Live Home 3D Workspace

The Program Preferences

The 3D Settings Tab

3D settings define the quality of the picture in the 3D view. At the same time, higher rendering quality requires more computer resources, and consequently, can delay the program response. You may need to find a balance between the speed and quality.

3D settings

1 – Retina™ High Resolution
2 – Full Scene Anti-Aliasing
3 – Texture Filtering
4 – Reflection Quality
5 – Decrease Quality when Moving
6 – Shadow Casting Lights
7 – Shadow Technique
8 – Shadow Maps Quality

1 – The Retina™ High Resolution check box enables the native high resolution for all the 3D renderings and auto-generated 2D representations (when activated) on computers with the Retina™ display. If you experience the decrease in performance, deselect this check box.

2 – Full Scene Anti-Aliasing makes the picture look softer by smoothing the edges of objects. A new value will take effect after restarting the program.

Anti-aliasing: off
Anti-aliasing Off
Anti-aliasing: on
Anti-aliasing On

3 – Texture Filtering lets you choose a type of filter, or turn it off. Filters soften the transition from texture tiles near the view point to texture tiles far away. A new value will take effect after restarting the program.

Filter: Nearest
Filter off
Filter: Trilinear
Filter on

Note that in some cases choosing different filter types produces similar pictures. If only plain color materials were used in the scene, you may notice no difference when the texture filtration is on and off. It is not recommended that you set this parameter to Nearest (equivalent to off) because textures are used in most 3D models.

4 – Reflection Quality defines the quality of the reflections displayed in objects such as mirrors. This parameter affects the resolution of the reflections and also the strength of anti-aliasing. At lower quality, the picture may look more pixelated, but rendering will be faster. A new value will take effect after restarting the program.

5 – The Decrease Quality when Moving option can change the rendering mode automatically. When this option is activated, the program turns off reflections, shadows and lights while you are walking around in 3D. When you stay still, lights, reflections and shadows restore. Note that if lights and shadows are already turned off in View > 3D View > Rendering Quality (or in the toolbar) then nothing will change when you start walking in 3D.

6 – Shadow Casting Lights defines how many light sources (including the sun and moon) are taken into account when the program is rendering shadows. At smaller numbers, rendering is faster.

Note that if the quantity of considered light sources is too small, you can get an unrealistic picture because you cannot see shadows that normally exist.

Shadow casting lights

1 – Light source 1
2 – Light source 2
3 – Shadow from the sun
4 – Shadow from the light source 1
5 – No shadow from the light source 2 with Shadow Casting Lights set to Nearest 2
6 – Shadow from the light source 2 with Shadow Casting Lights set to Nearest 4

Limiting the number of objects that cast shadow can also increase the program performance.

7 – Shadow Technique. The program lets you choose the Stencil Shadows or Shadow Maps mode. The Stencil Shadows mode is the default one. 3D pictures created in these modes can be different.

Stencil Shadows
Stencil_shadow
Shadow Maps
Shadow_maps

The difference:

  1. The Stencil Shadows method is more accurate. The Shadow Maps method gives more smooth shadows (compare 2 and 4). Completely or almost invisible shadows can be rendered by Shadow Maps when a very thin object is located very close to a large surface (compare 1 and 3).
  2. When you are walking around, rendering in the Shadow Maps mode is faster if Shadow Maps Quality is set to the intermediate or lower values.
  3. Some old graphic cards may not support Shadow Maps.

8 – The Shadow Maps Quality lets you adjust the rendering quality in the Shadow Maps mode. At low quality, shadows can look blurred.

The Import Tab

This section lets you set up the default state for the options that appear in the Import dialog. Read the Import Options section for more details.

The Miscellaneous Tab

Show Welcome window on start-up opens the Welcome window when you launch the program. This window gives you the access to the online store.

Show Project Gallery on start-up opens the Project Gallery when you launch the program. In the Project Gallery, can choose to open a sample project, one of your templates, or one of your recent projects.

Animate Library 3D Preview by default turns on or off the automatic rotation of a 3D object selected in the preview of the object library. You can activate and deactivate the rotation directly in the preview.

The Save supplied contents in projects option lets you choose whether to save actual objects from the standard library in your project file, or save only links to these objects in the library. Whatever you choose, it will not affect the way you work with the project. Saving objects in the project guarantees that it will not be dependent on the version of the program (the contents of the library may change by a major update). On the other hand, projects that store only links to objects can take less disk space. Modified and imported objects used in the project will always be saved in the project.

The Autosave modified projects option allows the program to automatically save a copy of a project to the same folder. If the program quits unexpectedly, when you start the program next time, it will open the autosaved copy of the project.

Snap Sensitivity on 2D Plan defines how close you need to bring one object to another before the objects snap together.

The Print images with resolution option lets you set up the resolution for printing raster graphics.

The Default tool in 3D on Space bar pressing option defines which of the tools in the 3D view should be activated by pressing the Space key.

Automatically check for updates lets you specify how frequently the program checks for updates. (Not available in the application purchased on the Mac App Store.)