Troubleshooting 3D Display Problems

Reference Number: KB-00897
Last Modified: September 20, 2016

The information in this article applies to:

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


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 or hangs, or the view generates, but it doesn't look correct in some way, or I only see a blank white or black screen.

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 are 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 Mac

To locate the make and model of the video card

  1. Within the software, select Edit> Preferences .

    On a Mac, select Home Designer> Preferences.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Computers with integrated Intel chipsets require a video driver from 2014 or newer for the Home Designer 2016 and 2017 versions, and a driver from 2012 or newer for the Home Designer 2015 version.

  • 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.

  • Mac systems will not show a "Driver Date" listed.

  • 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

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.

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.

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.

Either search for your particular video card, or select the link to download drivers and locate your particular video card.  For more information on how to install or configure these drivers, please consult the manufacturer of your computer or video graphics card.

  • Some video card manufacturers have the option to allow their site to auto-detect the video card on your system. 

  • 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.

  • Ensure that you 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 so, please roll back your Windows installation to the version that your hardware was designed to run.

Now that you have downloaded the appropriate driver for your video card, you are ready to install it.

Windows - To install the updated video card driver

  1. Locate the existing driver in your Device Manager.

    Click the windows key on your key board and then start typing in Device Manger and click Device Manager when it appears in your search results. Then double-click on Display Adapters to view your video card driver.

  2. Right click on the driver and select Uninstall.

  3. Now, return to your Desktop and double-click on the icon for the updated video card driver that you downloaded.

  4. Follow the installation instructions until the installation completes.

  5. Even if not prompted to do so, at this point it would be wise to restart your computer to ensure that these changes have taken effect.

  6. After restarting the computer, relaunch your Home Designer software, open the plan in which you want to create a 3D camera view, and it should display correctly.

  7. 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 in the upper right corner of the screen.

  2. Select Software Update from the menu.

  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:

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

  6. If your video card does meet the software's minimum system requirements, and updating the Mac operating system does not resolve the issue, follow the instructions below to adjust the Render Options available in the software.

To adjust Render Options

  1. First, exit out of any camera views you currently have open.

  2. Next, from the menu, on a PC select Edit> Preferences , or on a Mac select Home Designer> Preferences .

  3. Select the Render panel and make the following changes.

  • Remove the checkmark next to Hardware Texture Filtering.

  • Uncheck Reflections in Mirrors*.
    *Not available in Essentials.

  • Use the drop-down menu to set Hardware Edge Smoothing to None.

  • Remove the checkmark next to Use Enhanced Lighting.

  • Set Command Flushing to Frequently.

  • Check Disable Shadows.*

  • Uncheck Software Rendered Overlays.*
    Home Designer 2017 and newer versions only.

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

  • If the 3D view generates after making all of 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 one, or combination, results in the view being unable to generate, and leave just those particular options disabled.

  • If the 3D view still does not generate after making all of these changes in the Render Preferences, your video card does meet the System Requirements and also has the most up to date driver installed which is compatible with your operating system, then please continue on to the section below to contact our Technical Support team for advanced troubleshooting.


If your video card does meet the minimum system requirements for running your software program, and is running the most recent driver compatible with your operating system, but following all the instructions in this article did not resolve the issue, then please contact our Technical Services team directly using the Online Support Center.

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.

To report the issue to Technical Support

  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" in the Related Articles below.

  3. If the issue is plan specific, and only happens with one particular file, use the File> Backup Entire Plan option and compressed folder containing the plan and all related files. See "Sending Plan Files" in the Related Articles section below.

  4. The Message Log file. See "Locating the Message Log" in the Related Articles section below.

  5. The System Information file. See the appropriate "System Information" Related Article for your Windows or Mac computer in the section below.

  6. Attach all of this information and files, then submit the ticket.