Author Topic: Custom Backgrounds  (Read 6143 times)

RobinMarks

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Custom Backgrounds
« on: January 28, 2013, 07:24:54 pm »
January 28, 2013, 07:24:54 pm
Hello,
is Lumion capable of importing panoramas and use them as background?
If yes, is there an example where this feature can be seen in action? And which Version is required - standard or pro? Is it possible to test it in the free Version?

To clarify my question, here's an example.
Interior scene > camera does not move outside of the building. Instead of a standard sky I want to use a panorama photo which can be seen when the camera looks out of the window. (like a skybox)
OR exterior - house and garden is surrounded by a fence > sky is replaced by panorama photo which can be seen "behind" the fence.

I hope my description was ok.

EDIT: I found a few threads with similar topics, but all the links do not seem to work or be offline. For example the link in this post.
http://lumion3d.com/forum/general-discussion/replacing-background-with-a-real-image/
Since the answer does not seem to be available anymore I cannot tell if this would answer my question.

Thank you

Re: Custom Backgrounds
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 07:39:08 pm »
January 28, 2013, 07:39:08 pm
Hi RobinMarks, there is no built-in function for this, so you would have to create a skybox/skydome, import this in Lumion and assign a Standard material to it.

After adding a texture to the Diffuse slot, just crank up the "Roughness" slider to distribute the sun light more evenly on the dome.

Customers with commercial licenses have got access to some ready-to-use sample skydomes in the closed forum. It is this thread that the link above is referring to.
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RobinMarks

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Re: Custom Backgrounds
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 09:07:25 pm »
January 28, 2013, 09:07:25 pm
Thank you for the info Morten.    Do you know any example (maybe youtube clip) where this "feature" can be seen in action? I did not find anything.

You said "import" skybox or skydome and assign a standard material....   Will Lumion correctly map the texture?  Because I would need it to work with "real" warped 360 panoramas - not just a normal photo and I cannot imagine how Lumion will correctly map the pano image if this not not an implemented feature... or am I missing something?

If anyone knows if and how this can be tested with the free/demo version (or where I could see it) please let me know.       

Re: Custom Backgrounds
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 05:48:25 pm »
January 29, 2013, 05:48:25 pm
Hi RobinMarks, the skydome examples used simple 360 degree panoramic sky textures from cgtextures.com.

You can easily make your own skydome in most 3D modelling applications though - it's just an inverted sphere with the bottom half removed + cylindrical texture mapping which you need to apply to the model in your 3D modelling application.

What are you using? Revit, SketchUp, 3DS Max, AutoCAD? Or something else?
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RobinMarks

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Re: Custom Backgrounds
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 04:41:23 pm »
January 30, 2013, 04:41:23 pm
Thank you Morten, this answer shads a little more light on the issue.
Most Models we use will be from 3DSmax.
I haven't downloaded/installed the Demo/Free Version yet - since I did not know if this would be possible at all in Lumion.  Pity though that it's so hard to find any info about the possibilities.

Two more things...  you said the texture should be applied in the modelling application and then imported into Lumion.  From what I have seen in the Demo movie I thought Texturing has to be done in Lumion. Is there a format which will automatically import also the Materials/Textures that were applied in the original Modelling application?
and... in case of the dome that you mentioned. I am wondering how will the "sunlight" will pass through it, since the sun would be "behind" it? Or was this already answered in your first post? (roughness slider)

I guess I should try the demo... I hope I'll find my way around   

Re: Custom Backgrounds
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 05:16:24 pm »
January 30, 2013, 05:16:24 pm
Hi RobinMarks, if you make the skydome single-sided, the sunlight will indeed pass through the skydome. And don't worry about textures, they are automatically imported if you apply them to a model in your 3D modelling application (see the link at the bottom of this post).

If you type in 'how to make a skydome in 3ds max' in Google, you'll find many good tutorials - here's an excerpt of one of them (modified slightly to make it Lumion friendly :)):

1) New scene in 3DS Max (Units: Meters).

2) Create a large sphere with sufficient subdivisions to make it curve smoothly (pick 5000m radius or whatever you need), and center it at 0,0,0.

3) Convert it to an editable poly (right-click -> Convert to Editable Poly).

4) Delete the bottom half of the sphere.

5) Select the sphere again, right-click -> Object Properties -> Backface Cull = On (This means that single-sided polygons will no longer be displayed as double-sided: this is how Lumion will see the sphere after you have imported it).

6) Add a 'Normal' modifier to the sphere and flip the normals. They should now point inwards.

7) Add a 'UVW Map' modifier and set it to Cylindrical – then click the Fit button.

8 ) Add a Standard material with your sky texture to the sphere. Make sure it looks right.

9) Export the skydome to Lumion by following the instructions here:
http://lumion3d.com/forum/importing/how-to-import-a-scene-from-3d-studio-max-tutorial/
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Gaieus

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Re: Custom Backgrounds
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 05:34:21 pm »
January 30, 2013, 05:34:21 pm
Nah, Morten beat me but here is what I have written, too...

Hi Robin,

You need to apply textures in your modelling application basically for two reasons:
1) give the model parts a unique material each which then you can tweak in Lumion (or replace with a Lumion material). Lumion will identify model parts based on the material.
2) to add the UV mapping you wish to use in Lumion (imagine a brick arch for instance)

As for these backgrounds... If you do not paint the back side of the dome, in Lumion (at least when the model is exported from SketchUp - sorry, I do not have experience with Max) this will be completely invisible "from behind".

If I were you however, I would only use a custom background for the '"ground" part of the panorama image  (hills, treelines, buildings etc.) and delete the whole sky so that the Lumion sky can be seen. One of the greatest features of Lumion is the dynamic sky system.
Gai...

Re: Custom Backgrounds
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 05:36:56 pm »
January 30, 2013, 05:36:56 pm
If I were you however, I would only use a custom background for the '"ground" part of the panorama image  (hills, treelines, buildings etc.) and delete the whole sky so that the Lumion sky can be seen. One of the greatest features of Lumion is the dynamic sky system.

Good point, Gaieus - I forgot to mention that he needs to use textures with clipping masks in the alpha channel (32-bit TGA textures for example) if he wants to combine the Lumion sky with 'cut-out' mountains/cityscapes by the horizon. Also, an inverted cylinder should be used for this purpose instead of the sphere :)
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RobinMarks

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Re: Custom Backgrounds
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2013, 05:42:02 pm »
January 30, 2013, 05:42:02 pm
Thank you Morten and Gaieus. I guess this should be all the information that I need for now.
As soon as I got enough time I will give the Demo a try.

If I run into any problems I'll report back.

Thank you again!

Re: Custom Backgrounds
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 05:43:23 pm »
January 30, 2013, 05:43:23 pm
Good luck! :)
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