ApplicationsRendered images, videos, 360° panoramas
CharacteristicsFast rendering speeds, compatibility with most design software, real-time rendering, photorealistic and conceptual effects, large objects and materials library, fits within any workflow or practice, simple user experience, no training is needed
Lumion offers a simple and efficient rendering solution that fits within your design process. Unlike other rendering softwares, that are usually difficult to lwarn, only work with specific CAD programs and could take days or weeks to complete, Lumion offers an intuitive interface that works with all the top CAD programs, and rendering outputs that could take as short of a time as 15 minutes. Lumion takes rendering a step further with the ability to render more basic concepts. With Lumion, you can now sketch an idea, model its basic shape and aesthetics in your CAD software and render your form studies in Lumion all in a mornings work.
Rendering of a maquette, rendered in Lumion by Carlos F. Marques (@carlosfmarquess).
Lumion visualization software brings the art of rendering into the everyday craft of the architect. It’s especially designed to nurture your creativity, diligence, and love for architecture. In this guide we’re exploring how Lumion fits seamlessly into your daily routine. You’ll discover how Lumion empowers architects to render at any stage of the design process, all while fueling a desire to achieve elegance and inspiration in the art of construction.
Incorporating Lumion into your design process
Lumion understands the design process within architecture to have many approaches, in terms of techniques, skills and technology used, it is with this in mind, that Lumion is designed to adapt to your unique processes and workflows, making this transition simple even for architects and firms who have never incorporated inhouse rendering into their practice before. You can use Lumion to test an idea, review how the light falls on a specific element of your design, analyze the form of a building within the context of its surrounding environment, or make polished and beautifully crafted renders to show your boss or client.
Only requiring a 3D model from your CAD program of choice (no matter the level of design and development), Lumion can be used to turn a design or idea it a strong visual that is beautifully rendered, right from the initial design stage to the finished product.
- Seamless integration with your CAD software
Lumion works with multiple CAD and 3D softwares. Simply import your model into Lumion from your CAD or 3D model file. Lumion supports the most common file formats including:
- .SKP (SketchUp)
- DAE (Collada)
- .3ds MAX (requires a 3ds Max installation)
- Easily update your model
Save time and effort with Lumion's model re-import functionality. Any changes made in your 3D model program, be it minor or huge mistakes are easily updated when re-imported. The corresponding building in Lumion will update without losing any of your work, including the surrounding context, customized materials, and photo and movie effects applied.
- Real-time rendering with Lumion LiveSync
Besides using the re-import functionality, you can simultaneously model in CAD and render in Lumion with Lumion LiveSync. Whether you’re modifying the height of the walls, adding windows or doors, or even changing materials in your CAD software, your Lumion project will automatically update and show these changes amidst the lifelike landscape, realistic skies, vegetation, furniture, entourage, and other renderings you have added. Rendering your 3D model as you’re developing it in CAD can unlock a myriad of benefits, giving you valuable insight into the design, its materials, and how it blends in (or contrasts) the surrounding environment.
This free, real-time rendering plugin establishes a live connection between Lumion and the most popular CAD programs in the AEC industry, including:
- LiveSync for SketchUp
- LiveSync for Revit
- LiveSync for ArchiCAD
- LiveSync for Rhino
- LiveSync for Vectorworks
- LiveSync for AutoCAD
- LiveSync for BricsCAD
Functionalities for different types of context creation
Client expectations continue to evolve, and with the widespread growth of rendering technology, many are looking for the full visualization/immersion experience — images, animations, VR options — before approving a project and sending it into the construction phase.
Lumion guides the process of context creation, helping you capture the environment surrounding your design in a stress-free, pleasurable way. This includes residential exteriors and interiors, multi-family residences, commercial buildings such as museums or schools, and massive urban or landscape architecture projects.
City Center visualization, rendered in Lumion 11 by Fatih Ekşi. Project by Evrenol Architects.
- Lumion's OpenStreetMaps feauture - allows you to instantly import the building data, height maps, and satellite maps of thousands of places around the world, making it simple to create a detailed visual of the project's location. For a faster, less detailed location context, Lumion's Photo Match Effect in Photo Mode allows you to create a quick render placing the design in the buildings actual location using imagery.
Rendering emotion and atmosphere
Easily create your desired atmosphere with a variety of tools and objects found in Lumion. Create a gorgeous display of lighting easily by importing the IES profiles for all the Lumion spotlights in your scene. Capture the rich and expressive colors of your project with the help of a RAL color picker and other useful color pickers. Turn on the Precipitation effect and toggle the rain streaks slider to add beautifully detailed raindrops to your windows and other glass surfaces.
- Lumion's Content Library - includes over 6,000 models, 1,250 customizable materials, and over 60 innovative effects for images, animations, and 360-degree panoramas. Allowing you to easily capture the emotion and atmosphere in real life context.
- Lumion's Mass Placement or Paint Placement tool - makes it easy to create a wild and lush forest in a matter of minutes, with the ability to place hundreds of trees, shrubs, flowers, rocks and other nature items.
Residential building and landscape design, model design by Van Manen.
With Lumion, expressing your unique vision as a beautiful, professional-looking render becomes an intuitive and satisfying process, and because Lumion offers real-time feedback and quick rendering speeds, there are no barriers to testing and exploring the ideas that will help you produce your very best work.
Rendering orthographic views
There are many benefits to orthographic projection in architectural visualization. By showing the building design from the front, end, and plan views, among others, architects have a powerful visual communication tool at their disposal to convey the project’s general form and function, leaving a simple yet powerful impression on the viewer.
With Lumion’s orthographic view effect for images and videos, you can bring this standard and ubiquitous type of illustration right into your rendering workflow, saving you time as you create your dossier of drawings and visualizations for the project.
Make sure to combine the orthographic views effect with other effects in Lumion’s Photo and Movie Mode, such as sketch and outline effects, Real Skies, animated 3D characters, and more, giving a personal touch to your next architectural presentation.
Testing different artistic options, rendered in Lumion by The Lumion Collective.
Animating all the parts of your design
Easily create animations with Lumion’s intuitive interface.Offering a variety of controls and functions, you can create desire animations with barely any learning time.
- Control the camera - by setting up compelling camera paths and angles by simply moving through your scene in the clip editor.
- Lumion's animated phasing effect - allows you to convey how all the elements of your design connect in a visually stunning way.
- Animation tools - such as Move, Advanced Move, and Mass Move gives you full control over doors opening, people walking down the sidewalk, and cars crossing a busy intersection.
- Add in-program sound objects - that increase or decrease in volume depending on the vicinity of the camera, allowing you to create a wall of ambient background noise.
- Text effects - give you the ability to communicate the names of important rooms or buildings in your video, without having to edit the video in other software.
Embrace your creative process; bring renders into your workflows
Lumion is designed to support your craft, the everyday activities where you invest your time and energy. This could be solving social problems through design; it could be about aesthetics and expression. It could even be about precision, technique, and detail. No matter what you’re trying to achieve, Lumion gives you the clarity you need to take an idea and bring it to life.