Message: An unexpected error occurred while ray tracing.


Reference Number: KB-02983
Last Modified: July 17, 2017

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


QUESTION

When I try to create a ray trace, I receive one of the following error messages:

"An unexpected error occurred while ray tracing."

or

"Unable to open ray tracing engine – ray tracing disabled for this session."

What does this error mean, and how can I resolve the error so that I can continue ray tracing?


ANSWER

There are a few different reasons for these errors:

  • Something plan-specific in the file is stopping the ray trace from being able to start.

  • Your system is out of date or missing a critical update.

  • Something running on the system itself is stopping the ray trace process from being able to start.

This means that the first step in troubleshooting is to see if this error occurs in all plans or only specific ones.


To test whether the problem occurs in all plans

  1. From the menu, select File> New Plan New Plan icon to start a new empty blank plan file.


  2. Select Build> Wall> Straight Exterior Wall Straight Exterior Wall icon, then click and drag to create a simple enclosed rectangular structure.


  3. Next, go to Build> Cabinet> Base Cabinet Base Cabinet icon, and click to place a single base cabinet against one of the walls in the plan.


  4. Select 3D> Create Perspective View> Full Camera Full Camera icon, then click and drag towards the cabinet in the room to create a camera view.




  5. Finally, select 3D> Ray Trace Ray Trace icon.

    • If this plan ray traces successfully, then you have determined that there is something specific to your earlier file causing the issue with ray tracing.
      Please follow the instructions in article KB-00987: Using the Backup Entire Plan Tool from the Related Articles section at the bottom of this article and attach the plan to a new casein the Technical Support Center. For a tutorial on using the Technical Support Center please visit KB-00717: Using the Online Support Center

    • If this plan also will not ray trace successfully without generating the error, then you have determined that there is an issue elsewhere, either with Chief Architect or your system.


The first step in troubleshooting system related issues should be to make sure that your system and Chief Architect are up to date. You can check for updates in Chief Architect by selecting Help> Download Program Updates from the menu.

If you running an older version of Chief Architect, you may want to check to see that you are running on an operating system that your version of Chief Architect is supported on. To learn more about which operating systems Chief Architect will run on look at article KB-00027: What operating systems does Chief Architect run on? from the Related Articles section at the bottom of this article.



To bring your system up to date

Note: Installing system updates is not a Chief Architect specific operation so we recommend that if you are using a computer that is maintained by an IT department that you ask them to make sure that your system is up to date within the specifications or restrictions that your business or institution require.

Checking for updates can vary based on your operating system. Choose one of the following links to learn how to keep your system up to date.

Troubleshooting for Windows

If you have ensured that your system is up to date, then you can move on to trying the following steps to narrow down what is causing the problem.

Reset TCP/IP or Internet Protocol
The error may be caused by corruption in the TCP/IP stack so resetting your TCP/IP settings may help the issue.

  1. Close Chief Architect.


  2. On the keyboard, press the Windows Key Windows Key icon then type the words "Command Prompt". This will trigger a system wide search.


  3. Once the Command Prompt appears in the search results window, right-click it and choose Run as administrator.
    If prompted by User Account Control to allow the Command Prompt to make changes, click Yes.


  4. In the Command Prompt enter the following command:

    netsh int ip reset


  5. Then press the Enter key on the keyboard to execute the command.

    Output from the netsh int ip reset command

    Notice that the Command Prompt output recommends that you restart the computer to complete the network reset. DO NOT do this yet.



  6. Open Chief Architect and attempt to ray trace again.

    • If you still see the problem, move on to the troubleshooting steps below.

    • If the ray trace works, try restarting the computer to make sure it continues to work. If not, there may be a 3rd-party program installed that is making changes to your TCP/IP stack. Consult Microsoft Support or your computer technician to determine which program may be making that change and how best to proceed.


Reset the WinSock Catalog
Sometimes, corruption to the winsock.dll can cause problems when Chief Architect attempts to transfer information about the scene to the ray trace engine. The WinSock library can be reset using the following steps.

  1. Close Chief Architect.


  2. On the keyboard, press the Windows Key Windows Key icon then type the words "Command Prompt". This will trigger a system wide search.


  3. Once the Command Prompt appears in the search results window, right-click it and choose Run as administrator.
    If prompted by User Account Control to allow the Command Prompt to make changes, click Yes.


  4. In the Command Prompt enter the following command:

    netsh winsock reset


  5. Then press the Enter key on the keyboard to execute the command.

    Output from the netsh winsock reset command

    Notice that the Command Prompt output recommends that you restart the computer to complete the network reset. DO NOT do this yet.



  6. Open Chief Architect and attempt to ray trace again.

    • If you still see the problem, move on to the troubleshooting steps below.

    • If the ray trace works, try restarting the computer to make sure it continues to work. If not, there may be a 3rd-party program installed that is making changes to your WinSock Catalog. Consult Microsoft Support or your computer technician to determine which program may be making that change and how best to proceed.


To troubleshoot the ray trace error with all plans on a Mac*

*X6 and newer versions only.

  • There may be a process running in the background on your system which is stopping the information from being sent from Chief Architect to the Ray Trace engine, in which case, you should be able to ensure that this process is disabled by rebooting your system in Safe Mode.

  • For instructions on this process, please see this Apple support article: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH14204


To contact Technical Support

If none of these suggestions resolve the error, then our Technical Support department will need the following files attached to an Online Support Center case in order to troubleshoot the computer's system issue.

  • The exact wording of the error you are receiving, along with the results of the troubleshooting steps in this article.

  • The System Information:
    See article KB-01867: Finding Information About your System in the Related Articles section at the bottom of this article.

  • The Message Log:
    See article KB-02908: Locating the Message Log in the Related Articles section at the bottom of this article.

  • The ray tracer specific log text file:
    Instructions for finding this file are below.


To locate the Chief Architect ray tracer log

  1. Select Edit> Preferences Preferences icon if you are on a Windows PC or Chief Architect> Preferences Preferences icon if you are on a Mac.


  2. On the Folders panel, under All Program Paths, click on the Show button.


  3. In the Program Paths dialog, select the Temporary Folder setting and then click on the Show in Explorer/Finder button.


  4. In the temporary folder that displays, look for a text file named "ChiefArchitectRayTracer_log" for Chief Architect X7 and newer versions.

    For Chief Architect X6 and earlier versions, this was called the "Phoebe_log" file.

    If you cannot find the log file, try starting another ray trace while the temp folder is open to see if the file is created during the ray trace.



  5. Once you have located the file, right-click it and select Copy, then minimize the window and Paste the file to your Desktop.


  6. Finally, submit all the files (the Log file, along with both the Message Log and System Information files) to our Online Support Center for further troubleshooting.