Author Topic: Vehicles in Lumion vs. Outside Program  (Read 4140 times)

tremainr

    Reputation: 0
Vehicles in Lumion vs. Outside Program
« on: November 20, 2015, 01:43:17 am »
November 20, 2015, 01:43:17 am
So I have seen youtube videos of users able to import vehicles from outside software such as 3DS Max and such. I also seen that they are able to animate it relatively easily. I am currently weighing my options of the different programs out there to use for final rendering of architectural animations.

I know that Lumion 6 now allows vehicles to follow the path. My question is do the wheels animate? Meaning do they rotate and turn. Did the newest version make it where the vehicle is able to follow the slope of the path and not "sink" into the terrain?

Is there a way to set up traffic simulations? such as where cars stop and go with out disappearing and looping? Or is that a task better for 3DS Max imported vehicles?

Additionally, if I use 3DS max imported vehicles and set up their animations there, are the paths fixed to what they were in 3DS or can I specify the path in Lumion? Would this geometry allow for the vehicles to stop and start on a certain path as long as they frames were set up correctly? I don't see why this couldn't be done and would greatly reduce the need to animate a vehicle in 3ds and hope the paths lined up in a Lumion model, since most of the other parts of the scene would come from Revit.

I haven't found too many users of either software attempt much of this, but I assume that I just haven't found the right source. I would love to show cars and trucks turning into properties, stopping for traffic signals, pedestrians, and such to add that extra touch of realism, but I know that it takes a bit of work and effort.

See examples below:




The second one always gets me. This makes me think that animating (I believe the term is actually called rigging), and then exporting it out to Lumion, and importing it with animations set to on, allow the user to define the path in Lumion and not preset in 3DS. Correct me if I am wrong.

Is there a tutorial someone has made? That seemed to be difficult to find on the web as well.


Any help to swing me in a good direction would be great, and no I am not desperate to get this information for an active project with a deadline due this week. It is for experimentation only. Those requests kill me when I see them  :-P

Re: Vehicles in Lumion vs. Outside Program
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2015, 03:53:17 am »
November 20, 2015, 03:53:17 am
Hi tremainr

Thanks for your interest in Lumion.  :)

1.
Quote
...do the wheels animate?
They rotate, but they do not turn in the direction the vehicle is heading. 


2.
Quote
Did the newest version make it where the vehicle is able to follow the slope of the path and not "sink" into the terrain?
Yes, thats now possible, and easy to achieve.


3.
Quote
Is there a way to set up traffic simulations? such as where cars stop and go with out disappearing and looping? Or is that a task better for 3DS Max imported vehicles?
I guess that depends a little on the complexity of what is a traffic simulation  ;).
In any case, if the vehicle is in a Mass Move path, it is currently not able to do a motion that is either a transition from travelling to stop or stop to travelling.
So yes, if that level of animation is required, then something like 3ds Max would be required.


4.
Quote
are the paths fixed to what they were in 3DS
You would need to specify the paths in Max, as it is an object that is animated, and that type of animation (apart from a stationery vehicle that's simply animating it's wheels) would need the path set in Max, for example slowing down or coming to a stop.

To put it another way, an object gets animated in Lumion.  If that object is just the animated model then that is what will be controlled in Lumion.  If the object contains a path from Max then both the model and it's path are part of the object so it wouldn't work to then try adding some other path in Lumion.


5.
Quote
and hope the paths lined up in a Lumion model
What is needed is to at least have a draft layout 'scene' in Max that will match that in Lumion, for example, the roads.  That's easier to do if the roads are basically flat.  If not, then the roads need to come from terrain and roading built elsewhere, or in Max before being finalised in Lumion, so that the vehicle paths are correct.


6.
Quote
I haven't found too many users of either software attempt much of this
Indeed, I'm also not aware of too many.  Perhaps that's because the focus for Lumion is architectural visualization, and those added realisms all require further investment by architects in time and learning how to do, for what might not be a real requirement for communicating the design, concept and scene.

Don't forget that sometimes it's not what is done, its' what the user is given to see  ;) for example a car might appear to turn off a road in to a parking lot, we can show the motion in to the parking lot without a lot of effort, and it's a given that the viewer will associate correctly where the car has come from, and add in the missing pieces to form the realisms needed.  :-D

Certainly 3DCordoba that specialise in visualizations and use Lumion do so such things, re your example 2 video.  I would guess they use Max (but it could be Maya or one of the other high end 3D animation tools that can 'cleanly' export FBX or Collada animations.


7.
Quote
I would love to show cars and trucks turning into properties
Easy to do that now with either the Advanced Move Effect (all recent versions of Lumion) or Mass Move Effect (Lumion v6+).


8.
Quote
exporting it out to Lumion, and importing it with animations set to on, allow the user to define the path in Lumion and not preset in 3DS.
You need to consider the two basic forms of animation, as above.  An object can be animated but static in position, so it's position can be controlled by a path in Lumion.  Or, the object includes a path and so it (generally) has a fixed position in Lumion but still moves along a path.


9.
Quote
Is there a tutorial someone has made?
Not that I'm aware of, but if you find one please let us know. 

We do of course have our own Video Tutorials (see link top of page) to cover Lumion features.

tremainr

    Reputation: 0
Re: Vehicles in Lumion vs. Outside Program
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2015, 04:52:37 am »
November 20, 2015, 04:52:37 am
Thanks for the reply peterm,

The animations make more sense to me know and explains why many don't bother trying to show or focus on that aspect. As you said, the main point of Lumion is for architectural visualization.

With the "typical" work around what I would want to achieve I potentially see a problem:

If I have multiple MAX vehicles (the animated people in Lumion seem to be pretty simple once you get the controls and settings down), and the scene, would it be better to import my Revit model into Max first, then export, or import into Lumion the Max and Revit files separate of each other? Does this bog down Lumion in anyway when importing multiple files? 

Does Lumion have a hard time keeping up with multiple imported animation paths? I have seen videos of rigging up vehicles, and there seems to be a lot of helpers and/or scripts and my first thought is that it has the potential at eating up the available resources to complete a scene. Granted, if I did it to maximize efficiency, I would have a few objects from Max that followed a specific path already defined when brought in, and the rest would utilize the Lumion Library as I probably don't need every object to do anything other than travel a straight line path.

That is a shame that the mass move tool doesn't support the option to let the user define a pause in the frame (simulating a stop) and then resuming after a defined time (or frames I guess is the right word). Maybe in the future that would be possible. I would build the roads either in max or even Revit as I have found a useful way to do so. The only thing that would concern me is the size of the file and how it affects the PC on import into Lumion (especially if animations with paths of imported vehicles are present).

When you say that a MAX vehicle is animated (meaning its wheels are rotating), do you mean that the vehicle wheel will always spin even if that vehicle is stationary? If so, this means that I would have to make two instances of the object (moving and stationary) then correct? Does this apply to other animated objects like doors that you want to open when doing a walkthru animation? If I recall, I have seen a video on how to make objects like doors animate to open directly in the software.

Last question I have at the moment is if I did animate the wheels in MAX and kept the car stationary so that in Lumion I could specify the path and movement, would the wheels in regards to turn act like the Lumion library cars? or would it actually turn left and right because the model was rigged to do so in MAX? Would Lumion ever introduce this in future releases? Granted that has to be a lot of work to do to all of those vehicles, but I could see a benefit to those that would need it. If not I am sure the Max workaround for the vehicles needed to show this simple feature works.  ;)

I have a fair set up with my desktop:
I-5 processor
32GB of RAM
GTX 970 6GB
4TB HD and a 256GB SSD.

(I'd have to run DxDiag to get the exact setup, but this is the basics)

I don't plan on creating city blocks with thousands upon thousands of animated objects and many detailed models (at least not yet  8) })), but something that at least when rendered out in video makes a viewer feel that scene is realistic.


Re: Vehicles in Lumion vs. Outside Program
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2015, 10:34:46 am »
November 20, 2015, 10:34:46 am
Hi tremainr

Quote
import into Lumion the Max and Revit files separate of each other? Does this bog down Lumion in anyway when importing multiple files?
There would be little to no difference.  You would however find that the workflows may be a little easier, if the model parts are separate, so that updating is easier, rather than having a single model from Max for updating.  However, that depends how complex the model/s would be.

Models with animations do take up more resources than just a single imported model.  That's because the model is animated to keyframes, and those keyframes add to the amount of data Lumion needs to process in realtime.


Quote
Granted, if I did it to maximize efficiency, I would have a few objects from Max that followed a specific path already defined when brought in, and the rest would utilize the Lumion Library as I probably don't need every object to do anything other than travel a straight line path.
Those sorts of ideas are great to see.  It's never a case of Lumion being some open-ended system, so optimizing and making sure the best of all worlds is the way to go.  Sometimes that takes a bit of understanding about the softwares, and experimentation and testing and practice, ogh and time  :-D.


Quote
and how it affects the PC on import into Lumion (especially if animations with paths of imported vehicles are present).
So, it's possible to do test files and see where its heading.  You can use Layers to hide objects, which helps.  Alternatively, after say testing a particular resource imported, just remove it from the scene, and use it again near the end of the creation of the scene cycle.  Again, alternatively use some sort of place-holder until the production ready animation is needed.  Plenty of workflow options.


Quote
do you mean that the vehicle wheel will always spin even if that vehicle is stationary?
The wheels of Lumion Library vehicles are made to spin relative to the speed of the object.  Those animated outside of Lumion would require the wheel speed to be controlled as part of the animation.  So for example, in Max you alter the rotation over time of the wheels, and those rotations relate to the speed at the given roading points.

Things like doors and any part of a model can be animated for transform animations within Lumion, but don't have to be  :).  The part of the model must be separated before it comes in to Lumion so it can be treated as a distinct object for animating.


Quote
if I did animate the wheels in MAX and kept the car stationary so that in Lumion I could specify the path and movement, would the wheels in regards to turn act like the Lumion library cars?
If you want the cars wheels to turn - as in change heading - driver turn not spin, then you would need to do that in Max.  It would be difficult to extremely difficult to set things up in Lumion to use different animations for different parts of a path, where that path involves turning and changes in speed.
So you then must think of a complete animation cycle for your vehicle within the context of the scene which will be used as a single object within Lumion.

Note in terms of imported animations, Lumion will import the animation, so once placed in the scene, it just continuously loops that animation.  No feature for controlling the speed of the animation, pausing or stopping or otherwise.  To manage the animation, the user needs to think in terms of 'what the camera sees'.  Looping is of course an accepted form of animation in architectural visualization.

If not already done so, you can download the Demo version from the Lumion web site (see link top of page - Try).  There's also a 7 day Trial version for (serious) potential buyers available from your local reseller, when you get to that point.  In that way you can test exporting animations from Max in to Lumion and see how things are going to start fitting together.  :)

HTH.

Re: Vehicles in Lumion vs. Outside Program
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2015, 10:48:16 am »
November 20, 2015, 10:48:16 am
If I have multiple MAX vehicles (the animated people in Lumion seem to be pretty simple once you get the controls and settings down), and the scene, would it be better to import my Revit model into Max first, then export, or import into Lumion the Max and Revit files separate of each other? Does this bog down Lumion in anyway when importing multiple files?

Hi tremainr, just to add to Peter's post, Lumion combines models that share the same materials as this method makes models faster to render. However, in your case the vehicles in 3DS Max presumably won't be re-using materials from your Revit model, so having separate imported models won't have an impact on speed.

Does Lumion have a hard time keeping up with multiple imported animation paths?

The only thing that would concern me is the size of the file and how it affects the PC on import into Lumion (especially if animations with paths of imported vehicles are present).

You can easily test this by downloading the demo version of Lumion and importing as many animated cars as you expect to use. There are many plug-ins and scripts that can simulate traffic in 3DS Max, so it should be straightforward to carry out a test ;)
IMPORTANT: Please do not send private messages and emails to members of staff - unless we specifically ask you to send us sensitive information, for example License Keys.

tremainr

    Reputation: 0
Re: Vehicles in Lumion vs. Outside Program
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2015, 09:37:16 pm »
November 20, 2015, 09:37:16 pm
Thanks for the input guys. I will download the trial later today. I will experiment with different setups using MAX and Revit. I am curious as to the type of output I get upon export. I think if I build the roads and sidewalks for the scene in Max and everything else in Revit, I should only have to add Landscape, people, and other static items.

I am sure I will have questions as I try it. One thing I do think of is the scale of the model? Does Lumion have system units? Are these editable or do I have to make sure my model is scaled correctly upon export?

I ask this because I tried to export my Revit model into Max and my Revit model was tiny in comparison to a car model in MAX. I can see that wreaking havoc in Lumion. Even if I imported separately from their own programs, I would imagine the same problem would result.

Thanks for all the input. I am sure I will post more questions as they come up.

Re: Vehicles in Lumion vs. Outside Program
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2015, 04:21:44 am »
November 23, 2015, 04:21:44 am
Hi tremainr

You are best to start with and ensure you model in real world units, or that you scale on export to match.

You can choose a scale of either Metres or Feet (see Lumion Settings).  Imports will automatically match to either (if in real world units).

If you model in Generic Units then you would need to scale on export.  Some model export formats such as 3ds and Obj are only in generic units, so you need (best) to check the model is in real world, and scale first before import, although you can Scale in Lumion.

Not sure why you got Revit to Max so small, you would need to check the Revit export settings, presumably FBX?