Author Topic: Regarding the current demo (3.2.1) and v4  (Read 1822 times)

Doozie

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Regarding the current demo (3.2.1) and v4
« on: November 03, 2013, 06:03:44 am »
November 03, 2013, 06:03:44 am
I am hoping to purchase a copy of the up and coming version and am running the demo at the moment to better understand the workflow before making a final decision.

On my test file I am noticing pop-in of shadows, they don't appear to go out quite far enough (maybe 200 yards +- at most D: ). Will this shadow view distance be further extended? I tried the Sun Shadow Range effect but it doesn't seem to help.

There appears to be no undo beyond a single step (really?) and that one worries me a bit. I attempted to use some of the sculpting tools and I can tell that this won't be easy to use if you have no way to undoing and redoing a series of changes. I am a bit surprised that this is not something you have addressed but maybe somehow it is just not needed?

I notice that version 4 will directly import sketchup files so hopefully this will be very straightforward and simpler process regarding buildings and objects which sounds excellent! I'm excited about this software but there are a couple snags that really make my stomach turn considering the price of entry.

Thanks for any input you can offer!

 

Gaieus

    Reputation: 44
Re: Regarding the current demo (3.2.1) and v4
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2013, 11:34:34 am »
November 03, 2013, 11:34:34 am
Regarding shadows: they may disappear on your screen but if you set shadow range far enough, they will appear in the render properly. This is (probably) just saving real time rendering resources while you are setting up your scene.
Gai...

Re: Regarding the current demo (3.2.1) and v4
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2013, 11:37:25 am »
November 03, 2013, 11:37:25 am
Hi

Thanks for your interest in Lumion.

Shadows in Build Mode are 'speed' shadows for real-time and building the scene so you get these fast, low resolution popping type shadows.  When you render though, the shadows should be fine.  Using the Shadow Effect though you should get good shadows for most distances by changing the Range, so not quite sure why this did not help.  You can either test your shadows by doing a render, or use the Build With Effects button to see a closer to final output look in Build Mode.  Do you have any screencaptures or renders showing the shadows and range values used?

re Undo, that is correct and in some places no Undo is provided at all.  Some undo was added and there has been a number of suers discussions on this aspect and part of the Wishlist items.  There are some things that are technically complex to implement for Undo's in this real-time environment.  In some tasks it has been considered not required and in keeping with keeping things simple, so users are expected to gain confidence to minimise the need for undo's.

Sculpting tools?  Can you please refer more specifically to the names of the interface tools or menus as we do not have any 'sculpting' type tools in Lumion.

re direct SketchUp import:  my thoughts at first, why the need when we can easily export and import with Collada which has worked well.  However, my tests quickly changed my mind and it's a wow feature.  It just makes the workflow that much tighter and faster.  Of course there may be a number of very specific object based things supported in SkUp that users might want to see supported in the direct import, however, it must be remembered about what the focus of  Lumion is.

Some things come from what we are used to and most familiar in using in software.  The key in Lumion is simplicity, low learning curve, gives users access to doing visualization that they would never before have dreamed about or even considered was possibly by themselves, rapid, fast workflow, simple and low cost to production and output.

Doozie

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Re: Regarding the current demo (3.2.1) and v4
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 06:20:44 pm »
November 03, 2013, 06:20:44 pm
I have attached a screen shot about the shadows. You are correct that I do see the shadows down the whole face of the building but I guess the issue here then is that the quality of the shadow drops rather dramatically about 50 to 75 yards out for no apparent reason.

Here's an example that illustrates what I'm talking about on the shadow quality.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vebyrgr9dt7sntm/shadow-test.jpg

This example really shows how bad it gets a short distance out, this is with the Sun Shadow Range set to '2' (full).
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3lfalwz69wp4r6f/shadow-test2.jpg

This issue isn't a deal breaker, it just makes for some pretty ugly shadows down the length of a rather large building. Regarding the "sculpting tools" I was speaking of the tools used to edit the landscape, "raise, lower, flatten, jitter, smooth" tools. The undo seems almost necessary for this type of editing.

I understand the desire to make the software as easy to use as possible but undo is not a difficult issue for a beginner to wrap their minds around, it would make the software even easier to use honestly.

thanks again for your time

Re: Regarding the current demo (3.2.1) and v4
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 12:58:36 pm »
November 04, 2013, 12:58:36 pm
Hi

Attached are some sample tests with various shadow range settings.  I don't get the same problem unless the value is set to less than the required range, within the shadowmap ranges for Lumion.

In my test here, the object is 376m long, and value was set to just more than 1.2 depending on how far the camera is from the object.   Certainly you will get that fade out look for the shadow if the camera is more distant, for example say about 300m back and up 300m, but increasing the range up to 1.5 fixes that.  Extreme distances will eventually not be covered by the range.

In Photo Mode and Video Mode the Shadow Effect values are applied to the Preview (and also of course to any renders) (see pics 1 and 2).  If you go from Photo Mode to Build Mode you will see the default shadows (see pic 3) (which show things in low shadow quality).  If you go to Build Mode via the Build With Effect button you should be seeing the effect applied in Build Mode and not the default (see pic 4).

There are definitely some limitations for shadows with the current shadowmap system and you will notice the difference as in your first test pic of the different maps being used as the distance from camera increases.

However, for the distances you are mentioning, I can't quite see why you are getting the results you see at the moment, sorry.

How far from world center is your warehouse object?

re Undo and sculpting, thanks for clarifying.  Yes there has been plenty of similar feedback on those.  Those tools for terrain provide for quick, 'easy' and rough creation of terrain.  Where more detailed or more specific features of terrain are required, then users will generally have the terrain created in other 3D or CAD tools and import the terrain as mesh.  You also have the ability (within the 2048m terrain square) to use a heightmap.

Doozie

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Re: Regarding the current demo (3.2.1) and v4
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 06:23:35 pm »
November 04, 2013, 06:23:35 pm

How far from world center is your warehouse object?


The corner of my building is world center according to Sketchup.

After running a few more tests I can see that the Shadow filter itself is what's degrading the shadow quality. Running the filter at 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, & 2.0 strength reveal that the filter may extend the shadow view distance but it also degrades the quality and clarity of shadows.

I suppose it is what it is when it comes to shadows in lumion. I will make due with it. At this point it's not worth fussing over. Thanks for all the input though, it does help in my assessment of the software.

Re: Regarding the current demo (3.2.1) and v4
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 12:50:25 am »
November 05, 2013, 12:50:25 am
Hi Doozie

Ok, thanks for feedback. 

Shadows quality for real-time and render output is definitely something the dev team are regularly reviewing, and looking for improvements.