The big questions from the Lumion Meetup

12 July 2019

We had our first Lumion UK meetup this week in London. Lumion customer Laing O’Rourke gave a great presentation showing their uses of Lumion for massing layouts, construction phases, logistics as well as proposed building renders. We must extend a big thank you to Yousuf Rasouli and Pedro Goncalves for helping to make the event a success.

You can see the slides from the Lumion presenters here. Unfortunately we can’t share the Laing O’Rourke slides due to confidentiality.

There were a number of questions from the audience that we thought would be useful to address in a blog post. These are typical questions from people considering a Lumion purchase.

1. Do you need a really powerful machine to run Lumion?

What Lumion requires is a computer with a fast graphics card and plenty of memory. It also requires an internet connection (so that that licence key can be confirmed).

You can benchmark your computer on graphics card, graphics memory, CPU and system memory. The best way to run this is to download the free trial and run Lumion’s in-program “Computer speed” test. If any of your components have a red score, you may want to upgrade the component for a better Lumion experience.

This support article gives much more detail on system requirements or get laptop recommendations or desktop recommendations.

2. What about using a Mac?

We don’t recommend using a Mac for Lumion. though there are ways to do it.

You’d need to use Bootcamp to install Windows 10 and even then, your graphics card may not be sufficient. For more about using a Mac, check our FAQs.

3. What does Lumion offer in the way of lighting / caustics?

The best way to find out more about Lumion’s lighting is to watch this Lumion 9 Tutorial on Using Lights.

Covering shadows, hyperlight, sky light and more, the tutorial will show you how to quickly create light objects and use lighting features and effects to capture the real beauty of your 3D project.

Lumion manages caustics with the use of Hyperlight. Hyperlight is a power-booster for improved lighting quality and accuracy. Whether for interior or exterior animations, the Hyperlight effect dresses your animation in a strikingly realistic mesh of environmental and artificial light, the materials and textures “pop.”  

4. How do you animate the construction process of a building?

This tutorial is written exactly with this subject in mind. Any combination of Layer Visibility, Sky Drop, Move and Advanced Move effects can help you create your desired effect.

5. What do you recommend in the way of VR?

Lately we’ve been using the Oculus Go because it’s so easy to transport and use. Compared to other VR solutions, we prefer the Oculus Go because:

  • It’s affordable (~£200 for 32GB, ~£250 for 64GB), yet it delivers relatively high visual quality compared to phone-based solutions.
  • It works without a phone.
  • It has cordless performance.
  • Image file transfers can be done through DropBox, so there’s no need to connect a cable to the PC.
  • Video file transfers can be done through a USB cable, as uploading to DropBox can take too long. You can keep the USB cable plugged into your PC after transferring for immediate viewing.
  • Easy way to access your custom content. Click on ‘Gallery’ (bottom-right of the home screen), and then click ‘Internal’ or ‘DropBox’. If you clicked ‘Internal,’ then you should select ‘Albums’ at the top and browse to the folder (=Album) where you stored your content. This workflow lets you easily organize and access your own content (no need to first select an app).
  • The hand controller works pretty well. It’s better than touching the side of the headset like on the Samsung Gear VR.
  • Built-in sound works great, and you don’t need to use large earpads. Adding sound to your Lumion panoramas would certainly add to the ‘wow’ effect.

For more on how to render 360° panoramas and control how your client views their project, take a look at Lumion’s video on creating 360° panoramic images.

6. How can I try Lumion?

Industry professionals can try the full version – Lumion Pro – for fourteen days. Because Lumion Pro is the full product, we do have quite strict criteria for approving Pro trial requests and only professional architects and designers are eligible. All of the features of Lumion Pro are available during the trial: the entire library of Lumion Pro as well as the ability to export images, videos, 360 ° panoramas and VR.

Students can access a trial version that’s valid for a year, but it does watermark output and is strictly not for commercial use.

There is also a free public trial which doesn’t have all the functionality but is available for home enthusiasts to try.

To request your trial, head to www.lumion.co.uk/try-lumion/, select the trial that’s right for you and complete the online form.

(Don’t forget to review the first part of this article! Lumion requires a good graphics card. To check if your graphics card is right for Lumion, read our System Requirements page. )

7. How can I see some examples of what others have done with Lumion?

We have a UK showcase page on our website which has examples of UK&I projects. We also have a selection of customer stories from architects, interior designers, landscape architects and contractors.