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Everything posted by katalyst777

  1. Seems like we get a lot of questions from people that don't know how to change the materials on their walls, or have changed their wall materials and don't know how to get them back, like if they have a glass shower wall in a bathroom that they've "spray painted" a different material to the whole room and overwrote the wall's material based on its type. From the program's Help: Wall Materials There are several ways that materials can be assigned to walls, depending on how the walls and the rooms they define have been defined. When you draw a wall, it uses the materials specified in its wall type definition. You can change the surface material of an individual wall in the Wall Specification dialog. If you select “Use Default” as the material and the wall is used to define a room, the program refers to the material specified in the Room Specification dialog. You can also change a room’s wall material in the Room Specification dialog. To restore the default Wall Type material, select Use Default in the Select Library Object dialog. Wall materials can also be changed using the Material Painter tool, but bear in mind that the entire room will often be affected, rather than the individual wall. When neither the wall nor the room has a material assigned to it, the program refers to the general material for walls in the Material Defaults dialog.
  2. katalyst777

    How to change cabinet shapes

    You probably meant to post this in the Suggestions section and not the company's Sales forum.
  3. katalyst777

    Plan Revisions

    Not automatic, but if you're on Windows, then you can use the Character Map to Copy the Delta Δ from a font that has it and then Paste it into Text in Home Designer. Character Map on Mac does the same type of thing but is harder to search.
  4. katalyst777

    Terrain options grayed out

    Either you haven't created a Terrain Perimeter yet, or you're on the wrong floor. That's the only reasons why the tools would be grayed out. See this Knowledge Base article. KB-00278: Troubleshooting Why the Terrain Tools are Greyed Out
  5. katalyst777

    no trusses

    Not sure what you did wrong with building the shop with regards to the ceiling without seeing the plan. There's a bunch of prior threads with links to 3D Warehouse trusses if you just want import them as symbols for the basic look in some of the less advanced versions than Pro. KB-00888: Importing 3D Symbols
  6. katalyst777

    Looking for roof help

    Chief Architect has certified Trainers who offer this service as well. https://www.chiefarchitect.com/training/personal-training.html
  7. katalyst777

    Dutch Hip Roof artical - step 5

    Make sure you're using the "Break Line" edit button when the roof plane is selected before clicking to place the break in the roof plane. Don't try to use the Break "Wall" tool instead.
  8. katalyst777

    Terrain options grayed out

    If you really do already have a Terrain Perimeter in your plan, then you need to be on the same floor in your plan as where your terrain perimeter is. So if you put the Terrain Perimeter on Floor 1, the other terrain tools will only be active while on Floor 1, not on Floor 0 or Floor 2.
  9. katalyst777

    Assertion failed: An unexpected error occurred

    Did you actually go through the article I linked? Not only are there a bunch of troubleshooting steps, but it also explains if they all fail how to get the files that the company's actual Tech Support people need to be able to troubleshoot further when you contact them. That's definitely NOT "useless."
  10. If you're having issues with your camera views, like it coming up totally blank/white or black, only showing the floor plan in the window that says the camera is active, or giving an error message, first check to make sure that your video even meets the software's System Requirements. If it does, follow these instructions in the Knowledge Base to update the video card or chipset's driver to the most recent version compatible with your operating system. KB-00897: Troubleshooting 3D Display Problems If updating the driver still doesn't work, there's also instructions in the article above to make some changes to your Render Preferences, and if even that doesn't work, then there's info on sending relevant files to the company's Support folks for advanced troubleshooting. If you're not having a problem and are just looking for tips to make your 3D camera views look better, see this other thread. https://hometalk.chiefarchitect.com/index.php?/topic/2468-tip-best-3d-views/
  11. katalyst777

    Differences between 2016 and 2017

    This is a really old post, so the link was relevant when they originally replied but has since been updated because the new version just came out.
  12. Making the most of Camera Views Make sure your video card meets the System Requirements and is using the most up to date driver compatible with your operating system. Get your camera view's height and angle set up the way you want. Then, use 3D> Camera View Options> Final View with Shadows. Customize your materials instead of leaving them at the defaults. In particular, appliances and other stuff using metal materials generally looks better using shiny metals. The Formica bonus catalog has some shiny metal materials, and Home Designer also released another bonus catalog of metal materials. However, I still prefer using the shiny metal materials we gathered in an earlier thread on how to do this. Apply some texture to your walls and ceilings, it makes a huge difference when compared to a totally flat wall surface. You can blend any color you want with the textures found in the Library under Fabrics & Wall Coverings> Textured. Bumpy, Orange Peel and Dimpled are some of my favorites for walls. We have the ability to have reflections in mirrors and other simple flat surfaces, like floors now, but not an easy way of automatically having reflections in other materials, like appliances/water in pools. But, we can still export an image, flip it in Paint or Paintbrush, and then import it back in as a Stretch to Fit, mostly transparent, material applied to something to create that look. Basic steps in the latter part of this article (and a really nice rendering of a pool reflection using the steps). I used a Wedge from the Shapes folder in the Library Browser to match up with the angled hood for a reflection over that surface. UPDATE! See comments below for how you can fake reflections in other flat surfaces using the Mirror material. Adjust your lighting! If you don't have lights, make sure to add some. Check to see what light bulbs and where the light source is located in the dialog. For the best look, you probably don't want to have everything turned on, and most video cards can't display more than 8 lights on anyway. Use 3D> Lighting> Adjust Lights to quickly choose what to display on/off so you don't have to go into every light's individual dialog by selecting it in the view to check to see if it is "On" or set to "Cast Shadows." Some versions of the software have an "Added Light" option. It doesn't add an actual light fixture object, but can be a nice way to quickly fake light to get the shadows or brightness you may want in a particular area. I believe most versions let you adjust the Sunlight angle. Having the sun shine in through a window is a great way to make the scene look more realistic. Outdoor lights turn "on" when you toggle off the Sunlight. If you can't find a particular object in the software's Library, either in the Core catalogs or the available bonus and manufacturer catalogs that can be downloaded from the website, check out the 3D Warehouse and import something close (like the firepit in the image above), but be aware that not everything is well designed and will look as good as Home Designer symbols, and some can really increase the number of surfaces in the design which slows down 3D views or can cause your video card to run out of memory. There's also a growing list of other places where you can get third party symbols over in the Off Topic forum at: https://hometalk.chiefarchitect.com/index.php?/topic/990-good-sites-for-3d-symbols/ Place objects to make the scenes look more lived in. Outlets and switches, books, glasses and keys on a table, pots and pans in the kitchen, small appliances, soap dishes, towels, rugs, all these little things can really make a scene look more realistic. Change your backdrop! Make sure it looks good out the windows at the angle you want. Import new backdrops for nighttime or winter scenes outside. Finally, for those people really trying to use the software for production work, you're going to quickly find this is a lot of work if it is for more than just your own one-time project, and you should probably see about upgrading to the Premier version to get its ray tracing capabilities. Check out the trial version, view the ray tracing videos and ChiefTalk threads to learn more about how it works to create different types of materials and apply bump maps for the more realistic look. I'm not really familiar with the ray trace options in Chief, so I'm sure that someone more experienced could really improve the ray traces more than what the out of the box settings create. The Premier version also lets you export views to use in third party rendering/raytracing engines. ChiefTalk has lots of info on those as well, like Kerkythea and Artlantis. Other suggestions welcome!
  13. katalyst777

    Tip: Best 3D Camera View Renderings

    I haven't gotten to try it out yet, but this post indicates that the rendering is substantially improved in the new 2018 versions. https://hometalk.chiefarchitect.com/topic/3110-improved-rendering-in-architectural/
  14. katalyst777

    Tip: Wall Heights

    This has been coming up a lot again, so I figured it probably deserves its own Tip post. You don't set up individual wall heights in Home Designer, because they are controlled by the Ceiling Height of the room. (It would be a lot more work to set up every individual wall at a particular height, and very easy to miss one.) There's an article that explains in detail how to control Wall Heights in Home Designer. Check it out! KB-02969: Changing Wall Heights If you found your way to this post, here's some other good articles on the company's website that you may want to look over based on the reasons people have been asking about Wall Height in the Q&A section lately. KB-00140: Controlling Floor and Ceiling Heights KB-00317: Creating a Half Height Wall KB-01845: Modifying Garage Floor and Stem Wall Heights KB-00221: Understanding Wall Heights in a Doll House View Pony Walls or split walls are a type of wall where the upper and lower part can be different (like siding or stucco above and brick or stone below). They are only available in Architectural and Pro, and you can control the upper and lower wall heights. KB-01956: Creating a Split Material Wall Knee Walls are a special kind of wall in Home Designer that you'd use in an attic loft. KB-00358: Automatically Building a One and a Half Story Roof Not related to Wall Height, but rather Wall Length, but still worth adding in. KB-00245: Setting Exact Wall Dimension Lengths If you're still not sure after reviewing all this how to adjust the wall height for your particular plan, post a copy of the plan file and a photo of what you're trying to create in the Q&A section and we'll try to help you out. Attached I have an image of a simple salt box or offset gable. Pitch same on both sides, but the roof sits higher than the other. To create this type of roof, you've got to edit the Ceiling Height in the rooms (even if you're just changing it to get the roof to build right, then you can uncheck Auto Rebuild Roofs and set the ceiling heights of the rooms back lower if you need to for your plan). More info on roofs in Tip: Roof Help.
  15. katalyst777

    Error in Preview Window

    Definitely a video card issue. KB-00897: Troubleshooting 3D Display Problems
  16. katalyst777

    changing light fixture

    Select a different light using the Library Browser and then place it in the plan.
  17. katalyst777

    Cabinet dimensions elevations with HD Interiors

    Upgrade Info - https://www.homedesignersoftware.com/discounts/
  18. katalyst777

    Trial Home Architect Pro 2018 SEH - macOS

    This Knowledge Base article deals with SEH Exception error messages. KB-00802: Troubleshooting Exception and Assertion Error Messages There's a bunch of troubleshooting instructions and also info on what to send to the company's Tech Support if none of the article steps fit it.
  19. katalyst777

    Dimensions Interior vs Exterior

  20. katalyst777


    KB-01202: Importing Custom Materials
  21. I just discovered the 3D Text tool in the free version of SketchUp Make. There are a lot of YouTube videos and tutorials out there, but the short of it is that this is going to make creating building signage so much easier, and better looking, than what I had been doing in Home Designer with creating custom Stretch to Fit materials.
  22. katalyst777

    Tip: Layouts 101 Basics

    Layouts 101 Basics Of the Home Designer programs, only Pro has layouts. Go through the Layout Tutorial in the User's Guide. Watch the Layouts training video. Review the Layout Knowledge Base Articles such as . . . KB-00527: Creating a Layout KB-01829: Resizing a Layout Title Block and Border KB-00439: Creating a Cross Section Detail Layouts in Home Designer Pro are limited to a single page, BUT you can create a new layout file for each individual page (OR you can upgrade to the Premier version that has multi-page layouts). The max print size in Pro is Arch C (18" x 24"), BUT you can create a PDF with views at 1/8" scale on 11" x 17" and have a print shop double it to get 1/4" on a larger sheet (OR you can upgrade to the Premier version which doesn't have any print size limits and would let you print directly to Arch D 24" x 36").
  23. katalyst777

    Tip: Roof Help

    We've been seeing an increase in the number of "how do I create this roof" type posts, so I wanted to create a Tip thread for quick reference. Go through the Roof Tutorial in the User's Guide so that you understand the basics before trying to get your specific roof and know how changing things in the individual walls, as well as room Ceiling Height, is going to affect the way it builds. https://www.homedesignersoftware.com/support/article/KB-00337/resources-for-learning-home-designer.html If you know the specific name of the type of roof you want, try searching the website and forum for that first. Things like catslide, butterfly, mansard, gambrel, gull wing, barn, loft, porch, dormer, A frame, dutch hip / gable, saltbox, prow, portico, curved, round, bow, etc in combination with the word roof and odds are pretty high that your question has already been answered several times over. Watch the Roof Design webinars. https://www.homedesignersoftware.com/products/training.html Watch the videos (that apply to your version). https://www.homedesignersoftware.com/videos/ Go through the Roof articles. https://www.homedesignersoftware.com/support/category/52/roofs.html Especially with anything other than Pro, you might have to tweak the design to get the roof to build how you want, then turn off Auto Rebuild Roofs. This could mean separating out different parts of your building so they aren't connected, raising/lowering ceiling heights until you get close enough. Failing everything else, start a New Thread in the Q&A section and attach a copy of your plan along with a photograph (or several) that shows the type roof you want and an explanation of what you aren't sure how to do. It doesn't even have to be your exact roof, just something close. (Sometimes the answer might be that you'll need to upgrade to Pro or Premier, but at least you can hopefully avoid some frustration.)
  24. katalyst777

    Interior Trial Version Question

    No, it's not a trial version limitation, it's a problem with the computer's video card. KB-00897: Troubleshooting 3D Display Problems