My graphics card isn't up to rendering lights and shadows. Am I stuck?
If the program reported that your graphics card is unable to support some or all of the lighting and shadows options...
Don’t panic. Calmly read the prompt and it will explain which program features will be disabled or limited by the graphics card limitations.
If this is a desktop computer into which you can put an upgraded card, we sincerely recommend you do so. You can typically find decent cards in the $100-200 range, and you want one that says it is an OpenGL Hardware Accelerated Graphics Card with a minimum of 256MB of Dedicated RAM.
NOTE: if you do upgrade your graphics card or its driver, FrameForge should automatically detect that change when next you run the program and give you updated information regarding its new capabilities.
And yes, the more dedicated RAM it has, the better it is. If this is a laptop, in 99% of all cases, you cannot upgrade the graphics card and the program may be limited in some of its lighting or shadowing capabilities. The one semi-exception is when you have a dual switchable graphics card, as some Sony Vaios, and Yoga 3's do, in which case it must be set to speed rather than battery life or “stamina.”
NOTE: Even if this computer’s graphics card can’t render High Resolution Lighting or Shadows, you can still work on a previsualization using it, and the,n if you take this file to a more powerful computer that does have these capabilities, the lighting and shadows can be added automatically to its images during exporting or printing, so even in the “worst case,” all is not lost.
The following are samples of what a typical scene will look like with different Graphic Card Capabilities
High Resolution (Per Pixel) Lighting and Shadows both On
Without High Resolution (Per Pixel) Lighting but with Shadows On
The image below and to the left is the same image as above but without High Resolution Lighting, while the image to the right is the same but with the headlights turned off so you can better see their impact.
Note that the pools of light on the road disappear without high resolution lighting because the road is very low resolution, being basically a simple rectangle. However, the lighting still does impact the much higher resolution fireman.
To see that in more detail, compare it to the image on the right, which is a detail of the fireman with the car's headlights turned off. Notice how the left firemans vest and knee and the warning sign's yellow and black are both far brighter then the version on the right.
With High Resolution (Per Pixel) Lighting but without Shadows
With neither High Resolution (Per Pixel) Lighting nor Shadows