Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Act-3D releases Lumion 10.3

Originally posted on 11 November 2019. Scroll down for news of the 10.3 update.

Act-3D has released Lumion 10.0, the latest version of its real-time architectural visualisation software, adding a higher-quality render preview and new materials with baked displacement maps.

There is also an experimental new Artist Styles feature, which uses AI techniques to stylise renders to look like the work of famous painters.

Users of the Pro edition also get a new photo matching system and support for heightmaps when importing OpenStreetMap data, plus new high-detail vegetation models and night sky backgrounds.

Core software: higher quality render previews and materials with baked displacement
Users of the core edition get a new high-quality preview option. Clicking in the viewport causes the render view to refine progressively, showing materials and shadows more accurately.

Lumion also now supports render-time displacement effects, adding materials “with displacement maps baked in” – some new, some reworkings of existing library materials.

As the comments to the YouTube demo video note, the software actually seems to be using parallax occlusion mapping: it doesn’t seem to be possible to add your own displacement maps to materials.

Updated 18 March 2020: Lumion 10.3 adds the option to import displacement maps.

New tools include Paint Placement, for placing trees and other natural objects in scenes using a brush-like workflow; and Landscape Cutter, for carving underground areas into terrain.

New AI-driven Artist Styles system transfers the painting style of traditional artists to renders
However, the most unexpected – if not necessarily the most practical – new feature is an experimental AI-trained Artist Styles system which stylises renders to look like the work of famous painters.

The results vary, presumably according to how naturally the work of the artist in question lends itself to architectural images, but Cézanne and Monet options seem to work reasonably well.

Pro edition: match 3D models to photos, new vegetation and sky assets
Users of the Pro edition get a semi-automated system for matching 3D models to photographic backplates.

Adjusting guides to match the vanishing points of a source photo enables Lumion to position and scale the 3D asset to match the perspective of the backplate, as shown in this video.

The lighting of the backplate is not matched automatically, and must be recreated manually.

The Pro edition can also now import heightmaps when using OpenStreetMap data, making it possible to recreate surrounding terrain as well as the position of buildings.

Pro users also get over 360 new assets in Lumion’s content library, including 62 higher-detail tree and plant models, five night sky backdrops for Real Skies, and a set of user-customisable aurora borealis effects.

Updated 18 March 2020: Lumion 10.3 is out. (There weren’t actually any intervening 10.1 and 10.2 releases: the changelog skips straight from Lumion 10.0.2 to 10.3.)

The update adds the option to import custom displacement maps for materials, improves the visual quality of the real-time preview and the reflection effect, and makes a number of workflow improvements.

Users of AutoCAD also get a new live link plugin, making it possible to edit a model in AutoCAD and see updates within real time in the Lumion viewport.

Pricing and availability
Lumion 10.3 is available for 64-bit Windows 10. The standard edition of the software costs €1,499 (around $1,650); the Pro edition costs €2,999 ($3,300). You can see a comparison table here.

Read a full list of new features in Lumion 10.3 in the online release notes

Read a full list of new features in Lumion 10.0 in the online release notes