Author Topic: Lumion for large infrastructure projects  (Read 7487 times)

GerardN

    Reputation: 1
Lumion for large infrastructure projects
« on: October 30, 2013, 04:36:55 pm »
October 30, 2013, 04:36:55 pm
Hi there,

I have been tasked with demonstrating how Lumion may work on an Infrastructure project - a 40km highway, with 18 intersections. My company will invest if I can demonstrate an efficient workflow for such a project.

Ill be looking to take each intersection one at a time (they are approx 2km x 2km), and generate some good renders with cars /pedestrians etc, and also an animation - possibly a drive through with cars animated.

Bringing all the model data together

Each intersection is modeled from 10 xref'd Autocad files. What is the best way of importing these to Lumion, and having each file position itself correctly? I have not found an answer to this, and instead I have aggregated the complete model in Navisworks, and exported as .FBX. Unfortunately Lumion materials are then mapped to Autocad index colours, rather than the actual autocad layers, which is not ideal.

Has anyone used Lumion for such a project who can provide some advice!? Im sure Ill hit a few stumbling blocks along the way !!

Cheers


Jared G.

    Reputation: 36
Re: Lumion for large infrastructure projects
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 05:49:23 pm »
October 30, 2013, 05:49:23 pm

Re: Lumion for large infrastructure projects
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2013, 03:02:09 am »
October 31, 2013, 03:02:09 am
Hi GerardN

Thanks for your interest in Lumion.

.. What is the best way of importing these to Lumion, and having each file position itself correctly? I have not found an answer to this, ...

To correctly position separate imported objects in Lumion do either:
1.  use the position properties dialogue to set X,Y,Z (access this in Build Mode --> Pencil (properties) Tool --> click on object icon.

2.  use the Context Menu to Align objects to each other (Context Menu --> Transform --> Align).

Note the Lumion total world size is 42 km radius, which means the whole scene could be done in one Lumion scene file.  However, I would not recommend that if the outer extents of the highway include intersections that you need to include in views.  Reason is at those extremes from world centre there can be issues with camera, rendering aspects and placement of objects. Up to 20km is probably optimal, just depends on what is needed at the extremes.

You might find that you can do say two parts side by side, where camera views don't include the other part (depends also on camera heights you need), or split the project in to multiple scene files.

As it's what the user is given to see, then it does not matter that the whole highway is not one continuous object.  Unless it has to also be presented in real-time.

I would suggest, and this is just my opinion, that animating a camera along a 40km stretch of highway is not a preferred view (it's a bit like doing a complete walk-through of a house; nice idea but it does not work that well), it's best to have strong, sharp, feature focused camera views that give added messages, than some (yawn) ride down the road  ;)   :-D.

If you have Max, try importing from AutoCAD using FBX then to Max, do some tidy-up as needed, set materials based on layers, then export as FBX or Collada.

GerardN

    Reputation: 1
Re: Lumion for large infrastructure projects
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2013, 05:23:20 pm »
November 02, 2013, 05:23:20 pm
Thanks guys - That roundabout animation is very interesting indeed!

I have played around for a bit and happy to report that I am getting somewhere :)
Thanks for the CAD tip peterm - I have centred the combined model onto 0,0,0 in CAD, and they all drop into position perfectly!

You mention that the Lumion world size is 42km radius - I believe I read somewhere on the site, that the Lumion terrain is only editable within a 2km x 2km area, and outside of that is uneditable!?!? Would I be able to place cars / trees anywhere within the 42km radius.. Unable to verify right now as not at work!

Cheers

Re: Lumion for large infrastructure projects
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2013, 12:30:54 pm »
November 03, 2013, 12:30:54 pm
Correct, the Lumion editable terrain is 2048mx2048m.  Outside that there is no editable terrain.

For larger scale scenes, users will import their own terrain mesh, and keep the Lumion terrain flat.

You can place objects anywhere, but note that there can be issues with camera correctness at those distances from world center due to a thing referred to as floating point limitations. 

You tend to find that trying to place objects with the mouse after about 15km may not work as expected, but you can do so using the position input dialogue on an objects properties (Pencil tool).

Given the size of your potential scene, you should also be aware that, although Lumion can handle some massive scenes, if heaps and heaps of objects are used, say more than 5k to 10k plants, there will start to be a slow down in the editor and increase in render times (subject to what GPU is used).  This is because these all require drawcalls and technically, that has a cost on the GPU to performance, although Lumion does do some nice tricky things to optimise what it can.

Michael Betke

    Reputation: 35
Re: Lumion for large infrastructure projects
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2013, 09:50:26 pm »
November 03, 2013, 09:50:26 pm
To be honest, and i Love Lumion and the Speed and all the nice stuff it can do,
But i don't think such a large project is suitable for real time. You will get into trouble with the amount of vegetation, shadow distance and clipping issues from flickering geometry.

Better use a cg rendering software with lot of instances geometry and cars along paths for your highway. It may be a bit slower to render but save you time with scene setup and trouble shooting.

Re: Lumion for large infrastructure projects
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 09:06:40 am »
November 04, 2013, 09:06:40 am
If it's kept within say 20km (maybe a bit less), and some other users have done large scenes, but I'm not sure of the max.

As mentioned, depends on what the scene requirements are as to how to best work it.

GerardN indicates that each intersection could be taken one at a time and so that would be well within limits.  Unless there is intricate car animation and car pathing required, then Lumion should be OK, but if you need to do complex traffic management with variable speeds, increase/decrease of speeds, traffic light control then there would be more work involved as Lumion object animation is geared for simplified requirements.

However, the user example Jared mentioned looks impressive.

It's possible to do some animation work in say Max and bring that through as it would only involve transform animations which Lumion supports.  However, the vehicles used in Max would need to be chosen carefully for polygon count/detail to ensure no impact in Lumion.  There are probably enough nicely modelled vehicles available from model resources that could do the job, or ones that can be poly reduced to work OK.

Michael Betke

    Reputation: 35
Re: Lumion for large infrastructure projects
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 10:41:04 am »
November 04, 2013, 10:41:04 am
Why should someone do such an amount of work when he can set up such things directly in max?
This is a small script which simulates traffic for example: http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/scripts/simple-traffic
There are better solutions of course (just did a quick search). Vegetation placement of such a large space in Lumion is a lot of work. You need every plant placed by hand especially near roads. And the "place 10 plants at once" feature in Lumion doesnt work on a custom model as far as I know.
On the opposite I can use ForestPro or Multiscatter in Max to just draw a spline and generate very realistic vegetation on the fly.

People can be quickly placed with PeoplePower in 3dsmax 2014 on their flows. Also just a few clicks.

Shadow distance doesnt work for 40km in Lumion. and if you set the shadows very long then the shadowmap resolution will suffer.

With every change on your project you would need to make a whole new export of your car movement, the project itself, adjust all people in Lumion movie-editor manually in opposite to just move some splines around and have it done.

Of course all this can be done in Lumion but if it would be my project I would choose my 3d application this time because of faster setup, more flexible available tailored tools for this project and better asset management.