Lumion 11 Tips and Tricks: What Makes Your Design Realistic

Previously, we talked about the importance of details like greenery, materials and weathering effects to have a convincing design. Besides that, what can make your design more realistic?

In this blog, we’ll explore some of the simplest ways to add realistic touches to your architectural designs by focusing on the right elements. We’ve also put together more examples of beautiful Lumion renders that pay attention to the small details. You’ll find that Lumion comes equipped with a broad range of tools, libraries and settings to help you create the environment you want.


Lighting always matters, especially in design. No matter how big or small, modest or extravagant your plan is, lighting will matter. In fact, it plays a significant role in how we experience, perceive and understand architecture.

lumion lighting

Regency Project, rendered in Lumion by Adam Ingram (Ark Visuals)

Good lighting changes and transforms a space. Without it, would architecture still have the same impact? No, it wouldn’t. Light helps draw our eyes’ attention to a specific area in a space. That means we can pay attention to the materials, textures and colours. Plus, vision is an essential sense of ours to be able to enjoy architecture!

With Lumion, designers can create a well balanced architectural space with the use of lighting. Hence, they feature various interior and exterior lighting elements to help you bring value to your architectural render. Be it light direction, diffusion, colour, brightness, warmth and so on.

If this is new to you, try playing around with spotlights, omni lights and area lights. Bear in mind that to see its full effect, you should turn down the natural lighting setting. (With the Weather tab in Build Mode or with the Sun or Real Sky effects). This way, you can explore more in-depth the different things you can achieve from lighting alone.

lumion 11 paris lighting

Parisian street, rendered in Lumion 11 by 3D Fernandes.

Now, it all depends on the vision and style of your design. Suppose you’re looking to give off a cinematic or gallery-like mood. You can play with the cinematic lighting arrangements. It can help you create certain lighting conditions like sunsets or other low-lighting situations too.

Moreover, it’s handy if you have the IES lighting profile! You can import it into all the spotlights across your scene, creating the exact lighting balance you desire for the project. 

Furniture, objects and people

You may think of furniture, objects and people as supportive visual elements. Contrary to that, they play an essential role in pulling your design together.

Of course, it’s situational and depends on your audience (whom your design is for). If your design is a residential home in an upper-middle-class neighbourhood, you will be sure to include fitting furniture, objects and people who reflect this setting, right?

lumion 11 kitchen

Kitchen on a busy day, rendered in Lumion by Aditya Pradana.

The best kinds of architectural renders show contextuality and accentuate your design’s complementary features well. Lumion is perfect for that. In fact, the Lumion content library has a selection of 6,200 models, covering nature items, interior and exterior furnishings, transport objects, people and more.

They are more than just supportive components. These supporting elements can help you communicate your design thoroughly to your audience. For this reason, it’s handy to be careful with your placements using Lumion’s simple Move, Rotate and Scale features to get the objects in the correct position efficiently.

lumion 11 beehive

Humen High Speed Rail Station Expansion Project Master Plan, rendered in Lumion by Beehive. Architecture and modelling by Aedas.

Ambience, emotion and effects

Similar to lighting, ambience affects how you feel when you enter a space. The right ambience also adds emotional value because it helps to set the mood and atmosphere. When done well, it can leave a strong and positive impression on others.


Spanish Patio, rendered in Lumion 11 by Minitel Creative.

Why else would Lumion have such a wide range of effects in Photo and Movie Modes? To give you the intuitive tools perfect for creating the right ambience in your renders, of course.

lumion 11 render backyard

Backyard design, rendered in Lumion by Stephan Pavlov.

Here’s an example of using one of the Styles, or any combination of Real Skies, Sky Light, Hyperlight, Colour Correction and Exposure. There are also excellent atmospheric tools such as Precipitation and Fog, which you can add to heighten a specific mood or emotion.

lumion 11 render in the woods

House in the woods (evening light), model provided by Diego Tapia.


Details add a realistic touch to your design. You may think some pieces are minute and insignificant when they add value to your design in actuality. So make sure to keep these tips in mind when you try to render your creations. Follow along and apply some of these to your rendering projects too. If you would like to try Lumion 11 with your next rendering project, download the free 14-day trial version today

Tricia Lim

Tricia Lim

Digital Marketing Specialist