To achieve a smoother rendering experience in Lumion, your computer needs a fast graphics card with plenty of memory. If your rendering experience feels sluggish, then you can boost performance with these easy-to-apply tips.

Lumion is a powerful program when it comes to 3D rendering. You can work on massive scenes with hundreds of trees, people, furniture and other context for beautiful rural and urban digital representations.

You can accurately illuminate your models with accurate environmental and artificial lighting fixtures, all while producing incredible interplays of shadows and light. And you can infuse beauty and artistic appeal into your renders with a wide range of effects, including Real Skies, customizable 3D grass, reflections, Hyperlight, precipitation, Print Poster Enhancer, etc.

With the right graphics card and other system hardware, Lumion is designed to handle a great deal. If you can dream it, Lumion can render it.

ompared to a few years ago, expectations in architectural rendering have increased and many architects are modeling with an impressive level of skill, especially with regards to the amount of detail and complexity in their 3D models. 

Then, after importing the heavy model into Lumion and building a scene with a large number of objects, such as thousands of trees and vast planes of customizable 3D grass, for instance, your computer may begin to struggle to display everything in real-time.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to boost real-time performance when Lumion isn’t responding to mouse clicks. In this blog article, we’ll go through a couple of techniques for quickly boosting Lumion performance.

This article first appeared on the Lumion Knowledge Base. You can find the original here.

How do you reduce the complexity of a model before importing it in Lumion?

If you try to import a model that is too detailed for your computer, it might take a long time to finish the import process.

To speed up the import process, we recommend the following steps:

  • Hide surfaces that are unimportant in your 3D/CAD software before importing the model in Lumion.
  • Export the model via LiveSync rather than via .DAE format as it is faster and requires fewer resources.
  • Consider splitting up the model in several parts and importing them as separate models in Lumion.

SketchUp

Skimp: This tool reduces the detail level (polygon count) of your model and includes an importer with a texture placement material remap tool.

Material Resizer: This tool checks the material texture sizes in your model and allows you to quickly resize them.

CleanUp3: This tool cleans up and optimizes your SketchUp model.

Revit

The Surface Smoothing slider lets you define the level of detail for curvy surfaces.

Setting it to the maximum value can have a serious impact on the time it takes to import the model as well as on performance and render speeds in Lumion.

For that reason, we recommend setting the slider to the lowest possible value that still ensures that curvy objects look reasonably smooth.

Rhino

Use the Density setting to reduce the smoothness of curvy models before exporting them to Lumion:

Rhino top menu -> File -> Properties -> Mesh -> Custom -> Density -> 0.0

There is more information on the following page: Rhino Mesh Settings.

3ds Max

Use the ProOptimizer modifier in 3ds Max to reduce the detail level of curvy models before exporting them to Lumion.

How do you make Lumion render faster?

Render speed will decrease if your scene is ‘too complex’ and if your hardware is not powerful enough and/or lacks available System Memory and Virtual Memory.

The symptoms of a ‘too complex’ scene are that the screen turns white and your PC becomes unresponsive while rendering.

‘Too complex’ refers to the following variables:

  • The number of different models you have added to the scene.
  • The 3D Points number in the top right corner of Build Mode. Click here to see how to reduce this number.
  • The number and resolution of textures/materials.
  • The Movie/Photo Effects you’re using, in particular, the Sky Light and Hyperlight effects.
  • How many Reflection Planes you’ve added in the Reflection Effect.
  • How many Spotlights are set to Shadows: Dynamic in the scene.
  • How many Spotlights you have selected in the Global Illumination Effect.
  • How many large surfaces you have assigned 3D Grass Materials to.
  • How many Video Textures you have assigned to materials.

To reduce the time it takes to render a Photo or a Clip, you should try to reduce the number of all of the above. And make sure there is enough Virtual Memory.

Please also note that you can shorten render times by reducing the Output quality, the Frames per second and Output resolution.

Example: Rendering a Clip at 1280x720 pixels in 3-star quality and 25 frames per second is a lot faster than rendering the Clip at 3840x2160 pixels in 5-star quality and 60 frames per second.

0Alternatively, you could consider upgrading your hardware:

Other options for boosting Lumion performance

If you need to boost the framerate even further in Lumion’s Build Mode, please follow these instructions:

1. If you’ve assigned Reflection Planes to your model in the Reflection Effect, please set the Preview Quality to Low, so that the Planar Reflections are not calculated until you start rendering a Photo or Clip.

2. If you’re using 3D Grass Materials, temporarily assign a different material to those surfaces.

3. If you’re using Foliage (via the material settings), temporarily turn this off.

4. If you’ve assigned Video Textures to materials, temporarily remove them from the materials.

5. If you’re using a Global Illumination Effect, make sure that the Preview Spotlight GI and shadows setting is turned off.

6. Make the Lumion window smaller and/or reduce the resolution of your monitor (the fewer pixels it needs to render, the higher the framerate).

7. Set the Editor Resolution to a lower percentage than 100% on the Settings screen.

8. Set the Editor Quality to a lower star quality on the Settings screen.

9. Turn off Enable high-quality trees on the Settings screen.

10. Turn off Enable high-quality terrain on the Settings screen.

11. Hide some of the Layers in Build Mode.

12. You might need to hold down the mouse button for a few seconds when you try to click on a button if the FPS number in the Performance Monitor in the top right corner is too low.

13. After clicking on a button, do not move the mouse cursor away.

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