slightly stretches image, a last resort. Overall much better, but not ideal. See GRAW 2007 notes.

    (Castlevania Lords Of Shadow 2 2014)

    More Help

    Source PLP wiki, unabridged games list, help by game engine.

    4/2016 Blog gaming posts discontinued.

    Last edited by Wookiegr on 07 May 2016, 06:40, edited 17 times in total.


    PostPosted: 29 Jan 2017, 02:36 
    Hello, I see you've got an image of Castlevania 2 on the article. I'm trying the same game on a PC with 2 monitors and I cannot manage to output the image in both monitors. Do you know what the problem could be?

    My graphic card is an Intel HD 530, integrated on the PC, and with 3 video outputs. I'm using 2 of them at the moment.
    I'm using SoftTH and I've copied 'd3d9.dll' and 'config.SoftTHconfig' to the 'bin' folder of the game. The content of this config file is below.

    Any idea what my problem could be? When I go to the game I cannot see an option higher to 1920x1080. I've changed the video settings to see if a config file was created which I could edit manually, but I cannot see anything... not sure if it's in a path that I don't know, or no config file gets created for me?





    ; Autodetected as \\.\DISPLAY2 at Intel(R) HD Graphics 530

    PostPosted: 04 Aug 2017, 10:29 

    Joined: 28 Jun 2017, 08:40
    Posts: 13
    [quote="Wookiegr"]Fullscreen VS Borderless

    That's a lot of information to handle but will try to set up everything, thanks! :rockout:

    PostPosted: 21 Sep 2017, 13:18 

    Joined: 21 Sep 2017, 13:13
    Posts: 1
    Thanks for this guide. I found this very usefull :)

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