Author Topic: Version based on customer request?  (Read 2440 times)

RT-Visualization

    Reputation: 4
Version based on customer request?
« on: March 09, 2011, 10:29:48 am »
March 09, 2011, 10:29:48 am
Hello there everyone,

Reading lately some of the posts I saw that everyone needs some specific options to be able to use Lumion properly, since each one of us would like to customize the user experience based on his vision, and I agree 100%...

So I looked on the web and I saw a lot of interesting things around...for example:

- UDK fees are no longer that ridiculous ( after 50.000$ you start to pay fees, while previuosly was from 5.000$ ) and the engine is looking much better, considering that is always in development
- Cryengine 3 is out...and its absolutely amazing...at GDC2011 they presented Cryengine 3 for Cinema, that is a dedicated version for cinema production, the video is absurd, can't believe that is in realtime
- Unity3D has improved a lot, especially in graphical features, and the community is growing every day...

Those 3 engine have a very important thing in common, of course if you know how to do what you have in mind...

I'm talking about customization, this means that virtually you can do whatever you want using one of those engines, of course if you have a programmer that is able to do something like that...

So what is the main point? is that with those engines you're able to create everything you want, the "only" downside is that it requires time, and of course time means money...and, basically on every engine that I mentioned, to setup things right ( materials, animations, characters, post process effects, and so on... ) it will take lot of time, so in the end, even a simple apartment visuailzation could take a week or so...

The strongest point in Lumion is how fast you setup things, and do its job very well, but it will be possible to fill the gap between a game engine like UDK and Lumion?
I mean, it will be possible, for a customer, to request a specific feature in order to get its engine customized as he want, without paying an insane amount of money to a programmer to get things as he want????

Like:
- I would like to add animations and sounds to my own animated meshes: the customer request this and you give him what he wants, of course with a specific fee.
- I would like to have a road system that adapts itself to the terrain
- I would like a dynamic night and day cycle where I can place artificial lights on the streets, and link them together, so when it 7pm the artificial lights turns on automatically...

Do you think ( Lumion team and in general all you users ) that this can be the solution to all your problems?

Or, maybe a better solution, especially who do not use and do not want some features, create 3 different Lumion version ( Basic, Standard and Professional for example ):
Basic: Demo version with the same amount of available library object, with a lower price but licensed
Standard: Full library + Standalone exporter
Professional: Standard version + unique features ( animations for animated meshes from a 3d app, road system, and so on... )

Apart from this I would ask if a specific plugin designed for the 3d app you're using ( 3ds, Maya, Sketcup, Softimage, whatever... ) is something that can solve lots of trouble related to collada exporter version, fbx version, scale not right, and so on...

I don't know, I've tested ( and keep testing each new demo ) Lumion a lot, for me its the perfect choice because is exactly what I was looking for, instead of paying for some updates that I do not need ( or do not use ) I would rather prefer paying more to have what I want...

What do you think guys?

My two cents :)

Re: Version based on customer request?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 10:59:53 am »
March 09, 2011, 10:59:53 am
Remember that Lumion is not meant as a game engine. Further we don't like to change Lumion for a single project. This means we won't accept payment or request that only help 1 project.

Requests can't be guaranteed to be granted. We build what we believe in. This might be a road builder but it might be canceled during development if it takes to long.

We are probably going to create a Lumion Pro version that does more high end projects. With exe publishing and some sort of scripting. Probably sound and 3d sound etc.

We hope with the Pro version to reach more people and maybe people like you. The main difference between Lumion Pro and those game engines will be that we will try to keep the workflow quick and easy. So that that setup time you mention is as short as possible. We hope that the time we save for you on your projects will make Lumion Pro worth its cost.

Brian Hengelsberg

    Reputation: 43
Re: Version based on customer request?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 08:26:27 pm »
March 09, 2011, 08:26:27 pm
Oh boy, Lumion Pro sounds expensive :D

RT-Visualization

    Reputation: 4
Re: Version based on customer request?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 08:34:14 pm »
March 09, 2011, 08:34:14 pm
I'm not that worried, since this sounds really good to me, since I think that will be a half way between Quest3D and Lumion price, and since Lumion is not that expansive compared to other software this can be a fair solution to me, since Lumion ( from my point of view ) lack of very few things, but good thing that you're taking care of that ( especially the standalone! )

Looking forward to hear other good news!!!!  :-D

Brian Hengelsberg

    Reputation: 43
Re: Version based on customer request?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 03:50:07 am »
March 10, 2011, 03:50:07 am
I was just teasing ;)  I look forward to added functionality, as i have stated before...this software has been a game changer for me 8)

Re: Version based on customer request?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 09:28:15 am »
March 10, 2011, 09:28:15 am
Pricing is always difficult. But with Lumion base we hope to reach many more people than what we can reach with Lumion Pro. That also means Lumion pro will be priced with that in mind.

RT-Visualization

    Reputation: 4
Re: Version based on customer request?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 12:41:57 pm »
March 10, 2011, 12:41:57 pm
Well, for now your main opponent is Twinmotion, and its very very expansive compared to Lumion "base"...its true that with a few works you get the money back, but you need to consider support/upgrades, so this is a thing that can drastically change what will be your final decision.

For me its enough to have a team beyond Lumion that listen to what their customer says, to be critic is always a good thing in order to make things better :), and its working since lots of customers are pretty satisfied with the upgrades, except for someone who wants the "export from my 3d app-import in Lumion-record video" solution :D

Anyway I'm happy that Lumion is not based or try to be a game engine-like, and its a strong point, since working with it is not tedious and you don't to go nuts with 3000 settings, but its straight forward and I really hope that will be like this in the future...you just need to be sure that your scene looks very very nice!

Michael Betke

    Reputation: 35
Re: Version based on customer request?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 01:34:02 pm »
March 10, 2011, 01:34:02 pm
"Pro" always sounds expensive. But it depends what you get for it.

As I can speak for me Lumion is an addition in my pipeline. My first weapon of choise are still game-engines for viz. I use Lumion because of the movies and as an intermediate solution to Leadwerks 3.0 which will be released to the end of 2011 I guess. I still develop on the current version if clients demand interactive stand-alone executables and I got a lot of bucks back for my 150 USD investment in this small and fin eengine.
Crytek will also offer CE3 for free or similar to the UDK licensing model this summer. I'm very curious about the details because the workflow is unmatched as far as I can tell fomr my nearly two year experience working for several licensees with it. You just get a lot more done in less time.

So it will be very interesting where Lumion will be heading and what the competitors will do. Our market is in fast movement every day. Sometimes it scares me but most time I love it to be surprised by new stuff and possibilites.

RT-Visualization

    Reputation: 4
Re: Version based on customer request?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 02:52:55 pm »
March 10, 2011, 02:52:55 pm
If I remember correctly, there is a company ( in France? ) that got the license for Cryengine 2...they pay something like 50-60K to get the license...ok, is a wonderful engine ( Cryengine 3 is absolutely amazing ) but damn, this is really too much money...

Thing is, working with Lumion is fast, working with game engines is not, so I don't know how much is worthed to do all the things that game engines needs ( very time consuming polys optimization, UV of everything, LOD, custom scripts, and so on ), instead of having ( soon I hope ) a standalone exe for Lumion.

Game engines gives you the ability to do everything, but that comes with a price, and the price is your time...
If my customer says to me "Ok, I'll give you 2.000€ for an apartment visualization" I think that is quite worthed to use a game engine to do things properly, but for 300-500€ is not, unless you already manage to have all the things you need ready ( animations in your 3d app, script for anomations in the game engine, material preset in the game engine, a walking character, preset landscape or preset city environment, and so on... )

I did some visualization with Unity and UDK, but because I had time to do that and because I found lots of useful custom scripts to do what I want, but nowdays lots of my customers ask me a very good looking visualization ready in 2-3 days, and using Softimage for everything is becoming quite annoying, even because for a 10-15 minutes video it requires too much time, thats why, as soon as the standalone will be available, I'll buy Lumion straight forward, because it will make thing easier ( at least for videos ).

What I would like to see in the future is a good compromise between the actual Lumion engine and a UDK engine, but driven only towards visualization, not a game-maker.

Aaron

    Reputation: 80
Re: Version based on customer request?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 03:06:48 pm »
March 10, 2011, 03:06:48 pm
Cryengine 3 looks stunning allright.
If they match Epics licensing model, there's no doubt in my mind it'll have a significant impact on just about every aspect of visualization. Performance could be an issue though. It's often sensible to just model the right way instead of going polynuts but I've seen countless examples where a inbetween mesh was at least something that should be handled by an engine.
Lumion does this with ease where UDK for example starts to show some serious drawbacks the moment youre trying to experiment with higher poly scenes. A Multi million polyscene in UDK? Possible I guess but forget about any speedadvantages a game-engine offers from that point onwards. Setting things up properly will take a good deal of time. All that eyecandy comes at a price and to some extend this is logical. I'm looking forward to see how Cryengine3 holds up in that regard.
The March update from UDK shows some really nice improvements as well btw.

Michael Betke

    Reputation: 35
Re: Version based on customer request?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 03:39:14 pm »
March 10, 2011, 03:39:14 pm
The company in France is "Enodo" and they have an exclusive deal using CE2/CE3 in France for Viz.
As far as I know from some people they pay royalties of their contracts to Crytek. But that#s just second hand informations I got.

I don't think a game-engine is slower to work with. It depends heavily on the assets and what time you invest into them. Mostly assets are done in a modelling application. So if the client is willing to pay a lot to have the best presentation then you can deliver it in every suite.

But game-engines are higly optimized in their workflow because often AAA content has to be delivered and if you have a good and effcient pipeline you can cut production costs.

What happens now with Lumion and Twinmotion are specialized tools for only a small spec of you can do with game-egnines. They are strong in doing movies and quality screenshots plus in their export compatibility to CAD and of course professional cards like Quadro.

They lack in shader quality, and other tools like terrain texturing, brush based painting and so on.

In my opinion all avaiable arch-viz real-time tools so far are leaning too much towards architects. Development should be the other way. Looking at a game-engine with the efficient tools and cut out the stuff architects don't need like networking forexample. This would give you a very powerfull tool but also would need more development time.
Development time isn't avaiable because everyone wants to get some % of the market fast resulting in fast released tools. I thing we will have to wait until end of 2011 before we see all arch-viz realtime tools at the same optimized point like game-engine tools are now.

Brian Hengelsberg

    Reputation: 43
Re: Version based on customer request?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 04:59:53 pm »
March 10, 2011, 04:59:53 pm
@RT-Visualization,

i agree with some of your points, but i think overall Lumion is designed to bridge the gap between sketch and professional "vis-like" visualization.  As architects, we are using these 3d tools not just for visualization, but for design as well.  Utilizing software like viz, max, and the like are a final product generally for large projects that have a budget to support it.  Additionally, the learning curve for these softwares can only be achieved by someone who is utilizing the software on an everyday basis.

In my office environment as a small firm, we can not afford to have someone on staff that just creates visualizations...in steps Lumion to fill that void.  People can talk real lighting conditions and proper reflection/refraction to scientific levels, but the reality is that most owners for small to mid size projects will find the visualizations Lumion is capable of astounding.  The one large visualization we have in the gallery here was a $78 million project, and the owner could not be happier.

That being said, i have an appreciation for fully rendered lighting, reflection, refraction, caustics etc.  It is just not in my workflow for everyday design and presentations.  For that i would contact a visualization firm to help.  As i initially said, i think Lumion bridges the gap for us architects.  Who knows where this software will take us in the future, but i am hanging on for the ride as it has elevated my offices functionality and marketability.