Hi! In this post I wanted to talk about Lumion for architects, the pros and cons according to my own experience. Lumion is a 3D rendering software made especially for architects. No matter if you’re working on interiors, residential, urban exteriors or landscapes, Lumion brings life to your model! Actually, this software is really close to a video game!
You just need to have a 3D model of your design, made in SketchUp, Revit, Rhino or others.. import it to Lumion and start playing!
This article was written with regards to Lumion 10.
Why is Lumion a great rendering software for architects?
- Lumion is extremely easy to learn and use. It’s really close to The Sims in usability, which is extremely approachable and exceedingly easy to use.
- To use Lumion, you don’t need to have deep knowledge of rendering and graphic design. The presets and options are easy to find, really wide and simple.
- It’s truly fast. When you get used to it, you can have a decent render in half an hour only. Beside, some rendering software can be really really annoying because they take sooo much time to save a render. Lumion is way faster.
- There are easy connection to other software such as Revit, SketchUp etc..
- You can build big land areas, complete landscapes, even a full city or just a room.
- There is also the possibility to make videos and to have sounds in these videos. This is not something I used until now, but I heard that it is great, especially if you want to present you design with a VR headset.
- There are a lot of filters which give different looks to your work, it can be like a drawing, painting, more technical or realistic.
- There are a lot of elements (trees, people, objects, materials, etc), specially in the last Lumion (Lumion 10) If you think that it’s not enough, you can import them from Sketchup. But I am really satisfied with the trees/plants elements, there are so much options for you to make wonderful landscape designs.
- Lumion comes with preloaded environment maps to insert your final design for your 3D model. It adds a background to your design, which makes it perfect for your final product image.
- It also has realtime sun and night settings, adding oceans and playing with the topography (yes you can make mountains!) You can even change the weather, make it sunny, rainy, foggy, or snowy. Playing with these options is sooo fun!
- It’s perfect to see your design living! Adding people, animals, trees, flowers just make your design look better. I don’t know for anyone else, but I actually feel so happy while rendering because I feel like all the hours spent on a project finally just showed up. This feeling is quiete satisfying!
Cons of Lumion
- You will need to have a really good computer if you want to have a good experience with Lumion. You need a very nice video card or a decent game graphic card to get a good performance in rendering; otherwise, you’ll not reach all the benefits of using Lumion, especially in regard to resolution.
- You may think it is expensive in comparison to other software. But you can download the demo version or ask for the free student license. Check out their website!
- “Undo” functions are limited; not all the tools can be undone. Which is, clearly, annoying.
- You can sometimes have trouble with scale rendering. When you import your design in the original software’s scale, but the objects from Lumion might be in a different scale. Or you can’t find your design once imported. Yep, that happens! You need to fix things in the other software before importing it again to Lumion. The solution of these problems are easy but frustrating when you don’t know what to do!
- Even though there are a lot materials, I still feel like we need more. For example, I love to use wooden materials in my design, but I think there is not enough options about it. And same with the light feature, I really wish there are more! So, yeah, I still need to use Photoshop for the final touches.
As I already said, renders are a great way to express your ideas. If you want to make good ones without spending days on it, Lumion is an excellent choice! It’s a tool that can bring confidence to your work and improve the way you show your designs. However, I recommend you to take a free version, and try it by yourself to have your own idea about it.
The next post will be about how I make my own renders step by step, from SketchUp to Lumion and Photoshop!