Author Topic: About the stock asset quality  (Read 7982 times)

Michael Betke

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About the stock asset quality
« on: February 06, 2011, 12:40:17 pm »
February 06, 2011, 12:40:17 pm
After beeing now a full licensee (so I can start to complain hehe) I was able to take a look at all the stock assets and i'm really surprised about the bad quality the hundrets of models have and curious why the Lumion team buy from such vendors?


Mostly the texture resolution is really low and looks like 256px textures. The sample buildings are looking like from 1999. I don't care about the buildings because most people will import their own. The cars are ranging from good quality to bad too. Sometimes the rims are modeled sometimes a small texture is applies on them. The arch-viz people can't be used even in mid-range due their polycount.


Look at the traffic signs for example. I opened Lumion and was very happy to get a full set of traffic signs but was ery surpised as I've seen the posts. Which country on earth does four sided sign poles which are way to thick too?

The person modeled the back of the sign but run out of polies as it came to this simple pole? Even 5 sides and a metal material for it would look 100% better as this thick qube.


Why is this? Do the devs need to compete with Twinmotion 2 and the library count? I think a small quality library with animated people, vehices, vegetation and props would be a lot better as hundreds of non-usable low-quality assets.

Why not taking a look at game-devs? There are a lot of people which would do AAA assets for lumion for a good price. I did a lot of game-art and real-time projects the last years - both as a hobbyist and as a professional -  and I would have earned no money delivering the quality like 60-70% of the models in Lumion3D are.

I really doupt that a high-quality building made for a client will visually fit well with the low-poly assets of the library.

Finally the current library is not a good "business card" for lumion3d in general. A good quality asset library could be THE selling point for such a product because artists save a lot of time doing libraries themself. This was one of the main reasons I put Lumion3D in my pipeline. But I was expecting that the full library fits into the overall top notch program which Lumion3d is. :)


    Reputation: 80
About the stock asset quality
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2011, 01:02:39 pm »
February 06, 2011, 01:02:39 pm
Hi Michael,

I agree.

Its my understanding the Lumion team made every effort to stock the off the shelve product with at least some assets to get you going, yet they are well aware of the poor quality of some. As initial development budgets go there are always difficult choices to make and from the initial launch pov of the product I do think this decission was justified.

There have been numerous comments by the Lumion staff acknowledging similar complaints so my guess would be we'll see the overall quality of the assets mature over time.

About the stock asset quality
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2011, 11:08:36 pm »
February 06, 2011, 11:08:36 pm
Certainly AAA games have much better objects but don't forget the budgets that they have available. Since you are familiar with game content creation you must also know how expensive it is. Even so that for big titles a really large chunk of the cost is in developing the content. Lumion certainly now in the beginning will never earn what such a big title can make. Our total content budget is a tiny fraction of what a big game title can spend. 


We of course hope Lumion will continue to get better and better sales making budgets available for higher quality content. We do have some really nice plans for better content creation which you will hear something about soon. 


Please don't compare Lumion to a big AAA title at this stage we will never win that battle right now.


You can calculate what 1 high quality custom modeled car would cost us let alone 50 cars! That is probably the same cost as Lumion will earn in its first whole year!

Michael Betke

    Reputation: 35
About the stock asset quality
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2011, 07:48:43 am »
February 07, 2011, 07:48:43 am
No you misunderstood me. I mean there are good freelancers out there who can do great art like in an AAA game for a small budget.

And even because of your small budget as a start with a new product I can't understand the decision to deliver hundrets of assets which are not usable in most projects. Your money is simply bad spent with such work.


What artists in the world models 4 sided traffic sings and gets not fired? It's the most inefficent work I've seen forever and even on Turbosquid there is better work...

About the stock asset quality
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2011, 08:19:22 am »
February 07, 2011, 08:19:22 am
Most of this is from Turbosquid! And which 4 sided traffic signs do you mean?

About the stock asset quality
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2011, 08:21:39 am »
February 07, 2011, 08:21:39 am
When you hover over the sign you can see which country it is from! Currently GB and FR which is great brittain and france.

About the stock asset quality
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2011, 10:54:41 am »
February 07, 2011, 10:54:41 am

I'm sorry to hear that you (and Aaron) are disappointed with the 'bad quality the hundreds of models have'. I gather that you feel that the available information and existing videos haven't made it easy enough to gauge the quality of the models prior to purchasing Lumion, and it is obvious that we will have to put in more effort to demonstrate what sort of quality potential buyers can expect from the Content Library.

Regarding the overall quality of the content library and the suppliers we have chosen, we have indeed spent a lot of effort on negotiating prices and generally just squeezing everything we could out of every Euro we invested in models. As you and others already pointed out, we have mainly relied on what was available on TurboSquid and in other 3D model shops that agreed to let us distribute modified versions of their models with Lumion.

About the houses, it is true that the models we bought from TurboSquid have low polygon counts and use low resolution textures. We knew from the start that only a few of our customers would be using those houses in their projects, since you only rarely need to include generic houses in real-world scenes. And if the houses were being used, it would be for a backdrop, so the polygon count and the texture resolutions would be "acceptable" at a distance.

Regarding the road signs, your assumptions are based on lack of knowledge (not your fault, I guess we just need a PDF catalogue describing each model). As Ferry mentioned, the clue is in the name. FR means France, GB means Great Britain, i.e. the ISO 3166 naming convention. All signs are custom made models since the ones that are available on TurboSquid are incorrect (Wrong measurements, not using official names etc).

Anyone from France will indeed confirm that (most) poles are 4 sided in this part of the world, and the names of all signs are based on their real-world counterparts, so we see no reason to sack modellers for creating signs that are in fact based on real-world data. The same principle applies to the British road signs, sure, the fixtures and fittings on the back are simplified/optimised for real-time 3D but the rest is made according to real-world dimensions and we use the official names from the British Highway Code. We do encourage feedback on incorrect models though, so please let us know if any of the models appear to be wrong, so we can make sure they get fixed.

Characters (and many animated objects) were custom-made on an incredibly tight budget (I don't think you'd believe it if I told you what the budget was for each character), the body parts, heads etc were created from 3D.SK reference photos, the motion capture animations were recorded for a sum so low that it is, frankly, unheard of in the motion capture business (My brother who had a motion capture company confirmed that the price we paid was about 1/3 of what is usually charged). The polygon-count (max 4k per character) was based on the assumption that users will add a lot of different people to their scenes (once the library is big enough), and since there's no such thing as a free lunch in CGI, we can't simply double the polygon-count without affecting performance negatively. The vertex animation of each character is in fact stored in a special texture which also adds to the total memory consumption. This is how we're able to animate hundreds of objects at the same time, so if you double the vertex count, you're also increasing the memory consumption for each character.

The same thing goes for the texture quality. We have deliberately scaled down a fair amount of the source textures to avoid out of memory situations. Once the majority of our users are using fast graphics cards with a lot of memory and Windows 64-bit (+ a 64-bit version of Lumion) we will be in a better position to use higher resolution textures and higher polygon counts.

And as Ferry already mentioned, good quality assets require more sales (or a higher price) so we can justify an increase in the amount that we can re-invest in the Content Library. So no, we are not in a position to match the quality of objects in the level editors of AAA games you're used to and we most likely won't be for a while. Also, I don't think you know what it costs to use the CryEngine for (commercial) architectural visualisations. Just contact them to see what I mean. If we charged that amount (and had a similar budget), I can assure you it wouldn't take long before we could match this quality.

When we started working on Lumion, we actually contacted close to 30 outsourcing companies to enquire about the prices for next-gen AAA quality characters, cars etc with Z-brush hi-poly versions used for normalmap generation etc and rest assured that this is not cheap. You can buy a real car (well, a Kia Wink) for the price of its 3D counterpart (including the usual next-gen map types).

Instead we chose to make a content library which was "good enough" for the majority of our users, whilst realising that many models were not suitable for centre-stage close-ups. In other words, the most important thing in Lumion is the model that the user imports. The entourage is not AAA quality, and we have never claimed it was. But the people you make architectural visualisations for may not have the same discerning eye for details that you have (being a veteran in the 3D industry).

So to sum up our objectives, we essentially wanted to make an affordable 3D visualisation tool for "the masses", i.e. people who don't have a huge budget to blow on software and/or training, and we were keenly aware of the fact that we wouldn't be able to compete with the quality of Vray for example. What we wanted to create was a tool for those situations where you are facing an almost impossible deadline, and you simply don't have the time to render a full video of a Vray scene with a large number of EverMotion cars/trees etc.

That being said, I'd be grateful if you could forward links/email addresses to the freelancers you mentioned, i.e. people who are both cheap, available for full time work and who produce the quality you are looking for. Unfortunately, the best and most qualified people are already employed/working for other companies in my experience, so please let us know who you'd recommend.


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About the stock asset quality
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2011, 10:57:53 am »
February 07, 2011, 10:57:53 am
@Michael >

Don't you think youre coming on a little strong here?

Apart from the all important traffic sign example, most assets in the stock library are actually very usable. 

Look at most of the videos posted in the gallery. If the assets were as terrible as you state, do you think the average Lumion

user would still put them in their scenes?


-The buildings look good enough

-The cars as well

-Many props are fairly good

-The 3D people are pretty bad but thats a known issue

-The Speedtrees imo are a definite no for close-ups but are good enough as filler foliage.


Also keep in mind Lumion is not intended for a typical gamelike approach in setup.

You won't see videos of linear levels with streamed in content and 20k poly caracters walking around.

High Polygons facades of buildings would also have a limited use since most Arch-Viz videos require you to pan around

a scene and thats something a average game just doesnt offer for funtionality.


I'm also not sure what you mean by artists being able to do great art for a small budget.

I'm pretty confident most artists are able to model a traffic sign but how about cars for example.

It takes time and experience. Even at going rates in India for example you'd be looking at a sizable investment for all the cars.

Anyways, the moment the Lumion asset-store sees the light, I'll be looking forward to content offered by you Smile


    Reputation: 80
About the stock asset quality
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2011, 11:06:36 am »
February 07, 2011, 11:06:36 am
@ Morten > You wont see me crying over this. My comments were more along the lines of there's always room for improvement.

That said, I'm also a firm believer in helping out to solve your own complaints so regarding my Speedtree beefs

(which to be fair have nothing to do with Lumion as a product since its just how they are) I hope at least Ferry knowns what that line is

about Wink

About the stock asset quality
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2011, 11:51:57 am »
February 07, 2011, 11:51:57 am
Aaron said:

@ Morten > You wont see me crying over this. My comments were more along the lines of there's always room for improvement.

That said, I'm also a firm believer in helping out to solve your own complaints so regarding my Speedtree beefs

(which to be fair have nothing to do with Lumion as a product since its just how they are) I hope at least Ferry knowns what that line is

about Wink


Not to worry, I know what you mean now, Aaron Smile As you mentioned in your second post, I now realise that you do not share Michael's opinion that most of the models are unusable, merely that there is room for improvement and I'm pretty sure everyone here (including me) would agree with the latter. Apologies for the misunderstanding. Believe me, it really hurts to have to downscale textures and/or make low-poly versions of medium-to-high poly models when you know that you may have to wait for some time until everyone's hardware catches up.

But if we consistently used medium-to-high poly models and medium-to-high resolution textures in the Content Library, we would be inundated with complaints from users who'd run out of memory all the time.

As much as I'd like Lumion to work even better on the beefiest PCs and with the latest and greatest graphics cards, we also need to make sure that Lumion works reasonably well, even for users at the lower end of the scale.

It's the good old discussion of who to cater for, the small minority with the latest gear or the majority with less up-to-date hardware.

The elephant in the room that we're really talking about is of course level-of-detail (both polygon-count and texture resolution) and perhaps to a lesser extent DX11 tesselation for organic models. LOD is the most common way to cater for PCs with very different specifications, so does this mean we will see LOD functionality in Lumion at some point? Who knows… But it definitely won't work with the baking system in the current version of Lumion, and without the baking system in place performance would be much much worse.


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About the stock asset quality
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2011, 12:22:01 pm »
February 07, 2011, 12:22:01 pm
for people needing good cars and stuff theres a shop in Thailand:

Bought there this one:

About the stock asset quality
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2011, 02:16:44 pm »
February 07, 2011, 02:16:44 pm
@Michael Some of the models are low detail on purpose ofcourse because you can't render everything you want in real time. A non-real-time speedtree would drop the framerate to nearly unusable for example. The core of Lumion is visualizing buildings so we don't want a situation where 90% of the framerate is taken by 3 high polygon cars parked in front of the building. Unless you are very close to the cars they look good enough I would say.


I personally think the model library is awesome and I've seen a lot of people who agree with me. There's always room for improvement but considering the price of Lumion includes the software AND the content I think it's an awesome deal. If you need higher resolution models for specific cases you can import any model you want. 


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About the stock asset quality
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2011, 02:43:13 pm »
February 07, 2011, 02:43:13 pm

I do not think that we can want it to "Lumion" to have a library of objects of very good quality ...........
Pourqoui did we choose Lumion?

Doubtless because it is the software which allows to make animations of relatively good quality rather quickly, in .......... without forgetting its big simplicity of use. It is thus a software of composing in which import its own objects.
There where I think that l has real lacks there, it is on the impossibility of enregister its objects in the size of lumion (ditto for textures/mapps). In which case, between licensiés users (for example) and in a section dedicated by the forum, we could all share objects and textures ................

Rather than the team of development wastes his time on a better library, it would be desirable that it spends it on the very clear improvement of the depictions of images (far from being satisfactory), the possibility of creating spotlights (for the internal night scenes), more photorealistic depictions in animation and in depictions photos ...........
Well, we cannot satisfy all the world .............

    Reputation: 16
About the stock asset quality
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2011, 02:52:01 pm »
February 07, 2011, 02:52:01 pm
I guess the
issue of the Lumion library is more if the objects are usable/suitable for your,
then the quality of the objects. Just look the objects cd you can by for
Artl*ntis, you get 75 objects for 120euro, where only can use a few off… and
they are lower quality as the once you get for free in lumion.

And the
issue of the good library will always be, for you it might be ok, for others
not. In general I guess if you need specific thing in a certain (high) quality,
you will always need to model it your self (or let It model).


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About the stock asset quality
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2011, 02:53:23 pm »
February 07, 2011, 02:53:23 pm
@Morten > No problem whatsoever. LOD support would be great but as far as detail amount I think the current product suffices in all but the more extreme cases. Right now if and when I run out of memory it's because of the 32-bit instead of my gpu-mem and it's amazing how much stuff you can actually cramp in that space already, let alone when the 64-bit version will be released eventually.

I also agree with grincheux that the team shouldnt waste any resources beyond the most desired items on assets (still a little bit cross about Angelina not making it in though Cool) since it will never satisfy everyone. Let the community take care of that when the need arrises.