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  1. 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
  2. Good idea! Turning off the sun turns off the bleed.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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 Note: I'm going to quote Chief's system specs, but this article will go out of date.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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. Precision 5820 High Performance Tower Desktop Workstation | Dell USA The graphics card adds almost $900 to the configuration.
  11. 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:
  12. 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
  13. This seems pretty basic, so I apologize in advance if there's an obvious answer, but I did search here for something relevant. I looked at dialogs for roof plane, wall, room. I want blocking between the rafters and I want my wall sheathing and my siding to extend to the underside of the roof sheathing. How do I accomplish that? Roof Plane Specification: I can edit the CAD Detail to what I want, but not the building model:
  14. Floor Levels of a building have "floor platforms"--often the same platform throughout, but you can have multiple platform constructions at the same level. Notice that I'm calling the first floor a "level." Chief doesn't use that word. When you look at Floor 1, you're on the first floor (the ground floor outside the US). Floor 0 is the foundation, and Floor A is the attic. Build > Floor > Build New Floor and Build > Floor > Insert New Floor create new levels for the building. Build > Floor > Delete Current Floor removes a level, as if you're playing Jenga. However, Build > Framing > Build Framing has a checkbox to Build Floor Framing. Obviously, this is for the floor platform, not a level in the building. (If Chief used the term 'level', we would be confused by that word, I'm sure. There aren't enough words for all this stuff.) When we open a Room Specification dialog, the Floor referred to is the absolute elevation of the top of the subfloor. The floor finish goes on top of that. Back in the day, we used to refer to Finish Floor (F.F.) elevation, because that's what you want in the same plane, not the subfloor. The subfloor under mortar-set tile is lower than under carpet. No matter. Chief lets us do what we need to do, but don't be confused by Floor meaning "top of subfloor" for that particular room. On the Structure panel, the Floor section is really talking about the floor platform--Floor Structure, Floor Finish. If you're on Floor 2, the top floor in a two-story building, you might think that "Floor Under This Room" should be 1. Instead, it means "build a floor platform for this room, or leave it dirt?" (If you choose to "leave it dirt" and you're on Floor 2, your Room Type should probably be "Open Below.") Layer A view in Chief (particularly plan views, but it works for other views, too) is like looking at a stack of animation cels. If you draw something all alone on its own cel, now you can easily include it in the stack or not. The cels are called layers. However, some things in Chief--notably Wall Types--are built of layers. For example, siding, sheathing, framing, drywall. You can choose whether or not to show the layers of a wall. Is the wall represented by two lines or can we see the drywall if we zoom in? To hide the layers in a wall, uncheck display for the "Walls, Layers" layer. In the Wall Type Definition dialog, the layers are numbered. The Main Layer is usually between the first layers and the Interior Layers. Selected Wall Layer Line and Material Layer have nothing to do with the Active Layer Display Options, or Working Layer Sets. You might think, after defining a new Wall Type, that Tools > Layer Settings > Display Options... would affect your new Wall Type, but no--it's the pile of cels kind of layer. Likewise, if you choose to display the "Walls, Main Layer Only" layer, you might think that would affect view layers and not wall layers. I hope this reminder to watch out for double meanings helps someone out.
  15. Yes, that's it. Thank you, Kbird1 and mtldesigns! Today I learned a new trick: New 0-degree pitch ceiling planes do the right thing in terms of truncating interior walls. Robdyck: I wonder if Build > Roof > Ceiling Plane would help your situation?