May 17, 2013

Help! Autodesk ReCap is Crashing

Here at Ideate, we try to take advantage of all opportunities to test and work with any new Autodesk product that might be useful to our customers. This year, Autodesk released a new point cloud processing application called Autodesk ReCap. For those of you who have had a chance to install this product, I hope you’ve been able to try it out and see what it can do. 

If you’re like me and some of the other techs here at Ideate, you may be running into a Fatal Error issue when trying to launch a ReCap project. Before I go into the details, let me first say that this doesn’t happen on all systems, and from what we’ve been able to find, it is actually based on system hardware rather than an issue with the application.

So here’s the issue: Autodesk ReCap has successfully been installed, registered, and launches successfully on your computer. A new project is created, and lidar data files are selected for processing (so far all is well). The point files complete processing successfully, and an option to “Launch” the ReCap project appears. However, once you click on “Launch Project,” ReCap crashes and an error report appears on screen. Quite frustrating, seeing as everything up to this point has been successful and has gone as expected.

The technical staff here at Ideate is running Lenovo W530 laptops with 64-bit Windows 7, quad core processors, 16 GB of RAM, and NVidia K2000M graphics cards. This is by far a sufficient system for running Autodesk ReCap. Additionally, an old test machine that we have is a Dell M6300 with Windows 7, 8 GB of RAM and an older NVidia Quadro FX graphics card (below recommendation). The issue above occurred on the Lenovo system rather than the Dell system. On all Lenovo’s that we tested, the application consistently crashed upon launch of the project. With the Dell system, everything ran smoothly.

After some digging, and after reviewing the system .NFO file for the Lenovo, we noticed that it actually comes with two graphics processors; the high-performance NVidia card that we ordered with the system, and an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor that comes with the laptop by default. Apparently, the crash is being caused by the system defaulting to the Intel card rather than the high-performance NVidia card. 

That led us to the solution for the issue, which requires some manual changes to the graphics settings on the laptop. By accessing the NVidia Control Panel, we were able to override the default settings that were pointing the application and the 3D OpenGL preset to the Intel card instead of the NVidia card. Once those were changed, everything was up and running without any fatal errors.

To fix the problem, right click on your desktop and access the NVidia Control Panel. There are TWO settings that need to be adjusted. On the left under 3D Settings, click on Manage 3D Settings. From there, the main window will display two tabs.  

On the Global Settings tab, select 3D OpenGL Stereo from the list of Global Presets, and change the Preferred Graphics Processor to High-Performance NVIDIA Processor.

Then switch to the Program Settings tab. In the Select a Program to Customize area, select Autodesk AutoCAD. Under Select the Preferred Graphics Processor for this Program, select High-Performance NVIDIA Processor.

Click APPLY, and exit the NVidia Control Panel. As far as we can tell, both of these need to be changed. If either of the two is not set, the program continued to crash.

Here’s a Video of the process:

To recap the issue, the fatal error only occurred on our Lenovo systems, so it may not happen to you. However, if your workstation also has dual graphics processors and ReCap is crashing, give that a try.

For a video of Autodesk ReCap in action and other great features our Ideate Technical Team has found in the new Autodesk 2014 releases, visit:

Matt Miyamoto, P.E.
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Matt is a licensed Civil Engineer in the state of Hawaii. Matt obtained a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and has 7 years of private sector design experience which he applies in his role as an application specialist with Ideate, Inc. His project experience includes residential and commercial site development, private and public sewer, water and drainage systems, harbors improvements, and roadway improvements. While in Hawaii, Matt was involved in multidisciplinary projects for City and County agencies, State Departments, the Army COE and private developers. @MattM_PE

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