Author Topic: a few questions before purchase  (Read 5272 times)

SimpleTwig

    Reputation: 0
a few questions before purchase
« on: January 03, 2012, 11:45:45 pm »
January 03, 2012, 11:45:45 pm
I downloaded the free version and am impressed.  It reminds me of CryEngine 2 and 3 a bit, but I have a few questions:

Road tool: Is there a road tool, to create roads and paths; that modifies terrain (cut/fill); that can use a variety of textures?

Sprites: I noticed in one of the examples (river) that the trees were dropping out of sight at about 30 meters.  Can the view distance be increased?  Can one use sprites (2d versions) of the trees at further distances?  This might not be 'sprites' but called something else.

Viewable Distance of Terrain: again noticed in the river how the terrain disappears so one can't see the entire 2048x2048 map.  Can the view distance be adjusted (noting quality settings from basic to ultimate)?

Imported Models: Do imported models of buildings, people, cars, etc. have to have their textures pre-assigned before importing or can they be applied in Lumion?

Basic Forms: is there a basic forms tool, to lay out basic blocks, and is there a way to export these blocks out of Lumion?  The reason is this is a good way to block out an environment in a design frame of mind, both landscape and buildings.

Walk/Run function: Can one 'walk' or just use the default 'wasd' controls for movement through an environment?  Another way to look at it, can one move parallel to the terrain at a specific eye level and speed?

Thanks, Lumion looks like a wonderful tool.

RAD

    Reputation: 32
Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2012, 12:40:42 am »
January 04, 2012, 12:40:42 am
What you get in the free version is the nuts and bolts of the program to test out.

Road tool: none.
Sprites: what you see in the free version is the same as the licensed versions in this regard.
Viewable Distance of Terrain:  Same as in Free
Imported Models:  Depends - All materials can be changed in Lumion once assigned a material in modeling software.  Same as free as in Ultimate.  Test it till you get it.  Works the same across the board.
Basic Forms: No modeling in Lumion other than landscape.  That is nice.  Not bloated.  It is a Visualization tool.  Take it as far as you want too.  Developers are listening to request to make terrain modeling tools a bit better.  Test at will in Free version to see. Same capabilities across the board.  No exporting out of Lumion other than wicked cool movies. 
Walk/Run function: Camera movement Same in licensed version as free version.

It is an awesome tool.

SimpleTwig

    Reputation: 0
Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2012, 01:10:13 am »
January 04, 2012, 01:10:13 am
Thanks CRhoades,

So roads have to be built and imported in.  No problem.

No need for basic forms inside of Lumion, it's easy enough to import blocks into Lumion.

Tree sprites... I think there's a glitch in the trees for the River Example only... the other examples trees showed at a distance.  And when placing other trees in the river scene they also showed up while the default trees in the scene are messed up, but maybe they're part of a tutorial to set them correctly or something.

A robust road tool I think would be a great addition, but not something that's just a 'create a road/path and edit the terrain appropriately', but one that incorporates curbs, sidewalks and intersections... that would be great.

I haven't tried the camera tool/movie production but I assume you can create a path of some sort and thus simulate normal walking movement.

Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012, 12:42:11 pm »
January 04, 2012, 12:42:11 pm
Sprites: I noticed in one of the examples (river) that the trees were dropping out of sight at about 30 meters. Can the view distance be increased?

Hi SimpleTwig, the level-of-detail distances are saved in the SpeedTree files for each tree/plant, so if those were to be changed the trees/plants would have to be exported again. At the moment, the trees/plants turn into 2D planes (aka billboards) when you move the camera away, and then turn invisible. The distance where they turn into billboards was individually set in SpeedTree for each tree/plant, based on how detailed the models were. For now, I'd advise you to press F9 to see all trees/plants at their highest level-of-detail.

Viewable Distance of Terrain: Can the view distance be adjusted?

No, at the moment you can't adjust the terrain culling distance. This has been requested before though.

Imported Models: Do imported models of buildings, people, cars, etc. have to have their textures pre-assigned before importing or can they be applied in Lumion?

Both options are available in Lumion. You can override imported textures if you apply any of the Lumion materials to your model. Copies of the imported textures are saved in the imported model files though, so you can always revert to the original textures.

Walk/Run function:can one move parallel to the terrain at a specific eye level and speed?

No, this is not possible at present. You'd have to eyeball it (no pun intended).

SimpleTwig

    Reputation: 0
Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 10:50:38 pm »
January 06, 2012, 10:50:38 pm
Thanks Morten,

Strange how the trees were behaving in the River scene but not a big deal considering they look great in other scenes.

Looking at terrain culling in other maps seems to be quite reasonable.  Only for really vast scenes would it be an issue, but maybe a backdrop photo could be used in those cases.

Imported textures... this is great to hear that you can import them or reassign them with Lumion textures.

Thanks again for your answers, really helpful as well as this forum in general.  In a very short time I've been able to explore the demo and find the answers I was looking for.  Lumion has a really bright future.

I have thought out what a perfect road tool would encompass so if you're ever looking at adding one feel free to send me a note  ;)

RAD

    Reputation: 32
Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 09:44:43 am »
January 08, 2012, 09:44:43 am
 :)

Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2012, 11:59:23 am »
January 09, 2012, 11:59:23 am
I have thought out what a perfect road tool would encompass so if you're ever looking at adding one feel free to send me a note  ;)

Thanks, we'll keep that in mind :)

newman

    Reputation: 2
Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2012, 04:13:43 pm »
January 10, 2012, 04:13:43 pm
It is pity that there is no request string on the forum now. Then i could write: Fellows you made excellent job! I adore you! But you are a little bit stubborn sometimes. All my colleagues and students who use Lumion, tell me in one voice: why they (you) can't do instrument of flat roads through uneven terrains?! Impossible to make model with long road that can dissect those terrains! Your instrument of flatten mountains can not do it too.
Or more simple example: you have instrument of making flat level (with water surface). But why not to add other alternative surfaces - grass, ground, sand or gravel? It give opportunity to make flat parcels for building. And why not to allow to add some points to  borders of that flat paths? It can give possibility to make round ponds and fountain bowls  without headache to dig pits with steep banks.
And sometimes you are simply funny: you created point light but not one lamp in library! May be we should  put on the walls cell phones, that  are in abundance?
I was astonished to see in video how young you are! May be now came a time to be not only smart and clever but wisdom too :)?

Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2012, 07:03:52 pm »
January 10, 2012, 07:03:52 pm
It is pity that there is no request string on the forum now.

The Wish list section of the forum is only available for paying customers (ie, you need a Lumion key attached to your forum profile to be able to see this section).

why they (you) can't do instrument of flat roads through uneven terrains?! ... why not to add other alternative surfaces - grass, ground, sand or gravel?

Both requests have been made before. The terrain functionality hasn't really changed since Lumion 1 was released, as there were so many other feature requests that had to be addressed. I'm not involved in the design of Lumion, but I wouldn't be surprised if they overhauled the terrain tools in 2012.

you created point light but not one lamp in library!

Lamps are on the To Do list.

May be now came a time to be not only smart and clever but wisdom too :)?

Based on your post, you seem to work on projects that require lamps, road/terrain-adapting functionality and more materials for the terrain. These are valid requests, but everyone who is using Lumion has their own list of priorities, depending on what sort of projects they work on, and the developers of Lumion can't satisfy every single request here in the forum without sacrificing other people's priorities.

For example, someone who wants better quality renderings might have a Top 3 list consisting of:
  • Radiosity
  • Planar reflections
  • Better glass material/reflections

I don't think it's as straightforward as you make it out to be to prioritise feature X over feature Y. Why should road/terrain-adapting functionality have a higher priority than implementing planar reflections for example. The simple truth is that you can't implement one feature without disappointing other people.

RAD

    Reputation: 32
Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2012, 09:36:52 pm »
January 10, 2012, 09:36:52 pm
A person who can build models does not need all the "extra" models that come with Lumion.
aka - light fixtures.  Real buildings require real objects that the client wants - not what comes in a software package.
Don't even need roads or road tools because "real world" projects come with "real world" information like road locations, etc., that are modeled in the modeling software and imported into Lumion.  All that "extra" stuff just jumbles up the software and eats up hard drive space.

Reflections, lights, radiosity trump all that - because a good model can not fix those limitations - it can fake it in still images, but not in the movies.

byzantium1200

    Reputation: 42
Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2012, 09:46:06 pm »
January 10, 2012, 09:46:06 pm
A person who can build models does not need all the "extra" models that come with Lumion.
aka - light fixtures.  Real buildings require real objects that the client wants - not what comes in a software package.
Don't even need roads or road tools because "real world" projects come with "real world" information like road locations, etc., that are modeled in the modeling software and imported into Lumion.  All that "extra" stuff just jumbles up the software and eats up hard drive space.

Reflections, lights, radiosity trump all that - because a good model can not fix those limitations - it can fake it in still images, but not in the movies.

Well said...  :)

darbo

    Reputation: 10
Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 11:46:28 pm »
January 10, 2012, 11:46:28 pm
A person who can build models does not need all the "extra" models that come with Lumion.
You're quite right for the most part - lamps and cats are certainly not a need. But, on the other hand I'm very happy that Lumion ships with a very nice collection of optimized entourage elements for architectural visualization - especially plants, people, and vehicles - and want to encourage Lumion to keep adding to the collection, especially the people models.

RAD

    Reputation: 32
Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2012, 01:04:35 am »
January 11, 2012, 01:04:35 am
Don't get me wrong.  I like the extras....yes!
trees, people, animals (things that move   ;)  - though movements do tax the graphix card )
--- (static items - ehh, whatev's -but I see how they are very helpful for many - not sure how they are optimized as they have high quality textures which eat up valuable space on the gfx card - will get you in trouble real fast on big scenes with lower memory cards)
They are good for the quick things...yes!
Knowing when to use the extras and when not to....hmmm.
Mixing them...yes!
They distinguish the hard core modelers from the ones who just drop stuff in....yes!
That being said, Lumion is the best thing to come along for me....to take models and look at them with a sky, clouds and sun,---- so easily adjusted....yes!

All criticisms aside...the program is really, really, really cool, and there are ways to get around some of the limitations that working in the software presents every user with - creativity can solve a lot.  Then sometimes I'm like - why can't I do "that" in this software!!! ARGGG!!!
Did they do this on purpose for a plug-in?

LOL, I think everyone goes through their "phases of Lumion."  I'd make a poster but it would not help the cause...Ha!

What I am really learning, the entire process of good 3D modeling, from sketch to final movie, does take a long time for me.  So people that have been cranking out movies... Much Respect!

newman

    Reputation: 2
Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 08:42:34 am »
January 11, 2012, 08:42:34 am


WOW ...what a thing to say ..i feel sorry for the Team , to have to read that .

Sorry if somebody found something offensive in my words. I very respect this team and appreciate their work high. In that joke was hint at luck of experience in ranking architectural tasks and values. No use to waste efforts on trifles when main problems of visualisation wait for obligatory decision. To make all and now is a virtue of youth. To do only that extremely necessary is a acquisition of maturity. Sorry if i was misinterpreted - i hope it was result of my bad English.

newman

    Reputation: 2
Re: a few questions before purchase
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 09:08:51 am »
January 11, 2012, 09:08:51 am
The Wish list section of the forum is only available for paying customers (ie, you need a Lumion key attached to your forum profile to be able to see this section).
I use Lumion 1 free that you gave to me. I could of course buy L2 ultima (though it sufficiently expensive to me) but my students - couldn't it at all so we use equal soft . I am sorry that we are users of second chop and we are out of section where our opinion can be taken into account.