With the launch of Lumion 11.3 I thought I’d take some time to discuss some of the features that I’m glad to see making their way into Lumion and how I think these could improve my general workflow.
As a smaller update, I wasn’t expecting to be anything too groundbreaking, however, I am pleased to see one feature that I consider to be a considerable upgrade. The remaining updates have improved on some of the existing functions in Lumion that should make some of the fundamental tasks much less tedious.
Let’s get started.
Feature 01: Multiple Clip Planes
For a long time now, the clip plane feature has been quite limited by only allowing a single clipping plane to be added to the scene.
This update allows up to 3 separate clipping planes meaning that it will be possible to add a clipping plane along each axis.
This is especially handy for showing exposed detail visualizations, floor plans, as well as being a creative tool during the rendering process to help aid in camera placement composition.
Feature 02: Fine Detail Nature Functionality
The fine detail nature objects have seen some improvements in functionality.
The restrictions around how these assets behave have always frustrated me when trying to populate a scene as they prevented the ability to do almost anything other than place and move single objects.
This update now allows for far more control, making it possible to duplicate, group, and even place these objects on nodes, which was previously only possible with regular nature models.
This is a minor change that makes a big difference to how efficiently I’m able to populate a scene, so I’m happy to see this become a reality in 11.3.
Feature 03: Improvements to Groups Usability
One thing that has always annoyed me when populating large scenes, and (especially now with the Crimson environment), is that group controls would be hidden unless the “Select all” function had been enabled.
This meant that when adjusting groups, we would have to navigate our way through every single object node in the scene to find the group we wanted to work on.
This latest update fixes that by allowing the group to be selected at any time providing that at least one object of that group is a part of the item category that is currently active.
In addition to this, once the group has been selected the nodes for each object within the group are present meaning that they can be easily selected and have their advanced properties edited without needing to enter the “edit group” menu.
The update feels more intuitive and will hopefully make populating large scenes much more efficient.
Feature 04: Omni-Light Shadows
This is undoubtedly the biggest improvement in this update, and honestly, is the type of improvement I would expend in a major update. I know most Lumion users (myself included), have struggled to understand how and why the Omnilight behaves the way it does in Lumion.
It seemed to be quite limited in how it could be used as it didn’t cast shadows, and would also bleed through surfaces making it much more difficult to use in certain scenes.
This update has resolved these issues, offering a fully functioning light source, that for me will largely replace the spotlight tool in my lighting workflow.
The addition of shadows with the Omnilight makes producing convincing interior lighting much simpler and provides a more even distribution of light and shadow within an area than what was possible before.
I’ve done a few tests with this object to see how it performs in comparison to the other light sources in Lumion and I was pleasantly surprised.
Some Other Changes to Note
Reflection Effect Interface: This been redesigned in an attempt to make understanding the effect a little easier. Personally, this is an update that I didn’t have high on my priority list as I honestly didn’t see the need for it, however, after seeing it in action I can definitely see this being a more intuitive option for new users.
Conform to Landscape: The ‘Conform to landscape’ feature now applies to nature models. This means that nature models will now adapt to the rotation and pitch of the landscape, rather than just placing the item vertically across it. I’ve had a few issues in the past with this when populating a scene, and this finally ties together the overall process of populating nature assets in a way that can quickly adapt to a landscape.
Reflection Planes: These now stay visible when Speedray reflections are disabled. This is a surprisingly useful improvement as it allows key reflections to be viewed in preview mode without requiring the Speedray reflections to be rendered too. These can be switched on and off using the preview function in the Reflection effect menu.
Rendered Measurements: I almost excluded this from my list since I don’t really have a need for this type of feature, however after seeing it in action in a few scenes I can definitely see how this could be a useful presentation tool for designers when explaining a design. The results are very clean and tend not to take away from the rendered image which is what can often happen with these types of graphics.
There are several more features that were improved during this update, if you want to read the full update notes you can find them here.
Considering the 11.3 updates typically include only minor usability changes, I was quite happy with it as a release. I put a big emphasis on improving the functionality of lighting above most other features, and so seeing improvements being made here gives me hope for similar additions in the next version update.
What did you think? Did any of these updates stand out for you? Let me know over at The Lumion Collective Facebook Group and we can chat.
Until then, I’ll see you next time!