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Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro

Frequently Asked Questions

Download Problems

Installation and Start-Up Problems General Application Problems Rendering Problems Output Problems Other Problems Download Problems

If you're experiencing difficulties downloading Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro, please read the following before contacting us.

Factors that effect downloading of files from the Web:

A. Modem Equipment and Phone Line Connections

  1. Check that your modem is configured properly. Please make sure to turn off your modem idle time limit and check your modem settings.
  2. Disable your Call Waiting function so incoming calls won't interrupt your download.
  3. You may also want to contact your modem manufacturer or your telephone service provider if you believe there may be modem or line problems with your connection to the Internet/Web.

B. Internet Service Provider

  1. Make sure your Dial-up Network configuration is correct and up-to-date.
  2. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may have a slow connection to the Internet. There's nothing CrystalGraphics can do about this. Please try downloading at another time or perhaps try downloading at an off peak hour when your ISP isn't as busy.
  3. You may also want to contact your ISP if you believe there may be routing and/or connection problems to the Internet/Web.

C. Server Problems

  1. Occasionally, the server may be "down" or very slow. This could be due to heavy traffic at our server, so, please try again at another time when traffic may not be as heavy. The busiest time at CrystalGraphics’ server is usually evening hours (around 5 PM - midnight Pacific Standard Time).
  2. If you are downloading the Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro software from a web site other than CrystalGraphics’ web site (i.e. an online store), there may server problems. Try downloading from CrystalGraphics’ web site.

D. Other Possible Problems

  1. If you cannot download the software as one entire file, try downloading the program as a series of multiple files. Make sure the file name(s) and extension(s) of the downloaded file(s) match the name(s) listed at our web site.
  2. Make sure you have adequate hard disk space for the file(s) you are downloading. Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro requires at least 12MB of available hard disk space – just for the download! (And, it requires even more once you run the setup program.)
  3. Make sure your Web browser is configured properly. You may want to contact the manufacturer of your web browser software for further assistance.

The list above is just an overview of some of the factors that effect a successful download, so, we recommend that you try more than once to download the software when you are not successful at it the first time around. However, if you continue having download problems after a few tries, please contact us and advise the following:

  • Which file did you download (the single or the multiple option)? If you selected the multiple option, which file gave you problems?
  • What is the exact error message?
  • What time (Pacific Standard Time) did you try to download the file (morning, afternoon or night)?
  • Did you download from www.crystalgraphics.com or another web site?
  • Who manufactured your modem, what is its model and what is the modem speed?
  • Who is your ISP?
  • What browser are you using?
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Where can I find the downloaded file on my system?
When you use a Web browser to go to CrystalGraphics’ web site and download the Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro software, typically the browser will prompt you for a location where you want to save the file(s), and it provides a default filename. To make sure you can locate downloaded files, specify the desired location and filename before downloading. If you are still unable to locate the Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro installer after you have downloaded it, try the following:

  • Use Windows Explorer to find the file, then move it to a convenient location for installation (i.e. a TEMP folder). Note: The file name for the single file download of Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro is c3dipxxx.exe (where xxx is the version number).
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Installation and Start-Up Problems

What should I do if I experience problems installing Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro?

  1. Make sure that your hardware and system software meet Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro system requirements. For instance, make sure there is adequate disk space available on your local hard drive (you should have a minimum of 50 MB).
  2. Close all other programs currently running while you install Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro. To start the installation process, double click on the Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro installer file (i.e. SETUP.EXE) or go to the Windows Start menu and use the Run command (typing in the appropriate name of the Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro installer file).
  3. Run the installer on another computer that also meets the system requirements of Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro. If, after attempting to install the software on another machine, the installer generates errors or exhibits unexpected behavior, it is likely damaged, so download the file again. Before installing again (after re-downloading the file), be sure to delete any partially or fully installed copy of Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro.

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What should I do if Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro does not recognize the password entered?

Prior to October 2002, Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro required a password to activate the software. If you're having trouble with the password you received, please note the following tips:

  1. Make sure that your computer's identification (ID) code matches the one you used when you registered your Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro software. Note: The ID code will be different for each computer on which Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro is installed.
  2. Make sure you use the same email address as when you first registered your Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro software.
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What should I do if Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro does not start?
  1. Make sure that your system has at least 16MB of RAM.
  2. Make sure you launch Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro using Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP or Win NT 4.0 only; it does not run under Win NT 3.51, Win3.x, DEC Alpha, or Windows-simulation software for Apple computers.)

If you still are having problems installing and starting Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro, please contact us and advise the following:

  • Were there any error messages displayed? What were the details of these messages?
  • Were you running any other programs while installing Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro?
  • What type of system do you have (CPU, operating system, RAM, video card, and hard drive space)?
  • Has Crystal 3D IMPACT! or 3D IMPACT! Pro been installed on your machine before? If so, did you delete the previous copy’s files or install the software in a different folder from the original?
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General Application Problems

What should I do if "weird" things happen that did not used to happen (i.e., Bevel ceases to function, or textures on 3D template objects "cannot be found")?

  1. Your preferences file (3DIPRO.PRF) may have become corrupted or may be outdated. Delete the 3DIPRO.PRF file from the program folder where you installed Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro (the default folder is \PROGRAM FILES\Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro) and restart Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro.
  2. If the problem persists, uninstall Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro (using Windows’ "Add/Remove"utility) and reinstall.

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What should I do if the bottom portion of the Bevel, Material, and Motion Gallery dialogs are so low that I cannot see the OK button?

Move the dialog box up by grabbing the blue bar at the top of the dialog window and dragging it towards the top of your screen. You may also wish to run at a resolution greater than 640x480.

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What should I do if Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro displays a message that "the script or model file is invalid":

Make sure the MDL and 3DI files are both in the same folder.

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What should I do if the Import 2D Object command displays an error message when attempting to bring artwork created using other software packages into Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro?

Make sure the 2D artwork you are trying to import is either of the following formats:

  1. Adobe Illustrator (.AI) versions 3 through 6; or
  2. Corel Draw (.CDR) versions 3 through 7

Note: Vector files (such as .AI and .CDR) contain geometric (object and line) information that enable you to manipulate the dimensions and properties of the image you see on screen. However, in some cases, CorelDRAW (.CDR) and Adobe Illustrator (.AI) files are "hybrid" files in that the information stored in the file contains vector as well as "raster" information. Raster image files, also known as "bitmap" files, are composed of individual picture elements (or "pixels") and when viewed on screen appear to form a complete image. (Common file extension names for raster images are: .BMP, .PCX, .GIF, .TIF, and .TGA.). Only the vector portion of the hybrid file can presently be imported. To import raster image data, you may do so using the same Import 2D Object tool by loading in the image file directly. Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro will automatically apply the raster image data onto a rectangle.

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When I try to drag and drop 3D objects from the Object Catalog into the working area, a red circle with a slash across it displays. What should I do to bring these objects into the working area?

Although a "thumbnail" image of the 3D object is displayed in the Objects Catalog, these object files may not actually be present on your hard drive, and thus, not accessible from within the program. You can download 3D objects for use in Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro from the "Owners' Club" located at CrystalGraphics' web site, www.crystalgraphics.com.

Note: You must be a registered owner of Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro software to access the "Free Stuff" that is offered via the Owners' Club.

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Rendering Problems

What should I do if the screen render quality looks poor?

  1. Make sure you are using the Render tool in the Render menu, or the Render icon rather than the Redraw command which displays preview quality shading (i.e. accelerated OpenGL rendering).
  2. Please keep in mind that the screen display is dependent upon your current graphics board settings. At a minimum, set your display resolution to at least 256 colors (8-bit color). You may need to install a Windows display driver (supplied by your VGA board manufacturer) that offers at least 256 colors. However, it is recommended that you run Windows in High (16-bit) or True (24-bit) color mode for best results. Screen color depth does not affect your output file color depth. For example, you can run Windows in 16 color (4-bit) mode and still output a 24-bit (Truecolor) AVI file.
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What should I do if the animation (AVI or animated GIF) render quality looks poor?
  1. See #2 above regarding screen render quality.
  2. Try using a fewer colors in your 3D IMPACT! Pro animation project. The fewer colors you start with in the animation project, the better quality those colors will appear in the final (compressed) output (AVI or animated GIF).
  3. Check the color settings in the Make Movie dialog and in the movie playback window which is created by Make Movie. The Make Movie dialog keeps the most recent setting chosen for the color output, so, if this setting is not set high enough, you may be experiencing lower quality output than desired.
  4. (For AVI movies only): You may be seeing post-compression artifacts. Try using a different compression codec and/or increase the compression quality settings. For example, using the [Radius] Cinepak codec with the quality set at 100%, compressed, delivers very good results. (If the Cinepak codec does not produce the quality you want, try changing the setting to uncompressed.)
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Output Problems

Why doesn’t Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro seem to save rendered images and animations to disk?

The Save and Save As... tools in Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro save 3D elements (i.e. objects, lights, background image and texture map information, assigned motion paths, etc.) that are used by 3D IMPACT! Pro to create images and movies. However, neither Save nor Save as... saves rendered images or animations. Use the following commands to save rendered images and animations (movies).

  1. For saving rendered images:
  2. Make sure you are using the Save Image tool in the File menu and that you have adequate disk space to save the image at the desired resolution. For web pages, you will want to select either JPEG, GIF or PNG File Types.

  3. For saving rendered animations (movies):

Make sure you are using the Make Movie tool in the Animation menu. Once a movie (either AVI or animated GIF) is generated, the movie plays back in a window and a dialog box gives you a choice to Save or Delete the movie. If you want to save the movie to disk, be sure to select the Save button.

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How can I render my project more quickly?

The operation and performance of Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro is, of course, dependent upon your system configuration (i.e. the speed of your CPU, the amount of RAM on your system, available disk space, and, whether you have 3D hardware acceleration for preview shading). Please refer to the "Getting Started" document for recommended system configuration.

  1. If you are running Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro on a slower computer than a Pentium, you may want to switch the screen redraw display from preview shading (using OpenGL accelerated rendering) to wireframe. To do this, go to the View menu>Preview Options... command and select Wireframe.
  2. You may also want to set your Rendering Quality (in the Render menu) to "Good" or "Better" rather than "Best".
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Why is the GIF image or animated movie I've created showing a "white fringe" around rendered objects?

GIF files are often saved with transparent background(s) to keep file sizes to a minimum, and flexibility to a maximum. This can result in "the jaggies" (where your objects look jagged). This effect can be improved by anti-aliasing (or blending) your object's edges with the current background. When saving a GIF file, if you turn on the option to "Blend edges with the current background" and you have your background set to white, you will see a "white fringe" around the rendered objects. The "Blend edges with current background" option works best when you set your current background to a color that approximates your target background color.

  1. Use the Set Background tool located in the Render menu to set the background color in the Working Area of your 3D IMPACT! Pro project so that it matches the background color of the web page in which the GIF image or movie will be inserted.
  2. Select Save Image in the File menu (if you are saving a GIF image) or Make Movie in the Animation menu (if you are saving an animated GIF movie or Sequenced GIF files). Select the Options button and do one or both of the following:
    • Turn on the transparent background
    • Turn on the blend edges with current background.

  3. If you do not need to save your GIF file(s) with a transparent background and/or blend edges with current background, then turn off the above options to avoid the "white fringe" effect.Top of page
What should I do if Make Movie fails during compression of an AVI?

Delete the 3DIPRO.PRF file from the program folder and restart Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro.
Also while using a different CODEC some CODECs with only work with a specific output size. (Check the documentation for your hardware.)

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Other Problems

What should I do if Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro seems to be running very slow?

The operation and performance of Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro is, of course, dependent upon your system configuration (i.e. the speed of your CPU, the amount of RAM on your system, available disk space, and, whether you have 3D hardware acceleration for preview shading). Please refer to the "Getting Started" document for recommended system configuration.

  1. If you are running Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro on a slower computer than a Pentium, you may want to switch the screen redraw display from preview shading (using OpenGL accelerated rendering) to wireframe. To do this, go to the View menu>Preview Options... command and select Wireframe.
  2. You may also want to set your Rendering Quality (in the Render menu) to "Good" or "Better" rather than "Best".
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Why can't I view my Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro project in my web authoring tool software?

The Save and Save As... tools in Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro save 3D elements (i.e. objects, lights, background image and texture map information, assigned motion paths, etc.) that are only used by 3D IMPACT! Pro to create images and movies. However, neither Save nor Save as... saves rendered images or animations that you can then use with your web authoring tools. Use the following commands to save rendered images and animations (movies).

  1. For saving rendered images:
  2. Make sure you are using the Save Image tool in the File menu and that you have adequate disk space to save the image at the desired resolution. For web pages, you will want to select either JPEG, GIF or PNG File Types.

  3. For saving rendered animations (movies):
  4. Make sure you are using the Make Movie tool in the Animation menu. Once a movie (either AVI or animated GIF) is generated, the movie plays back in a window and a dialog box gives you a choice to Save or Delete the movie. If you want to save the movie to disk, be sure to select the Save button.

  5. Once you have saved your image or animation in step(s) 1 & 2 above, launch your web authoring tool to paste these graphics file(s) into your web page(s).
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How can I change the size of the working area?
  1. Use the Right mouse button to click on the working area (the square in the middle of the screen).
  2. Select Working Area. You can either type in a custom size or select a predefined size, under Common Dimensions.
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How can I change the resolution of my Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro image?
  1. Select the Save Image tool in the File menu.
  2. Select the output file type then change the Image Size option to the desired resolution.
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How do I save my image so the background is transparent and it will blend in seamlessly with my web page background?

  1. Use the Set Background tool located in the Render menu to set the background color in the Working Area of your 3D IMPACT! Pro project so that it matches the background color of the web page in which the GIF image or movie will be inserted.
  2. Select Save Image in the File menu (if you are saving a GIF image) or Make Movie in the Animation menu (if you are saving an animated GIF movie or Sequenced GIF files). Select the Options button and do one or both of the following:
  1. Turn on the transparent background.
  2. Turn on the blend edges with current background.
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How can I create alpha channel images in Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro?

  1. Select the Save Image tool in the File menu.
  2. Select the output file Type as Targa (.tga) and the Format as 32-bit (RGB+8-bit alpha).
  3. You can also change the Image Size option to the desired output resolution.
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How can I import image files into Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro?

Pending.

Back to Crystal 3D IMPACT! Pro Home Page


Technical Support Options

Website-based Tech Support: CrystalGraphics customers automatically receive unlimited access to our Online Technical Support FAQs which list the typical technical support problems that users encounter, along with our best information regarding their solutions. This service is available free of charge.

Email-based Tech Support: If you are a CrystalGraphics customer and have read through all the common questions and answers in the technical support section of the CrystalGraphics website, and your issue is still not resolved, you can click here to send us an email for a customized answer to your unique issue. Most emails are answered within 24 hours of receipt.

Telephone-based Support: If you should need telephone-based assistance within 30 days after your purchase, you can call our tech support team Monday through Friday, 7:00AM to 4:00PM (ET).

1. Please note: Our tech support staff is often on the phone helping other customers, so you may get voice mail when you call. But don’t be alarmed: A technical support representative will make every effort to promptly return your call and assist you. If you do get voice mail, be sure to leave a message that includes your name and contact information such as your complete email address and a phone number (include your country & city code numbers) along with a description of the problem you are experiencing.

2. For customers calling from within the U.S. and most parts of Canada, call (800) 394-0700.

3. Note: Some locations outside the U.S. may not be able to connect directly to the above number.
In this case, please call +1 408-496-6175.

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