Adjusting Render Camera Quality

Reference Number: KB-00399
Last Modified: January 27, 2017

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite or Home Designer Interiors


Is there anything I can do to improve performance, if updating my video card driver doesn't help my display problems?


Home Designer features a built in, easy to use rendering engine that makes use of OpenGL rendering technology, which has good hardware support on most video cards.

To take full advantage of the rendering capabilities of Home Designer, a gaming graphics card that supports OpenGL hardware acceleration and has at least 2GB or 4GB of dedicated video memory is highly recommended.

For complex models, an accelerated card generates quality renderings in seconds that might otherwise take minutes or even hours with a non-accelerated card or chipset.

Please note that if your computer does not meet the Minimum System Requirements that these steps may not result in any change of performance.

To adjust the Render Quality for Home Designer 2014 and newer programs*

*Scroll down for instructions in Home Designer 2012 and earlier versions.

  1. First, launch Home Designer and Open your plan.

  2. Next, select Edit> Preferences to open the Preferences dialog.

    If working on a Mac Preferences will be located under the Home Designer menu.

  3. Click on the Render panel and experiment with the following settings:

    Note: This appearance of this dialog will vary based on your program version.

  • Hardware Texture Filtering

  • Hardware Edge Smoothing

  • Use Enhanced Lighting

  • Disable Shadows*

  • Software Rendered Overlays

  • Command Flushing

    *Architectural and lower products. Disable Shadows is found in the General Camera Defaults for Home Designer Pro.

  • Toggle them off and on one at a time, regenerating the camera view each time, until you get the best performance.

    If you would like more information on what each of these settings do, click on the Help button located on the bottom right corner of the dialog.

  • Rendering Tips

    There are a variety of factors which affect the appearance and quality of rendered 3D views. You can use these tools and settings to achieve renderings that meet your needs.

    • Computer Hardware

      If you are experiencing issues with regards to 3D rendering, first check to ensure that your video card meets, or exceeds,the minimum system requirements for running the software, and that you are using the most up to date driver which is compatible with your operating system.

      System Requirements for the current version of the software can be located on the website at:

      Basic instructions on updating the video card driver can be located in this online Knowledge Base article on Troubleshooting 3D Display Problems.

    • Preview vs Final View

      When a rendered 3D view is first created, it uses quality settings that allow the view to generate quickly but with reasonable quality.

      Final Views produce much higher quality images that are more suitable for printing or saving as graphics files. Final Views often take significantly longer to generate than Previews, so the 3D view reverts back to the Preview settings as soon as anything is changed within the view.

      When you have finished making adjustments in the 3D view, select
      3D> Final View  or Final View with Shadows .

      For more information, see Adding Shadows to a Camera View

    • Lighting

      Lighting is extremely important in most 3D renderings. Lighting controls the visibility of objects in a view, affects the appearance of surfaces, and influences the appearances of colors and textures on those surfaces. 

      Even small changes to light intensity, direction and color can have a large impact on image quality.

      For more information on lighting, within your software, select
      Help , and search by the keyword of LIGHT.

    • Material Textures

      Textures are graphic files that represent irregular surfaces of objects such as carpet, bricks, tile, and wood in 3D views. Textures are assigned to materials which in turn are assigned to objects.

      The display of materials in 3D views is controlled by settings in the Define Material dialog. To learn more about the Define Material dialog, select
      Help , then search by the keyword of DEFINE.

      Brightness, shininess and transparency control how light sources affect the display of surfaces in 3D views. If no texture is selected for a material, or if the display of textures is turned off, affected surfaces are a solid color instead.

    • Images

      Images are very important for the appearance of 3D views. Images are picture files that represent individual objects such as trees, flowers, and cars.

      You can locate images in the
      Library Browser , or you can also import your own images in to the software.

      For more information on creating images, see Importing Plant Images.

    • Backdrops

      Backdrops are images that display in the background of 3D views. Only one backdrop can be used at a time. If a backdrop is not applied, Home Designer applies a background color.

      Backdrops and background colors are selected in the 3D Backdrop dialog. To learn more about this dialog, see Changing the Backdrop.

    To adjust the Render Quality for Home Designer 2012 and earlier versions

    *If you have Home Designer Pro 2012 please use steps in the above section

    1. First, launch Home Designer and Open  your plan.

    2. Next, select Edit> Default Settings  to open the Default Settings dialog.

    3. Select Render Quality from the list and click the Edit button to open the Render Quality dialog.

      • Move the slider bar to increase or decrease the render quality of 3D views. The description below the slider bar updates as you move it, indicating the effects of the selected quality setting.

        This setting controls the quality of camera views, but does not affect Final Views  or Final Views with Shadows .

      • When Synchronize Crosshair with Cursor is checked, the mouse pointer and crosshair always move together on screen. 

        If you feel that they do not keep up with your mouse movements, try unchecking this option.

      • When Use Enhanced Lighting is checked, Standard rendered views generate lighting effects that require a video card supporting OpenGL 2.0.

        Unchecking this box may speed up Standard rendering times somewhat; however, the quality of lighting effects will be reduced. Not available if your video card does not support OpenGL 2.0.

    4. Click OK to apply the changes and close the dialog.