At the very beginning of the development, Lumion dev-team introduced the software as an easy and affordable tool to do things traditionally seen as difficult, laborious or impossible.
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Lumion appeared on the market many years ago and Act-3D kept the promise on the main goal based on simplicity and power. What makes Lumion so strong is the realtime progress that we all are living. Realtime is a technology that is developing in parallel to the offline rendering, and that offers a GPU based result (not to be confused with CUDA). The output of a realtime render is reiterating and processing itself to obtain the next-frame result.
Imagine a 3ds Max without the rendering process, imagine that the result is what you manage directly on the scene. Wouldn’t it be cool?
Well, nowadays you may say: “it depends”. It can be great from the production timing point of view, but it may be unsatisfactory for the quality. Indeed realtime quality is little lower than software rendered pictures (raytraced or unbiased). When I introduce realtime renders, such as the one obtained with Lumion, in my classes there are always some students saying “oh, it looks like a videogame!”. Good point, in fact realtime rendering is the result of huge progress pushed forward by videogame and interactive development. A videogame developer can’t predict where and when the player will do a certain actions, even the “if” is not certain, and this is because of the non linearity of the media. So videogame and interactive experiences requires an immediate response, and this response must be computed and “painted” in realtime. Quite simple necessity, isn’t it?
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Moving back to Lumion, the software gives to us the possibility to manage elements in realtime, such as building position, terrain topology, atmosphere, vegetation and even human interactions.
What is amazing is that we don’t need anymore to invest lot of time in learning how a software works; we simply need to be focused on our project and drag&drop elements in the scene then export picture not related to screen resolution (up to 7680×4320 pixel (33.2 Megapixel)) or video (up to 2560×1440 (1440p))
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Act-3D is constantly updating it’s software, releasing patches and versions based on customers’ feedback and requests. Nowday “minor bug fixes” or “software improvements” are not appealing anymore, users wants new features and demand their professional necessities to be listened by the developer. And this is why Lumion is proceeding at fullsails with improved performances, usability, cutting-edge features and ready to use assets.
Using assets (or abusing of assets) is one of the trends of the latest periods: downloading/buying is better than modeling. This works if your model is branded and you can find it, different story happens when you have to reconstruct custom models. However, also in this Lumion is in trend, offering a huge database of assets ready to be used and capable of being animated.
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During the writing this article Lumion released version 5.7.2 with new features and the coolest one is the possibility to render and deliver interactive pre-rendered 360 degrees panoramas on mobile devices through MyLumion Mode (actually in beta phase). The feature is limited on seven panoramas, but I don’t exclude that in future we’ll have possibility to build unlimited images for big and detailed project scenes. This feature, personally reminds me my youth cg and gaming experiments, when I was fascinated by Myst videogame and decided to recreate a similar one, connecting differents pre-rendered images with Macromedia Director…just personal note.
You can find more information about Lumion on the official website: www.lumion3d.com
Did you know that panorama renders (very trendy today in Lumion, V-Ray 3.2, Unity for reflection probes and Google Maps) are being used also in YouTube 360° videos?
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