Creating a Walkthrough

Reference Number: KB-02021
Last Modified: February 6, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I need to record a video tour of my plan. How can I do this using Chief Architect?

Record a video tour using the 3D walkthrough tool


The Create Walkthrough Path tool allows you to record a video going through your structure slowing and panning at key points to create that perfect presentation for your clients. In this tutorial we cover making the path and setting key frames. You can watch a sample walkthrough video here: Walk Through Video


To create a basic walkthrough path

  1. From a Floor Plan view, click 3D> Walkthroughs> Create Walkthrough Path .

  2. Decide which direction you want your walkthrough to move along. Click and drag to draw the walkthrough path in your floor plan view in the direction you have chosen.

    Walkthrough path with two key frames

  3. If you would like to create more segments to your walkthrough, this can be done by moving the mouse cursor over the camera symbol on the end of the line segment, then click and drag the camera again and again. This will continue adding segments to your spline. 

    Changing the shape of the path

  4. The line between two segments will convert into a spline when the mouse button is released.

    Spline containing two key framesClicking and dragging to further modify the splineAdvanced spline with two key frames

    When a walkthrough path stops at the bottom of a set of stairs, it will automatically extend the path up, or down the stairs to the next floor where you can continue the path through the next floor's rooms.

To modify the path

Notice the edit handles of the segments drawn when the path is selected. To get more control over the shape of the path, or to smooth out the curves use the Break Line Edit tool to add additional edit handles.

Several break points placed in walkthrough pathUsing the break edit handles to modify the shape of the path    

Using key frames

  1.  Using the Select Objects  tool select your walkthrough path and click the Add Key Frame  edit button.

  2.  Click on the walkthrough path where you would like to place the key frame, and with the edit handles you can modify the key frame however you'd like.

    Two additional key frames added to walkthrough pathAdjusting the added key frames

  3. You can click the Open Object edit button while the path is selected to modify the different key frames as well.

     Walkthrough Path Specification dialog showing key frames.

To record the walkthrough

  1. With the walkthrough path selected, click the Record Walkthrough Along Path  edit button.

  2. Specify your walkthrough recording options.

    Walkthrough recording options

    • Choose how many Frames Per Second.

      The recommended value is 30. Values between 1-100 can be used, however the more frames per second, the larger the video file will be. 

    • Choose the Duration Along Path.

    • Total Frames to Record shows for reference and equals the Frames per Second multiplied by the Duration Along Path.

    • Set the desired Compression percentage.

      75% is recommended. A lower compression rate will result in higher quality video but also increases the size of the video file.

    • Choose the Resolution, either using the drop-down or by specifying the width and height values.

    • Choose the Rendering Technique to and specify if you want Shadows and Bloom to be enabled/disabled for the video. 

    • Lastly, set the Video Codec to be used to record the walkthrough.

      For more information on codecs, please see the Related Articles section below.

    • Once all options are setup to you liking, click OK.

      For more information on the various options in this dialog, please click the Help button.

    Note: Some walkthrough recording options can be setup in the Default Settings dialog by navigating to Edit> Default Settings using the menu, clicking on the Walkthrough option, and then selecting Edit. 

    Walkthroughs can also be recorded without using a walkthrough path. This is done by opening a 3D Camera view, navigating to 3D> Walkthroughs> Record Walkthrough, and then moving the camera in the desired direction to record a video.

    Hotkeys that are assigned as keyboard shortcuts for camera navigation tools are highly recommended when using this method for recording walkthroughs.

  3. In the Save Video As dialog that opens next, specify a location where you want the video file to be saved to along with a File name.

    Specify a location and file name for the walkthrough

  4. Click OK to start the recording process.

To play a walkthrough

  1. Select 3D> Walkthroughs> Play Walkthrough  to open the Select Video File dialog.

  2. Browse to the walkthrough movie file saved on your computer and click Open. Your default video application will open and play the walkthrough video.

    Note: If you're having trouble playing the video, try specifying a different codec for recording the walkthrough. Please see the Related Articles section for more information on codecs.