Can I improve the display at all?

Question: How can I get 3D Build Planner to look better on my screen?

Answer: It depends.  Here’s an example taken from one of our systems running an ATI Radeon HD 5850 graphics card (http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-radeon-hd-5000/hd-5850/Pages/ati-radeon-hd-5850-overview.aspx)

Here’s the first image which is basically just an imported fence segment:

The Before Image 3D Build Planner (ATI Radeon HD 5850)

Doesn’t look great.  You can see that there’s some serious texture shading happening around the ends of each piece, and what the graphics types refer to as ‘jaggies’, the broken black outlines that run down the side of each piece, rather than a smooth black outline.  This tends to clear up as you get closer to the piece, but that doesn’t exactly make for a great product tour from 20 feet out.  You would think there’s more that can be had from our graphics card, and you’re right.

There’s a few ways to get to the ATI Catalyst Control Center, but one method is to select the Advanced tab under the Windows 7 Screen Resolution menu, your OS may be different.

From the ATI Catalyst Control Center or any other graphics card settings window, you’ll want to find the 3D or OpenGL settings.  In this case, they’re listed under the Graphics->3D section.  From this list, you’ll see individual settings that can be changed.  Pressing the ‘All’ tab will list all possible settings.  Scroll to the bottom until you reach ‘OpenGL Settings’ ‘Triple Buffering, and enable that.  From there, select Apply and Save and exit.

You’ll need to restart 3D Build Planner to see the improvement, but here’s what you get now:

The After Image - 3D Build Planner (ATI Radeon HD 5850)

The After Image - 3D Build Planner (ATI Radeon HD 5850)

Much improved, wouldn’t you say?  There’s other settings you’ll want to ensure are set, such as 24 bit ‘Z’ buffering if your graphics don’t appear to be working as well as they could or if items such as grid lines or lumber pieces tend to disappear in the distance.

There’s also more information in the 3D Build Planner Troubleshooting Guide within the product Help pages.  We’ve tested our product with ATI, NVidia, and many integrated graphic chipsets, and in the vast majority of cases, 3D Build Planner can look great on all of them with a little occasional tweaking.

Happy Building,

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