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January 10 2017

Mastering Materials in Lumion 7

Lumion 7 has some great new features to make your materials look more authentic by aging them, which removes some of that sterile CG look and makes the materials look like they belong where they are. The results are authentic, realistic and aesthetically appealing. 

Other materials features in Lumion 7 include a new materials favorites tab, materials translucency and transparency for materials. You can also add foliage to materials. This blog gives some tips and tricks about the new materials features, which can help you get better results, faster.


Above: Image showing aged materials effect on table and floor

Some of the impressive new materials possibilities are demonstrated in these tutorials:


Above: Image showing transparent materials

Above: Waxiness effect applied to a statue

For more advanced tips and tricks, Chris Welton has made this excellent tutorial showing some of the magic you can do with materials in Lumion 7 and how to get more out of some new features.

December 21 2016

New Lumion 7 Tutorials

Architects the world over are experiencing the wonders that Lumion 7 has to offer since its launch in November. Michael Brightman of Brightman Designs, a well-known Lumion expert and enthusiast, has created a really great set of tutorials showing some of the things you can do with Lumion 7. They are a must-watch for all Lumion 7 users.


Above: Michael Brightman introducing his Lumion 7 tutorials

There are 8 tutorials in the series:

  1. An introduction to Lumion 7 overviewing the main new features
  2. Expedited vegetation by applying the new leaf materials
  3. Create more convincing materials with the ageing/weathering effect
  4. Expanded render option including online sharing
  5. Enhanced transparency and translucency of materials
  6. New lighting objects - area lights and line lights
  7. Context import using Open Street Maps
  8. Concluding remarks about Lumion 7

December 2 2016

Lumion 7 Webinar on Youtube

Michael Brightman, of Brightman Designs hosted a webinar on December 1st, describing how to “Maximize Lumion 7″. 

In case you missed it, you can now check it out on Youtube.

8000+ people logged in live to watch Mike’s demo, which was a great introduction and overview to some of the main features in Lumion 7 and how get the most out of them. Definitely worth a watch!

November 30 2016

Lumion 7 live webinar - Dec 1st

Michael Brightman, avid Lumion user, SketchUp expert, author and owner at Brightman Designs will be hosting a webinar, so you can “Maximize Lumion 7″. You can join his live demo, starting at 11 am US Mountain Standard Time, tomorrow - December 1st.


Michael will take you on a tour of the new features in Lumion 7 and show you how to get the most out of them. Some of the feature highlights include foliage, weathering, enhanced transparency, new light objects and a lot more too.

You will also have a chance to ask questions after the demo.

When: Thursday, December 1, 11.00 - 12:00 USA Mountain Standard Time

HowClick Here

There’s no need to register, just put the date & time into your diary and join for free by clicking the above link.


November 11 2016

Architects react to Lumion 7

Lumion 7 was released on November 1st and has been met with great enthusiasm! In this blog you can find some of the things that have been said and some ways Lumion 7 is already being used in practice.

“This is a very surprising and worthwhile update. Perhaps the greatest leap Lumion has made in a new release ever”
H. Hute on the Lumion Forum

“Open Street Map alone is worth the upgrade”
V. Duy on Facebook

“The light strips are amazing. I have been waiting for years for that. I also love the weathering and foliage upgrades. I can’t wait to start using this. I have to say this is even more than I was expecting and I am very happy with this upgrade”
Johnny O - Lumion Forum


Above: Image made in just a few minutes using the weathering effect

The best new features according to architects

What are the best new features? It depends on who you ask! We asked some bigger architecture firms and they listed the following top features:

  1. Area Light and Line Light
  2. Transparent Materials
  3. OpenStreetMap

When you look at the Lumion forum and Social Media you see a lot of love out there for the new Weathered materials and Foliage features.

We also asked Lumion testers for their opinions. They had the opportunity to try everything months before the release providing them with a different perspective. The testers saw Weathering as one of the most powerful new tools because the feature allows anyone to quickly create ‘aged’ materials that would normally require a lot of extra work in Photoshop. They also expressed that the ability to add weathered materials imparts a sense of realism to a scene.

What can you do with Lumion 7?


Above: Turn low quality trees from the Sketchup library in to great looking trees in Lumion 7

One simple trick in Lumion 7 is to use a model of a tree that has really low quality leaves in SketchUp and turn it, with one click, into a realistic looking tree. Very often a model from Sketchup includes 'billboards’ instead of actual leaves. When you import such a model into Lumion, you can apply the new foliage material to the billboard and Lumion will replace it with good looking leaves. Lumion 7 allows you to configure things like leave type, size and density too.

Above: Add realism to your existing projects

The new weathering feature is a really quick and useful tool to add detail to materials. For example concrete has a very specific visual appearance on corners or sharp edges. Another example is to use weathering to add a bit of color variation and surface smoothness to a sidewalk, to give it a more realistic feel. This is because real world materials are never perfectly uniform or pristine. Adding a bit of variation and detail makes materials much more pleasing to the eye.

Above: Turn simple modeled shapes into foliage

Maybe you’ve already made some models in Sketchup for example, and perhaps the hedges are simple shapes with a leaves texture applied to them. In Lumion 7 you can now simply apply the new foliage material and in an instant your simple shapes are transformed into foliage. The beauty of this feature is that it works on any shape, so you can simply draw the rough shapes you require and Lumion will transform them into foliage for you.

Above: Put your building on the map

A really great way for any animation is to show where a site is located on the map. This creates context for your design and allows the viewer to orientate themselves. For example a keen Lumion customer and renowned visualization artist, 3D Cordoba, very successfully uses a camera flying down from the sky in many movies. In Lumion 7 this effect is easy to achieve because you can add a 3D map to your rendering with a simple click.

Above: Create lamp shades and curtains

In Lumion 7 you can now easily create transparent and opaque fabrics. With the transparency setting in the materials menu, you can easily create semi-opaque materials like curtains and lamp shades. You will also find the new waxiness feature under the same menu, which not only simulates materials like plastics and marble but it also allows you to add “shine-through” lighting to materials like curtains.

Above: Simulate the effect of cove lighting

The new light strips and area lights provide a new palette of possibilities. For example you can put LED strips behind a TV or behind wall paneling. It’s also very useful to simulate the effect of cove lighting on the ceiling or a wall.

Above: Paint with light

If you really want to create the perfect image, you can now add area lights to places where light seems to be missing. For example you would normally expect some light to bounce off a colorful floor and sunlight to shine through a window, so you can now place area lighting on the floor and on windows to act as perfectly positioned light sources. Read more.

Above: Populate your scenes with an expanded entourage

The content library in Lumion 7 has been expanded with an extra 769 new models. Many of them are high quality models from Evermotion. These models have a high resolution geometry and they use specialized materials which accurately depict things like metallic surfaces and surface smoothness. The models included were specially chosen based on feedback from existing Lumion customers. You can check out the full list of models in Lumion here.  

Read more about Lumion 7 here.