Adjusting Render Camera Quality

Reference Number: KB-00399
Last Modified: July 21, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or HomeDesigner Suite


Is there anything I can do to improve 3D 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.

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 your computer must meet the Minimum System Requirements, otherwise the changes described in this article may not make a difference.

To adjust the Render Quality

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

  2. Select Edit> Preferences if you're on a Windows PC or Home Designer> Preferences if you're on a Mac.

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

    Render panel of Preferences dialog with Hardware Edge Smoothing, Use Enhanced Lighting and Texture Compression settings

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

    • Hardware Edge Smoothing

    • Use Enhanced Lighting

  4. Adjust these options, one at a time while regenerating the camera view each time, until you get the best performance.

    If you would like more information on what these settings do, click on the Help button located on the bottom 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.

  • 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, select
    Help within your software, and search by the keyword of LIGHT or RENDERING TIPS.

  • Shadows

    Like lighting, shadows have an important effect on image quality. Shadows can be generated in any type of camera view using any Rendering Technique aside from Glass House.

    Shadows can be controlled for each individual camera view, or for each camera tool in the software by accessing the Default Settings.

    For more information on Shadows, see Adding Shadows to a Camera View

  • Reflections

    Reflections are another aspect of lighting that can increase a 3D view's realism. If a flat surface is assigned a Mirror material, it can display reflections of other objects in the scene.

    Reflections only appear in Perspective 3D views using the Standard Rendering Technique. Much like shadows, reflections can be controlled for each individual camera view, or for each camera tool in the software by accessing the Default Settings.

    For more information on reflections, select Help within your software, and search by the keyword of REFLECTIONS or RENDERING TIPS.

  • Bloom

    Bloom, or light bloom, occurs around areas of intense illumination and looks as though the light is 'bleeding' beyond the edges of the light source. This adds realism to the view, but takes longer to render.

    Bloom only affects Standard and Watercolor rendering technique options, and can be toggled for each individual camera view, or by accessing the Default Settings.

  • 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 on the 3D Backdrop panel when you choose 3D> Edit Active Camera. To learn more about this dialog, see Changing the Backdrop.