I have a client that is installing 4 Samsung displays on their wall, side by side. left to right, 1 2 3 4. Samsung provides software called MagicNet that allows you to control a number of screens with one computer. Looking on the Samsung site there is a bit of info that states optimal screen resolution 1360x768 @60Hz.
We would like to have animation that moves across the four screens. From reading some previous post I think we will build our file to the completed size across 4 screens then go back and render out the portion that goes to each individual screen. In doing that, and looking at the Samsung specs, would that mean building a pieces that is 5440x768 @ 60Hz? that will then be broken down into the individual pieces of 1360x768? That will be a large file for me at 5440x768. Does it need to be that big?
We do a bunch of multi-display work (though not with MagicNet), so hopefully this advice will be helpful to you.
Your comp does need to be that big, if you want to take advantage of the full resolution of the displays. If you go smaller, the content will be scaled up at the display, making it a blocky, blurry mess.
60Hz is the refresh rate that the screens like to run at. You could make your comp at either 30 fps or 60 fps for smooth playback. I don't know MagicNet, but 60 fps may be taxing on the system driving the display. If the system can handle it, though, it would look smoother than 30 fps without motion blur.
One big thing to keep in mind here -- if you have content that is moving across the screens, their physical installation matters a great deal. You must take into account the size of the bevels on the displays and the space in between the displays so the content doesn't "jump" as it moves from one screen to another. This means your master comp will actually be larger than just the sum of the 4 screens' pixels. Rather, your master comp will be the wall the displays are mounted on, with 4 render comps, one per screen, looking at their respective areas of the total.
Thank you for the quick reply and for the great advice.
We had discussed something similar to what you were talking about... regarding the space between the displays, and how it may make the motion across multiple screens look a bit jumpy if we didn't account for the space. This project may even be more cumbersome as they will not be butted against each other. At this time I think they plan to place them about a foot apart. We have been thinking of them more as port holes in the side of a ship that we can see out of. So if an animated bird were moving by it will need time to get from one display to the next.
Thank you for the input. I will also post back after I am done to explain how it came off. Maybe I can shed some light on the process with MagicNet should someone come looking for info in the future.