Lumion Support Center

Support for unlicensed users => Post here if you can't find your License Key => Topic started by: Michael Betke on February 06, 2011, 12:40:17 pm

Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Michael Betke on February 06, 2011, 12:40:17 pm
After beeing now a full licensee (so I can start to complain hehe) I was able to take a look at all the stock assets and i'm really surprised about the bad quality the hundrets of models have and curious why the Lumion team buy from such vendors?

 

Mostly the texture resolution is really low and looks like 256px textures. The sample buildings are looking like from 1999. I don't care about the buildings because most people will import their own. The cars are ranging from good quality to bad too. Sometimes the rims are modeled sometimes a small texture is applies on them. The arch-viz people can't be used even in mid-range due their polycount.

 

Look at the traffic signs for example. I opened Lumion and was very happy to get a full set of traffic signs but was ery surpised as I've seen the posts. Which country on earth does four sided sign poles which are way to thick too?

The person modeled the back of the sign but run out of polies as it came to this simple pole? Even 5 sides and a metal material for it would look 100% better as this thick qube.

 

Why is this? Do the devs need to compete with Twinmotion 2 and the library count? I think a small quality library with animated people, vehices, vegetation and props would be a lot better as hundreds of non-usable low-quality assets.

Why not taking a look at game-devs? There are a lot of people which would do AAA assets for lumion for a good price. I did a lot of game-art and real-time projects the last years - both as a hobbyist and as a professional -  and I would have earned no money delivering the quality like 60-70% of the models in Lumion3D are.

I really doupt that a high-quality building made for a client will visually fit well with the low-poly assets of the library.

Finally the current library is not a good "business card" for lumion3d in general. A good quality asset library could be THE selling point for such a product because artists save a lot of time doing libraries themself. This was one of the main reasons I put Lumion3D in my pipeline. But I was expecting that the full library fits into the overall top notch program which Lumion3d is. :)
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Aaron on February 06, 2011, 01:02:39 pm
Hi Michael,

I agree.

Its my understanding the Lumion team made every effort to stock the off the shelve product with at least some assets to get you going, yet they are well aware of the poor quality of some. As initial development budgets go there are always difficult choices to make and from the initial launch pov of the product I do think this decission was justified.

There have been numerous comments by the Lumion staff acknowledging similar complaints so my guess would be we'll see the overall quality of the assets mature over time.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Ferry on February 06, 2011, 11:08:36 pm
Certainly AAA games have much better objects but don't forget the budgets that they have available. Since you are familiar with game content creation you must also know how expensive it is. Even so that for big titles a really large chunk of the cost is in developing the content. Lumion certainly now in the beginning will never earn what such a big title can make. Our total content budget is a tiny fraction of what a big game title can spend. 

 

We of course hope Lumion will continue to get better and better sales making budgets available for higher quality content. We do have some really nice plans for better content creation which you will hear something about soon. 

 

Please don't compare Lumion to a big AAA title at this stage we will never win that battle right now.

 

You can calculate what 1 high quality custom modeled car would cost us let alone 50 cars! That is probably the same cost as Lumion will earn in its first whole year!
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Michael Betke on February 07, 2011, 07:48:43 am
No you misunderstood me. I mean there are good freelancers out there who can do great art like in an AAA game for a small budget.

And even because of your small budget as a start with a new product I can't understand the decision to deliver hundrets of assets which are not usable in most projects. Your money is simply bad spent with such work.

 

What artists in the world models 4 sided traffic sings and gets not fired? It's the most inefficent work I've seen forever and even on Turbosquid there is better work...
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Ferry on February 07, 2011, 08:19:22 am
Most of this is from Turbosquid! And which 4 sided traffic signs do you mean?
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Ferry on February 07, 2011, 08:21:39 am
When you hover over the sign you can see which country it is from! Currently GB and FR which is great brittain and france.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Morten on February 07, 2011, 10:54:41 am
Michael,

I'm sorry to hear that you (and Aaron) are disappointed with the 'bad quality the hundreds of models have'. I gather that you feel that the available information and existing videos haven't made it easy enough to gauge the quality of the models prior to purchasing Lumion, and it is obvious that we will have to put in more effort to demonstrate what sort of quality potential buyers can expect from the Content Library.

Regarding the overall quality of the content library and the suppliers we have chosen, we have indeed spent a lot of effort on negotiating prices and generally just squeezing everything we could out of every Euro we invested in models. As you and others already pointed out, we have mainly relied on what was available on TurboSquid and in other 3D model shops that agreed to let us distribute modified versions of their models with Lumion.

About the houses, it is true that the models we bought from TurboSquid have low polygon counts and use low resolution textures. We knew from the start that only a few of our customers would be using those houses in their projects, since you only rarely need to include generic houses in real-world scenes. And if the houses were being used, it would be for a backdrop, so the polygon count and the texture resolutions would be "acceptable" at a distance.

Regarding the road signs, your assumptions are based on lack of knowledge (not your fault, I guess we just need a PDF catalogue describing each model). As Ferry mentioned, the clue is in the name. FR means France, GB means Great Britain, i.e. the ISO 3166 naming convention. All signs are custom made models since the ones that are available on TurboSquid are incorrect (Wrong measurements, not using official names etc).

Anyone from France will indeed confirm that (most) poles are 4 sided in this part of the world, and the names of all signs are based on their real-world counterparts, so we see no reason to sack modellers for creating signs that are in fact based on real-world data. The same principle applies to the British road signs, sure, the fixtures and fittings on the back are simplified/optimised for real-time 3D but the rest is made according to real-world dimensions and we use the official names from the British Highway Code. We do encourage feedback on incorrect models though, so please let us know if any of the models appear to be wrong, so we can make sure they get fixed.

Characters (and many animated objects) were custom-made on an incredibly tight budget (I don't think you'd believe it if I told you what the budget was for each character), the body parts, heads etc were created from 3D.SK reference photos, the motion capture animations were recorded for a sum so low that it is, frankly, unheard of in the motion capture business (My brother who had a motion capture company confirmed that the price we paid was about 1/3 of what is usually charged). The polygon-count (max 4k per character) was based on the assumption that users will add a lot of different people to their scenes (once the library is big enough), and since there's no such thing as a free lunch in CGI, we can't simply double the polygon-count without affecting performance negatively. The vertex animation of each character is in fact stored in a special texture which also adds to the total memory consumption. This is how we're able to animate hundreds of objects at the same time, so if you double the vertex count, you're also increasing the memory consumption for each character.

The same thing goes for the texture quality. We have deliberately scaled down a fair amount of the source textures to avoid out of memory situations. Once the majority of our users are using fast graphics cards with a lot of memory and Windows 64-bit (+ a 64-bit version of Lumion) we will be in a better position to use higher resolution textures and higher polygon counts.

And as Ferry already mentioned, good quality assets require more sales (or a higher price) so we can justify an increase in the amount that we can re-invest in the Content Library. So no, we are not in a position to match the quality of objects in the level editors of AAA games you're used to and we most likely won't be for a while. Also, I don't think you know what it costs to use the CryEngine for (commercial) architectural visualisations. Just contact them to see what I mean. If we charged that amount (and had a similar budget), I can assure you it wouldn't take long before we could match this quality.

When we started working on Lumion, we actually contacted close to 30 outsourcing companies to enquire about the prices for next-gen AAA quality characters, cars etc with Z-brush hi-poly versions used for normalmap generation etc and rest assured that this is not cheap. You can buy a real car (well, a Kia Wink) for the price of its 3D counterpart (including the usual next-gen map types).

Instead we chose to make a content library which was "good enough" for the majority of our users, whilst realising that many models were not suitable for centre-stage close-ups. In other words, the most important thing in Lumion is the model that the user imports. The entourage is not AAA quality, and we have never claimed it was. But the people you make architectural visualisations for may not have the same discerning eye for details that you have (being a veteran in the 3D industry).

So to sum up our objectives, we essentially wanted to make an affordable 3D visualisation tool for "the masses", i.e. people who don't have a huge budget to blow on software and/or training, and we were keenly aware of the fact that we wouldn't be able to compete with the quality of Vray for example. What we wanted to create was a tool for those situations where you are facing an almost impossible deadline, and you simply don't have the time to render a full video of a Vray scene with a large number of EverMotion cars/trees etc.

That being said, I'd be grateful if you could forward links/email addresses to the freelancers you mentioned, i.e. people who are both cheap, available for full time work and who produce the quality you are looking for. Unfortunately, the best and most qualified people are already employed/working for other companies in my experience, so please let us know who you'd recommend.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Aaron on February 07, 2011, 10:57:53 am
@Michael >

Don't you think youre coming on a little strong here?

Apart from the all important traffic sign example, most assets in the stock library are actually very usable. 

Look at most of the videos posted in the gallery. If the assets were as terrible as you state, do you think the average Lumion

user would still put them in their scenes?

 

-The buildings look good enough

-The cars as well

-Many props are fairly good

-The 3D people are pretty bad but thats a known issue

-The Speedtrees imo are a definite no for close-ups but are good enough as filler foliage.

 

Also keep in mind Lumion is not intended for a typical gamelike approach in setup.

You won't see videos of linear levels with streamed in content and 20k poly caracters walking around.

High Polygons facades of buildings would also have a limited use since most Arch-Viz videos require you to pan around

a scene and thats something a average game just doesnt offer for funtionality.

 

I'm also not sure what you mean by artists being able to do great art for a small budget.

I'm pretty confident most artists are able to model a traffic sign but how about cars for example.

It takes time and experience. Even at going rates in India for example you'd be looking at a sizable investment for all the cars.

Anyways, the moment the Lumion asset-store sees the light, I'll be looking forward to content offered by you Smile
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Aaron on February 07, 2011, 11:06:36 am
@ Morten > You wont see me crying over this. My comments were more along the lines of there's always room for improvement.

That said, I'm also a firm believer in helping out to solve your own complaints so regarding my Speedtree beefs

(which to be fair have nothing to do with Lumion as a product since its just how they are) I hope at least Ferry knowns what that line is

about Wink
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Morten on February 07, 2011, 11:51:57 am
Aaron said:



@ Morten > You wont see me crying over this. My comments were more along the lines of there's always room for improvement.

That said, I'm also a firm believer in helping out to solve your own complaints so regarding my Speedtree beefs

(which to be fair have nothing to do with Lumion as a product since its just how they are) I hope at least Ferry knowns what that line is

about Wink




 

Not to worry, I know what you mean now, Aaron Smile As you mentioned in your second post, I now realise that you do not share Michael's opinion that most of the models are unusable, merely that there is room for improvement and I'm pretty sure everyone here (including me) would agree with the latter. Apologies for the misunderstanding. Believe me, it really hurts to have to downscale textures and/or make low-poly versions of medium-to-high poly models when you know that you may have to wait for some time until everyone's hardware catches up.

But if we consistently used medium-to-high poly models and medium-to-high resolution textures in the Content Library, we would be inundated with complaints from users who'd run out of memory all the time.

As much as I'd like Lumion to work even better on the beefiest PCs and with the latest and greatest graphics cards, we also need to make sure that Lumion works reasonably well, even for users at the lower end of the scale.

It's the good old discussion of who to cater for, the small minority with the latest gear or the majority with less up-to-date hardware.

The elephant in the room that we're really talking about is of course level-of-detail (both polygon-count and texture resolution) and perhaps to a lesser extent DX11 tesselation for organic models. LOD is the most common way to cater for PCs with very different specifications, so does this mean we will see LOD functionality in Lumion at some point? Who knows… But it definitely won't work with the baking system in the current version of Lumion, and without the baking system in place performance would be much much worse.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Frank on February 07, 2011, 12:22:01 pm
for people needing good cars and stuff theres a shop in Thailand:

http://www.3d02.com

Bought there this one:

Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Remko on February 07, 2011, 02:16:44 pm
@Michael Some of the models are low detail on purpose ofcourse because you can't render everything you want in real time. A non-real-time speedtree would drop the framerate to nearly unusable for example. The core of Lumion is visualizing buildings so we don't want a situation where 90% of the framerate is taken by 3 high polygon cars parked in front of the building. Unless you are very close to the cars they look good enough I would say.

 

I personally think the model library is awesome and I've seen a lot of people who agree with me. There's always room for improvement but considering the price of Lumion includes the software AND the content I think it's an awesome deal. If you need higher resolution models for specific cases you can import any model you want. 
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: grincheux on February 07, 2011, 02:43:13 pm
Hello,


I do not think that we can want it to "Lumion" to have a library of objects of very good quality ...........
Pourqoui did we choose Lumion?

Doubtless because it is the software which allows to make animations of relatively good quality rather quickly, in .......... without forgetting its big simplicity of use. It is thus a software of composing in which import its own objects.
There where I think that l has real lacks there, it is on the impossibility of enregister its objects in the size of lumion (ditto for textures/mapps). In which case, between licensiés users (for example) and in a section dedicated by the forum, we could all share objects and textures ................

Rather than the team of development wastes his time on a better library, it would be desirable that it spends it on the very clear improvement of the depictions of images (far from being satisfactory), the possibility of creating spotlights (for the internal night scenes), more photorealistic depictions in animation and in depictions photos ...........
Well, we cannot satisfy all the world .............
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: See3D.be on February 07, 2011, 02:52:01 pm
I guess the
issue of the Lumion library is more if the objects are usable/suitable for your,
then the quality of the objects. Just look the objects cd you can by for
Artl*ntis, you get 75 objects for 120euro, where only can use a few off… and
they are lower quality as the once you get for free in lumion.

And the
issue of the good library will always be, for you it might be ok, for others
not. In general I guess if you need specific thing in a certain (high) quality,
you will always need to model it your self (or let It model).
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Aaron on February 07, 2011, 02:53:23 pm
@Morten > No problem whatsoever. LOD support would be great but as far as detail amount I think the current product suffices in all but the more extreme cases. Right now if and when I run out of memory it's because of the 32-bit instead of my gpu-mem and it's amazing how much stuff you can actually cramp in that space already, let alone when the 64-bit version will be released eventually.

I also agree with grincheux that the team shouldnt waste any resources beyond the most desired items on assets (still a little bit cross about Angelina not making it in though Cool) since it will never satisfy everyone. Let the community take care of that when the need arrises.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Morten on February 07, 2011, 03:08:28 pm
Aaron said:

@Morten > No problem whatsoever. LOD support would be great but as far as detail amount I think the current product suffices in all but the more extreme cases. Right now if and when I run out of memory it's because of the 32-bit instead of my gpu-mem and it's amazing how much stuff you can actually cramp in that space already, let alone when the 64-bit version will be released eventually.

I also agree with grincheux that the team shouldnt waste any resources beyond the most desired items on assets (still a little bit cross about Angelina not making it in though Cool) since it will never satisfy everyone. Let the community take care of that when the need arrises.





We have a plan for involving the community more, but more about that later Smile

I too mourn the loss of Angelina - I'm sure she would have loved life in sunny Lumion land. There's even a bunch of kids she and Brad could adopt (they're exceedingly well behaved and won't run away, mainly because their feet are glued to the ground) Cool
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Michael Betke on February 07, 2011, 09:57:41 pm
Thanks for your time to answer to this post Mortem. It shows the excellent support for your product. :)

First of all I'm well aware of the constraints real-time applications have and I also stated that a good amount of assets are usable and they are the main reason why I licensed Lumion3d. I won't be able to produce them for the same costs so investing in Lumion was a logical step. The other reason was product support and movie creation possibilities which are ahead of the real-time engine I also use.

 

Before I get the bad guy of the forum ;) my intention was to give feedback to the team and a statement about the quality of the models which can be improved like even a galvanic texture for a traffic sign to make it looking believable or a coherent style of cars with simple modeled rims.

I understand the decisions you have to do for art services. Every person who outsources have to make them. In my impression some of those decisions are not traceable from my point of view and as both - a 3d asset vendor and customer - I'm feeling in the position to be able to judge about it.

For me I think paying 500 USD for a AAA animated human 3D model with two basic animations is not much. I got offers for the same work from other freelancers which quoted 1.700.  Even if it's much for some people there are sites like AXYZ-design which offer good quality models including mo-cap animations. I bought there and got a full library under 1000 USD and a polycount of 3500 tris per human model which is suitable in my opinion. I can pass you on some contacts of my freelancers I work with. Most work in game-dev studios or visualization companies so they are available for part-time but not full-time.

Outsorcing companies usually want a lot of money. No idea why. Maybe they want to make quick cash or just have higher costs to cover because of their working environment. Problem with Turbosquid is incoherent style if you buy from several different vendors and the people just put the royalties on top of their product in most cases.

Mostly I do a strict art-document for my freelancers or even supply a sample model for them so they know what I have in mind.

It worked out very well so far. :)

 

So basically I'm happy with Lumion vegetation (but have also a lot made by myself), vehicles, people for distant shots and populating and props. :)
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Ferry on February 07, 2011, 10:08:53 pm
Our characters where the most expensive asset we have. We also had the mocap created which was also not that great. Of course characters are of main importance. We discussed using AXYZ design models but they asked a hefty fee for using in Lumion and we didn't like their models that much. Remeber that we can't buy a model for 500 dollar and then put it in Lumion!

 

Though if you are able to deliver high quality human animating models for something like 500 dollar for use in Lumion lets discuss that!
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Morten on February 08, 2011, 12:38:28 pm
Michael,

I'm not sure if you have noticed this but in every single shop where you can buy Axyz characters there's a link to a custom Axyz Design license which prevents you from redistributing the characters/motion capture animations in any shape or form. It doesn't matter how much you modify them or protect them in proprietary archives – it's simply not allowed.

We actually negotiated for a long time with the owner of Axyz Design regarding a special redistribution license in the hope that we could use the latest characters (the ones that use up to 8,000 faces), but as Ferry already mentioned the cost was unreasonable in terms of what we would be getting (We would have had to use the oldest characters which unfortunately look very dated by today's standards). And other suppliers such as RocketBox wanted ludicrous amounts of money, so in the end we had no choice but to outsource the job of creating the characters to a team of freelancers.

Regarding the road signs, each sign is using 1 small texture to keep the number of Draw Calls as low as possible and the uniform grey pole colour is in fact included in the corner of each texture. Sure, we could either add a galvanized tiling metal texture to the texture atlas and use more texture memory per sign, or we could split each sign in 2 separate surfaces/materials and suffer a performance penalty for extra Draw Calls. Either way, the point is that more details and better quality always come at a cost. In this case, we chose optimum performance, and there is of course nothing wrong with requesting higher quality. But claiming that hundreds of models in the collection were unusable + calling for modellers to be sacked was probably not the best way to get our attention Wink

That being said, you can be 100% sure that the quality of the object library will improve and that the collection will expand over the coming months and years.

So, to briefly return to the specifics of your requests, I have made a note that you would like more detailed wheel trims/hub caps as well as steel textures for the road signs. The quality of the 3D characters has been discussed elsewhere and as Aaron mentioned, we also agreed that there was room for improvement.

I hope this addresses your concerns but do let us know if you have any other questions/requests.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Stio on February 08, 2011, 01:15:53 pm
Maybe I'm off topic. But I had experience in Anark and know very well how hard it is to create a suitable stage at the same time not overloading the video card. Limitations on how many nodes in Direct makes it difficult to execute. I agree that we should not focus on an object - and allow users to share high polygonal content. This will solve the issue with a license for such a model:) Suppose a client decides to upload his model of the scene or not.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Michael Betke on February 08, 2011, 01:32:25 pm
Yes custom licenses can be tricky. I also had talks with Rocketbox (great library) and they made a good offer which was very suiteable - but not affordable at the point where my young company was some time ago.

 

I also started to import my own vegetation sets from my shop and other models from my library and they look very good.

 

I miss two sided alpha-materials, not the trick whith duplicated and flipped faces, so I really would prefer this feature before modeled rims on your list. ;)
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Morten on February 08, 2011, 02:18:30 pm
Apart from the price tag + royalties, I only had 1 problem with the RocketBox characters: Some of the faces looked a tad hand-made in my opinion. Their new HD characters however can easily compete with the latest Metropoly 3 characters from Axyz Design, but yeah, we'd be paying so much per character (+ royalties for every sold copy of Lumion) that it makes more financial sense to outsource this work, so that we actually own the characters in Lumion. The polycount of the HD characters is also rather high (8k), so again, we'd be compromising on performance and memory consumption if we opted for this kind of quality level.

Double-sided materials are indeed on the wish list, but I'm not sure if it's technically feasible without having to render the model twice or alternatively, turning culling off in DirectX/HLSL so all polygons face the camera (and this might mess up shadows). Ferry and Remko know more about this topic though.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Ferry on February 08, 2011, 03:36:58 pm
A special shader is possible but slow of course. If you want the normals to be correct.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Gabriel on February 08, 2011, 04:17:44 pm
I have one word for you: freelancers. It is the best thing you can ever do. Enter freelancer or elance and you will see what i am talking about. There are thousands of very talented modelers from third world countries ready to model anything at incredible prices. I couldn't belive my eyes, architects there fight to bid at projects of 10.000 sqm for 500-1000$. I think you can easily get a full motion character for only 50$ there. Royalty free, of course. In a month with a few thousand dollars you may model a 1000 objects library, i can make a bet on that, there are thousands and thousands of freelancers there.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Aaron on February 08, 2011, 04:32:14 pm
Ferry said:

A special shader is possible but slow of course. If you want the normals to be correct.




How much slower?

For highpoly foliage from Onyx, GrowFX etc. a 2sided shader would still be quite a lot faster then copy-flipping all leave polys right?
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Ferry on February 08, 2011, 05:00:57 pm
We already use that for the current characters. But good modelers are possible to get. But good character modelers already much harder. And animating and skinning then it gets really tricky! So in the end you need the talented people and you won't get a good model for 50$. But please prove us wrong :)

 

We will however soon introduce a new method for people to help with new characters and other models for Lumion and get rewarded for it.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Ferry on February 08, 2011, 05:01:33 pm
Not sure would have to test the speed.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Morten on February 08, 2011, 05:13:07 pm
Gabriel said:



I have one word for you: freelancers. It is the best thing you can ever do. Enter freelancer or elance and you will see what i am talking about. There are thousands of very talented modelers from third world countries ready to model anything at incredible prices. I couldn't belive my eyes, architects there fight to bid at projects of 10.000 sqm for 500-1000$. I think you can easily get a full motion character for only 50$ there. Royalty free, of course. In a month with a few thousand dollars you may model a 1000 objects library, i can make a bet on that, there are thousands and thousands of freelancers there.




 

Call me a grumpy pessimist but this sounds a wee bit unrealistic for characters Smile I couldn't find any US$50 examples on freelancer.com and elance.com but I'd love to be proven wrong, so please post links to the characters/providers you're talking about.

The sad truth is that most people/companies gladly raise their prices because they think we're a huge corporation and instantly see $$$ and endless royalties to fund their retirement on Barbados. Well, not all of them but you get the idea…
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Gabriel on February 08, 2011, 05:58:46 pm
Well, don't take my word for it. Try it. Put an add with a picture of a person, car, or whatever you wish modeled in the modelling section. You'll see what those guys can do, they really are very talented. You'll see their models at their profile and can choose the best one. The price is fixed, and very cheap because of the bidding. Nobody there thinks about Barbados, i think with the money they get in a week a 2 day trip to the mountains is way too much :))) I'll look for some providers and link them to you. I used to look for architects because that interested me, but i saw lots of modelling ads there and people bidding so i guess there are tons of them too.
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Michael Betke on February 08, 2011, 11:36:49 pm
A two sided shader can't be that hard to do. Almost every game uses a two sided alphatest material. Even your Speedtrees seem to use such a shader. Smile
Title: About the stock asset quality
Post by: Ferry on February 09, 2011, 09:04:47 am
I am not saying it is hard of course.