Why is the 3D view not opening / giving errors / crashing?

Help, something is wrong with the 3D View!

If you are having a problem with the Insight 3D view, such as:

  • a message warning of insufficient resources appears when opening the 3D view
  • the software freezing or crashing when opening or using the 3D View, or
  • OpenGL errors at any time,

then you have come to the right place.

Executive Summary

99.9% of the time, problems with the 3D view are caused by buggy, out-of-date video drivers, and not Insight itself.

Almost all modern hardware is capable of running Insight's 3D view when paired with modern drivers.

If you have an NVIDIA or ATI/AMD graphics card made after 2007, then upgrading to the latest drivers (available from http://nvidia.com or http://ati.com) is almost guaranteed to resolve your problem.

Read on for more details.

Basic Requirements

The Insight 3D view requires a video system that supports at least OpenGL 2.0. As OpenGL 2.0 was released in 2004 (the latest version is 4.2), every vendor on Earth claims to support it.

Intel

Unfortunately, not all such claims are equal. If you have an Intel display device, its OpenGL 2.0 support is probably not good enough to run Insight's 3D view.

Many modern laptops include two display devices: a low-power, low-capability Intel chip, and a high-capability NVIDIA or ATI/AMD. If yours is like this, it should automatically switch to the high-performance chip when Insight launches, but may not. Check the Control Panel (Windows) or the Energy Saver panel (Mac OS) for this setting.

NVIDIA / ATI / AMD

If you have any display device made since 2007 by NVIDIA or ATI/AMD, then it will almost certainly work when paired with modern device drivers.

3D Display Drivers

Because video drivers run at the very lowest level of the system, bugs in video drivers can cause virtually infinite problems, even those that seem unrelated to 3D.

As Insight is modern, demanding software, it is very good at exposing problems in video drivers. 99.9% of all problems that users experience with the Insight 3D view are not the fault of Insight, but rather the video drivers. Upgrading to the latest drivers resolves the issue in all cases.

Because new drivers are released so often, IT departments rarely keep them up-to-date unless there is a specific problem. It is common to find new computers with drivers that are 2 to 3 years old!

Please install the latest version of the drivers for your device from either http://nvidia.com or http://ati.com.

Note: In general, the latest versions of the drivers from Microsoft or your system vendor are not good enough. Those versions often lag months or years behind those released by NVIDIA or ATI/AMD. You need to visit the NVIDIA or ATI/AMD site to get the actual latest versions.

Remote Desktop

Some remote-desktop/terminal-server products (such as Citrix, VNC, etc) provide proper support for 3D graphics, and some do not.  Sometimes it is a matter of configuration.

We will certainly do our best to help, but issues with those products will likely have to be referred to the vendor.

Still Having Trouble?

We want to help!  Please contact support for immediate assistance, and let us know what you have already tried.