Video layout usage

Hi, I noticed that in the newer version of retroarch there is an option called “video layout” How does it work?

I stumbled across this yesterday and I would also like to know it’s function. I think I know what it does, but I’d like confirmation first.

It’s for use with MAME’s artwork/layout specification, like for bezels and borders and such. It only works with the GL driver, but the nice thing is that you don’t have to muck around with fitting custom viewports to the opening of the image. It handles it for you.

The biggest drawback is that complex multipass shaders don’t work correctly with it (the shader viewport scaling gets out of whack), but singlepass shaders work great.

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I tried enabling the option and pointing to some layout files on my PC but nothing seems to happen. I don’t get any error on screen.

Do I have to completely disable the old fashioned overlay options in order for the new feature to work?

It shouldn’t matter. Are you on a nightly build? I think there have been some fixes since the last stable.

No I’m not using a nightly build.

P.S. should the layout file and its png image(s) be zipped together in order for them to work or can I just put them in the same folder?

@hunterk, it’s similar to what I requested some months ago here, do you think it’s possible? It seems really easy to implement now.

Both methods are working. You can load either the *.zip or the *.lay
For the *.zip you have to enable Filter unknow extensions in Settings - File Browser
otherwise RA tries to load it as a game file.

You can have them all in one folder if you like:

  └ game1.lay

Well, not for me. I just tried downloading a MAME standalone executable to test it.

A layout .lay/.png bundle, both zipped and unzipped, worked flawlessly with the standalone, but does nothing when I select the same *.lay file in RetroArch

Have you set your driver to gl?

Or maybe a old graphics card?

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Only to make sure:
Are you loading the artworks through:

    └ Onscreen Overlay
        └ Video Layout
            └ Video Layout Path
Quick Menu
    └ Video Layout
        └ Video Layout Path


Yes, it’s very similar and the things you mentioned (aside from loading a specific shader) are possible with it.

@Tarrasque If you continue having issues with it, try using a nightly build of RetroArch to see if it treats you any better. If that doesn’t help, post a log and I’ll take a look.


I have RetroArch setup to open a shader and an overlay when loading games, so what I do is disabling the overlay and the shader from the quick Menu, then loading the *.lay file (I’m keeping the PMG/LAY files unzipped in a folder named like the game for the moment) from Quick Menu -> Video Layout.

When I do it the screen gets completely covered. If I disable the Layout then I see the game running. It looks as the layout is resolved as totally black and opaque.

That’s great, is there any instructions how to set it up? I’m assuming it works for other cores other than MAME, is that right?

This is a known problem with a couple of cards. I have the same issue on a radeon hd 6870

The only computer I have at my disposal at the moment is a Lenovo ThinkPad A475. Device manager says it has an AMD Radeon R7 Graphic card.

After digging deeper i noticed that it could be a problem with the latest catalyst driver for our graphics cards.

By installing an older version the artworks showing up, but this causes other things to not working good, so this is not an option for me.

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I downloaded the latest zip package (dated 2019-11-19) from the download area and used it in a fresh setup (redownloaded the mame 2016 core from the updater).

The layout works with the mame core but everything goes dark if used as a RetroArch layout

Can you tell me your OS and installed driver version pls.
I managed to make it work by reverting to the latest 13.* catalyst driver.

OS is Windows 10.

Driver I don’t actually know where to look to get all info you might need. I found an AMD utility that tells me this:

  • Radeon software version - 17.7

  • Radeon software edition - Crimson ReLive

  • Graphic chipset - AMD Radeon™ R7 Graphics

  • Memory size - 512 MB

  • Memory type - DDR4

  • Main clock - 758 MHz

  • Windows version - Windows 10 (64 bit)

  • system memory - 8 GB

  • CPU - AMD PRO A12-9800B R7, 12 COMPUTE CORES 4C+8G

  • Radeon settings version - 2018.0305.424.7904

  • Driver package version - 17.40.2815.1010-180305a-326871C-Lenovo

  • Maker - Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

  • 2D driver version -

  • Direct3D® Version -

  • OpenGL® Version -

  • OpenCL™ Version - 23.20.808.2816

  • AMD Mantle version - Not Available

  • API AMD Mantle version - Not Available

  • AMD audio driver version -

  • Vulkan™ Driver Version - 1.7.0

  • Vulkan™ API Version - 1.0.54

Anyway, its my work laptop and managed by my company, so I won’t be able to upgrade or downgrade anything.