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  1. Thanks! The Generated Sky stars are very interesting, but my view is still mostly black. I can't seem to turn the sun dark enough or the moon light enough to see my house in the dark/at dusk. I changed the moon luminance from 2500 to 250,000 (it limited me to 100,000) but there was still no difference in the rendering.
  2. I added some lights to the front rooms, viewed the house from outside in Physically Based (Ray Trace) mode and everything looked fine. Then I chose 3D > Lighting > Toggle Sunlight and I expected to see a dark scene with light pouring out of the windows. Instead I get black with little white circles where the lights are visible through the windows. I haven't tried this before, so I apologize in advance if it's a dumb question (I did try to search for a previous answer), or if Chief just can't generate views like that.
  3. Off-topic, I realize (but I have never used Chief for framing drawings, so I can't contribute), but I wanted to point you toward Matt Risinger's concept of "Monopoly framing," in which the building envelope wraps the wall onto the roof and eaves are tacked on if desired.
  4. Well, here's a simple test plan. I created a box and divided it into two rooms with a zig zag interior partition. The room on the left has two windows and the sunlight leaks into the windowless room on the right. I'm beginning to suspect a bug with Chief's ray tracing algorithm. Light bleed test.plan
  5. Good idea! Turning off the sun turns off the bleed.
  6. Thanks, Robert. I'm willing to believe it's the model, because it's the digital equivalent of a posterboard study model, but attempts to block extraneous light haven't worked. I'll look into the render settings--I'm using the defaults as far as I know.
  7. Thanks, Ryan. I had a foundation, but I hadn't built the floor or wall framing. However, it didn't help. I "poured" a 6" concrete wall behind the wall that's leaking and extended it well into the terrain--2001: A Space Odyssey obelisk-style--and I still get this light effect. I'm starting to think that it's a reflection off the bright white baseboard. So I moved the obelisk to mostly cut off light entering the room from behind the camera and it still leaks under the baseboard.
  8. I've been editing and re-editing a model, taking one physically based (ray trace) image after another, and I'm seeing what seems like sunlight coming in under one wall. This is likely due to something one-off about the wall or room spec, but I have checked both. This is a "standard" Interior-4 partition. The full .plan file is way too complicated to share. I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this effect and if there is a simple solution. I don't mind modeling something "backstage" to eliminate the light leak. (BTW, I searched the forum for "physically based" OR "ray trace" and got 0 results before posting.)
  9. In 2021, I was surprised to find that my Windows PC was so underpowered that I couldn't upgrade to X13. Intel graphics had always sufficed for me--I don't play graphics-intensive games. I did my research and pretty much turned the dials to 10 to avoid premature obsolescence, and I wanted to share what I have learned so far. In my opinion, Chief Architect users need at least a $2,000 setup. I spent a lot more, and Chief takes full advantage of the extra power I bought, but the price/performance curve eventually tapers off. Note: I'm going to quote Chief's system specs, but this article will go out of date. Be sure to check (minimum system requirements) for the latest. Form factor. Many prefer a laptop, but I wanted a desktop. Many prefer Macintosh, but I wanted Windows 11 (a slight improvement over Windows 10). It's frustrating to learn that you can't just buy a computer from Best Buy for $750, but you can't. Chief needs serious graphics, and while Dell sells Workstation units, most of the contenders that are advanced enough to run Chief are considered "gaming computers." In that market, glass-sided cases and multi-colored LEDs abound. It's hard to find a boring box that supports Chief, but flashy computers designed to turn a 13-year-old's head also run Chief--they require the same graphics power. One option is to build the computer yourself. I was tempted; YouTube videos make it seem fairly easy. The problem is troubleshooting any problems that arise; I don't have the equipment or the expertise to track down a cable with an intermittent fault. Many vendors let you specify components and options and they'll build it for you--these are "pre-builts." Amazon sells a line of computers from Computer Upgrade King (CUK) that are the next step toward a Best Buy computer. You can't specify exactly what you want, but they offer a number of options. Adding up the components to build it myself, I came up with about $3,300. Pre-built companies, like CLX and Skytech, wanted more than $4,000 to meet my specs. CUK came in at $3,550 and in addition to a 3-year warranty, they were sold by Amazon, with Amazon's free shipping and liberal return policy. As I said, you don't have to spend as much as I did, but a basic $1,000 box won't cut it, either. High-end GPUs and CPUs generate much more heat than earlier generations. For that reason, I recommend a larger case. My instinct was to go smaller, but I don't want it to overheat. (My GPU hit 77 degrees Celsius generating my first RTRT--real-time ray tracing.) My computer has a half dozen (nearly silent) fans and a self-contained (all-in-one, or AIO) liquid cooling system. Graphics Processing Unit. This is the whole ball game. Chief offers CPU Ray Tracing, but it's slow and approximate (especially on my old i5-4460 CPU with 16GB RAM). What you want is the Physically Based rendering technique. That requires a big, serious GPU card that generates lots of heat. There are only two (like Coke and Pepsi): AMD Radeon RX 6x00 or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30x0. Multiple vendors, such as Asus or EVGA, make these cards, but they have to meet AMD or NVIDIA specs. You can run X14 with the newer Intel integrated graphics, but you can't do GPU (not CPU) ray tracing. (The attached ray trace example took about 8 minutes to render at 2 samples per second. It would go faster if I wasn't running a number of applications simultaneously.) Chief Architect requires (minimum system requirements) either the AMD or NVIDIA cards just listed. Both vendors have many other kinds, but X14 needs a Radeon RX 6000-series or an RTX 3000-series. I think you want NVIDIA, because gaming computer experts on YouTube say that it outperforms AMD for ray tracing. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 comes in 10GB and 12GB versions, as well as the enhanced RTX 3080 Ti. The newest model, the RTX 3090, has 24GB of dedicated RAM on board. The top (at the moment) is the RTX 3090 Ti. Chief recommends a minimum of 8GB on a GeForce RTX 3080. I chose the 3090 for its 24GB RAM. CPU. I was a little surprised to find that the actual computer chip is much less important than the GPU. Notice that Chief doesn't specify a minimum CPU. Happily, both Intel and AMD chips will work with either kind of GPU. I hear good things about the AMD Ryzen 5000-series CPUs (particularly the Ryzen 5800X3D), but the newest entrant is the Intel Alder Lake 12th-generation chip. Intel offers i3, i5, i7, and i9 configurations. I chose the i9 12900KF, but I suspect Chief would be fine with a less-powerful CPU (although Chief recommends the i9). The F at the end, by the way, means that it doesn't have integrated graphics, so you don't have to pay for something you won't use. The 12900KF is supposedly more powerful than the 12900F, but I'm not sure it matters with Chief. Your CPU choice determines your motherboard, so you don't even have to think about it. Both Intel and AMD support PCIe slots, which is where the GPU attaches, so you can mix and match. The latest motherboards support DDR5 type memory and typically support 4 DIMM memory slots. I saved some money and my motherboard is only DDR4. Likewise, I put in 64GB (4 cards at 16GB) but it's relatively slow. You can spend more to get the latest and fastest, but I don't think Chief appreciates memory speed as much as quantity. Chief says 8GB is minimum, 32GB recommended. Storage. When I bought my last computer, everyone was using hard disks. Now, machines come with NVMe M.2 solid-state drives, which load Chief and plan files more quickly. Chief recommends 0.5TB SSD, but 1TB is not much more expensive. Desktop computers at this level often pair SSDs with traditional SATA drives for more permanent storage. My Computer. I've had my new machine for a couple of weeks, and I'm very impressed by its speed and capacity. And I really enjoy Chief's real-time ray tracing. I hope this write up will help some of my fellow Chief Architect users, but I know that many of you are more knowledgeable than I. Sentinel Gamer PC (NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090, Intel 16-Core i9-12900KF Processor (> Ryzen 9 5950X), 64GB RAM, 1TB NVMe + 2TB HDD, AC WiFi, Windows 11) Gaming Tower Desktop Computer : Everything Else ( How's this for a boring-looking Chief Architect X14 machine?
  10. Thanks, @solver and @MarkMc. I was aware that double doors could be 'Split Vertical' into a left and a right door (but I didn't think to try it). The key solution, for me, was learning that selecting a face item and clicking Specify... next to Appliance/Door/Drawer would allow me to customize one door's hardware. New information.
  11. I have "cup" handles on my cabinets and with the new rotate option, I can get them to show up in the correct orientation, which is great. However, that doesn't solve pairs of doors, where the opening of the cup handle wants to face the hinge side on both doors. Is there a way that I'm missing to rotate one door's handles and not the other?
  12. I haven't seen any problems with X14. I have, just today, however, crashed my Radeon GPU twice, trying to render a camera in Physically Based mode. Looks great in Standard, but switching to Physically Based gives me a Radeon error dialog that says it will close the app, and then it does. It seems to be related to the artificial light sources I added--it was rendering fine before that. I blame my underpowered GPU, not X14--easy to say with a new GPU coming next week.
  13. Precision 5820 High Performance Tower Desktop Workstation | Dell USA The graphics card adds almost $900 to the configuration.
  14. I know this has been discussed before, but I'm looking at a new computer and I wonder if anything raises any red flags for more knowledgeable users: Dell 5820: i9 10 core, 3.7 GHz Windows 11 Pro NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, 12 GB, 3 DP, HDMI 16GB RAM Ref:
  15. Most folks don't worry about excerpting a Google or MapQuest map for use as a vicinity map. But if you do worry (or you're looking for a better alternative), you might want to know about