Troubleshooting 3D Camera View Display Problems


Reference Number: KB-00106
Last Modified: April 26, 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 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.

Running in a 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

If you do not currently have Chief Architect installed, click the Windows key on your keyboard and then begin typing Device Manager and click on Device Manager when it appears as a search result. 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 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.



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.




    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 should have links to the appropriate manufacturer to download the drivers that are compatible with your system.

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.


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.

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


If you use multiple monitors and continue to experience crashing after updating the driver, temporarily disconnect the extra monitors and test to see whether the crashing still occurs after launching and use Chief Architect with only the primary monitor connected.


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 to a version compatible with your operating system does not resolve the issue.

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:
      Remove the checkmark next to Hardware Texture Filtering 
      Use the drop-down menu next to Hardware Edge Smoothing to set this to None.

    • Under the 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 creating 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 default, 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. 


MORE INFORMATION

If your video card meets the minimum system requirements for the software, and has the latest driver installed which is compatible with your version of Windows or Mac OS X and following the above instructions does not resolve the problem, then please contact the Technical Support department using the Online Support Center and provide a detailed description of the problem as well as the Message Log and your System Information files.

If the issue is plan specific, please make sure to also attach a compressed folder containing a backup of the entire plan along with the Message Log and System Information files.

If you are unfamiliar with locating and attaching these files, please see the Related Articles section below to learn how to find and submit these files to our Technical Support team.