Author Topic: Newcomer questions  (Read 3570 times)

tricky

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Newcomer questions
« on: June 15, 2011, 02:50:28 pm »
June 15, 2011, 02:50:28 pm
!Hi all. My first post - be kind!

I've been playing around this morning with the demo of Lumion, and I must say that I am quite impressed. I am trying to find away to make use of the software in our list of services (we are an architectural visualisation company) and also I am trying to find how Lumion might integrate with our pipeline.

Generally, we produce high end architectural CGIs and animation for architects and developers. Our workflow involves architectural modelling in Autocad, texturing and lighting in 3ds Max and rendering using Vray (plus lots and lots of post production!). Our Autocad models are file-linked into 3ds Max. This means that our modeller can continue with modelling and make changes without affecting the texturing and lighting that is happening in 3ds max - we just update the file-link.

Question 1) I wanted to know if there was a similar way that Lumion could 'file-link' to our 3ds Max file? My limited experience with Lumion so far has me exporting a collada-type file from 3ds Max and then importing that into Lumion where it is positioned and re-textured with Lumion-friendly textures. The problem with this is that when the Autocad or 3ds Max files develop, the collada-type file will need to be re-exported and then re-imported into Lumion, and all texturing will need to be done again. How do people deal with models that are updated?

Question 2) My next question is about the actual presentation of the Lumion file. I see the interactive nature of the Lumion file as a key reason for us to add it to our services. If we can give our clients an interactive model that is, in effect 'locked-down' (i.e. they can't edit it or mess it up!), that would be something we have been looking for for a long time. I don't want be present in my clients meeting to 'present' the Lumion file. It needs to be a standalone package. Is it possible to do this with Lumion?

Question 3) Are there methods to port a model from 3ds Max with Vray textures into a Lumion-friendly format?

Question 4) How much geometry and textures can Lumion handle? Presumably, it is all handled by the graphics card in your system. Is there a way of seeing how many resources are being used, and how much is still available on any given system?

cpercer

    Reputation: 20
Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2011, 03:36:31 pm »
June 15, 2011, 03:36:31 pm
Welcome to the world of Lumion!

In answer to your first question, there is no "file link manager" in Lumion as there is in Max; however, you can update models without reapplying textures.  When you select the paint icon to apply materials, there is a reload icon that when pressed will reload and reapply your materials.  In order for this to work properly, the updated collada file must replace the original file (same name and location).

Secondly, there is not a stand-alone executable available at this time, although it is on the wish list (Lumion is a very young software and is in constant development) for future updates.

Third, Lumion only recognizes standard materials from Max, no V-Ray or Autodesk materials.

Fourth, the amount of textures and polygons is limited by your GPU RAM.  I have not hit the limit on the 64 bit version, and that is coming from someone who has not fully learned to optimize models for Lumion (I use Revit, so nurbs).  I have imported very complex models, the largest being a bridge that was 350M in size.

Overall, Lumion has been a work in progress, but the results speak for themselves.  Check out the gallery for some very cool videos and check back on the forum for more information.  There are plenty of users who are very helpful when it comes to issues or questions you might have.

Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2011, 03:50:16 pm »
June 15, 2011, 03:50:16 pm
When you select the paint icon to apply materials, there is a reload icon that when pressed will reload and reapply your materials.  In order for this to work properly, the updated collada file must replace the original file (same name and location).

TIP: If the Collada file name or the location have changed, just hold down the ALT-key while clicking on the "Reload model" button. This allows you to select the new Collada file manually, even if you've changed the file name or the location on your harddrive.

tricky

    Reputation: 0
Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2011, 03:52:27 pm »
June 15, 2011, 03:52:27 pm
Thanks for your reply.

I did come across the material reload button after I posted. It seems slightly odd to me to have the button there - a 'reload model' would be more obvious. I will give it some testing.

Having the stand-alone exe would be the deal maker for us I think. It would be a very powerful service that we could offer to our clients. I would ask that you put this high on the priority list for Lumion development - less special fx, more end-usability! Could you give me an indication of how long this might take to implement?

As far as standard materials are concerned, is the best approach to apply named materials (nothing fancy - just colours really to represent different layers) to the max model and then export this to a collada type file?

My graphics card is a GTX 480 with with 1.5GB memory. I already had a scene give me an out-of-memory error and crash out just this morning after an hour playing with it (no textures, just quite a bit of geometry). I am just trying to establish if we need to model differently for Lumion. Our models tend to be quite high polycount.

PS apologies if my comments seem a little 'blunt'. I am from the north of England, and it just comes with the genes ;-)

cpercer

    Reputation: 20
Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 04:16:36 am »
June 16, 2011, 04:16:36 am
I doubt you'll get a solid answer on the .exe release date, but we will probably not see it until Lumion v2.0, the current version being v1.0 SP2.

Someone else will have to give an answer a far as Max materials go.  I usually use Lumion mateials and my own textures. Lumion combines polygons by material so as long as you assign different materials, everyhing should work simply.

Best practice for high poly models is to break them up then use the align command after loading.  Typically Lumion only runs out of memory when trying to load a single large model; however, I have not experienced this problem when using the 64 bit version.  Is there a 64 bit demo version?

jershaun

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Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2011, 06:54:00 am »
June 16, 2011, 06:54:00 am
I would like to buy Lumion as well however I don't want to buy it at this stage (1.x) just to find out the stand-alone exe will only come out in version 2. For me this is the most important thing. Can someone confirm that the stand-alone will come out in version 2 or will it be a free update in one of the 1.x releases.

Thanks,


tricky

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Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2011, 10:14:33 am »
June 16, 2011, 10:14:33 am
I would like to buy Lumion as well however I don't want to buy it at this stage (1.x) just to find out the stand-alone exe will only come out in version 2. For me this is the most important thing. Can someone confirm that the stand-alone will come out in version 2 or will it be a free update in one of the 1.x releases.

Thanks,



At least it seems like I am not the only one with this request. I think for our office, this would be critical. For Lumion, it seems that this would really be a unique and powerful selling feature.

I might add that without this functionality, Lumion (particularly 'Ultimate' which is the one that a arch vis company would likely opt for with more extensive libraries etc) is rather an expensive product. Of course, this is only my opinion, and I am sure others would disagree. If 'exe' functionality existed, it would be hard to think of a reason for us not to invest.

RAD

    Reputation: 32
Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2011, 11:43:44 am »
June 16, 2011, 11:43:44 am
Some of the trees you get to use within this software can be found in the movie Avatar.   8)


Ecuadorian

    Reputation: 32
Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2011, 01:14:40 pm »
June 16, 2011, 01:14:40 pm
Until recently, you had to reapply all materials in complex models each time you refreshed the model. Can anyone report is this has been solved in SP2?

Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2011, 03:40:31 pm »
June 16, 2011, 03:40:31 pm
If you're referring to the way the SketchUp Collada exporter renames exported materials and textures to texture__, please have a look at this post:
http://lumion3d.com/forum/index.php?topic=1079.0

Gaieus

    Reputation: 44
Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2011, 09:04:30 pm »
June 16, 2011, 09:04:30 pm
If you're referring to the way the SketchUp FBX exporter renames exported materials and textures to texture__, please have a look at this post:
http://lumion3d.com/forum/index.php?topic=1079.0

You mean the collada exporter...
(The FBX exporter does not rename them and can be imported pretty well)

Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2011, 10:07:39 pm »
June 16, 2011, 10:07:39 pm
Doh! Thanks Gaieus, it's been a long day - I've changed it to Collada now :)

Good to hear that the FBX exporter in SketchUp Pro 8 is more reliable than the Collada exporter.

jershaun

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Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2011, 01:44:23 am »
June 17, 2011, 01:44:23 am
Hi Morten

Can you say anything about the Stand-Alone exe? I don't want a release date, I just would like to know if it would be before/after version 2? (IOW, buy now or wait until version 2)  ???

Thanks,


Nico RVArq.com

    Reputation: 58
Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2011, 04:57:03 am »
June 17, 2011, 04:57:03 am
¿Am I the only one that when I export the FBX model should scale it x 10?

I've heard out there that exploit the 3D model as necessary before exporting, it was a viable option for export Collada materials well. This would be like cutting off your head to get head lice, no?
The problem of Collada export are materials, but also if the model has many polygons not be exported, and the problem of FBX is shown scaled to -10. And Lumion, as I mentioned before, has whimsically limiting the scale and any reference to it. Both would be best to write 5x or 10x to scale. Greetings.

Re: Newcomer questions
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2011, 12:38:04 pm »
June 17, 2011, 12:38:04 pm
Can you say anything about the Stand-Alone exe? I don't want a release date, I just would like to know if it would be before/after version 2? (IOW, buy now or wait until version 2)  ???
I'm afraid I can't answer that question. Arthur, Remko and Ferry make those decisions.