Troubleshooting 3D Camera View Display Problems

Reference Number: KB-00106
Last Modified: October 1, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I am experiencing problems with generating 3D camera views in Chief Architect. Either nothing at all appears in the view and it displays a white screen, an error message displays, the program crashes, or the view generates, but it doesn't look correct.

How can I resolve these problems?  


In a 3D intensive software program such as a Chief Architect product, you may encounter a variety of problems in your 3D camera views if your system is not up-to-date.

Generally, these issues can be resolved by simply updating the driver for your computer's video card to the latest available version which is compatible with your operating system. This can often be done for free on most video card manufacturer's websites.

For Mac users, the drivers for the hardware are part of the OS X operating system so it is important to make sure that your system is up-to-date.

Please bear in mind, though, that if you are running the software on an unsupported operating system for your version of the program, or if your video card does not meet our minimum system requirements, the suggestions in this article are unlikely to resolve the problem.

This article describes the basic steps for troubleshooting these issues to try and determine what the cause may be:

To determine what video cards are installed in your PC

If you do not currently have Chief Architect installed, in Windows you can browse to the Control Panel, navigate to System and Security, System, then click the link for Device Manager. In the Device Manager window, expand the Display Adapters category to see the video card(s) present on this system.

You can double-click any adapter listed here to obtain further information on the device, such as the Driver Date.

The Device Manager has an "Update Driver" option which can be used to search for drivers that are specifically signed by Microsoft, however it is recommended to consult with your computer's manufacturer for driver download recommendations.

To determine the video card that Chief Architect is using

  1. Open your copy of Chief Architect and select Edit> Preferences from the menu if you're on a Windows PC, or Chief Architect> Preferences  if you are using a Mac system.

  2. Click on the Video Card Status panel of the Preferences dialog to see information regarding your video card.

    Note: If your computer has more than one graphics adapter (for example your computer comes with a built-in graphics chip on the motherboard and you also have an add-on graphics card installed into an expansion slot) it is possible that the wrong graphics card or chipset is listed at this location.  If this is the case, please contact your computer manufacturer for instructions on how to choose which graphics adapter is the main adapter.  Some manufactures may have a video card specific control panel where you make the selection while other systems may require a BIOS setting indicating the order of preference when looking for graphics adapters.  It is possible that some manufactures may require you to completely uninstall the integrated chipset driver in order to force that the add-on graphics card be used.

To find the latest video drivers

For PC Users:

It is recommended that you check your computer manufacturer's website for the latest drivers. If they do not provide the drivers they will have links to the appropriate manufacturer to download the drivers that are compatible with your system.

For more information visit the support page of your manufacturer's website.

For Mac Users:

Apple's operating system OS X comes pre-installed on your Mac and contains the drivers needed for your hardware.

To make sure that your hardware drivers are up-to-date you must make sure that your operating system is up-to-date by navigating to
Apple> About This Mac and clicking on the Software Update button.

If your Mac has two video cards, and switches between them for better battery life, you may want to switch off Automatic graphics switching so that the best graphics will always be used. Instructions on how to accomplish this can be located on Apple's website at:

To adjust Render Preferences

Below are a few settings you can change in Chief Architect to try and troubleshoot problems with your 3D views if updating the video card or chipset's graphics driver does not resolve the issue.

  1. First, exit out of any 3D camera views you may have open.

  2. Nest, select Edit> Preferences from the menu if you're on a Windows PC, or Chief Architect> Preferences  if you're on a Mac system.

  3. Under the Render panel, you can try one or more of the following:

    • Under General Options use the drop down menu next to Hardware Edge Smoothing to set this to None.

    • Under the Troubleshooting section, set Command Flushing to Frequently and remove the checkmark next to Use Enhanced Lighting.

  4. Click OK and try creating a new 3D view.

    Note: You will need to regenerate the camera view to see the changes after each modification to the render settings in Preferences. 


If your video card meets the minimum system requirements for the software and following these instructions do not resolve the problem, please contact the Technical Support department directly either via telephone, or using the Online Support Center.

Be prepared to provide information on your computer manufacturer, operating system, as well as the video card including its make, model, driver version and date.