HowTo: Set up Dynamic Wallpapers and Boxart in RetroArch 1.2

Hello All,

I would like to present you some kind of guide how to set up Dymanic Wallpaper and Boxart features in RetroArch 1.2. The reason why I’m doing this because it’s not documented anywhere (it least I could’t find) how to do it and it’s not obviously understanded from the menu. So I’ve spent some time to figure out it by myself.

Please read RetroArch 1.2 july 4 release kickoff topic and watch Lakka.TV videos there to know about what this guide is.

First of all these 2 features are not 100% done at the moment. There are bugs in them and they don’t work well both in the same time. Second, this guide is for full stable 1.2 version of RA. If you are using some early nightly build or just simply overwrighted any previuos version with files from 1.2 to keep your config settings some feature may not work for you. Third, you have to scan your roms collection and organise them into library to get the features to take effect. Add Content -> Scan Directory -> Select dir that you want to scan. Restart RetroArch.

  1. Dynamic Wallpaper feature (an easy one)
  • In RetroArch go to Settings -> Menu Settings -> Dynamic Wallpaper and enable it.
  • Set up your wallpaper dir in Settings -> Directory Settings -> Dynamic Wallpapers Dir. Use one of the dir presented in assets. For exemple: [I]<Your RetroArch Dir>\assets\wallpapers\posterized consoles\1440x900[/I]
  • Restart RetroArch

Updated for RA v1.3.0+

  • Disable XMB Ribbon Shader: Settings -> Menu -> Menu Shader Pipeline OFF
  1. Boxart (a tricky one)
  • Create ‘boxart’ dir in your RetroArch directory (or anywhere else, it doesn’t really matter just keep your stuff organized). For example: d:\Games\RetroArch\boxart\
  • In RetroArch go to Settings -> Menu Settings -> Display Boxart and enable it
  • Set up your boxart dir you’ve created above in [I]Settings -> Directory Settings -> Boxart Dir
  • [/I]Now google some images for your games and copy them to boxart dir. Images should be in PNG format.[I]
  • [/I]Rename your images accordinly game names in your collection. To find out game names go to …\RetroArch\playlists\ dir and open file that represent appropriate system your game belongs.

[HR][/HR]For example: You are trying to set up boxart for Batman & Robin for Genesis[I].

  • [/I]File you’re looking for: d:\Games\RetroArch\playlists\Sega - Mega Drive - - It contains the record like this:[I]

D:\Games\Emu\sega\roms\Adventures of Batman and Robin, The (U) [!].gen Adventures of Batman & Robin, The (USA) D:\Games\Emu\RetroArch2\cores\genesis_plus_gx_libretro.dll Genesis Plus GX 0CAAA4AC|crc Sega - Mega Drive - [/I]

  • Rename your image in a boxart dir to look like this: d:\Games\RetroArch\boxart\Adventures of Batman & Robin, The (USA).png [HR][/HR]
  • After you’ve done with renaming restart RertoArch

Great tutorial. Thanks for writing this up! :slight_smile:

I haven’t been able to get the dynamic wallpaper to work consistently. I have it enabled and the directory set to one with the posterized console backgrounds. When I start RetroArch, it uses the “bg.png” in “assets\xmb\monochrome\png”. If I press right to move to a playlist, it still uses that background until I press left to get back to the main menu. Then it changes to the “MENU .png” background from my dynamic wallpaper directory. At that point it’s stuck with that BG until I launch a game; then it switches back to “bg.png” until I move to a playlist and back to the main menu.

I was just messing with it and for a second it used the SNES BG when I was on that playlist. But then I moved to the main menu and back, which got it stuck on “MENU .png” again. I have no idea why it worked that one time. I tried turning on verbose logging to see if there was any info about how the pngs are trying to load, but didn’t see anything there.

Edit: I tried editing my playlist files manually to see if I could remove country codes from the descriptions. It doesn’t really work, since changing that makes it so you can’t “Start Content” with that game anymore (it gives you a “No Playlist entries available” message when selecting the game). But, oddly enough, if I remove the country code from the first game in the playlist, the dynamic wallpaper for that playlist will start working. What.

It’s the same bug I’ve faced and described in the guide.

Oh, I see now, it’s the first game boxart thing. That makes sense, since when I changed the description of the first game the boxart no longer matches and doesn’t load.

Thanks for this tutorial.

Actually a good place to start for getting boxart is right here on the forums, check out my post here:

If you are struggling to get “boxart” to work, this post describes recent changes (Nov 2015) to the directory structure under <boxarts>.

The naming convention is now: <boxart-dir>/<playlist-name>/Named_Snaps/<game-name-as-it-appears-in-playlist>.png[FONT=arial]

Almost everything in the path, above, is a placeholder that you must replace with the indicated information. However, “Named_Snaps” is literal. The subdir needs to be named exactly “Named_Snaps” (at least for now). [/FONT]

[QUOTE=lordashram;29341]Actually a good place to start for getting boxart is right here on the forums, check out my post here:[/QUOTE]

Good job lordashram! Maybe I can help you on github. But, why don’t base this work on No-Intro roms? This is a project that collects only the working roms (without bug, alternative and other garbage). So it will be used in Lakka project, but for doing this @Kivutar have to change a little the actual system from: <boxart-dir>/<playlist-name>/Named_Snaps/<game-name-as-it-appears-in-playlist>.png to: <boxart-dir>/<playlist-name>/Named_Snaps/<game-name-as-official-No-Intro-Collection>.png or we will become crazy in renaming images.

@lollo78, some of what i have done is touched up, some partially custom, others very custom but either way there would be many many duplicates taking up extra unneeded space for the multi versions of the same game. I am also not trying to do complete systems either just games that I have and researching top lists to add some that others might have and trying to avoid wasting time doing games that nobody will actually play nor care about.

If others want to do their own or add to what I’ve done then that is why I have made available my Photoshop files for templates. I do need to clean up my Photoshop Action files and make them available too to help make it easier.

Hi there!!! This is really helpful. The problem I have found is that Retroarch doesn’t recognize all of my roms in the playlist. I have 170 roms and only 30 were recognized. Maybe it’s 'cause these roms have patches to translate to spanish (snes roms). Do you know if there is anywhere to fix this? I hope retroarch implement more stuff like videos of the games, walkthrougs, commands, etc.

Unfortunately, we don’t currently have any way of identifying romhacks/translations and matching them to our database entries, which are based on No-Intro DATs.

Thanks for the reply!!! I also comment the same issue in a video, if it’s yours just ignore the comment (under saio powermetal user on youtube). Keep up with the good work!!! Hoping there are more improves to RA!

Is it possible to replace the RA games database with one I have created or is ther RA specifics in the database?

The databases are derived from No-Intro DATs but are in binary format for speed. You can modify the No-Intro DATs with your own data and then build your own databases but it’s a pretty involved process.

That’s hunterk, so not something like dons hyperspin tools? (if you know it) only used it briefly to rename some roms to no-intro

Dynamic Wallpapers set-up is so easy but yet for me it doesn’t work…it always just shows my main wallpaper setting (the default XMB ribbon)

Edit: Oh I had to turn off the ribbon. Is there a way to use the Ribbon on the main menus and still dynamic switch the wallpapers without ribbons when on a playlist? I guess not…but at least it’s working :slight_smile: Should include in guide to make sure ribbon is turned off or have chosen plain style color.

Good call. I’ll add it to the guide on the first page.

The next question is how to disable game screen on the background while game in on pause. Because a picture of paused game along with a dynamic wallpaper starts to look like a mess.

If you have ‘pause while menu activated’ enabled, you won’t see the game showing through. If you don’t want to do that, though, you can just increase the menu opacity value.

Hi, I have done some dynamic wallpaper for each system and everything is working fine… …buuuuut…i am stuck on somenting…searching a while for help… Is it possible - after starting/closing a game - not to get the standard wallpaper bg.png and instead the dynamic one for snes etc. When I change to the next tab - I get the dynamic one again. I like to keep the dynamic one as background while I start/close several games in one tab…