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Setting up Backglass and DMD monitors for the beginner

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  • Ben Logan
    Got it working for FX3. Appreciate the instructions. Wasn't as difficult as I'd predicted. Fun stuff. Thanks, Zen, for implementing cabinet support. You guys are doing an amazing job with the Williams tables. Keep them coming! Hoping for Oculus Quest versions at some point!

    Leave a comment:

  • Hogcia
    Are there updated instructions for Fx3? I don’t see the cabinet settings when I pause the game in fx3. I do have cabinet enabled.

    Leave a comment:

  • Rayrock71
    Thank you very much it looks great.

    I do not know why, when changing the table, the shape of the black dmd remains.

    It could be fixed


    Leave a comment:

  • Seattlemark
    Hi TheTrain. Thanks for your great post at the top! I just gave a shoutout praising it in

    which includes my following statement, "I have both my DMD and Backglass on the same monitor, but this other post was still very helpful to me. Because thanks to it I now finally truly understand how the various numbers for Backglass and DMD Position and Size work in the Cabinet setup panel."
    Last edited by Seattlemark; 05-08-2017, 06:03 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • shazamic
    Do you know if it's possible to change resolution for playfield like DMD & backglass ?!

    i can change width and heigh on DMD et Backglass in options, but not for playfield (only pre-selected).

    may be a solution to add dmd above playfield in one screen...

    Leave a comment:

  • TheTrain
    Originally posted by shazamic View Post
    Thanks! with some screenshot, will be perfect

    Actually, i have just 1 playfield. Soon, i'll add a second screen to add backglass+dmd (on the same screen)...
    I will try to amend the above with some screen shots when I have a chance.

    Leave a comment:

  • shazamic
    Thanks! with some screenshot, will be perfect

    Actually, i have just 1 playfield. Soon, i'll add a second screen to add backglass+dmd (on the same screen)...

    Leave a comment:

  • Setting up Backglass and DMD monitors for the beginner

    This is a short tutorial on setting up backglass and DMD monitors on Windows 7 without pulling your hair out or doing much guess work.

    For this I will presume you are using three dedicated monitors, but the same principles will apply if you are doing a DMD overlay onto the same monitor as your backglass.

    Step 1 - Setting up the proper resolutions for each of your three displays.

    It is important to make sure that your displays are displaying at the correct resolution. If your resolution is off at all you can be left with programs that do not run properly, skewed images, and generally unsightly displays.

    Go to your main desktop, right click and click on the 'Screen resolution' option (should be third from the bottom in the list)

    This will bring up a list of your monitors as well as their positions.

    Click on the 'Identify' button to see which monitor is which. Its a good idea to write this down, as it will make arranging and setting up each monitor much easier.

    In my setup, I have the following:

    Display 1 - Samsung 720p 28" monitor that can display at 1366x768. This is connected via DVI-HDMI and will be used for the backglass
    Display 2 - Sharp 1080p 40" TV that can display at 1920x1080. This is connected via HDMI and will be used for the playfield
    Display 3 - RCA 720p 19" TV that can display at 1360x768. This is connected via VGA and will be used for the DMD

    Make sure each of the displays that Windows is showing match the specs of the display. If you are unsure of the display resolution for your monitor, check the box or look up the model online, it will show what the display is capable of. If there is a miss-match, there will be a slider bar under the 'Resolution' drop down that you can move to the proper setting.

    If you made any change here, click on the 'Apply' button before moving on.

    Step 2 - Rotate the main displays

    This step is not necessary all the time, and if you are running other programs like Virtual Pinball or Future Pinball you may need to leave your main display in the portrait setting.

    If you are just using Pinball FX 2 though lets rotate the main display so everything lines up nicely.

    Click on the display that you will be using for your main playfield, and under 'Orientation', choose either 'Portrait' or 'Portrait (flipped)'. Which ever of these leaves you with your start bar in the right orientation at the bottom of the main display, and then click 'Apply'.

    Step 3 - Stack the displays for easier management

    Stacking the displays will make it easier to calculate and move things around in Pinball FX 2.

    I stack mine in the following order:

    Top - Backglass
    Middle - DMD
    Bottom - Playfield

    In the same window, simple drag the display you have setup to be the playfield under the display you have setup to be the DMD.

    Windows should snap the monitor in the bottom left of that display.

    Do the same with the last display, but drag it to the top left of the DMD display and let it snap in place.

    If you can click on the 'Apply' button, do it now.

    Step 4 - Make your playfield the default display

    Find the playfield display and check off the box that says 'Make this my main display'. Then click on 'Apply'.

    You should now see the start menu bar move down to the playfield display, and all of the other screens will show the current background.

    Step 5 - Write down some resolutions

    You are going to want to write down the sizes of the two monitors you are going to use for the DMD and backglass to makes things in the next few steps easier

    For me:
    1360 x 768 for the DMD screen
    1366 x 768 for the backglass

    Step 6 - Put the backglass images in the right place

    Assuming you have not modified the default install location, you will need to go to:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Pinball FX2\data_steam

    You are free to put in any images you want here, but make sure that the names of them match the table names perfectly!

    Hint, Sorcerer's Lair is called 'Citadel'

    Here is a link to a bunch I made:

    Step 7 - Launch a table

    Lets launch Sorcerer's Lair since it is the free table if you are just getting started with Pinball FX2

    Step 8 - Go to the Cabinet Mode adjustment screen

    After you launch your table, hit 'Escape' and go to 'Cabinet support' at the bottom.

    Note: If you do not have cabinet support you will need to send an email to Zen for a key

    Step 9 - Set the DMD

    The second option down is 'Dot matrix repositioning: Off', click on that entry and it will change to 'Dot matrix repositioning: On'.

    Remember those numbers we got from 'Step 5'? Time to use them!

    The DMD will start at position 0,0, which will be the top left of your main display, and it will be quite small at 390x102.

    We are going to put it in the top of left of the DMD display, which we know has a resolution of 1360x768.

    Change the 'Dot matrix vertical position' to -768 (as anything above the 0,0 from the main playfield is considered a negative number when you have additional monitor stacked on top in windows).

    The 'Dot matrix horizontal position' should stay at 0 unless your stack numbers are different.

    Normal DMDs have a ratio of 4:1, so for ever 100 width, they have 25 height. Most actual DMDs have a resolution of 128x32 (again 4:1 ratio).

    For some reason, Pinball FX2 uses 390x102 which is 65 : 17 (ish). You are welcome to use this, but I like 4:1 because it is easier to calculate and you don't notice a difference.

    Since our display is pretty high (768 pixels), we will want to focus on the width to get the ratio figured out.

    Our display has a width of 1360 pixels, so if we take that number and divide it by 4 we get 340.

    This gives us a DMD size of 1360 x 340 if we wanted to use the entire display area for the DMD.

    Changing the 'Dot matrix horizontal size' to 1360 and the 'Dot matrix vertical size' to 340 will make it fit perfectly on the screen (for me at least).

    Step 10 - Set the Backglass

    The 7th option down is 'Backglass repositioning: Off', click on that entry and it will change to 'Backglass repositioning: On'.

    Again we are going to start with the vertical position.

    In the 'Backglass vertical position' field, enter -1536, which is 768 + 768.

    We are moving -768 to get the image onto the DMD screen, and then another -768 to get it onto the top monitor.

    We know that this monitor has a resolution of 1366x788 so change 'Backglass horizontal size' to 1366 and 'Backglass vertical size' to 768.

    Thats it! You are set up and ready to rock

    Advanced DMD stuff.

    Ok so that DMD might be a little big for you. Here is an easy way to calculate moving it around.

    We have a width of 1360 on our DMD monitor. Lets say we want to have black space of 200 on each side (make sure you have a black background for this).

    1360 - 200 - 200 = 960.
    960 / 4 = 240

    Change the 'Dot matrix horizontal position' to 200 (how much over you want to move it, matching the other side)
    Change the 'Dot matrix horizontal size' to 960 (1360 - 200 - 200)
    Change the 'Dot matrix vertical size' to 240 (960 / 4)

    And just like that you have a smaller and centred DMD!

    Hope this helps!!!