Author Topic: Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet  (Read 7979 times)

tresidiohomes

    Reputation: 2
Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet
« on: October 09, 2014, 07:35:11 pm »
October 09, 2014, 07:35:11 pm
Hello all,

I work for a residential home builder and we are looking to take our rendering to the next level with Lumion. Since it is a substantial investment, we are doing lots of research to see if it is a good fit for our needs.
We do not have very complex renderings; we generally render a residential home with some landscaping, skies, reflections, and so forth in Autodesk Revit. Entourage aren't a big part of our renderings. Most of our target audience is the retirement age and empty nester generation; however, we would not rule out adding some of these things to make the renderings more marketable. These renderings are posted on our website, added to signage outside homes on occasion, and added to our floor plan sheets that are essentially one page flyers that potential buyers can pick up at our model and spec homes.
Now that I've kind of explained the use of the rendering software, I need to ask more about the nuts and bolts to ensure that we have the capacity to utilize the program. We have been throwing around the idea of purchasing a Windows Surface Pro 3 tablet to work in Revit, Adobe Suite, and Lumion. We recently had someone put Revit to the test using their Surface and we were extremely impressed. It was able to rendering in Ray Trace in a fraction of the time that my beefed up laptop was capable of doing. We are still looking in to that, so that isn't really my question. My question has to do with compatibility of Lumion with the Surface tablet.
1. Is Lumion compatible with the Surface tablets?
2. If so, how does it run? Can it keep up with the graphics-intense program?
3. If not compatible, will it be in the newest version of Lumion coming soon?
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

I know this is a long post, but I appreciate any feedback from those who have experience and know more about the tech specs.

-Kyle

Pauldavis

    Reputation: 16
Re: Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2014, 10:00:25 pm »
October 09, 2014, 10:00:25 pm
I have the surface pro and I have been running every program I use except for Lumion on it and am amazed at how well it runs everything. But I think the GPU will not handle LUmion models very well. I will try loading Lumion onto my surface over the weekend and let you know how it does. For the most part Lumion needs a high end graphics card. So you would want a laptop or pc that had a top end gaming graphics card in it. I am running a GTX780 in mine and it does really well. I will let you know what Lumion is like on the surface as soon as I get it loaded up on it.

tresidiohomes

    Reputation: 2
Re: Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2014, 10:34:43 pm »
October 09, 2014, 10:34:43 pm
Thank you Pauldavis. I have only heard good things about the Surface, hence the fact that we are looking into it. I was sure the graphics card would have issues running the program based on the specs of the Surface, but I wanted to see if anyone had some mild success trying it for themselves. This might seem like a silly question, but is it possible to add an external GPU to boost the performance? I have heard there have been complaints about the inability to upgrade the GPU in the Surface, but I figured there would be a work around somewhere. What are the specs on your Surface Pro?

Pauldavis

    Reputation: 16
Re: Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2014, 12:34:51 am »
October 10, 2014, 12:34:51 am
No do not believe you can add an external graphics card or upgrade the one it comes with. It is designed more like a tablet so the components within it are permanent as far as I know. I would not concider using the surface as your main rendering computer. But it may work well as a device you use to show your clients the still, animations, and to walk them through the project within Lumion. I use the surface for all my client meetings. The onenote is perfect for taking digital notes. I am downloading LUmion to my surface right now so I will let you know how it turns out.

Pauldavis

    Reputation: 16
Re: Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2014, 06:59:31 am »
October 10, 2014, 06:59:31 am
So Lumion will not run on the surface. At least mine but I doubt it would run on the higher model either. I am running the i5 on mine with 8gb of ram. It scored a 1600 on the bench mark, which is pretty bad. I loaded one of the sample scenes and it couldn't display it correctly even with all the settings set to the lowest. Rendering the scene did not go any better. Here is what it rendered. It is pretty much missing the sky.

Re: Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2014, 07:27:04 am »
October 10, 2014, 07:27:04 am
Hi Kyle

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  :o, 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  :-D. 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.

tresidiohomes

    Reputation: 2
Re: Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2014, 05:49:28 pm »
October 10, 2014, 05:49:28 pm
Thank you for your prompt responses and the great information!
Pauldavis, although the sky is missing, that is still pretty impressive! I know it wouldn't work out for our needs, but I am kind of surprised it worked THAT well.
Right now we are concentrating on exterior shots of a single residence with limited surroundings, but I'm a little hesitant with that kind of passmark. I had tried the trial version a while back and it struggled at points, hence the real need to improve on our GPU. I checked with Dell to see if the GPU was up gradable in this laptop, but unfortunately it isn't. Any suggestions on a recommended laptop or PC setup?

tresidiohomes

    Reputation: 2
Re: Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2014, 05:51:57 pm »
October 10, 2014, 05:51:57 pm
peterm, thank you for the references, they are very helpful!

Pauldavis

    Reputation: 16
Re: Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2014, 06:38:26 pm »
October 10, 2014, 06:38:26 pm
You may want to look into a whole new laptop or pc. If you just upgrade an older pc with a new graphics card you will most likely run into a bottle neck with the motherboard or other components. Personally I would recommend building your own pc. That way you can get more for your money. But if you haven't done it before it may be a little overwhelming to try. If you want a laptop then I would get one with a graphics card that Peter mentioned (770m or the 780m). IF you go with a pc get one that has the latest hardware in it. I have an i5-4670k, 16gb of ram (1600speed), and a GTX780. With that set up my Lumion bench mark is 22,000. That will render fairly complex scenes at around 6-9 seconds a frame. which will still take a 3 minute video 20 hours or so to render. You should be looking at gaming pc computers and laptops. Lumion utilizes the same hardware as a high end game would. Peter please correct me if I am wrong.

Re: Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2014, 11:12:41 pm »
October 10, 2014, 11:12:41 pm
Sounds good Paul.

The 780 is best if you can get one with 6GB, is getting cheaper and will continue to do so now as NVIDIA have their new Maxwell GPU's out, the 900 series. 

I see NVIDIA have released the 900M series, and there's some product out now (Asus and MSI).  It will be priced high as they are new in market.  Unfortunately the 980 and 970 have again been cut back from their desktop equivalent, presumably to meet power requirements, but with the 900 series having such low power anyway, it would have been nice to see the 980 directly in laptops.

vertigo1

    Reputation: 3
Re: Lumion on Windows Surface Tablet
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2014, 11:32:48 pm »
October 13, 2014, 11:32:48 pm
Wait for CES 2015 (January 6-9) before buying new hardware if you can :-D