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FAQ

Read this page to get answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Sweet Home 3D.

Installation
3D models import
Other features
Contributions

Installation

  • What is the minimum system requirements to run Sweet Home 3D?
    Sweet Home 3D may be run under Windows 98 to Windows 8, Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) to 10.10 (Yosemite), various Linux systems and Solaris. Your computer should have at least a processor running at 400 MHz, 256 MB and a graphic card with its driver updated (it runs slowly but successfully on an iMac DV).
    Note that Sweet Home 3D offline installer doesn't run under Windows 98 (SP1 or SP2). Under that system, you can install Sweet Home 3D only with Java Web Start, meaning you must install Java first, then click on the link Launch Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start.
  • Is Sweet Home 3D free?
    Thanks to the services provided by sourceforge.net and eTeks, you can download and use Sweet Home 3D free of charge, for personal or commercial purpose, under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Nevertheless, if you want to reward financially Sweet Home 3D project, you can donate the amount of your choice. Under Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.10, you can also buy and download Sweet Home 3D on the Mac App Store.
  • When I click on the link Launch Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start, my browser doesn't know what to do with SweetHome3D.jnlp downloaded file. What should I do?
    Under Mac OS X, simply double-click on the icon of the SweetHome3D.jnlp file (by default you should find it in the Download folder of your home folder). Under Windows and Linux, this is probably because Java isn't installed correctly or isn't installed at all on your system. If you don't mind to download a bigger file (30 to 50 MB instead of 15 MB), the easiest way to fix this problem is to download Sweet Home 3D offline installer bundled with Java and to follow installation instructions.
    Otherwise, under Windows, you should install or reinstall Java available at http://java.com, then click again on the link Launch Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start. Under Linux, you must also indicate to your browser that it should open the JNLP file with the command javaws that you'll find in the bin subdirectory of the directory where Java is installed (search something named jre...).
  • When I click on the link Launch Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start, I got the error message Unsupported JNLP version in launch file: 1.5+. Only version 1.0 is supported with this version. What can I do?
    This message means that your system tried to run Sweet Home 3D with a version of Java that is too old (Sweet home 3D requires Java 1.5 at minimum). Under Mac OS X, ensure that the SweetHome3D.jnlp downloaded file is opened by Java Cache Viewer (11.5.0) application. Under Windows, you should install the latest version of Java available at http://java.com then click again on the link Launch Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start. Under Linux, check that the command javaws used by your browser to open the JNLP file, is placed in a subdirectory of jre 1.5 or 1.6.
  • When I run Sweet Home 3D, only a splash screen appears during a few seconds. What happened?
    This is a problem due to the configuration of your graphic card. Please read the answer to the next question.
  • I got the message Sweet Home 3D will exit now because of a fatal error in 3D rendering system. What can I do?
    This is a problem due to the configuration of your graphic card.
    Under Windows:
    • First, if you use Windows 7 or a previous version of Windows, open the Display Properties pane by right clicking on desktop screen and choosing Properties item in menu. In that pane, display the Settings tab, and click on the Advanced button. Then in the Troubleshoot tab of the pane that opened, check the Hardware acceleration cursor is at its maximum on Full, confirm your choice and try to run Sweet Home 3D again.
    • If the previous operation didn't resolve your problem, update the OpenGL and DirectX drivers of your graphic card with the latest available ones, and try to run Sweet Home 3D again.
    • If this update still doesn't fix your problem, click on this link to run Sweet Home 3D with the DirectX version of the Java 3D library, or if you prefer to run Sweet Home 3D from its installer, download the file SweetHome3D.l4j.ini, copy it in Sweet Home 3D installation directory (by default, it's C:\Program Files\Sweet Home 3D or C:\Program Files (x86)\Sweet Home 3D) and relaunch Sweet Home 3D (DirectX version may work only under 32 bit version of Java).
    • Finally, if this last solution doesn't work, you may still want to use Sweet Home 3D without 3D features, by reading the answer to the next question.
    Under Linux:
    • Update the drivers of your graphic card with the latest available ones, and try to run Sweet Home 3D again.
    • If this solution doesn't work, you may still want to use Sweet Home 3D without 3D features, by reading the answer to the next question.
  • How can I disable 3D features in Sweet Home 3D?
    Since version 3.2, you may disable at Sweet Home 3D launch the features that needs the 3D capabilities of your computer. Thus, you get Sweet Home 2D application which runs without any 3D view, without a 3D view menu, without the capability to render photos, create videos and import individual pieces of furniture; but you can still draw and layout furniture in the 2D plan without problems, SH3D files created with this version are compatible with Sweet Home 3D ones and you can import furniture libraries.
    To install and run Sweet Home 2D with Java Web Start, click on this link (Sweet Home 3D and Sweet Home 2D may be installed on the same computer if needed). You may also run Sweet Home 2D by downloading the Jar executable version of Sweet Home 3D and executing the java -Dcom.eteks.sweethome3d.no3D=true -jar path/to/SweetHome3D-4.5.jar command.
  • Sweet Home 3D crashes when I want to edit preferences, print, create a photo or create a video. What can I do?
    This issue happens mostly on a few Linux computers when Sweet Home 3D checks whether computing offscreen 3D images is supported by Java 3D on your computer. This feature is required to compute the top view of furniture in the plan, to print the 3D view and to manage the two lowest photo and video quality levels. If Sweet Home 3D detects offscreen 3D images aren't supported by your system, it automatically disables the features based on it, but sometimes, the detection test itself makes Sweet Home 3D crash! To launch a version of Sweet Home 3D which avoids this test and disables the features depending on offscreen 3D images, add the Java option -Dcom.eteks.sweethome3d.j3d.checkOffScreenSupport=false to the java command in Linux SweetHome3D script, or click on this Java Web Start link.
  • How can I adjust the memory used by Sweet Home 3D?
    Sweet Home 3D can't use as much as memory as your computer can offer by itself, but you can still change the maximum memory used by the program if needed. This may be required for example if an error red cross appears during the photo rendering of a home with many different and detailled 3D models. By default, the Java Web Start version uses 640 MB or 2GB at maximum according to your system, and the installer version uses 1024 MB at maximum except under Windows where it's still 640 MB (this maximum is displayed in the About dialog box). For the installer version, you can change this number by udpating the value of the -Xmx Java option, as follows:
    • Under Windows, create a text file named SweetHome3D.l4j.ini in the same folder as SweetHome3D.exe, write the max memory Java option in that file, for example -Xmx700m for 700 MB, then relaunch Sweet Home 3D. For a value higher than 700 MB, tested as the highest value under which Sweet Home 3D can run safely on a 32-bit Windows computer with little RAM, you should use a computer running 64-bit Windows and install Sweet Home 3D 4.3 or higher.
    • Under Mac OS X, right click on the application icon of Sweet Home 3D, select Show Package Contents, open the Contents folder, edit the Info.plist file by dragging its icon on TextEdit application, update the 1024 value in the text <string>-Xmx1024m</string>, save the file, then relaunch Sweet Home 3D.
    • Under Linux, edit SweetHome3D script, update the 1024 value in the option -Xmx1024m, save the script, then relaunch Sweet Home 3D.
  • Where can I find an icon for Sweet Home 3D under Linux?
    The available icons are listed in the Launcher icon thread of the forum.
  • A new version of Sweet Home 3D is available in my language, but all texts are still in English. How can I change texts by the ones of my language?
    Choose your language in the Language drop down list of the Preferences pane. Under Mac OS X, this pane is displayed by choosing the Preferences item in the Sweet Home 3D menu. Under other systems, it's displayed by choosing the Preferences item in the File menu.
  • Where can I find older versions of Sweet Home 3D?
    The installers of older versions of Sweet Home 3D are available in the Files section of the project on SourceForge.net.
    If you want to run older versions of Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start, click on this link to run version 1.8 or this link to run version 0.10 (Sweet Home 3D version 0.10 is the study case of the French book Les cahiers du programmeur Swing, written by Emmanuel Puybaret and published by Editions Eyrolles in December 2006).
  • How can I uninstall Sweet Home 3D?
    To uninstall Sweet Home 3D, follow these steps depending on your system:
    • Under Windows Vista / 7 / 8, select Programs and Features in Windows Control Panel, select Sweet Home 3D in the programs list then click on the Uninstall button.
    • Under Windows XP and previous versions of Windows, select Add or Remove Programs in Windows Control Panel, select Sweet Home 3D in the programs list then click on the Remove button.
    • Under Mac OS X, move the icon of Sweet Home 3D application in the trash. If you installed Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start, you may also empty the Java cache used by the program by running javaws -viewer command in a Terminal window, then removing Sweet Home 3D from Java Web Start applications list.
    • Under Linux, if you installed Sweet Home 3D with its installation program, move its application folder in the trash. If you installed Sweet Home 3D with Java Web Start, run javaws -viewer command in a Terminal window, then remove Sweet Home 3D from Java Web Start applications list.
    Sweet Home 3D saves also some data in files and folders separated from the program ones, to avoid losing them when you update the software. For your information, here are the places where you can find this data when it exists:
    • Under Windows Vista / 7 / 8, imported furniture, textures, plug-ins and user preferences are saved in the C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\eTeks\Sweet Home 3D folder and its subfolders ; user preferences handled with version 2.6 and previous versions are saved in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\JavaSoft\Prefs\com\eteks\sweethome3d folder of Windows registry.
    • Under Windows XP and previous versions of Windows, imported furniture, textures, plug-ins and user preferences are saved in the C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\eTeks\Sweet Home 3D folder and its subfolders ; user preferences handled with version 2.6 and previous versions are saved in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\JavaSoft\Prefs\com\eteks\sweethome3d folder of Windows registry.
    • Under Mac OS X, imported furniture, textures, plug-ins and and user preferences are saved in the Library/Application Support/eTeks/Sweet Home 3D subfolder of your user folder ; some user preferences might also be saved in the files com.eteks.sweethome3d.plist and com.eteks.sweethome3d.SweetHome3D.plist found in the Library/Preferences subfolder of your user folder.
    • Under Linux, imported furniture, textures, plug-ins and and user preferences are saved in the .eteks/sweethome3d subfolder of your user folder ; user preferences handled with version 2.6 and previous versions are saved in the.java/.userPrefs/com/eteks/sweethome3d subfolder of your user folder.

3D models import

  • I downloaded a 3DS model from the web, but Sweet Home 3D doesn't import it correctly and some parts of the model are scattered. What can I do?
    First, be sure to use at least the version 4.5 of Sweet Home 3D that improved 3DS format support. But it's still possible that a few models are imported incorrectly with that version. Try to convert the 3DS files that don't work in OBJ files with FBX Converter, first converting 3DS files in FBX files, then converting generated FBX files in OBJ files.
  • Does Sweet Home 3D support 3D models that uses textures?
    Yes from version 1.6. You may import the 3D model file directly or a ZIP file that contains the 3D model file and its texture files. Note that once imported, a 3D model file and the files depending on it (MTL file, texture image files...) are copied in private directories of Sweet Home 3D to let you move these files elsewhere or even delete them.
  • How can I change the color of the different parts of a model at OBJ format?
    The OBJ file format is a text file format that is quite simple. From its description at Java 3D web site, this discussion and this one available on Sweet Home 3D forums, you may change the color of the different parts of an OBJ model by adding usemtl colorName rows in the file, where colorName is one of the color described in this document. From version 1.6, you may also describe model color and texures in a MTL file referenced by the OBJ file with a mtllib mtlfile statement.
  • How can I create a new category of furniture?
    During the Import furniture wizard, you may choose the category of an imported 3D model with an editable drop down list. Thus, if you want to add an imported model to a new category, type a new category name in the text field of this drop down list. If it doesn't exist, it will be created.
  • Which program can I use to create 3D model files?
    You may use any program able to create or export 3D models at OBJ, DAE/Collada or 3DS format. Among the free programs, start with Art of Illusion if you never used any 3D modeling program, because it's quite easy to learn and use. Blender is also a very popular program supported by a large community, but it's much more difficult to learn. Both programs are able to export at OBJ format and run under Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
  • How can I transfer the furniture I imported on an other computer?
    Whether they come from the default catalog or were imported, all the pieces of furniture you use in a home are saved in the matching SH3D file. Thus you may transfer and open a SH3D file on any other computer even if it runs under an other operating system.
    On the other side, the pieces imported in the catalog of Sweet Home 3D are saved in private folders separate from program one to avoid losing them during an upgrade of the program. If you want to transfer these pieces to the Sweet Home 3D catalog of an other computer, you may use ExportToSH3F-1.0.sh3p plug-in. Once you installed this plug-in, choose the new menu item Furniture > Export imported furniture to SH3F... to create a SH3F file and import it on the other computer with the Furniture > Import furniture library... menu item (caution, this plug-in doesn't work with the Java Web Start version of Sweet Home 3D).
    If required, you may edit a SH3F file with the downloadable Furniture Library Editor.
  • I chose Furniture > Import furniture... menu item to import a 3D model, but during the wizard, I got the message Sweet Home 3D must exit now because of a fatal error in 3D rendering system. What can I do?
    This is a problem due to the configuration of your graphic card. Please read the answer to the same question in the Installation section. If it doesn't solve your problem, you may also try to import librairies of additional 3D models.

Other features

  • How can I create a roof on top of a house?
    Sweet Home 3D supports the creation of ceilings seen from below, but doesn't manage the creation of roofs yet. Nevertheless, you can use various tricks to cover a house: if the roof is flat, you can draw rooms in a level matching that roof; if you want to add a sloping roof, you may assemble blue slate roof, red slate roof or polygonal roof 3D models available at the 3D models import page. You may also be interested by the Tutorial for sloping ceilings, roofs, dormers and more written by Hans Dirkse.
  • How can I create different stories or levels in a home?
    From version 3.4, use the Plan > Add level menu item to create new levels, then choose Plan > Modify level to adjust its elevation, height and other attributes.
  • How can I create round walls?
    From version 3.0, you may create round walls either with Wall creation tool, or afterwards with the wall modification pane. If you want to draw a round wall, keep the ctrl key (alt key under Mac OS X) pressed when you click a second time at the end point of a new wall; an arc of a circle joining the two ends of the new wall will appear, and you can modify the arc extent of the round wall by moving the mouse pointer, until you click a third time. The angle of this arc extent may be entered with the keyboard too, once you pressed the Enter key, or ctrl + Enter (alt + Enter under Mac OS X) keys if you were already using keyboard mode to enter the length of the wall. To modify the arc extent of a wall afterwards, double-click on the wall and modify the value of the Arc extent field in its wall modification pane.
  • How can I change the opening side of a door or a window?
    When magnestism is active, the opening side of a door or a window towards the interior or the exterior depends on the side of the wall where you drag and drop it. The location of the rotation axis of a door or a window towards the left or the right may be reversed by double clicking on it in the plan or the furniture list, then selecting the Mirrored shape option in the furniture modification pane.
  • Is it possible to manually set the rotation center of the 3D view in Aerial view mode?
    In Aerial view mode, the observer can turn around his home in the 3D view to view it from various angles. By default, this rotation is centered on the middle of the bounding box which contains all the walls, rooms and furniture added to home, and this center is automatically updated at each modification. This behavior ensures the user always sees his home entirely with no way to get lost in the 3D view. If you want to move this center of rotation, enable the Aerial view centered on selection option in the preferences pane and select the object(s) in the plan around which the aerial view will turn, or use the Virtual visit mode which lets you choose any point of view. If you want to see some rooms hidden by walls in Aerial view mode, you may also set the walls transparency in the modification pane of the 3D view.
  • Importing a background image seemed to run correctly but no image appears in plan. What is going on?
    Check the size you chose during the second step of the Import background image wizard. The entered value must match the size of the line drawn below in the real life, not its size at screen or on the paper you scanned. If the current unit is centimeter, this value will be probably much larger than 100.
  • Sweet Home 3D refuses to open a SH3D file I created, or opens it incorrectly. Is there a way to repair it?
    When Sweet Home 3D saves a home, it attempts to create first a temporary file that replaces the previously saved file only once the temporary file is successfully created and if there's enough disk space. This ensures that there's very little chance that your previous SH3D file gets corrupted even if the last save operation failed. Nevertheless, some users still report they can't open their SH3D file. If this is your case, try to open your SH3D file with Sweet Home 3D 4.4 and above, to check if the program can repair it. If it still can't open your file, please try to describe to the developer of Sweet Home 3D the circumstances of the last save operation (was is successful?), whether the SH3D file was transferred or not by email, ftp or with an USB key, what happens when you try to open the file that causes problems, and join a compressed version of your SH3D file if possible.
    Finally, try next time to back up regularly your SH3D files, like you should do for any document you spend hours on.
  • Can I import a SH3D file in the Online version?
    From version 4.4, you may import a SH3D file in the Online version clicking on the 6th button shown on the tool bar. You may also export a home from the Online version to a SH3D file to edit it with Sweet Home 3D installed version. Importing and exporting services is reserved to the users who are registered and logged in.
  • The 3D view of Sweet Home 3D is always black or shows twice the same image. What can I do?
    Under Windows, running Sweet Home 3D with DirectX generally solves this problem. Read also the answer to this question in the Installation section.
  • Sweet Home 3D refuses to print the 3D view. What can I do?
    This is a problem due to the configuration of your graphic card that can't create offscreen 3D images. Please read the answer to this question in the Installation section.
  • How can I improve the lighting of the 3D view?
    Depending on your graphic card, the 3D view may look too bright or too dark. You may adjust Light brightness in the pane displayed by choosing 3D view > Modify.... If you want a more photorealistic rendering of the 3D view, choose 3D view > Create photo... from the menu and select the best quality available in the displayed pane, after checking you use at least the version 3.0 of Sweet Home 3D.
  • How can I speed up the rendering process in photo and video creation panes?
    In the photo creation pane, computing an image at the two best quality levels may take a few minutes, and in the video creation pane, computing the video may take many hours. To speed up the rendering process, try the following tips:
    • increase the max memory allocated to Sweet Home 3D,
    • create smaller images or videos, and/or compute them with a lower quality,
    • turn off useless lights,
    • use less detailed 3D models,
    • use texture images with a lower resolution,
    • use a computer with a more powerful CPU (running at a higher frequency and/or with more cores).
    Note that the graphic card isn't used at all to compute images at the two best quality levels, so using a better one won't help.
  • Sweet Home 3D hangs when I try to save my home. How can I fix this?
    If you run Sweet Home 3D under Windows with Java 6 (check in the dialog box displayed by Help > About Sweet Home 3D menu item), this problem is probably due to the bug #6372808 in Java. As this bug was fixed, you should just have to ensure you use the lastest Java version if you use the Java Web Start version of Sweet Home 3D, or use the latest version of Sweet Home 3D if you installed it with its installer. Nevertheless, if you still experience some problems, install and run Sweet Home 3D under Java 5, by following the following steps:
    1. download the latest Java 5 version available at http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index_jdk5.jsp (Java Runtime
      Environment (JRE) 5.0 Update 22 at this time),
    2. install it in the default location,
    3. open an Execute dialog box by choosing Execute... menu item in Windows Start menu,
    4. copy the following command and paste it in the text field of the Execute dialog box (including the quotes):
      "C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_22\bin\javaws.exe" http://www.sweethome3d.com/SweetHome3D.jnlp
    5. click on Ok.
    This will run Sweet Home 3D installer with Java 1.5.0_22. Once Sweet Home 3D is installed and launched, check if it works better by choosing File > Save... or File > Open... in Sweet Home 3D.
  • Where are missing features listed?
    You'll find requested features at this page and in some discussions of Sweet Home 3D forums.
    Sweet Home 3D roadmap is described in this discussion.

Contributions

  • How can I contribute to Sweet Home 3D?
    You may contribute to Sweet Home 3D in many ways:
  • How can I contribute to the translation of Sweet Home 3D in an other language?
    Localizing Sweet Home 3D in a language consists of the translation of: This may be achieved by one or more persons and should take at least four days of work.
    Please, read the translation guide and/or write to the developer of Sweet Home 3D to receive more instructions about this process.

 

Thanks to Pencilart for her contribution to the translation of this page.

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