The Design Process Made Easy by Lumion

Previously, when one used visualisation software, the process was tedious, and it required more time to produce more realistic renders of a design. These obstacles can be a pain to architects and designers alike.

Fortunately, times have changed since then. The beauty of Lumion is that the entire process is quick and painless. From import to the final render, Lumion can do it within a matter of minutes instead of weeks.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how Lumion can fit seamlessly into your workflow with its easy to use interface. You’ll discover how Lumion encourages you to render at any stage of the design process, all while achieving elegance and taste in architectural aesthetic.

Using Lumion at every phase of your process

Everyone has their take on perspective and style. That’s what makes us diverse and unique. Even in art, design, and architecture, Lumion understands that no two firms, architects, styles and capabilities are ever the same. That’s why Lumion can adapt to your unique processes and workflows, no matter if you’ve never incorporated in-house rendering into your practice before.

All you need is a 3D model, and in a matter of minutes, Lumion can turn it into a beautiful render. You can choose to do this from any stage of your design process–from the early stages to your final visualisations. This way, it’ll give you more time to refine your idea and visualise the bigger picture of your project in its surrounding environment.

Modern Victorian Design, rendered in Lumion 10 by MOrenders.

Seamless integration with your CAD software

Do you build your 3D models using a mix of software like Rhino, 3ds Max or SketchUp?

Seamless intergration

No matter the CAD or 3D software you use, you can always rely on Lumion to effortlessly import your models and let you further develop your designs. Lumion supports the most common file formats, including:

    • .DAE (Collada)
    • .SKP (SketchUp)
    • .FBX
    • .DWG
    • .DXF
    • .3DS
    • .OBJ
    • .MAX (requires a 3ds Max installation)

Lumion’s model import and re-import functionality also save you time and effort. Let’s say you need to make changes to your 3D model and re-import the updated model. Lumion allows you to edit and update the model without losing any of your previous work on the surroundings, customised materials and so on.

Real-time rendering with Lumion LiveSync

Another one of Lumion’s features is its ability for you to simultaneously work on your 3D model in CAD and render it in real-time. Whether you’re modifying the walls’ height, adding panels on your windows or even changing materials in your CAD software, your project will automatically update and preview these changes realistically in Lumion.

This free, real-time rendering plugin establishes a live connection between Lumion and the most popular CAD programs in the AEC industry. Some of which includes:

The Lumion LiveSync plugins are free and easy to install. Click on the links above to download the plugin for your software. 

Rendering your 3D model in real-time has its benefits. It helps to give you a more precise visualisation of how the materials and design elements work together for your final design. 

Quick in-context visualisation

To be in a designer’s shoes would involve dealing with high demands from meeting client expectations. The great thing about Lumion is its terrific offerings for quick in-context visualisation. 

Available in Lumion 11 Pro and above, OpenStreetMap allows users to provide rapid-in context and masterplan content in visualisation. What that means is users can import buildings, roads, transit infrastructure as simple shapes or add a whole city area to your visualisation or add map and satellite imagery directly. This feature is convenient if you’re trying to get others to visualise your vision in a presentation. 

orthographic view of villa

City Center visualization, rendered in Lumion 11 by Fatih EkşiProject by Evrenol Architects.

If you’ve not heard about the Photo Match effect in Lumion’s Photo Mode, you’re in for a treat. It’s another helpful tool that allows you to quickly present your design in the context of a real-life photo. Sometimes, you need to make a render as soon as possible. For example, if your clients want to see the design in its supposed location versus a conceptual one. These two tools are great to execute that.

Orthographic views

orthographic view of villa

Lumion isn’t like other rendering programs because you can easily add realistic touches to your renders. The new orthographic view effect in Lumion 11 allows you to create top and side view images without any perspective distortions. Plus, it helps to bring your perspectives to life. For example, you can include furniture, decorations, lights and shadows in your floorplans, which is much more realistic than plain wireframes. The other bright side is being able to animate these views too.

Testing different artistic options, rendered in Lumion by The Lumion Collective.

You can also combine this effect with others in the Lumion’s library, whichever is more suited for your project and presentation.

Animating your design

One of the great things about Lumion’s interface and features is its ‘everybody can do it’ approach. You can easily use Lumion to import your model, put it in a real-life context and even animate it too. 

Lumion’s animation tools cut down the hours you would normally spend on this task to give it a professional finish. It’s another tool that’s perfect for impressing your clients.

There are effects such as animated phasingwhich shows how your design comes together phase by phase. 

Model provided by Ten Over Studio

Of course, animation tools such as MoveAdvanced Move and Mass Move help to give you complete control over other moving elements in your design. 

What’s more, you can find in-program sound objects that change in volume, depending on the camera’s proximity, to give you background noise. Moreover, text effects are available if you need to label names of rooms or buildings in your video without other software.

Despite having no prior experience with this tool, Lumion guides you through the process and provides resources to help you too.


Lumion’s interface streamlines your design process from start to finish. We’re all about making it seamless for the end-users, no matter what background you’re from or the experience you have. Try these out for yourself, and you’ll see how Lumion can help you.

Tricia Lim

Tricia Lim

Digital Marketing Specialist