LoSBoL

Multi monitor KSP, on a budget :)

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Lately I have been getting some questions after posting some super ultra widescreen screenshots. So I thought I’d write a tutorial so everybody can benefit, it’s not that hard to accomplish, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. I’ve tried to make this as fool proof as I can, but if there are questions or things that need clarification, just drop a line, it’s still a WIP.


Everybody knows that KSP can display so many informational windows, not to mention windows from mods like KER and xScience, that visibility can get cramped quickly and you often have to choose wisely to keep it playable.
I had some old monitors that I took home from work many years ago because they were replaced by bigger ones, hooked them up and started goofing around, with very satisfying results!  KSP scales beatifull!  Off course you can fork out for a brand new Ultawide monitor, but then again, you can do this on a budget! Under 50 dollars easily!

Superb Immersion guaranteed.  :confused:
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1.       What do you need?
-First of all, Deskspace. Don’t underestimate how much space you might need, the simplest setup when you already own a 24” 16:9 primary monitor will span about 4,5 ft.
-A moderate gaming graphics card with at least 3 monitor outputs. Outputs can be mixed, but you either need the appropriate cable or converter(s). When needing converters to convert from HDMI of DisplayPort, make sure you get 'active' converters instead of 'passive' ones. Furthermore I recommend at least 2GB of VRAM.
-Multi monitor software, this is needed if you want your middle monitor to remain your primary monitor and can be either a freeware or paid solution, more on that later.
-A few bucks to score some cheap second hand monitors and appropriate cables or 'active' converters.
-For some most, a forgiving spous, either for accepting that you are about to ruin the estatics of the living room, or accepting that you’ll spend a fair share of time away in a separate computer room. :wink: 

 

2.       Selecting the right monitor size and resolution 
You need to find out the specifications of your current monitor, if you haven’t got the manual than Google is your friend. The needed specifications are:
-Screen size
-Aspect ratio

-Resolution
-Dot pitch (how big is each individual pixel)

When you have these numbers it’s time to figure out what size monitors would complement your main monitor, a really handy website to figure this out is  http://www.displaywars.com
On that website you can compare monitor sizes and aspect ratio’s against each other.

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What you need to put your main focus on when comparing is the screen height, ensure that the probable monitor is equal or a bit smaller in height than your main monitor.

I’ve found the ideal (when on a budget) size to accompany a 24” 16:9 FHD main monitor are 17” 5:4 monitors with a resolution of 1280x1024. If you have a different size or resolution main monitor, then you have to fiddle some more to get the right sizes for your setup.

 

3.       Buying 2 second hand monitors
You could get lucky here, small 'squared' monitors are getting dumped for bigger 16:9 monitors, second hand websites are full of them and very often they are sold in vast numbers. Buying in pairs shouldn't cause to much trouble. Prices are peanuts because nobody want small monitors anymore. If you are really realy lucky, you could find these monitors on the side of the road.

A few pointers:
-Google the specifications of the offered monitors, ensure that the “Dot pitch” are equal or at least very close to your primary monitor, this ensures that the picture across the monitors will align and the picture won’t deform.
-Get them by the pair, 3 different monitors will look bad.
-The smaller the screen bezel, the better
-Pay attention to the monitor inputs and try to negotiate the appropriate cables with the monitors.
-If you need to covert the graphic card outputs, make sure you get 'active' converters instead of passive ones.

 

4.       Aligning monitors
Again this will take some fiddling, because of KSP having user interfaces on all sides I suggest physically aligning the monitors on the top (or bottom) compared to the main monitor. Don’t forget to align the monitors in Windows as well (in the monitor configuration panel, you can drag and drop the monitors to align, and you can sort the monitors into the right configuration here as well)

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After you’ve done that, you should definitely try to go into the monitors setup menu’s to get the color temperature, brightness, contrast and gamma as close to each other as possible.

 

5.       Creating a custom ‘virtual’ resolution
Now this is where the fun begins, If you have an ATI graphics card, you should be able to use ‘Eyefinity’ to mold the three monitors into one virtual monitor. Even if you are running 3 monitors with different sizes and resolutions. Unfortunately I have not got any experience with that because I don’t have an ATI card at the moment.

It does get a bit more difficult when you have an NVidia card, NVidia does have ‘NVidia Surround’ like ATI has ‘Eyefinity’, but the downside is that it does not accept molding the three monitors into one if they have different resolutions. But off course there are workarounds to this issue, for this workaround I suggest you watch this youtube video, the first 5 minutes are most relevant.

 

 

           What custom resolution should you make? For the width you just have to add up the total of the three monitors, In my case it’s 1280 + 1920 + 1280 = 4440. For the height you take the lowest the monitors, which is 1024 for me. Resulting in an custom resolution of 4440 x 1024

 

6.       Setting up multi monitor software
If you want the most left monitor to be your ‘primary monitor’ for everything, you don’t need this, but then you are basically running all games from the left monitor, which isn’t really ideal unless you are going to run all games in the super widescreen resolution.
So what we need is a ‘hotkey’ key combination to move games from the primary monitor to the left monitor when running.
There are a multiple softwaretools that you could install to configure such a hotkey key combination. I use the paid version of DisplayFusion https://www.displayfusion.com/
(Mainly because it has more functions like rotating backgrounds with bezel correction and such.

But there are open source freeware tools like ‘Dual Monitor Tool’ http://dualmonitortool.sourceforge.net/index.html
and many more like that, http:// http://www.topbestalternatives.com/dual-monitor-tools/ has a good summary of alternatives.
So it’s all about preference here, all you need is to configure a keycombination that lets you move active windows to an other (or previous) monitor.

Extra NOTE: There was a good suggestion by Foxter that Windows itself has a Keycombination to move App's to other monitors, The hotkey is WinKey+Shift+arrow key, Unfortunately I have not been very succesfull with that after some testing 
http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/160906-multi-monitor-ksp-on-a-budget/&do=findComment&comment=3064975  But you could be lucky that it will work out for you, If that is the case, I'd love to hear the experiences. 

7.       Setting up and running KSP
What we need KSP to do is to run in ‘Windowed borderless mode’ so that we lose the top bar and borders, this is easily achieved by giving the KSP shortcut or Steam start button the extra startup commandline ‘-popupwindow’ like in the pictures below.

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After that you start the game as normal and go to ‘settings’ and ‘graphical’, where you change the resolution to the magical virtual resolution you made at step 5 and uncheck the ‘Full Screen’ setting.
Press ‘apply’ and ‘save’ and last but not least, press the hotkey key combination you configured at step 6 to move KSP to the left monitor.

 

And there you go, KSP spans across all monitors and you can enjoy KSP at its finest.

But there is more… :wink: 
 

8.       UI Scaling, FOV and Camera aim
KSP is very good in undocumented keypresses and combinations which can be used in game, I keep learning new ones frequently, here are a few that come in real handy, especially when running wide screen:
UI Scaling: When in flight, press Escape and go into settings, here you can scale just about everything in the UI to your own desired likings, move the Navball etc. this is really handy.
FOV: The default Field of View is pretty fisheyed when running widescreened, but if you hold ‘ALT’ and scroll your mousewheel, you can change the FOV from fisheyed to wide angle in very small steps
Camera aim: The default aim of the camera is the COM, but when you turn on ‘advanced tweakables’ in the settings of KSP, you can put center your aim at any given part by right clicking the part and select ‘Aim Camera’
Last but not least: When you press your middle mouse button and move the mouse, you can move the camera aim to anywhere on the center screen (within reason)

 

9.       FAQ
*Is there a way to get bezel correction in game?
 ATI’s Eyefinity should be capable of that, Nvidia’s Surround can do that only when all monitors have the same resolution, other than that I have not found anything that is capable of doing so (in game)
*Does this work for other games? Pretty much, I think all Unity based games can use the command line ‘-popupwindow’, but I’m not certain on that. There are other ways to run games ‘borderless windowed’, maybe you need a little googling for that.
*The middle monitor does not run fullscreen, I see a bit of Windows? You’ll have to live with that, in KSP you need to see all borders, if you create a bigger custom resolution, you’ll have problems with reaching everything in the user interface. There are however games that don’t have that problem, you could create an extra ‘virtual’ resolution for those games.
*???

 

10.   Happy Launchings!!!
 

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This tutorial is written from my own experiences, so if it could use some refinement, if you have any tips, recommendations, better workarounds, better clarifications, please don’t hesitate to drop a line in reply or in a personal message, also, if you have experiences with ATI’s software, which this tutorial can profit from, don’t hesitate to share them, I’ll link them off course!

 

 

 

Edited by LoSBoL
WIP

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This needs more recognition!!!

Thank you, kind sir or madame!!!

 

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8 hours ago, BT Industries said:

This needs more recognition!!!

Thank you, kind sir or madame!!!

 

You are more then welcome :cool:  I'll try and keep the post updated so people can profit from it. If others have experiences with multi screen KSP, please share :)

 

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19 hours ago, LoSBoL said:

...and last but not least, press the hotkey key combination you configured at step 6 to move KSP to the left

In Windows 10 (other versions?) you can move apps between screens with WinKey+Shift+arrow keys. 

Thanks for the interesting stuff about multi-monitors. I have three screens but still tend to only run KSP on one. Using more is fun and does give some great views but with the UI spread out so much I find it hard to keep track of stuff. 

What would be better for me would be to be able to have the main KSP display uncluttered on only one screen and the UI bits likes messages and MJ windows on another. 

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If your machine has enough RAM and CPU you can run two copies of KSP with a symlink (more accurately a junction) linking the VAB and SPH folders between the two installs which will allow you to work in the VAB/SPH while your craft is launching. If you have a third monitor you could use the mod that allows info in a web browser (forgotten name right now) for your data and remove all windows from your flight screen.

WinKey+Shift+arrow works on Win 7 too.

EDIT : I remembered, it is telemachus.

Edited by John FX

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35 minutes ago, Foxster said:

In Windows 10 (other versions?) you can move apps between screens with WinKey+Shift+arrow keys. 

 

That's great info! I'm going to try that tonight :)

Quote

Thanks for the interesting stuff about multi-monitors. I have three screens but still tend to only run KSP on one. Using more is fun and does give some great views but with the UI spread out so much I find it hard to keep track of stuff. 

 

Youre welcome, are you running 3 FHD monitors?  If so I can imagine that it does get very wide with 5760 pixels.
 

Quote

What would be better for me would be to be able to have the main KSP display uncluttered on only one screen and the UI bits likes messages and MJ windows on another. 

Than maybe you could benefit here too by making a custom resolution, in that way you don't have to use all the width of the 3 screens, and just use half of it by making a resolution like 4500x1040. You'd have to run it Windowed mode, but not borderless, that way you can 'move' the window by draging its upper bar.

7 minutes ago, John FX said:

If your machine has enough RAM and CPU you can run two copies of KSP with a symlink (more accurately a junction) linking the VAB and SPH folders between the two installs which will allow you to work in the VAB/SPH while your craft is launching. If you have a third monitor you could use the mod that allows info in a web browser (forgotten name right now) for your data and remove all windows from your flight screen.

WinKey+Shift+arrow works on Win 7 too.

I feel a 'tips' section in the first post slowly forming :D

Edited by LoSBoL

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I tried testing the WinKey+Shift+arrow key but it was not very succesfull. It does change on which monitor KSP is displayed, but whatever I tried, Windows just not seem to want to display the whole gamescreen. I only get it to display half of the screen halfway through the monitor array. I've also tested it with other games and with the NVidia settings on both single- and multi-screen performance.  Maybe it has some luck with an Ati card or if monitor resolutions are all equal across the monitors. If it's the last though, then you could easily make one screen array with NVidia surround or Ati's Eyefinity and don't have to bother with moving the game to another window.

I'll integrate it in the Tutorial as a 'to be tested' 

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10 hours ago, D. Düsentrieb said:

You've made my day! I've just tried it and it works beautiful.

Thank you very much.

:D  That's great to hear! You are welcome, and welcome to the forum!  I find it very nice that your first post is a word of thanks.  Have fun on the forumannoun.png

 

 

 

On a different matter, I've seen some interesting mods and have some ideas to further 'develop' this tutorial, just need to find time to test some more. Will get back on it later.

 

Edited by LoSBoL

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It's these little things in life that crosses your ways. Yesterday i thought "man, it's really time to check out if ksp is running on more than one screen".
I've checked the internetz and what can i see ? Your clever idea. Thanks again, i really enjoy ksp now all the more.

PS: i would mention (about the appropiate cables you need for your multi-monitor-setup) that you probably need at an active adapter, not a passive one...

Edited by D. Düsentrieb
formatting

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21 hours ago, D. Düsentrieb said:

It's these little things in life that crosses your ways. Yesterday i thought "man, it's really time to check out if ksp is running on more than one screen".
I've checked the internetz and what can i see ? Your clever idea. Thanks again, i really enjoy ksp now all the more.

PS: i would mention (about the appropiate cables you need for your multi-monitor-setup) that you probably need at an active adapter, not a passive one...

That's a very good tip, thank you!

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On 5/22/2017 at 5:10 PM, John FX said:

 two copies of KSP with a symlink (more accurately a junction) 

Hi, can someone give more details on this or links. Thanks.

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13 hours ago, Pretorian28715 said:

Hi, can someone give more details on this or links. Thanks.

google `symlink` and `junction`.

When you can do one of those make a copy of your game folder, I called the copy of `KSP1.2.2` `KSP1.2.2 VAB`. Now make a junction between the `ships` folders, inside one of the save folders, I used the save `default`. Now launch both games and load the same save game and when you save a craft in one game you can launch it in another. This means you can have the VAB always open in one screen and as your craft launches you can make whatever changes you see are needed, staging changes for example.

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Hmm, widescreen is great and all, but I maintain than portrait mode is better: :D 

 

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I won't ever be doing this myself (PC futzing timidity mainly and time/space issues too), but it gave me a warm glow just knowing someone was playing with the view from orbit that you demonstrate.  Kudos my good sir!

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On ‎20‎-‎7‎-‎2017 at 4:13 PM, KerBlitz Kerman said:

@LoSBoL I saw you were using steam, is it possible with KSP from the official website?

Sorry, been offline way to long. You've probably figured it out, but either way.

Yes, you can, you just need the to add ‘-popupwindow’ commandline parameter when executing KSP, easiest way is to create a shortcut to KSP_x64.exe and add it in the shortcut https://www.lifewire.com/command-line-parameters-video-games-3399930

Or, if you do have steam, you could add KSP to Steam as 'a non steam game', I actually do that for my modded KSP game which is somewhere else on my harddrive, that way I can use Steam and not have it auto update and break my modded KSP game, and give me the ability to stream KSP to my laptop.

Edited by LoSBoL

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21 hours ago, SpaceEnthusiast23 said:

Right now, I only have 2 monitors that are not the same size. Is there any way I can put the map on one screen and the default view in the other? @LoSBoL

I would love to do that as well, but unfortunately I haven't seen anything yet that can do this, the closest thing to using two screens is what @John FX mentioned, running two instances of KSP in sync (I wander if this is becoming a more viable option these days because of multicore processors being pushed by AMD and Intel) and Telemachus to give extra information to HTTP  

 

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Yea, two screens here as well, I'd love to run KSP on multi-monitors, your screenshots have me brimming with envy.  If I were to attempt that with my current setup I may as well call it  Bezle Space Program... wha wha

 

This is an EXCELLENT post.  I'm constantly trying to convince people of the advantages of multiple screens, and I'm glad there are others out there that explain and help other so well.  Thank you for researching possible problems people may face, explaining the solutions, as well as your suggestions and tips.  I may just break down and buy a third monitor.  =)

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20 hours ago, LoSBoL said:

I would love to do that as well, but unfortunately I haven't seen anything yet that can do this, the closest thing to using two screens is what @John FX mentioned, running two instances of KSP in sync (I wander if this is becoming a more viable option these days because of multicore processors being pushed by AMD and Intel) and Telemachus to give extra information to HTTP  

 

Oh shoot I'm using a potato that can barely run ksp. 2 instances of ksp running would make the fps 0. Ill try telemachus though. Used it a few times before with other people on the internet but never used it locally. Thanks!

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