There are some people who continue to have problems with blueprint (mainly ATI users). A brief explanation about what graphics engine blueprint uses, how it uses it and how you can stay on top of things might be in order.

There are really only two ways to do fast graphics on a Windows machine. OpenGL and DirectX. DirectX is Microsoft’s graphics layer and basically provides a way to get graphics to you as fast possible. There are several components to DirectX (Direct3D, DirectSound, DirectInput, etc.) but mainly a program like blueprint would be focused on Direct3D (if it was written with it). The Sims uses DirectX for it’s graphic displays (and Direct3D for managing the Sim character meshes). blueprint however is written with OpenGL. OpenGL is a graphics sub-system that was developed by SGI (Silicon Graphics Incorporated) and provides a simple way to translate 3D points, lines and other primitives into a graphical display. So the cube you create in blueprint is made up of a few points and faces then the information is sent off to the OpenGL renderer and displayed. OpenGL handles things like optimizing the display and using hardware accelleration (if available) to let the video card do the number crunching. The biggest problem that can arise when using an OpenGL application is the video driver. Microsoft basically provided a software version renderer for those that didn’t have accelerated cards. Of course, software rendering is slower than using hardware (day and night) but works in a pinch if you have to do it that way. As with any video driver, it’s always hit and miss if you have the latest one or it’s compatible with the application you’re trying to run. You may notice this kind of thing with games that use DirectX. Some require DirectX version 8 while others with with 7. With OpenGL, the latest version of the library (which is maintained by a board of directors who control versions) is 1.2. Basically, the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB) requires that all video drivers must adhere to standards set forth for any implementation. In other words, ATI drivers that say they’re OpenGL compliant means they follow the guidelines for version 1.2 of OpenGL as described by the ARB. blueprint does not currently make use of any special enhancements or extensions in the video drivers, so any OpenGL compliant driver should work out of the box. So the video drivers you install from the CD that came with your video card or computer should be sufficient. If you’re really interested in cutting edge drivers, you can download GLSetup here. GLSetup detects your 3D graphics card and installs the matching OpenGL drivers. This ensures you have the absolute latest version of your video drivers installed for blueprint use. There is a thread in the forums discussing problems with ATI cards, as it takes a little magic to get these drivers working with blueprint, however once installed, you should be good to go.

Hope that helps you with any blueprint problems. Otherwise, feel free to email me or post a message in the forums if you’re still having problems.