Using the Screen Capture Tool to Create a Backdrop, Image, Material or Picture

Reference Number: KB-00791
Last Modified: December 21, 2015

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


What does the Screen Capture tool do and how do I use it? 


The Screen Capture tool allows you to add backdrops, images, or materials directly to the library or to create picture objects. You can capture screens from within Chief Architect, from a web page, or in other programs.  

To create a screen capture

  1. Select Tools> Screen Capture> Screen Capture Setup  to display the Screen Capture Setup dialog.

  2. Click the button next to the Screen Capture Creation Type that you want to use.   

    • Backdrop creates a backdrop image that can be displayed in the background of 3D views. When a backdrop is captured it will appear in the User Catalog.

    • Image creates an image item that can be used as a Billboard image or as an image that always faces the camera. When an image is captured it will appear in the User Catalog.

    • Material creates a material that can be applied to surfaces. When a material is captured it will appear in the User Catalog.

    • Picture creates a picture object that appears on screen immediately.  
      Note: The settings in the Screen Capture Setup dialog are retained and will be used whenever you use the Screen Capture tool - until you change them.

  3. Click the Capture button when you are ready to proceed.  

  4. Click and drag a selection marquee around the item you wish to capture.

  5. To create another screen capture of the same type, select Tools> Screen Capture> Capture Screen  from the menu.

    In Chief Architect X5 and earlier versions: Activate the screen capture with a right mouse click. Left-click at the first corner of the capture, then move diagonally to select the second corner. A marquee indicates the selected area as you move the mouse.

To use a captured backdrop

  1. Select 3D> 3D View Defaults  from the menu to open the dialog.

    In X5 and earlier versions, this dialog was called 
    3D Settings.

  2. On the Backdrop panel, click the Select Backdrop button to display the Select Library Object dialog with the the Backdrops category active.  

  3. Select the backdrop you captured and click OK. The backdrop appears behind any full camera views you take.

To use a captured image

  1. Select View> Library Browser  from the menu to open the Library Browser.  

  2. Browse to the User Catalog.

  3. Right click on the imported image and select Rename to give it a descriptive name.  

  4. You can choose to leave the captured image in the User Catalog folder, or you can create a subcategory, and place it into the appropriate folder to allow for easy access in future plans.   

  5. Once you have the image named and placed where you want in the   Library Browser, you can select the image that you captured and click in   the plan to place it.

To specify a captured material

  1. Select an object that you want to apply the captured material to and click the Open Object  edit button.  

  2. On the Materials panel of the object's specification dialog, click on the name of the object part that you want to apply the material to in the list on the left side.  

  3. Click the Select Material button to display the Select Material dialog, choose the material you want to use.

  4. Click OK to close the specification dialog and apply your change.

To change the name of a library object

  1. Select View> Library Browser  from the menu to open the Library Browser.  

  2. Browse to the object you wish to rename, right-click on its name and select Rename from the menu.  

    • Alternatively, you can click on the object to select it and press F2 on your keyboard.  

  3. Type in the new name.

    Library names can have up to 63 characters and are case sensitive.