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Rendering made simple

You’re the architect. The artist. The professional. Software should help you and not stand in your way, so let’s get straight to the heart of it: rendering with Lumion brings a refreshing simplicity to the task. And it’s through the easy door that you’ll find a whole new world of rendering opportunities.

Model provided by Angular Lab.

Mies van der Rohe coined the household phrase, “Less is more.”

Leonardo da Vinci was behind the mantra, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

And Frank Lloyd Wright famously said, “Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.” Lumion architectural rendering software follows this same principle. Simplicity rules.

From SketchUp to Lumion, rendered by Tô Tiến Vũ.

By adding simplicity and speed to the rendering equation, Lumion helps architects create with ease and clarity. In this blog post, we’ll open up the hood and take a closer look at Lumion’s philosophy of speed and ease and how they permeate throughout the software, allowing you to bring your designs to life in a way that’s efficient, effortless and elegant.


The idea at the heart of Lumion

Have you ever visited a modern art museum and, looking at a minimalist, single-color painting worth millions of dollars, wondered, ‘Why didn’t I make that’?

It looks so…easy.’ Or, the best one of all… I could do better.’

Most architects and designers understand that complexity is easy and simplicity is hard. It takes the pinnacle of excellence to arrive at the clean, minimal lines of a Mies van der Rohe building. Attempting to simplify forms like Tadao Ando, which capture the complexity and richness of the world, can easily demand a decade of dedication to craft.

Practice render of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, rendered in Lumion by Fahmi Aliyudin Khairi. Original scene from Architiss.

The front-end only looks simple because the back-end is complex.

Yutaka House, rendered by Gui Felix. Project by Roberto Yutaka (@studioie.arq)

Over the past decade, Lumion has eliminated the idea that ‘rendering is difficult.’ Creating beautiful images and animations is now effortless, and there is a minimized and uncomplicated flow to every action you take within the software, a sort of logic and intuition that feels easy.

But behind the scenes, Lumion has been revolutionizing the concept of architectural rendering since 2010.

Opening the door to new possibilities in architectural rendering. Image by Ark Visuals from their project ‘Scorpia.’

Before Lumion, most render times were measured in hours, not seconds. The changes in speed and ease that came with Lumion’s arrival fundamentally altered the relationship between rendering and the design process. You can now visualize every iteration, every step on your journey to design perfection, faster than it takes to brew a cup of coffee. Images and animations are available at a moment’s notice for stakeholders, team members, clients and others, whenever they want them.

Lumion is able to move at the speed of your imagination. It works as an extension of your thought process, responding to any visualization- or design-related questions you may have in real-time.

Total render time: 21 seconds. The same amount of time it takes for a good stretch while you’re waiting.

It’s like grabbing your car keys before leaving the house for work; when it’s quick and easy, it becomes a part of your daily routine. When you’re wasting hours hunting for them under the sofa, behind the refrigerator or in the chaos of the kids’ room, you might think, “I’ll just walk to work. Even if it’s five miles, it’ll be much less painful than searching for these keys.”

Because Lumion helps render at the speed of thought, you’ll be able to move from importing your design to recreating its real-life setting without obstruction.

Engage your creativity when setting the scene’s ambiance without the burden of high-end technology.

Cabin on the lake, rendered in Lumion 11.3 by Fabio Fernandes.

Further your craft without giving yourself a new field of study — computers, software, hardware.

The ease of learning Lumion and the speeds at which you can render make a profoundly powerful combination, helping architects unleash their creative talents while giving them access to all the benefits of rendering at the heart of the design process.


How Lumion simplifies rendering

Complexity, buttons, dropdowns and sliders used to be the norm. The idea of the time — give users everything, so they can do anything.

This turned out to be wrong on many levels.

To add an interior light to your render, for instance, you would have needed at least some understanding of digital lighting diffusion and specular contribution. UV noise. Penumbra falloff. Caustics…

Did you stop reading after ‘lighting diffusion’? Exactly. It’s overly elaborate and perhaps unnecessary for your design goals. Lumion removes this complexity, as simplicity is the key to tapping into the potential of rendering — to enhance your design process.

Instead of offering everything at once, Lumion took the other route. Lumion only shows you the most relevant buttons and sliders when you need them, effectively guiding you through a process that’s direct, straightforward and logical.

Since Lumion is fully compatible with almost every 3D or CAD program, you won’t have any problem importing your 3D model into a Lumion project. With Lumion LiveSync, the free real-time rendering plugin between several CAD packages and Lumion, you can even update your model in CAD and simultaneously view these changes in the beautifully lifelike Lumion project editor.

If you want to shape and sculpt the surrounding landscape, simply click on the Landscape tab and you’ll find only the most relevant features: OpenStreetMaps, oceans you can make in a click, water planes for ponds and lakes, a ground sculpting tool to build the tallest mountains and the deepest ravines.

Model provided by Marco Caccini.

If you want to apply materials to your building and make it come alive, simply click on the Materials tab and you’ll find an easy-to-navigate catalog of over 1,200 materials, including bricks, metals, plaster, fabric, wood, leather and more.

Model provided by Angular Lab.

It’s only after you apply a material that you can modify its properties, such as making it look old with weathering or textured with displacement.

Model design by Ten Over Studio.

Want to add some foliage to a wall? It requires as much effort as stealing candy from a baby (but don’t do that!).

Want to curve the edges? As easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

Increase the reflectivity? Like falling off a log.

Let’s say you want to fill out your interior model with furniture. Simply click on the Content library tab and you’ll find an easy-to-navigate catalog of over 6,200 objects, including trees, flowers, furniture, cars, people, background buildings, urban and suburban decorations and more.

Imagine you want to populate a field with trees. There’s a paint placement tool for that.

Adjust the furniture to create that ‘lived-in’ look.

Add a romantic fire to spark an emotion in your client.

Model provided by Marco Caccini.

Finally, let’s say you want to add a little atmosphere to your design. Simply click on one of the three rendering modes (Photo, Movie or Panorama) and you’ll find an enjoyable workspace with over 60 effects and real-time feedback for your stylistic choices.

Do you need to render a decent result in less than a minute? Try one of the Lumion Styles.

Yutaka House, rendered using the various Lumion Styles. Rendered by Gui Felix. Project by Roberto Yutaka (@studioie.arq)

Want to show off the eerie beauty of the morning fog at your project’s location? Simply click the Fog effect and you’ll find a few sliders to help you personalize the look.

Model provided by Ten Over Studio.

Are you trying to show your design under the majesty of a fiery sunset? With Real Skies, it’s as easy as drinking a cup of water.

Optimize the weather, complete with raindrops gracefully sliding down windows or falling into little puddles on the ground, in less time than it takes to tie your shoes.

Animate people walking down the sidewalk with less stress than it would take to make a sandwich.

Because Lumion renders images in minutes and animations in only a few hours, there are endless possibilities for you to include any type of rendering in your architectural communications, at any point in time, without breaking a sweat.


Through simplicity, rendering is a living, breathing experience

Lumion has set a new standard for accessibility and usability in architectural rendering, changing the conversation of what’s possible when rendering becomes an enjoyable part of the design process.

No matter if you’re an architect in the jungle, communicating with locals using only your renders, or a designer with a disability, sparking a career in visualization, Lumion gives you the power to master high-end rendering without wasting a minute of your time.

For the best way to understand how Lumion’s simplicity fuels creativity, you can take the free, 14-day free trial for a spin. Even if you don’t have a model, you’ll find 9 templates and 9 example scenes to help get you started.

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