In our June Office Hours session, we ran through a demo on how to create custom wavy curtains in SketchUp and Lumion. While it’s super easy to search for detail objects like curtains in the 3D Warehouse and FormFonts, we often don’t realize how easy it is to create these custom details from scratch.

In order to have better control over complex 3D geometry, we recommend using the following plugins. Check out the demo below and we’ll walk you through the steps on how to create custom curtains.

ARTISAN TOOLS

FREDOSCALE

SHAPE BENDER

MATCHING TERRAIN

While creating a 3D model and doing a quick rendering in Lumion is relatively easy, there are a few extra steps that you can take to add another level of realism to your work. Sometimes we overlook these details or think that they will take too much time, but the results are always worth it.

Using the ‘Sculpt Brush‘ in Artisan Tools, you can easily click and drag along the base of your terrain to change the height. You can use the ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ arrow keys to control the radius of the brush, ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ arrow keys will control the strength of the brush. Once you have the terrain updated, you will need to save and ‘Reload Model‘ in Lumion.

Matching the terrain in your 3D model and taking additional time to use the terrain brush in Lumion will ensure all scenes of your model will be render-ready.

REFLECTION PLANES

Using reflection planes together with reflection control will dial in your model to fit with the surrounding context.

Reflection planes will only work on reflective surfaces (concrete, metal, glass, tile, water, etc). In photo mode, click to add a New Effect and select ‘Reflection‘.

Click the ‘Edit‘ (pencil button), and this will allow you to set your reflection planes. Next, click the “+” button to add a plane and your cursor will now preview with a green grid. Click the plane on the surfaces of the materials you wish to add a reflection (note that you may have to add multiple planes for the same material if they vary in levels). You can add up to 10 reflection planes. One you are finished, click the “Check” button to confirm the changes.

EFFECT STACKS

Eliminate the tedious set up time in your project by utilizing effect stacks! You can find the effects that we used in this tutorial here. If you have Lumion, download these and make them your own. Change them, customize them, and use them to save extra steps.

You can save out all the effects that you’ve applied to an image if you wish to use them again on additional scenes or projects. To do this,  click the wrench icon in the top left box next to the new effects, then click ‘File>Save‘. It may be easier to create a folder for your materials that you can reference and use as a library, and save your effects in this folder.

In photo mode, click the wrench icon in the top left box next to the new effects. Click ‘File>Load‘ and then select your desired effect (.lme file).

HAZY MOUNTAINS EFFECT

PHOTO REAL DREAM EFFECT

HYPERLIGHT 2

Hyperlight is only available in the pro verison of Lumion, but it using it will make a big difference in your renderings.

Click and drag on these images to see the results:

One thing to keep in mind is that using Hyperlight may cause some more strain on your computer; it’s best to do a few test renderings first, and then once you are happy with the results, activate Hyperlight in Lumion and render out your final image sets. Using all of these extra tips will hopefully make some big improvements in your renderings!