A render can be worth a thousand words. When rendering images and animations, there’s no better way to tell the story of your design than through the materials you use.
A rusty, Corten steel exterior sits atop a textured stone wall. Rendered in Lumion 8.
Dressing your modeled scenes in beautiful, realistic materials can instantly transform the look and mood of a building or space, and it typically means the difference between a jaw-dropping render and a computer-generated, plastic appearance.
Materials can also impact your audience at a subconscious level. Give an interior a colorful, patterned wallpaper and your audience may react quite differently than they did for a wooden interior.
In Lumion 8 Pro, you no longer have to search for stunning, photo-realistic materials. Right in the Lumion materials library, you can find 1,019 materials for:
- Landscapes (soil, water, rocks, grass, etc)
- Interiors (fabric, glass, leather, metals, plastics, etc)
- Exteriors (concrete, bricks, roofing, asphalt, wood, etc)
- …And more
In this blog post, you can explore many of the new materials available in Lumion 8.
A note about “perfect” materials
Look around you: the walls of your room, the edges of the windowsill, the surface of your desk or kitchen counters.
Surfaces and materials are rarely perfect and clean. Every building, structure or piece of furniture in the real world is subject to weather and natural wear. Materials also get dirty with moisture, stains, mold, etc.
A conference room’s unfortunate deterioration. The age and grime was enabled by the Weathering slider in the materials editor.
Through weathered materials, you can easily suggest the history of a building and what it was used for. Also, a room that hides its history shows far less character than one that embraces it.
The foliage crawling up the columns of this office interior was enabled by the foliage sliders in the materials editor.
When using any of Lumion 8′s materials, remember that you can control the material’s characteristics, including age (via weathering), the softness of its edges, color, reflectivity, glossiness, relief, and more.
Local landscapes with new soils
Even if you’re not a landscape architect or work primarily with diverse terrains, it’s still essential to render a realistic environment around your models and designs.
Lumion 8 features 17 new, high-definition soil options. Found under the “Nature” tab in the materials library, these soils make it easier to create a local landscape specific to your project.
In an instant, you can transform your terrain into a rocky beach, a field of dried dirt or an interesting set of paths running across a campus.
Just some of the new soils are featured below. The image captions include the name of the soil found in the materials library.
Ground Gravel 012
Pebbles beach 001
Pebbles Beach 003
Ground gravel 006
Beautiful waters for every occasion
From the waterfront to the city fountain to the mansion with a swimming pool, realistic water has an unquestionably powerful impact on renders.
Unless, of course, the water means an indoor flood.
One of the more significant additions to Lumion 8 was the 20 new water presets. Now, instead of spending hours fine-tuning the water characteristics to get it exactly how you want, you can browse among pre-configured water options in the material library’s Nature category.
The 20 water presets include:
The glass-like Clear Pool
The Murky Lake
And the suspenseful Black Water.
Other water presets include:
- Azure Pool
- Blue Ocean
- Calm Pond
- Calm Tropical
- Flat Water
- Muddy Water
- Reflecting Lake
- Super Clear
- White Water
- And several others
Detailed fabrics for high-resolution interiors
When it comes to interior design, getting that “desired look” depends heavily on the furniture, fabrics, wallpapers and much more.
Enhancing the feeling of your interiors with realistic fabric requires a precise level of definition and detail. A standard fabric, such as on a couch, can contain thousands of tightly interwoven threads, unique weave patterns and even stray thread imperfections.
By rendering using the highest attention to detail, your scenes will include soft, comfortable-looking fabrics that beg viewers to reach out and run their fingers across them.
In Lumion 8, you can find a total of 29 fabrics for interiors, exteriors, upholstery and more. These new fabrics include canvas, wool, wrinkled fabrics, linen, cotton, carpet and denim.
The metals of interiors, exteriors and everywhere else
Metal is everywhere; it’s found on the appliances in your kitchen, the chair legs of your dining table, the banisters of your staircase, the lights hanging throughout your home and so on.
As such, no matter the subject of your renders, you will likely have to work with a lot of metal materials.
In Lumion 8, there is a total of 63 interior metals (41 of which are new) and 48 exterior metals (11 of which are new).
Pro Tip: when optimizing metals for rendering, make sure to turn on the “Speedray reflections” feature as part of the Reflection effect. This ensures that the small bits of metal show accurate and realistic reflections.
Above: breakfast bar chairs rendered with a copper material.
In addition to standard metals, Lumion 8 also comes with a wide selection of metal meshes, such as with the staircase renders below.
MetalMesh V5 Grid
MetalMesh V7 Grid
MetalMesh V2 Grid
The strength and beauty of concrete
Concrete is a popular material for walls and building exteriors, and this material is featured on everything from commercial structures to residential houses to brutalist designs. Concrete is also symbolic as well, and it gives the feeling of strength, power and longevity, such as in this dreamy render.
Or in this artsy perspective of a man looking out from a concrete staircase.
Lumion 8 offers 15 new concrete materials, bringing the total to 58. Below, you can find just a couple other examples of the beautiful, high-definition concrete materials available.
Capturing urban spaces in stone
Bring a degree of charming, modern beauty and old-school atmosphere to your scenes with smooth city sidewalks, cobblestone streets and other stone paths.
Located in the Outdoor category of the materials library, the new stone materials are purely delightful in their ability to transform exteriors into familiar scenes. Put on a pair of boots while walking across this material and you can easily hear the echoes of each step.
City Street Sidewalk 007
You can find 23 new stone materials in Lumion 8 that were designed for outdoor scenes, which brings the total number of stone materials to 43.
City Street Sidewalk 003
Creating beautiful renders with Lumion’s materials library
The new materials in Lumion 8 come with finely detailed texture maps that serve as the secret ingredient for viewers to “touch” the walls, “smell” the leather of the living room couch and “hear” the sound of feet moving across the floor.