Lumion V3.0 Reflections I
The addition of planar reflections to Lumion 3.0 by itself might not be anything to get tremendously excited about. After all this technique is almost as old as Rome itself. The way it’s been integrated however makes all the difference here. Real Time engines featuring planar reflections often can’t hide the fact they are pretty difficult to configure or get stable. Not so with Lumion. The Reflections Effect selection gizmo allows for smooth snapping onto any surface -meaning any type of Geometry you have imported, for example a facade, windows, Skyscraper etc.-. The fact you can configure multiple reflective materials, per model if so desired, on just a single reflection surface plane, makes this a flexible yet incredibly powerful addition to your Realtime rendering toolkit. Do keep in mind though this is quite a costly effect since it will mirror your scene for each reflection applied.
Planar reflections will most likely feature blur control in a later iteration of Lumion and it might be good to know the ‘standard material’ reflection functionality like colorize, glossiness and so on will also be at your control to tune this effect. Currently it’s still far from easy to configure planar reflections for anything but highly polished mirror-like surfaces. Adding a normalmap to your reflective materials however is a crucial step in the process of creating realistic reflections. The normalmap ideally feature little high-frequency detail and is kept as clean as possible. This distorts the ‘mirror’ look just enough on low bump settings for the reflection effect to become much more credible. If you have any questions on how to configure this effect, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message.
Sample Scene details:
12 Skyscrapers made in 3dsMax: 2 hours
8 Materials made with Filter Forge: 15 minutes
Importing and Scene setup in Lumion: 1 Hour
Render time per 1080 frame: 12 seconds on a GTX580