Artifice, Inc.

Troubleshooting DesignWorkshop®

General Issues

General Issues | Modeling | Lights and Textures | Translation | Conflicts | Mac OS 9 Memory | Help!

System Requirements

DesignWorkshop Lite, Classic, and Pro are all available fully native for Windows 95/98/NT/XP/2000, for the Power Macintosh OS 9, and are compatible with the Classic environment on Mac OS X. There is not currently a native (Carbon) version of DesignWorkshop available for Mac OS X, although this is planned for sometime in the future. DesignWorkshop requires QuickDraw 3D to be installed in the system on both platforms. A minimum of 16MB of RAM memory in your computer is required, and at least 32MB or more is strongly recommended. Display color depth should be set for thousands or millions of colors (16 bit or 24 color).

Correct QuickDraw 3D Versions

For DesignWorkshop Lite, Classic and Pro 1.8.x, QuickDraw 3D 1.5.4 or higher is recommended. It comes as part of the QuickTime 3.0 Installation, which is now included on all DesignWorkshop CD-ROMs, for both Windows and Macintosh.

Important Note: With QuickTime 4.0, Apple has changed the installation process for QuickDraw 3D. With QT 4.0, QuickDraw 3D is an optional part of QuickTime. QuickDraw 3D must be specifically selected by the user during the installation process, or it will not be installed.

For DesignWorkshop 1.7 and 1.7 Lite, QuickDraw 3D 1.5.1 or higher is required. The QD3D 1.5.1 Installer from Apple is included on the DesignWorkshop 1.7 CD-ROM.

For DesignWorkshop 1.5, we recommend using QuickDraw 3D 1.0.6. The QD3D 1.0.6 Installer from Apple is included on the DesignWorkshop 1.5 CD-ROM.

Printer Must Be Defined

DesignWorkshop checks the current printer when starting up and initializing its graphics environment. As a result, you may have trouble starting up DesignWorkshop if for any reason no printer has been defined with Chooser on your Macintosh. This can happen if the computer is new and no printer has been chosen yet. It can also happen after a system upgrade or printer driver upgrade, which might overwrite the previous choice and leave the current printer blank.

Modeling Issues

General Issues | Modeling | Lights and Textures | Translation | Conflicts | Mac OS 9 Memory | Help!

Your Model Looks Very Small and Far Away When Opened

If you open a DesignWorkshop model and discover that your model looks very small and far away, there is probably a straightforward explanation and a quick solution.

DesignWorkshop calculates the Initial View each time it opens a model, based on the actual overall dimensions of the model. The initial view is established so that it shows most of your model at once, and not too much else. Usually a small and far away model is caused by extra objects in the model file, far beyond what you expect to be the bounds of your model.

To eliminate these extra objects and normalize the Initial View, first go to Plan view, and drag a rectangle in the middle of the view to select all the objects of the model that you want to keep. Put away these objects temporarily with the Arrange menu Hide command. Then use the Edit menu Select All command to select any and all outlying objects, and use the Delete key to delete these unwanted objects.

Next, use the Arrange menu Cancel Hide command to show the main model objects again. Finally, use the File menu Save As... command to save your model (with a new name, for safety!) and close the model. When you reopen the file, you should see the model framed nicely in the Initial View again.

Lights and Textures Rendering Issues

General Issues | Modeling | Lights and Textures | Translation | Conflicts | Mac OS 9 Memory | Help!

Transparency Doesn't Seem to be Rendering

Either a QuickDraw 3D accelerator board, or a plug-in rendering module, is required for transparency effects to be visible with QuickDraw 3D.

The LightWorks SuperLite plug-in renderer, included with the DesignWorkshop Professional, will render transparency effects very nicely. In the Lights and Textures window, use the View menu Shadowcasting command to render with the SuperLite plug-in.

If the Shadowcasting command is grayed out when you're looking at a Lights &#amp; Textures window, this indicates that the plug-in renderer is not properly installed. Check for the plug-in in the "DW Plug-ins" folder, next to the DesignWorkshop application.

If a hardware accelerator board is installed in your computer and you still can't see transparency effects using the simple "Shading" command, you should check carefully to make sure that the additional QuickDraw 3D and any vendor-specific software extensions are installed, as required by the hardware accelerator.

Many non-Apple hardware accelerator add-in boards require that the monitor cable be connected directly to the board, rather than to the built-in video of your Macintosh.

If a hardware accelerator board is properly installed, and all its extensions are installed properly, and the monitor cable is in the right place, and you still can't see transparency effects in the Lights & Textures window, then most likely your system is running out of VRAM, the special video memory often used both for the screen display and for texture acceleration.

To check whether a video memory shortage is preventing transparency effects from working, you can try rendering transparency in a way that uses a minimum of VRAM:   1) Switch your monitor settings so you are viewing in 640x480 resolution, with thousands of colors. 2) Quit all applications except the Finder. 3) Start up DesignWorkshop with an Untitled empty model, and draw a single cube in the middle of the modeling world. Then assign the Glass-Clear material to the cube. 3) Use the Lights & Textures command to open the cube into a QuickDraw 3D rendering window. 4) Make the Lights & Textures window very small, something like 2"x2" (6cm x 6cm). 5) Now, drag around with the eye tool, and see if you can see the horizon line through the cube.

If you can see through the cube at step 5) above, but not when you view it in a larger window, then you are running in out VRAM. Depending on the CPU or accelerator board you're using, your VRAM may be expandable, usually at a modest cost.

Some Textures Don't Seem to be Rendering

The Apple QuickDraw 3D Accelerator board only supports rendering of 12 textures at one time. Additional texture map assignments will be ignored when rendering with hardware acceleration.

To render more than 12 textures at one time when the Apple board is installed, check the View menu Rendering > Graphics Engine > Apple Software menu item to turn off the hardware rendering engine. The textures will then be rendered by the QD3D Interactive Renderer in software.

Other hardware accelerator boards may show their memory limits in other ways. With ATI boards, for instance, when the on-board texture memory capacity is exceeded, the board keeps rendering, but the amount of acceleration drops very significantly.

See the section above for steps on rendering in QuickDraw 3D with a minimum of memory, which is useful for acceleration tesing purposes.

A Texture Renders Poorly or Causes Crashes

Texture PICT files added to the "Textures" folder must be saved without JPEG compression. They should have a resolution set to 72dpi. If the dots-per-inch is greater than 72 the textures may render poorly, with only part of the image displayed, and with a dark stripe along the bottom of each image tile. (The greater the dots-per-inch, the worse the worse these effects will become.) If a texture PICT file is saved at less than 10dpi, it may crash DesignWorkshop when loading. You can easily check and modify the resolution for a PICT image file using Adobe Photoshop (with the Image Size functions in the Image menu in Photoshop).

Lights Don't Seem to be Rendering

See special note on the effects of rendering with vertex interpolation, Lights Don't Seem To Shine.

Shadows or Objects are Missing when Using the LightWorks Renderer

An old version of the LightWorks SuperLite plug-in renderer (v 1.2), which is included on the DesignWorkshop 1.7 Release One CD-ROM, is unpredictable when rendering models with the trimesh geometry type introduced in QuickDraw 3D 1.5. If you find objects or shadows appear to be missing after rendering with the SuperLite plug-in in DW 1.7, contact Artifice Technical Support by email at or by telephone at (541) 345-7421. An updated version of the plug-in is included with DesignWorkshop Professional 1.8, available free to registered owners of DesignWorkshop 1.7.

Translucent Objects Don't let Light Through in LightWorks Renderings

For shadow-casting purposes (though not for direct viewing purposes) the LightWorks SuperLite renderer, used with the Lights & Textures Shadowcasting command, treats objects with translucent or transparent materials as though the object is opaque, so it casts solid shadows. For instance, indoor lights will not shine through a glazed window and light up the ground outside. Similarly, light will not shine through a translucent lamp shade, even though you see through it.

This can seem confusing, because the default Interactive Renderer (IR) used with the plain Shading command lets lights shine through freely. However, that is just because the IR doesn't do any shadowcasting at all. With the IR, lights shine through everything equally, whether opaque or transparent. In contrast, with the LightWorks Superlite, shadows are cast by everything, whether opaque or transparent.

Forthcoming, higher-level plug-in renderers by LightWork Design are expected to provide more sophisticated shadowcasting options.

To simulate the visual effect of both the shadows and the light transmission created by a translucent object, you can use double light sources. For instance, for a detailed LightWorks rendering of a floor-standing lamp with a translucent shade, you can put one point light source inside the lamp shade, and then hover another very tiny point light source in mid-air a couple of feet or more above the lamp.

Alpha-Channel Transparency Doesn't Work with LightWorks Renderings

The LightWorks SuperLite renderer does not support alpha-channel transparency in textures. This effect is also known as "transparent pixels" or "pixel transparency", to distinguish it from the effect of overall-transparency for textures, which is supported.

Pixel transparency is supported in the plain "Shading" command.

Translation Issues

General Issues | Modeling | Lights and Textures | Translation | Conflicts | Mac OS 9 Memory | Help!

Problems Importing DXF, DWG, and PICT to DesignWorkshop

The most common source of difficulty when reading in large drawings via DXF or Object PICT format is insufficient memory to hold the drawing in DesignWorkshop. Even simple drawing objects will sometimes require much more memory when converted to 3D in DesignWorkshop. It is a good practice to simplify any 2D drawing before exporting so that only necessary objects will be loaded into the 3D modeling space.

However, with so many possible applications and configurations, it is inevitable that unusual translation problems will arise. Please don't hesitate to contact Artifice Technical Support at "" for the latest information and assistance.

Problems with DXF and DWG Export to Other Applications

The DesignWorkshop DXF Export functions have been updated in DesignWorkshop 1.8.x for maximum compatibility with the widest range of other 2D and 3D applications. Few problems should be experienced in normal usage.

The most common source of difficulty with taking models from DesignWorkshop to another 3D application via the DXF format is that some receiving applications cannot handle all the complex polygons produced from translating the solid objects with openings used DesignWorkshop.

With DesignWorkshop Professional for Windows, DWG export is supported as well as DXF export. Settings for importing and exporting with DesignWorkshop Professional for Windows, such as scaling and geometry types, are controlled by the "dw.INI" file. Please see the Working with the dw.INI File page for full details on these powerful options.

Please don't hesitate to contact Artifice Technical Support at "" for the latest information and assistance with any translation problems.

PowerCADD to DesignWorkshop

To convert PowerCADD 2D drawings seamlessly into DesignWorkshop 1.5, start in PowerCADD by simplifying the drawing for export. Then use the PowerCADD File menu Save As... command, selecting the "DesignWorkshop" file format in the pop-up menu of the save file dialog box. This produces a special customized PICT file with a DesignWorkshop-style icon. (If DesignWorkshop does not appear in the pop-up menu, then the DesignWorkshop XTNL translator module is probably not properly installed in the PowerCADD XTNLs folder.)

To read the custom PICT drawing into DesignWorkshop, first open a model in DesignWorkshop, then use the File menu Import > Object PICT... command. The rest is automatic, and the drawing should appear with its upper left corner aligned to the 0/0/0 point in the DesignWorkshop model space.

DesignWorkshop to PowerCADD

Any DesignWorkshop screen image can be exported as a general-purpose PICT file, and then opened in PowerCADD. However, only views with uniform scaling, including plan, section, elevation, and axonometric, can be translated using the special PowerCADD Scaled PICT command. If you are not in one of these particular views, the command will be disabled.

To convert a drawing from DesignWorkshop to PowerCADD from an appropriate view, use the File menu Export 2D > PowerCADD Scaled PICT... command to create the drawing file. This produces a special customized PICT file with a DesignWorkshop-style icon.

To read the custom PICT drawing into PowerCADD, use the File menu Open command, selecting the "DesignWorkshop" file format in the pop-up menu of the save file dialog box. (If DesignWorkshop does not appear in the pop-up menu, then the DesignWorkshop XTNL translator module is probably not properly installed in the PowerCADD XTNLs folder.)

The drawing should appear in a new PowerCADD document window, scaled to 1/8" = 1' - 0". You can adjust the drawing to another scale if necessary using the various editing and drawing setup functions of PowerCADD.

Software Conflicts

General Issues | Modeling | Lights and Textures | Translation | Conflicts | Mac OS 9 Memory | Help!

Known Incompatibilities

7200 Graphics Acceleration Extension

On Mac OS 9 and Classic, at 2D zooms over 11,000% DesignWorkshop is prone to crash if the "7200 Graphics Acceleration" system extension is active . To avoid this problem, disable the 7200 Graphics Acceleration extension by removing it from the Extensions folder in your System folder, and then restarting the computer.

Mac OS 9 Memory Issues

General Issues | Modeling | Lights and Textures | Translation | Conflicts | Mac OS 9 Memory | Help!

Macintosh Memory Requirements

Probably the majority of Macintosh OS 9 software problems stem from insufficient memory. Read this section, and see also Memory Usage (immediately below).

If your Macintosh has 32MB or less RAM, virtual memory should be turned on with a total memory setting of 33MB, using the Memory control panel. Note that the memory used by QuickDraw 3D (QD3D) is allocated from the free memory when requested by DesignWorkshop. In other words, application memory and rendering memory are separate in DesignWorkshop, and giving too large a memory allocation to the application can cause QD3D to run out of memory unneccesarily.

While DesignWorkshop is running in Mac OS 9, you can switch to the Finder, and use the Apple menu "About This Computer..." command to see a graph of current memory usage. In addition to observing the memory size and utilization for DesignWorkshop, note the System memory size, and the size of the largest free memory block.

Macintosh Memory Usage

Running out of memory may cause unpredictable problems for either DesignWorkshop itself, or for the QuickDraw 3D graphics system. The memory needed by DesignWorkshop itself on Mac OS 9 varies according to the size and complexity of the models being used, the number and size of open document windows, the style of rendering and monitor color depth, etc.

A rough but useful rule-of-thumb for predicting DesignWorkshop application memory usage on Mac OS 9, under general conditions, is to start with 10MB for the DesignWorkshop application itself, and then add 1MB of additional RAM allocation for each 100KB of model size. For instance, a 100KB model can be edited and viewed comfortably in an application memory partition of 11MB, and a 1MB model can be edited and viewed comfortably in an application memory partition of 20MB.

QuickDraw 3D seems to work best with at least 8-16 MB of free memory, and it will need more for larger windows, larger models, and when rendering many textures. The memory used by QuickDraw 3D is drawn from the free memory on the computer, not from the DesignWorkshop memory partition. When QuickDraw 3D claims additional memory, in Mac OS 7.x it will show up in the System memory partition, and in Mac OS 8.0, it will show up in the DesignWorkshop partition (using the Apple menu "About This Computer..." command from the Finder).

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