Troubleshooting 3D Camera View Display Problems


Reference Number: KB-00106
Last Modified: October 27, 2016

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors

QUESTION

I am experiencing problems with generating 3D camera views in Chief Architect.

Either nothing at all appears in the view and it displays a blank white or black screen, an error message displays, the program crashes, or the view generates, but it doesn't look correct.

How can I resolve these problems?

ANSWER

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 or computer manufacturers' 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.

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

Current and prior version Minimum System Requirements for Chief Architect, including those for the video card and operating system, can be located in this online Knowledge Base here.

Running in an emulator, or virtual machine environment, such as Parallels, VirtualBox or VMWare Fusion, is not supported with any version of Chief Architect.     

Using Remote Desktop, LogMeIn, TeamViewer etc to access another system in which the Chief Architect software is actually installed is also not supported with any version of Chief Architect.

You can expect to encounter issues, especially with regards to generating 3D camera views, attempting to run in any such configurations.


If you are running in a supported configuration and are 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.

To determine what video cards are installed in your PC

  1. If you do not currently have Chief Architect installed, click the Windows  key on your keyboard and then begin typing Device Manager.


  2. Click on Device Manager when it displays as a search result. In the Device Manager window, click on the arrow to the left of the Display Adapters category to expand it and to see the video card(s) present on this system.




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



    Take a screenshot, or write down the video card names and their driver dates, then click Cancel to close the video card Properties dialog without making any changes.

    The Properties for each video card or chipset  may have 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 instead.



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 are on a Mac.


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



  • On a Windows computer, if the OpenGL Vendor is listed as Microsoft GDI Generic, then your video card's customized driver has not been correctly installed. Continue through the steps below to locate and install the most recent driver compatible with your version of Windows.

  • Ideally, you want to see a Driver Date listed from within the past six months.

  • Windows 10 was released in July of 2015, so compatible drivers for Microsoft's newest operating system will be generally newer than this date.

  • On a Mac computer, the Driver Date may not be listed.

    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 directly for instructions on how to choose which graphics adapter will be used as the main one.

    Some manufacturers may have a video card specific control panel where you make the selection. Other systems may require a BIOS setting change indicating the order of preference when looking for graphics adapters.  Finally, it is possible that some manufacturers 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 directly, then they should have links to the appropriate manufacturer to download the drivers that are compatible with your system, or you can search separately for the most recent video card driver compatible with your version of Windows.

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 or integrated chipset may not have drivers compatible with the Windows 10 operating system.


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

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.



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.



  • To learn more about updating your Mac, see https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201541.

  • 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: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202043

  • 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.

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 your computer meets the System Requirements, and is using the most recent driver compatible with your operating system, and 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 Render Preferences

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


  2. Next, 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, test the following setting changes.



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

    • Under Troubleshooting:
      Use the drop-down menu next to Command Flushing to set this to Frequently.
      Remove the checkmark next to Use Enhanced Lighting.
      Remove the checkmark next to Software Rendered Overlays.


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

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

    Note: You will need to regenerate 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.

  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 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 on a Mac or Windows computer.


  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 - https://support.chiefarchitect.com/


  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.

    P
    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 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.