Author Topic: This is not worth $10,000  (Read 1557 times)

duke

    Reputation: 1
This is not worth $10,000
« on: September 07, 2011, 01:02:46 pm »
September 07, 2011, 01:02:46 pm
I work at an architecture firm, and I figured i'd have a go at this competition using one of our projects, but after using Lumion Free since the weekend, I have to say this is not worth the pain. Some of the most obvious things are missing - knowing what scale your heightmap is (both width and elevation wise), placing objects, particularly foliage, en-masse, changing the terrain textures, manipulating objects is a different button - you can't simply select something and move, rotate, scale, delete it with different shortcuts. You can't even hack your way around the saved-out scene to do this manually in a text editor.

I appreciate the goal of a simple interface, but the speedy workflow you get in something like Sketchup (with its simple interface) has gone to hell!

Re: This is not worth $10,000
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2011, 02:07:06 pm »
September 07, 2011, 02:07:06 pm
Placing objects, particularly foliage, en-masse, changing the terrain textures, manipulating objects is a different button - you can't simply select something and move, rotate, scale, delete it with different shortcuts.

For movement there are shortcuts but maybe you just need to get used to the interface. Especially when you come from a different program you might have to get used to it.

The idea in Lumion is that content is categorized by type. When you are busy placing trees you don't have to deal with rocks, cars or other objects. There are numerous movies of scenes with massive content so I'm not sure what you are trying to create but there probably is a really easy way to get it done.

Maybe it's a good idea to express what you are trying to pull off so users can comment on how you can get something done like that quickly.

Quote
You can't even hack your way around the saved-out scene to do this manually in a text editor.
Now this would be silly. I can't imagine that anyone would prefer this method to create a scene. Our approach now  is that you need to place all items in the editor or import an object so you have all your lamp posts or whatever at the exact location. Maybe in the future we'll have an option to substitute imported instances with an object from the library but hacking a text file is certainly not the way to go.

The idea behind Lumion is that it should be continuously evolving. If something sucks we'll find a really good solution for it but we will do it in a way it still is very simple. There's a lot of pressure on a software company like us to keep adding features but if we go down this road you'll end up with a big pile of features which is difficult to use. We think a tool should be very easy to use first and the features come later.

Quote
I appreciate the goal of a simple interface, but the speedy workflow you get in something like Sketchup (with its simple interface) has gone to hell!

I think you can get things done in Lumion faster than in Sketchup but it of course depends on the task at hand. If you just explain what you are trying to do I'm sure there is a way to do it quickly.

Re: This is not worth $10,000
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2011, 05:24:53 pm »
September 07, 2011, 05:24:53 pm
you can't simply select something and move, rotate, scale, delete it with different shortcuts.

Excerpt from the Tips & Tricks thread:
http://lumion3d.com/forum/index.php?topic=638.0

(Escape): This "advanced" move mode lets you move objects by clicking directly on objects and dragging the mouse to move them. In addition, (H) lets you move objects up and down while (R) allows you to rotate them.

(SHIFT) + Move: If you don't want the object you're moving to snap to the terrain or other objects, press the Shift key while you're moving it.

(G): While adding or moving objects in your scene this key allows you to turn off 'snap-to-vehicles and -people', so that you do not accidentally stack new objects on top of these object types.

(F): The orientation of all objects (apart from Trees/plants) can be made to adapt to the inclination of the Lumion terrain. Move object button -> Hold down (F) for "Flatten" -> Move the object(s) to make them adapt to the inclination of the terrain.

Lumion is under constant development, so it is not unlikely that we'll add more options in the future.

Re: This is not worth $10,000
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2011, 05:43:26 pm »
September 07, 2011, 05:43:26 pm
placing objects, particularly foliage, en-masse

Excerpt from the Tips & Tricks thread:
http://lumion3d.com/forum/index.php?topic=638.0

Place object mode -> (CTRL) + Left-click: Randomly place 10 copies of the currently active object library model.

Randomization options: Modify object -> Click on an object or a selection of objects -> Transformation -> Randomize -> Choose one of the options, for example Rotation/Scale or Position.

Place object mode -> (Shift) + Left-click: Place a new object with random orientation and +/-0 to 50% random scale.

Having these options in Lumion obviously doesn't mean that we'll never implement additional methods for placing foliage and other entourage en-masse. As an example, we've had a bunch of suggestions for a feature that would make it possible to populate a surface or an area with a user-configurable pool of objects.

Re: This is not worth $10,000
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011, 06:46:25 pm »
September 07, 2011, 06:46:25 pm
knowing what scale your heightmap is (both width and elevation wise)

Some information about importing heightmaps in Lumion:

1) The native terrain in Lumion occupies a 2048x2048m square, so when you load a heightmap it will "fill" the entire terrain.

2) If you load a standard JPG file, 100% black equates to a terrain height of 0m and 100% white is equal to a terrain height of 200m. In other words, each greyscale step (from 0 to 255) is equal to 0.78125m.

3) As for the imported height scale, the RGB values in Photoshop range from 0 to 1.0, but if you create a 32-bit image in Photoshop (Image -> Mode -> 32-bits per channel), you can boost the whiteness (and the terrain height range) by up to x20. In other words:
RGB 0 to 1.0 in Photoshop = 0m to 200m in Lumion
RGB 0 to 2.0 in Photoshop = 0m to 400m in Lumion
RGB 0 to 3.0 in Photoshop = 0m to 600m in Lumion
... You get the idea by now :)

Once you've created your heightmap, you'll need to save it as a 32-bit DDS heightmap in "32f" format using Nvidia's DDS plugin for Photoshop:
http://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-texture-tools-adobe-photoshop

You can also import your own terrain as a DAE/FBX object and apply a landscape material to it. This allows you paint it just like the native terrain in Lumion.

That being said, more flexible ways of dealing with user-imported terrains/heightmaps may be implemented in the future.

duke

    Reputation: 1
Re: This is not worth $10,000
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 07:02:07 am »
September 08, 2011, 07:02:07 am

Dear Duke.


perhaps you see the glass half empty.....instead of half full.


what part do you play in your architecture firm ?






Perhaps you're right - i'll persist!

I'm the visualisation artist here, and dabble with general programming stuff at home (mostly C#, Unity, OpenCL, Web stuff). I normally have a 3dsmax/VRay workflow, and dismissed Sketchup at first, but it definitely has it's place for conceptual modelling.

Re: This is not worth $10,000
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2011, 10:26:53 am »
September 08, 2011, 10:26:53 am
I think it's always best to instead of focus on problems or limitations themselves it's better to focus on ways to improve them. There is simply no way a small company like ours can come up with the same great ideas as thousands of our users.

In the end we are software developers so we depend on feedback from the actual users of the software to make it better.(Although fortunately we have one architect working here.) Our daily job is essentially to translate this feedback into working software. This is the most important and most difficult thing about what we do.