Troubleshooting 3D Display Problems in Home Designer

Reference Number: KB-00897
Last Modified: March 8, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

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


I am experiencing problems with generating 3D camera views, opening dialogs with preview images, or viewing catalog items in the Library Browser in Home Designer.

Either an error message displays, the program crashes, hangs, displays a blank white or black screen, or the view generates, but it doesn't look correct in some way.

How can I resolve these types of problems?


In a 3D intensive software program, such as a Home Designer product, you may experience a variety of problems in your 3D camera views particularly if:

  • Your computer does not meet the software's minimum system requirements.

    The current, as well as discontinued version System Requirements can be located in this Knowledge Base in the Home Designer Minimum System Requirements article.

    Note: Home Designer 2015 and earlier versions were not supported under Windows 10.

  • If you are attempting to run in an unsupported fashion, such as using an emulator or virtual machine environment (common examples include Parallels, VirtualBox, VMWare Fusion, etc), or when accessing a machine remotely (such as by using Remote Desktop, LogMeIn, TeamViewer, etc).

  • If you are not using the latest available driver for your system's video card which is compatible with your operating system.

Generally, if your video card does meet the minimum system requirements for running the software, then these issues can be resolved by simply updating the driver for your computer's video card to the latest available version which is compatible with your operating system.  This can often be done for free on most computer and video card manufacturer's websites. 


In this article, we will walk you through the basic steps for updating the video card driver for your computer.

Microsoft Windows

Apple macOS

To locate the make and model of the video card

  1. Within the software, select Edit> Preferences if you're on a Windows PC or Home Designer> Preferences if you're on a Mac.

  2. Select the Video Card Status panel and make a note of the OpenGL Vendor, OpenGL Renderer, and Driver Date.


    • Home Designer 2019 has the following minimum system requirements for a video card:
      * 1 GB of dedicated video memory (gaming card with 4 GB or 8 GB recommended)
      * OpenGL 3.3 or higher (for Windows)
      * OpenGL 4.1 or higher (for Mac)

      Home Designer 2018 has the following minimum system requirements for a video card:
      * 512 MB of dedicated video memory (gaming card with 4 GB or 8 GB recommended)
      * OpenGL 3.3 or higher (for Windows)
      * OpenGL 4.1 or higher (for Mac)

      Home Designer 2017 and earlier version video card requirements can be located on this System Requirements page.

    • Ideally, you want to see a Driver Date from within the past 6 months listed.
      Windows 10 was released in July of 2015, so compatible drivers for that operating system are generally newer than this date.

      Mac computers will not show a "Driver Date" listed at this location.

    • If this dialog shows "Microsoft Corporation" for the OpenGL Vendor and "GDI Generic" under the OpenGL Renderer, it indicates that the software has not been able to use the driver from your actual video card or chipset.  You must save your work, exit out of the software, and update the driver to the most recent version following the instructions in the next section. Once you have done so, return to this location and verify that the actual video card information is been listed.

    • If your system has switchable graphics, and the wrong chipset or video card is listed in Preferences, please contact your computer's manufacturer directly for instruction on how to adjust the system settings.

  3. Once you have a copy of this information, save your work and exit out of Home Designer completely.

Windows - To locate and download the updated driver

Note: Chief Architect, Inc. provides this information for information purposes only. The third party information present in this document was verified at writing, however, it is subject to change.

  • It is recommended that you check your computer manufacturer's website for the latest drivers, as downloading drivers from the video card manufacturer's website directly may void your computer warranty. For more information, please visit the support page of your computer manufacturer's website.

    Some common PC computer manufacturers include: DellHPToshibaAcerLenovoAsusSonySamsung, and Gateway.

  • If your computer manufacturer does not have specific drivers for your system, then you may need to go to the video card manufacturer's website directly. Some commonly used video graphics drivers can be obtained from the web links listed below. Please be certain to verify which graphics drivers are appropriate for your computer by consulting your computer manufacturer.

    NVidia -
    ATI/AMD -
    Intel -

  • Some video card manufacturers have the option to allow their site to auto-detect the video card on your system.  If your video card manufacturer's website does not offer this feature, then either search for your particular video card on the manufacturer's website, or browse to select the link to download drivers and locate your particular video card.  Follow the instructions on the video card manufacturer's website in order to download the driver. Choose to SAVE the file onto an easy to remember location, such as the Desktop.  Now that you have downloaded the appropriate driver for your video card, you are ready to install it.

    For more information on how to install or configure these drivers, please consult the manufacturer of your computer or video graphics card.

    Only download and install the latest available driver for your particular video card that is compatible with your operating system.  Installing a driver designed for a different video card, or operating system, may cause unpredictable and undesirable results.

    If you have recently upgraded your Windows operating system from an older version, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8, keep in mind that your video card or integrated chipset may not have drivers compatible with the Windows 10 operating system. This may result in 3D camera view issues in Home Designer.  If this occurs, please roll back your Windows installation to the version that your hardware was designed to run.

Windows - To install the updated video card driver

  1. Contact your computer or video card manufacturer for assistance on installing the downloaded driver.

  2. After installation, even if not prompted to do so, shut down your computer completely and reboot it.

  3. After restarting the computer, relaunch your Home Designer software, open the plan in which you want to create a 3D camera view, and test to see if this corrected the 3D issues that were being experienced.

  4. If the view still does not display correctly, please double check to verify that your video card does meet the minimum system requirements for running the software.

Mac - To locate and download the updated driver

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.

  2. Select About This Mac and then click on the Software Update button.

  3. A list of updates for your operating system and programs will be listed. Choose which updates to download and install.

  4. If your Mac has an integrated video chipset and a video card, and switches between them for better battery life, you may want to switch off Automatic Graphics Switching, so that the best graphics card will always be used. Instructions on how to accomplish this can be located on Apple's website at:

    Some Quadro and GeForce cards may also have updated Mac drivers on NVidia's website directly at:

  5. If your Mac operating system is already up-to-date and you're still experiencing issues with regards to your 3D camera views, go to the section To Adjust Render Options below.

To adjust Render Options

  1. First, exit out of any camera views you currently have open and return to floor plan view.

  2. In Home Designer 2019, select Edit> Default Settings> Camera Tools and open the Camera Tool(s) that you're experiencing issues with.

    In this example, we opened the Full Camera Defaults.

    Remove the checkmarks next to Show Shadows, Reflections, Bloom, Edge Smoothing when Idle and reduce the Ambient Occlusion setting down to 0%.

    If the 3D view generates after making all of these changes in the Camera Defaults, then you can go back and individually check each setting one at a time to test if one particular setting is the cause.

    Note: If changing this default allows views to generate, then you will want to remember that, like other defaults, these settings are specific to the plan.  If you start a new plan, you will want to make these same adjustments to the Camera Defaults if you experience trouble with the views generating.

    If the 3D view still does not generate after making all of these changes, please proceed to the next step.

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

  4. Select the Render panel and make the following adjustments:

    • Set Hardware Edge Smoothing to None.

    • Uncheck Use Enhanced Lighting.

  5. Click OK, and then attempt to generate a new 3D camera view.

  • If the 3D view generates after making these changes in the Render Preferences, then you can go back and individually restore each setting back to its default, and test to see which setting appears to be the cause.

  • If the 3D view still does not generate after making these changes in the Render Preferences, your video card does meet the System Requirements for your version, and you also have the most up to date driver installed which is compatible with your operating system, then please continue on to the section below for instructions on how to obtain the files that our Technical Support team will need for advanced troubleshooting.


Please make sure that you have already followed all of the other information in this article before contacting Support regarding your 3D camera view issue. Provide all of the following information on the exact issue you are experiencing.

  1. A detailed description of the issue or behavior you are seeing, with exact step-by-step instructions on how to reproduce the problem.

  2. If you are receiving an error or warning message, make sure to give the precise wording of the message, or attach a screenshot of it.

    See "Creating a Screenshot" article for more information.

    Also attach a screenshot of the camera view that generates if it displays but appears "strange" in some way, such as missing object surfaces or where rotating appears to cause materials to "flicker."

  3. If the issue is plan specific, and only happens with one particular file, use the File> Backup Entire Plan option and create a zipped folder containing the plan and all related files.

    See "Using the Backup Entire Plan/Project Tool" article for more information.

  4. The Message Log file.

    See "Locating the Message Log" for more information.

  5. The System Information file.

    See "Finding Information About your System" article for more information.

  6. Attach all this information along with all of the files mentioned above to a Support Case within the Online Support Center.

    See "Using the Online Support Center" article for more information.