Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Act-3D releases Lumion 5.3

Originally posted on 24 October 2014. Scroll down for details of the Lumion 5.3 update.

Act-3D has released Lumion 5, the latest update to its real-time architectural visualisation tool, adding physically based materials, stylised render effects, and new instancing and crowd animation tools.

New non-photorealistic render effects, lighting options and PBR
Perhaps the most visually interesting of the additions are the new artistic rendering effects, which include oil paint, pastel, blueprint and the Analogue Color Lab, which creates Instagram-style effects.

They’re all effects it would be easy to abuse, but a bit out of the ordinary in standard visualisations.

More generally, all of the preset materials have been made physically based, and 123 new materials added, including new categories for leather, plastic and stone.

The lighting toolset gets volumetric lights, or at least volumetric sunlight; and Hyperlight, a proprietary indirect lighting system offering a “physically based method of incorporating light reflections into a scene”.

There are also options to fake reflections in water planes, plus “a new way of rendering skin” – although the website doesn’t say if this means true subsurface scattering or not.

New instancing and simple crowd animation tools
Outside of lighting and rendering, there are new tools for instancing objects or setting up motion paths for characters and vehicles by drawing lines: a bit like a simplified version of a tool like an(i)ma.

Lumion is also claiming “render time reductions of typically 20% to 90%” over the previous release of the software, and the built-in libraries of animated characters and vegetation have been extended.

Pricing and availability
Lumion 5 is available now for Windows only. The Pro edition of the software costs €2,999 (around $3,790); the standard edition, which lacks Hyperlight and some stock content, costs €1,499 ($1,895).

Updated 18 February 2015: Act-3D has just released Lumion 5.3, a free update for registered users, adding a new option to generate a normal map automatically when assigning photographic textures.

The update also makes it easier to manipulate 3D objects, adding support for selecting multiple objects by dragging marquees, and for locking the motion of an object to a given axis.

Changes to the output options include including the power to render unlimited still images simultaneously; and to render images at ‘poster resolution’ (7,680 x 4,320 pixels) if you use the Pro edition of the software.

Read a full list of new features in Lumion 5