Troubleshooting 3D Camera View Display Problems

Reference Number: KB-00106
Last Modified: June 1, 2018

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 an error message displays, the program crashes, hangs, displays a blank white or black screen, or the view generates, but it doesn't look correct in some way.

How can I resolve these types of problems?


In 3D intensive software, such as a Chief Architect product, you may experience a variety of problems in your 3D camera views particularly if:

  • Your computer does not meet the software's System Requirements in relation to the video card.

    Note: Chief Architect X6 and earlier versions were not supported under Windows 10.

  • If you are attempting to run in an unsupported fashion, such as using an emulator or virtual machine environment.

    Common examples include Parallels, VirtualBox, VMWare Fusion, or when accessing a computer remotely such as by using Remote Desktop, LogMeIn, TeamViewer, and other similar applications.

  • Or finally, if you are not using the latest available driver for your system's video card which is compatible with your operating system.

Generally, if your video card does meet the minimum system requirements for running the software, then 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 computer and video card manufacturer's websites.

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

If you are running in a supported configuration and are still encountering issues with regards to your 3D camera views, then this article describes the basic steps for troubleshooting these issues to try and determine what the cause may be.

Whether you are on a Mac or a PC, the information below will help you to determine which video card your Chief Architect software is currently using.

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're on a Mac.

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


    • Chief Architect X10 versions have the following minimum system requirements for a video card.
      * 1 GB of dedicated video memory (gaming card with 4GB or 8GB is recommended)
      * OpenGL 3.3 or higher (for Windows)
      * OpenGL 4.1 or higher (for Mac)

      Chief Architect X9 and earlier version can be found by accessing the System Requirements page.

    • Ideally, you want to see a Driver Date from within the past three months listed.
      Windows 10 was released in July of 2015, so compatible drivers for that operating system are generally newer than this date.
      Mac computers will not show a "Driver Date" listed at this location.

    • If this dialog shows "Microsoft Corporation" for the OpenGL Vendor and "GDI Generic" under the OpenGL Renderer, it indicates that the software has not been able to use the driver from your actual video card.  You must save your work, exit out of the software, and update the driver to the most recent version following the instructions in the next section. Once you have done so, return to this location and verify that the actual video card information is listed.

    • If your system has switchable graphics, and the wrong chipset or video card is listed in Preferences, please check the options available in your video cards control center or control panel, or contact your computer's manufacturer directly for instruction on how to adjust the system settings to force the video card to be used for applications like Chief Architect.

    • Make a note of the OpenGL Renderer, save your work, and exit out of Chief Architect before continuing to the next section.

To find the latest video drivers

For PC Users:

It is recommended that you check your computer manufacturer's website for the latest drivers first. If they do not provide the drivers directly, then they should have links to the appropriate manufacturer to download the drivers that are compatible with your system hardware, or you can search separately for the most recent video card driver compatible with your version of Windows.

For more information, please visit the support page of your computer manufacturer's website before going directly to the video card manufacturer.

Note: Chief Architect, Inc. provides these links for information purposes only. The third party information present in this document was verified at writing; however, it is subject to change. 

Some common PC manufacturers include: DellHPToshibaAcerLenovoAsusSonySamsung, and Gateway.

If your computer manufacturer does not have specific drivers for your system, then you may need to go to the video card manufacturer's website directly.

The largest video card/chipset manufacturers currently 
include:  NVidia, ATI/AMD, and Intel.

Some video card manufacturers have the option to allow their site to auto-detect the video card on your system.  If your video card manufacturer's website does not offer this feature, then either search for your particular video card on the manufacturer's website, or browse to select the link to download drivers and locate your particular video card.

Follow the instructions on the video card manufacturer's website to download the driver. Choose to SAVE the file onto an easy to remember location, such as the Desktop. Now that you have downloaded the appropriate driver for your video card, you are ready to double click on the downloaded file in order to install the new driver.  After updating the driver, shut down the computer, and restart it even if the end of the installation does not prompt you to do so.

For more information on how to install or configure drivers, please consult the manufacturer of your computer or video graphics card.

Only download and install the latest available driver for your particular video card that is compatible with your operating system.  Installing a driver designed for a different video card, or operating system, may cause unpredictable and undesirable results.

If you have recently upgraded your Windows operating system from an older version, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8, keep in mind that your video card may not have drivers compatible with the Windows 10 operating system. This may result in 3D camera view issues in Chief Architect.  If this occurs, please roll back your Windows installation to the version that your hardware was designed to run. 

If you are still encountering issues with camera views, previews in dialogs, or the Library Browser after updating the system, continue to the next section on adjusting settings.

For Mac Users:

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

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

  • To learn more about updating your Mac, see

  • 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:

  • Some NVidia Quadro and Geforce cards now do require separate Mac driver downloads from their website. Please verify with your computer manufacturer first before downloading Mac drivers from NVidia's website.

  • After updating the driver, shut down the computer, and restart it, even if the end of the installation does not prompt you to do so.

  • If you are still encountering issues with camera views, previews in dialogs, or the Library Browser after updating the system, continue to the next section.

If you use multiple monitors, and continue to experience crashing after updating the driver, then temporarily disconnect the extra monitors.  Once you have done so, restart the system and test whether the crashing still occurs after restarting, launching and using Chief Architect with only the primary monitor connected.  If the crashes no longer occur, then it is likely that your video card is not capable of supporting the extra monitors, and you will want to leave them disconnected while working in the software.

If you are not using extra monitors, your computer meets the System Requirements, and you have updated to the most recent video card driver compatible with your operating system, but you are still encountering trouble with generating 3D camera views, then this section discusses the additional settings you may need to change in Chief Architect.

To adjust Camera and Render Preference Settings

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

  2. In Chief Architect X10, select Edit> Default Settings> Camera Tools and open the Camera tool you're experiencing trouble in.

  3. In the Camera Defaults, on the General panel make the following setting changes.

    * Remove the checkmarks next to Show Shadows.
    * Remove the checkmark next to Reflections.
    * Set Ambient Occlusion to 0%.
    * Remove the checkmark next to Edge Smoothing when Idle.
    * Remove the checkmark next to Bloom.

    Then click OK to apply these setting changes, and Done to close the Default Settings dialog, and attempt to create a new camera view. Do not open an existing saved camera in the plan, as it would be using settings different from the defaults just changed.

    If the camera view is able to generate successfully without issue, then you can exit out of the view, return to the Camera Defaults, and go through and restore one setting at a time until you determine if one or more may have been specifically responsible for the initial undesired results, and then leave just those options disabled.

    If making these changes does not affect the view, leave the settings disabled for the Camera Defaults and continue to the next section.

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

  5. Under the Render panel, test the following setting changes.

    In Chief Architect X10:
    Set Hardware Edge Smoothing to None.
    Remove the checkmark next to Use Global Illumination.
    Remove the checkmark next to Use Enhanced Lighting.

    In Chief Architect X9:
    Set Hardware Edge Smoothing to None.
    Remove the checkmark next to Enhanced Lighting.
    Set Command Flushing to Frequently.

    In Chief Architect X8:
    Set Hardware Edge Smoothing to None.
    Remove the checkmark next to Use Enhanced Lighting.
    Remove the checkmark next to Software Rendered Overlays.
    Set Command Flushing to Frequently.

  6. Click OK and try to create a new 3D view.

    If the view can generate successfully after making these changes, you can go back and one at a time restore these settings back to their original settings, until you locate which specifically cause the issue to occur, and then leave just those options disabled.

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

Advanced Troubleshooting

If your video card meets the minimum system requirements for the software, has the latest driver installed which is compatible with your version of Windows or Mac OS X, and following the above instructions on adjusting the Render Preferences does not resolve the problem, then please contact the Technical Support department and submit ALL of the following information.

To submit the issue to Technical Support

  1. When the issue occurs, take a moment to write down what you were doing just prior to the error, including what kind of view was open, what tools you were using, and what objects you were drawing or editing.

  2. If you receive an error message, or the view does not look correct, take a screenshot of the error or issue and save it to your Desktop.

    For instructions, see Creating a Screenshot.

  3. If the problem is plan specific, use the Backup Entire Plan  tool to create a zipped archive folder with a copy of the plan file in which the issue occurs, including all referenced files.

    For instructions, see Using the Backup Entire Plan/Project Tool.

  4. Locate the Message Log to send the entire text file to Tech Support.

    For instructions, see Locating the Message Log.

  5. Export your System Information and send the file to Tech Support for examination.

    For instructions, see Finding Information About your System.

  6. Log in to the Online Support Center and create a new ticket to send to Technical Support.

    If you have not used the Online Support Center before, you will need to take a moment to register a new account. For instructions, see Using the Online Support Center.

    Online Support Center -

  7. Give the ticket a short descriptive title. Then in the text of the ticket, type out your detailed explanation of the problem from Step 1 in this section on advanced troubleshooting.

    lease be sure to include the exact steps that caused the error to occur, as best as you are able to remember them. The more detailed you are, the more likely we will be to reproduce the error and identify the problem.

  8. After you have entered in as much information as you can provide on how to reproduce the problem, then click on the Browse button and attach ALL of the requested files, including the Screenshots of the error message or camera issue, the Backup of the Entire Plan/Project if the problem is plan specific, the Message Log, and the System Information to your ticket.

  9. Finally, Submit the ticket to our technical support team. It is possible that Technical Services may need additional information regarding the issue, which they will request via a reply in the Online Support Center.