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Lumion 12.3 Cinematic Animation!

In this article, we're going to take a look at the first animation that I've created entirely in Lumion 12.3 - The Garden Shed.

Image of Garden shed. Trees in background. Image by The Lumion Collective
The Garden Shed by The Lumion Collective

Recently I’ve been working on a small(ish) personal project called The Garden Shed. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you may have seen some of the work that’s gone on behind the scenes to put this project together. I’m happy to now be able to share the final result!

The Garden Shed is a homage to a special kind of building that I’ve become familiar with growing up. These small shanty-style sheds seem to grow and develop over time and are generally put together with any material that we can get our hands on. Old fence palings, warped and twisted decking, a stray door... all of these discarded materials come together to create something new.

Image of garden shed through trees. Image by The Lumion Collective

I have my own version of this in my backyard at home, and over time I’ve come to realize just how beautiful these little buildings can be.

They’re packed with history, with every element having experienced a life of their own before coming together in what resembles a miss-matched Lego set. Each piece individually seems weathered and discarded, however, when brought together they create something entirely unique.

Whether it’s a home for tools and nick-knacks…

Image of wooden box with tools. Image by The Lumion Collective

Or an oasis for greenery to thrive…

Image of plant. Image by The Lumion Collective

The Garden Shed tells the story of how each of these elements exists together harmoniously to create a battered yet beautiful oasis.

Image of scratched wooden floor. Image by The Lumion Collective

Developing the Scene in Lumion

Now, this graceful aging occurs effortlessly in the real world, however, bringing this into a digital space takes a slightly more purposeful approach.

Image of 3d model garden shed. Image by The Lumion Collective

The building was modeled in Sketchup Pro, and for the most part, was a fairly simple model. Much of the detail is expressed through texturing and environment, so the model just consisted of some basic shapes to help accentuate the details to come.

When I first started exploring this idea, I knew that this was the perfect scene to utilize photo-scanned assets. I’ve used Megascans pretty extensively through the development of the Crimson project, and so I was excited to adapt the workflow for something a little closer to home.

Image of axe in tree stump. Image by The Lumion Collective

The majority of the assets used here are from the Megascans library, which made it extremely fast to build up each area of the scene with a high level of detail. Where required, I’d build an assembly of these assets in Blender, but for the most part, these were imported into Lumion and populated right into the scene.

Image of garden shed through trees. Image by The Lumion Collective

The other key element in this project was the environment. I’d always loved the natural overgrown mess that seems to engulf these little sheds, and so getting this look was a big part of the process. This involved using Lumion fine-detail nature to help boost the realism in the foreground areas, whilst making use of the lower-resolution nature assets to add depth and context to the background areas.

Image of stacked firewood. Image by The Lumion Collective

Combining these with a few carefully placed scanned assets resulted in a beautiful combination of nature that encapsulated the shed and pulled the whole scene together.

Image of shadows on wall. Image by The Lumion Collective

The lighting and effects in the scene were focused around creating a natural yet ‘dreamy’ aesthetic throughout, with bright beams of sunlight and soft dancing shadows to add movement and life to the spaces.

This was particularly important given that almost everything in the scene is static, and so I had to rely on elements such as the lighting and the camera movements to evoke the emotion.

Image of brick pavers with tree casting shadows. Image by The Lumion Collective

I made heavy use of the hand-held camera effect here, adding a very small amount of shake to the movements. Not only does this provide a calm aesthetic, but it also gives the idea that the camera (or the viewer) is a character in the scene. It’s a great way to add life into an architectural animation without the need for any actual moving characters.

The scene came together in about 3 weeks whilst working casually on it between some other projects. This was the first scene I’d created entirely in Lumion 12.3 so it was great to be able to explore some of the newer features from the beginning of a scene.

Image of Castor Oil Plant Leaf.

The final animation was rendered in multiple clips and then edited together in Adobe Premiere. This was mainly to make editing the video a little more intuitive, and no other corrections were made to the clips.

In the end, I loved how the animation turned out and I hope you guys enjoy the result too!

For more information on this project and others like it, follow along on The Lumion Collective Instagram! I post a bunch of WIP content over there as well as some other short-form stuff that doesn’t make it onto the website. It’s also the best place for us to chat, so head over and drop a comment if you have any questions 😊

You can also check out some of the full-resolution images over on my Art station

See you next time!



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