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Ten Features I'm excited to See in Lumion 11!

Lumion 11 is finally here and has a bunch of new updates. Here's 10 features that I'm excited to see have made their way into the latest update.

The Glass House Lumion 11 Rendering by The Lumion Collective
The Glass House: Rendered by The Lumion Collective

Lumion 11 is finally here and has a bunch of new updates. As well as having an assortment of minor improvements to some of the existing features, there’s also been some new additions that have caught my eye and apply directly to the way I work in Lumion.

Below, and in no particular order, is a list of 10 (ish) features that I’m excited to see in this release.

Let’s get started!

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01. Custom IES Profiles

Rendering of custom light profiles using IES profiles in Lumion 11
Custom IES Example in Lumion 11

Lumion 11 sees the inclusion of IES profiles. These are customized lighting profiles that are based on real-world photo-metric values. As a feature that’s been available in other CGI workflows for a while now, I’m very excited to see that these have finally made their way into Lumion. They offer far greater customization when it comes to lighting a scene and opens up the possibilities of feature lighting considerably.


02. Orthographic View

Rendering using Orthographic View in Lumion 11
Orthographic View Example

The ability to do perspective views has been long requested by Lumion artists. This update allows users to do just this with the Orthographic View effect. Both manual adjustments, as well as a ‘conform to face’ feature are available to help set up the perspective. I’m looking forward to seeing how people use this, as it allows for some very interesting renders that previously weren’t possible in Lumion.


03. Fine Detail Spotlight Shadows

The spotlight objects just got a little better with the inclusion of fine detail shadows for spotlights. This helps solve some of the contact shadow issues that you may have experienced when lighting a scene, allowing accurate shadows to be cast in small areas. I’ve got more experimenting to do with this before I comment on how effective this is, but from what I’ve seen there are some definite improvements. In my opinion, any change that improves on one of the core elements of Architectural Visualization is a welcome one!


04. Phasing

One of the larger updates in Lumion 11, this feature has completely revamped the capabilities for 4D animation and replaces the ‘Sky drop’ effect of recent versions. I’ve seen more and more architects employing 4D animation in their visualization repertoire, and now they have a much larger tool-set for doing so inside Lumion. Although this is an effect that might not appeal to everyone, it’s a game changer for anyone who benefits from visualizing construction sequencing. If you’d like to learn more about 4D animation I’d recommend checking out this video by Chris Welton that covers his whole journey into this aspect of visualization. I expect to see much more of this type of animation in the future!


05. Volumetric Fire

Rendering of Volumetric Fire in Lumion 11 by The Lumion Collective
Volumetric Fire Example in Lumion 11

This is one of the features I’m most excited about. As well as offering a much more convincing effect, the Volumetric fire object also allows for considerably more customization than the previous fire assets. With full customization using texture maps, it’s possible to generate fire for a specific surface or model. In addition to this, the Volumetric fire effect also includes a filter that’s applied to any surface, instantly creating the look of burnt charcoal beneath the flames. Check out the render I created using this effect above! Fingers crossed this leads to more improvements on some of the other Lumion particle effects in the near future.


06. Precipitation

Rendering using Precipitation Effect in Lumion 11 by The Lumion Collective
Precipitation Example in Lumion 11

The Precipitation effect has been improved in Lumion 11 with the addition of animated water droplets on Pureglass surfaces. This drastically improves the believability of the precipitation effect and allows for some very moody interior scenes.

I’m eager to see how you all experiment with this in the future as I’d love to see some more overcast/rainy visualizations coming from Lumion artists!


07. New Assets

Lumion 11 (Pro) sees a bunch of additional assets that expand on the existing library.

These include new animated people, nature, cars, and even a new subcategory – 3D static people.

New fine detail nature models are what I’m most excited about as I think these are a great way to increase realism for close to mid-range shots and I love seeing more of these become available.

The Longwood scene was a project that really demonstrated the Lumion foliage and I’m looking forward to getting to use some of the new models on future projects.


08. Metallic Paint for Cars

Rendering Using Metallic Paint in Lumion 11 by The Lumion Collective
Metallic Paint Example

This is a feature that I didn’t know I needed.

To be honest, I don’t use a lot of vehicles or people in my scenes. When I have, however, the Lumion cars have always seemed a little… generic.

Lumion 11 now has a Metallic material for the car library which offers a huge bump in quality.

This brings the Lumion cars much closer to the quality of an imported model, with the added bonus of being very well optimized when compared to some of the 3rd party assets I’ve used in the past.


09. Open Street Maps (OSM) Updates

OSM has been given a substantial update in Lumion 11.

Some of these improvements include better-optimized height maps with improved detail, as well as better distinctions between building height data and terrain height data.

As well as this, OSM in Lumion 11 now also allows for satellite imagery to be overlaid on the OSM terrain. The result is a much more 'complete' looking solution to fast and accurate world building.

I'm hoping to test this out a little more in the future, but if you’re someone who regularly uses OSM in your workflow, this is a very welcome update.


10. Quality of Life Updates!

Some of the more understated updates are what I’m most excited about. These aren’t anything wildly innovative, but they are changes that I’ve been hoping for in previous versions and it's great to see them this time around. Some of the QOL updates that I’m most excited about are:

  • Improved Placement Tools: Considerably more Lumion assets now offer full rotation including bank and pitch. This makes building detailed environments much easier and is an update I’ve been wishing for.

  • Proxies: It’s now possible to enable proxies in Lumion 11 to aid in maintaining performance. This setting causes items to be automatically replaced with bounding boxes as they move away from the camera. If you build large detailed scenes, this will be a blessing and makes navigating complex projects much smoother.

  • Improved Color Picker: The color picker now includes a full RAL library as well as HSV, RGB and HEX inputs. It was possible to add specific color values in previous versions, but this makes the whole process much more intuitive.

  • 90-degree cameras: This has been on my wish list for a while now. This means that perfect aerial and top-down renders are possible thanks to having true 90-degree vertical camera placement. I use these types of shots all the time so I’m very happy to see this inclusion.


That’s all for now! I’ve been putting a bunch of these to work on my latest projects and am looking forward to sharing some of the results when they’re ready.

How you feel about this update will depend on the type of work that you do in Lumion, so the features listed here are based purely on my personal experiences and what I’m excited to see.

I know there’s a bunch that I’ve left out so click here to check out the official launch notes if you’re interested in learning more.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this release! Join the conversation over at The Lumion Collective Facebook group now and let me know what you think.

See you next time!


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