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Learn to love rendering again

Lumion is satisfying to work with and it produces results that delight the client. It allows for moments of comfort and joy to seep into the process, making rendering feel like a luxury during those busier days at the office.

Think back to those early, pleasurable experiences you had as an architect, an intern, a student, or even just a connoisseur of beautiful designs. What emotions did you feel? Were you perhaps filled with wonder and excitement at the thought of one day becoming an architect?

Maybe it was the time you were overwhelmed with delight upon entering a building by your favorite architect. Maybe it was the friendship you made with a colleague during an otherwise intense internship at the big firm. Perhaps it was simply the late nights talking design concepts with friends, or the hours spent at your drawing table, sketching your passion project from an abstract thought to a fully-fledged design.

Or maybe it was the pure joy of flicking the lights on and off at the growing ire of your parents!

Rendering with Lumion can feel like a reminder of all the wonderful things that led you to become an architect in the first place.

“Hanging by a Thread” rendered in Lumion by Jeremias Dabbah. Student winner of Architizer’s One Rendering Challenge 2021.

With its intuitive and self-motivating workspace that removes the barrier of stress, Lumion helps you reconnect with the inherent pleasures in your craft. Thousands of objects and materials in the content library — not to mention the dozens of delightful yet practical photo and video effects — provide a rare opportunity to let loose, let go, and let your creative juices flow.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the ways that Lumion can tap into your architectural passions and help you look at rendering from a new and exciting perspective.


CAD & Lumion work together in harmony

Among the older, more traditional architectural rendering practices, lofty feelings like ‘stress’ and ‘calm’ weren’t really part of the equation. Complex software interfaces with hundreds of buttons used to be badges of honor for software packages, and ‘user experience’ was never ‘architect experience.’

Lumion is designed to work in concert with your CAD program. The entire process becomes intuitive, guiding you as you import your model, build a detail-rich scene around it and render a beautiful result. Right from the start screen (pictured below), you can check your computer’s hardware, create a new project from one of nine templates, explore Lumion workflows with one of nine example scenes, or load your work-in-progress.

After starting a new project or loading a current project, Lumion only shows the most relevant buttons when you need them, reducing clutter and giving you more space on your computer screen to comfortably view your project and its surrounding context.

Model provided by Van Manen.

In the lower-left corner of Lumion’s Build Mode, you can access all of the project-building tools, including Lumion’s large content library of objects and materials, as well as the range of landscape sculpting tools, weather options and more. So imagine you want to add a few trees in front of your residential home design? By looking at the interface above, you can probably guess where to find them.

Want a different color for the exterior walls? Try different RAL color options and choose a color that’ll add a sheen of panache to your building design.

Honoring Barragán, rendered in Lumion by Juan Cruz Victoria (@victoria_arquitectura).

Did you use the wrong trees in the background? Select all the trees you want to change and replace them with one click.

Model provided by Pixel-Head Studio.

Need to update your 3D model in Lumion? Turn on LiveSync or re-import the model to instantly update it.

There’s a lot more to the Lumion rendering experience than what’s immediately visible on the surface, and for good reason. Rendering should be an enjoyable experience, with software that recognizes your visualization needs and provides a straightforward, direct path to making it happen.


Let the creative juices flow with thousands of objects and materials

Much like a blank piece of paper, Lumion offers the opportunity to create without limits. To express without barriers. And let the creative juices flow.

“Organic balance,” rendered in Lumion by Suraj Karki (@_yesk).

By freeing you from the constraints of complex interfaces and clunky workflows, Lumion acts like a canvas for you to capture not only the aesthetics of your architectural design, but also the mood, style, atmosphere and emotion of the design in its future setting, symbiotically connecting it to the surrounding environment.

To help you capture the content of your imagination in all its rich detail, Lumion features over 6,200 objects in its object library, over 1,200 materials, and dozens of landscaping tools and other effects — all available from Lumion’s visually comfortable interface.

With the landscape tools, for instance, you can shape the low rolling hills of the distant horizon or sculpt the jagged peaks towering over your design for an exclusive mountain resort.

Lumion provides a place where you can experiment or even play.

You can change the environmental lighting and add a Real Sky to create a sunset straight out of a poem.

You can create the ocean for your island paradise with the click of a button. Change the style of the rocks; modify the color of the dirt; make the grass look as comfortable as a bed of clouds, sprinkled with flowers and bees and life. You can easily create a dense forest…

Cabin in the forest, rendered by architectural visualization studio D.Wulf.

Or a river that spawns ecosystems and economies…

Or a quiet park in a large city, the perfect place to meet with friends…

Clapham road re-work, rendered by visualization studio Visual Eyes Media (@visualeyesmedia).

You can instantly make a desert…

Crimson, a project and deep dive into the creative process, by Adam Ingram and The Lumion Collective.

Tropical paradise…

An evening by the sea, rendered in Lumion by Gui Felix (@guifelixlumion)

Blissful wine country…

Wine country, model provided by Ten Over Studio.

Frozen tundra…

Winter cabin in Norway, rendered in Lumion 11 by Bartosz Orliński and designed by Vårdal Arkitekter AS).

No matter where you want to go, no matter the landscape or the environment, you will enjoy making it in Lumion.


While building a scene from scratch in Lumion can be fun, you can also find several tools to skip a few steps and create the exact environment you need. With OpenStreetMaps, for example, you can choose anywhere in the world — Tokyo, Amsterdam, Honolulu — and download the building masses, height maps and satellite maps of a specified area.

Want to skip the scene building in Lumion altogether? With the Photo Match effect, it takes just moments to plant your design right in the center of a photograph.

Want to show your design for a home in a small northern Norweigan town at three in the afternoon on October 12th? With the Sun Study effect, it’s a matter of point and click.


Build stimulating, strong and stress-free relationships

Architecture has always been a collaborative endeavor, requiring teams of professionals to develop designs, choose materials, connect with vendors, submit tenders, keep clients happy, seek out new projects and so on.

On a smaller scale, just think about everyone involved in developing and constructing your average project. Typically, you’ll have to work with your Colleagues, the Client, the Communities who will live near the project, City hall, Corporate interests, Construction teams…and that’s just the letter C!

Multi-family residential, a project by Andre Diogo (@adsimagens) and rendered by Gui Felix (@guifelixlumion).

By adding Lumion into your design and communication processes, you can create a more stimulating and inspired collaboration flow, using quickly-made renders for the insightful feedback and constructive criticism needed to drive the project forward.

For instance, let’s imagine you want to carve up the Lumion project’s rendering tasks, giving the building and its interior furnishings to one person and the landscaping and context-building to another. With Lumion’s Merge Project option, you can bring your Lumion projects together in a single master file.

Lumion LiveSync is another collaborative tool that provides real-time feedback for the design options your team may be reviewing. Let’s say the buyer wants to make sure the bedroom window isn’t visible from the street. With LiveSync between SketchUp and Lumion, for example, you can test different window placement options and ensure the best choice for the client.

Finally, because Lumion is able to render static images in minutes and animations in a few short hours, you can enjoy the benefits of a quality render whenever you would like, at any phase of the design process, for any reason. Lumion’s floating licensing system means that you can download the software onto as many computers as you would like*, giving you the freedom to seamlessly move from your work computer to anywhere you can bring your laptop — sprawled out on the couch, traveling at 30,000 feet, rocking lazily in a breezy hammock on a Caribbean island.

One of the winning images for a Club Challenge, rendered in Lumion by Mostafa Hajizadeh.

It’s this unique blend of utility, freedom and flexibility that allows Lumion to bring a lightness to the task of rendering, as if you had just taken a deep breath and let go of all your worries with the ease of an exhale.


Connect with your clients through beautiful images

Like many other things in life, communication is key to a fruitful and positive relationship.

It’s the small miscommunications that result in angular walls that drive misery into the heart of the visitor (“Oh, you wanted a single skin wall? I thought you said a Libeskind wall!”). It’s the storage space located in the living space. The oversized bedroom for the newlywed couple who do not own any furniture yet. It’s the placement of the window above the kitchen sink so that, at seven in the morning after the family has had their breakfast, the bright sun blinds anyone brave enough to do the dishes.

Because Lumion gives you the ability to render any design idea or question in a simulated, lifelike situation without causing any interference with your other tasks, these mishaps of miscommunication can be a thing of the past. Renders that show the building design with its textures, colors, surrounding context, entourage and more, provide a common ground for you, your client and any other interested parties.

Let’s say your client is a touch on the nervous side. It’s a big dollar project with a lot on the line, and the client demands absolute perfection from every angle — the design, the budget, the timeline, the way the HVAC system remains completely hidden from view anywhere in the building.

With Lumion, you can offer this client a level of comfort and assurance by connecting them to the process through the easily understandable medium of images and videos. In less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee, you can show multiple perspectives of the exterior form, demonstrate how sunlight lands on the balconies on the third floor, and what the building will feel like when it’s alive and full of people.

With the Lumion Viewer, a free download that allows clients to view your Lumion file, you can bring your client along for the visualization ride, keeping them updated by letting them fly through their project whenever they want.

By speaking the same language as the client, perhaps something even special can happen. You might just end up knowing your client, their family and their children, and the best part — you’ll have the chance to see the excitement and joy on their faces when you reveal their finished home.


Simply have fun working in the Lumion world

It all comes down to this. Stripped of any of the frivolities or generalizations about joy in the work of an architect. Lumion is a professional tool AND it’s fun!

While working in Lumion, you navigate the endless Lumion world, build scenes from nothing but your imagination or recreate real-life places from a photograph, a site evaluation or a memory. You can plant trees and construct a landscape to bring your idea to life, or capture a feeling or mood with interior lighting and furniture.

Or, you can lean into your artistic side and show your building design from the highest mountain or at the bottom of the deepest sea. The Lumion world is a place where architectural dreams come to life. A place that bridges the gap between the reality of the profession and the aspirational reasons why you joined it in the first place.


A new relationship with rendering

Lumion takes the age-old notions about rendering and flips them on their head. No longer is the process dependent on the sweat, blood and tears of the architect; Lumion makes rendering enjoyable. It’s designed to remove stress from the very beginning, giving you a satisfying opportunity to tap into your creative potential and produce your best work yet.

If you would like to know more about how Lumion impacts the rendering process, check out our blogs about breathing life into designs and fitting Lumion into your workflows. *When you buy a Lumion license, you are getting what is called a ‘floating license.’ These are effectively the same as network licenses. You can use the license indefinitely and you can install a single Lumion license key on multiple computers that belong to you (either a natural person or legal entity).

If two or more people want to use a single Lumion license key on different computers at the same time, then you need to add seats to your license.

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