Thanks for your interest in Lumion.
I see Paul has replied prior to me completing my reply.
Paul will be best to give you an idea of using on the Surface. As it's considered a 'tablet' it does not come within the normal range of equipment for Lumion. Mainly due to graphics limitations. We'll be interested to know the results of Pauls test.
The Surface will work with Revit and Revit rendering because Revit is using the CPU to do most of the rendering, whereas Lumion relies heavily on GPU rendering.
In answer of your questions:
1. Is Lumion compatible with the Surface tablets?
No, not to our knowledge. A dedicated GPU is required.
The Surface Pro 3 models all come with an integrated Intel graphics chip (4200/4400/5000) so would not be suitable for Lumion.
To gauge what sort of PC equipment needed refer further to:
1. LUMION 4: Minimum hardware requirements
2. Lumion Web Site: Specifications
3. Passmark: Videocard Benchmarks
The better the GPU performance and more VRAM it has, the better it suits the tasks. From your description even though you may have been working with single residences, you may find that you then want to extend from some static room views, to full blown animations of the property (building and surrounds) as well as images, and then further in to the complexes/villages.
We see a lot of real cases about how Lumion expands options and visualization content for users. so the higher the specs the more capacity to expand those options
2. If so, how does it run? Can it keep up with the graphics-intense program?
As above, but no, unlikely even for the more recent HD 5000. That image Paul posted was not too bad though compared to some I have seen using integrated graphics
, but 'proper' operation of Lumion is only within PC's with dedicated GPU's.
3. If not compatible, will it be in the newest version of Lumion coming soon?
For various reasons it is not suitable, nor is it a practice of Act-3D to indicate about what might/might not be available in future versions.
Our best suggestion is to always evaluate things in terms of the currently released version.
4. If not compatible, what is the best solution for us/best hardware to use to ensure it meets our needs? And/or how do I optimize the hardware that I currently have on my laptop? My computer's current specs are as follows:
Windows 8.1 64-bit
Intel Core i7-4500U CPU @ 1.80 GHz
16 Gb RAM
1 Tb hard drive
Nvidia GeForce GT 750M
The Passmark for the GT 750M is 1506. We have had other members with same or similar card. It's my considered view that the 750M, being mobile, and even though not too old, could struggle with your requirements. If you had say one building then that might be OK, depending on complexity of model and amount of detailed interior models. But I think if you want to create scenes showing more homes or villages then you would need a much higher GPU specification.
You would need to check with your IT supplier if that model of laptop is able to have the GPU replaced or not.
For all hardware, the more/faster/better performance and VRAM, the better
. For laptops, I generally would only suggest 770M or 780M (or equivalent 800 series). You may also want to wait a while and see if NVIDIA bring out any new ranges of M cards based on their new 900 series Maxwell chip.
Have you downloaded and tried the Free version? This will give you a good idea about it's capabilities, although that version (3.2.1) is now a bit behind our current version 4.5.1.
There is also a Trial version 4.5.1 that you can obtain via your local reseller
Note also that you have the option in terms of product and price, so that the lower priced, less content Lumion rather than the Lumion Pro may match your needs more closely.
--------Caveat: these comments are provided only to assist forum members in considering their options for reviewing or purchasing hardware to use with Lumion. They should in no way be considered as recommendations or qualified advice.