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Producing imagery with Archicad or 3rd party products; Surfaces; Lighting; Cameras; Artlantis/Cinema 4D/Maxwell etc.

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What is the best GPU Renderer Plugin for Archicad 20?

No votes
Octane Render
Lumion 3D
No votes
Unreal Engine
Yes, had a play with that too, and that pricing is a lot more accessible.
Very well integrated with ArchiCAD, so an easy learning curve, though nothing like as many fancy options for dressing a scene as Lumion
Certainly it would be a good thing if ArchiCAD came with at least this functionality out of the box
What exactly is the appeal over the external solutions? Library of art assets to add to your model?

Cinerender works for me more or less 'out of the box'. We've added a few surfaces to our template, mostly brick, roof tiles and wood cladding to better suit our local building materials, but that's pretty much it.

We had to do a few very minor tweaks to the 'fast' preset and you just have a render running in the background while you carry on with work. The render takes less than 5 minutes (at most) to complete for exterior renders and you have the same level of 'looks good enough'. Without paying for extra software.

Not trying to say these programs aren't great (or at least the results look great, no hands on experience), but Cinerender is there and it is 'free', it comes built in.

We had Artlantis until ArchiCAD18 (we still have those old versions, just don't use them) and just decided to give Cinerender a fair shot, before spending more on Artlantis again.
Don't disagree with using the "included" cinerender engine. I've enjoyed using it quite a bit in the past and got some ok results. Same with artlantis, which i've stopped using sometime ago.
Personally over the years i've got tired of trying to be a CG expert in order to push out decent renders, when my primary job is design and Arch drawings. Then there's animation. Forget it.

Biggest things that have frustrated me over time...
1. speed of the engine - which begins to pinch when you do test render after test render
2. decent entourage that feels lightweight and on trend- in particular convincing grass and plants (Archiradar's vegetation works fairly well inside archicad though not perfect.)
3. complexity of render engine- i really don't need too know about the intricacies of GI etc...

Lumion's ticks all boxes (trees and 3d grass are exceptional) along with a decent lighting/texturing engine. Plus animation is achievable.
Sadly no VR as yet though.

If CG renders are your main game though and you expect the best, then none of us would use any of these pieces of software.

From a cost point of view, it is definitely a sizable plunge for a small operator initially, but i've found the initial outlay has already paid for itself over a short period of time, whilst i too am a one man show.
I agree Erwin. With out included entourage, it would be too hefty a cost i believe.
The trees and grass are truly a god send for a balance between realism and speed.
it is also obviously optimised to run very smooth and quick. No 3rd party vegetation required.
You do however need a stable internet connection, as licencing is verified on line when you open it.

You do a nice design and have rubbish trees and grass, it just is a negative for me.
Your not selling plants or grass, but sometimes clients don't see that.
It elevates your renders without a doubt, for little effort.
There is just heaps to choose from. Not all entourage objects are the greatest,
but there is so much...still plenty to choose from that satisfies.
Plus it now has built-in HDRI skies for improved realistic lighting.

You can import sketchup models from the 3d warehouse in their native format and it retains
materials which can then be adjusted in lumion to your hearts content.
Big plus as you've just increased your entourage library...for free
**Depends on the quality of the authored sketchup model.

All this while your archicad working files remains lightweight and low poly.

Just as a side note, (not that this is the big selling point), but their online support is second to none.
This company is extremely focused on support. No waiting for hours or days for help.

I apologise if i sound biased, but i guess this indicates my level of satisfaction.
Twinmotion from what i understand has a somewhat of a simliar framework with Unreal Engine.
I've used the demo version about 9 months ago.
Is was a toss up between Lumion and Twinmotion (Abvent) for me. At the time i found the render quality a little higher in Lumion, but this may have changed or may do in the future.
this realtime rendering does make sense, and will only improve with time.
Has anyone tried using the Unreal Engine? Or Unity?

I tried using the CryEngine a couple of years ago with an 3ds file exported from AC18 but ran into issues of texturing and lighting, which were probably related to each other, and an issue regarding clip boxes. These might have been easy fixes in 3DS /Max though...

How easy is it to get a working model in one of these engines?


I have tried unreal and in my opinion it has a lot of potential but i still think you still need good content to get it running. I have also done my fair share in doing some visual programming (blueprints) and integrating VR in some projects. I think the counterpart of lumion would be twinmotion that has VR functionality if you're looking into VR presentations. :)