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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
Paul King wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:14 am
Nice image.

A physically unbiased GPU accelerated version of Lumion built into ArchiCAD, and able to export standalone viewable files (like BIMx, only a decade more up to date) would certainly be the ticket.
You do know that Lumion has Live Sync with ArchiCAD for versions 6 thru 9 right? Instant feed back from what you do to the model in ArchiCAD and Lumion model on your 5K screen ( if you like). The only way to test Lumion 9 Pro is to request a trial and confirm that you computer is adequate to run it. It runs flat out FAST on my laptop. See specs in my signature. In this image, I stretched the terrain into these mountains placed all of these trees, made the lake, etc.... imported the ArchiCAD model ( you can tell by the crappy ArchiCAD trees) , clicked on a weather option, rendered this in less than a minuet. I suppose it took me an hour to get the get the terrain modeled because I was just goofing around with the program to see how it works. So easy. I would say it takes no training whatsoever. Play around with it for an hour or so and you are well on your way to using it effectively. I don't like the Lumion navigation system at all, but then anything that is different from ArchiCAD navigation will be awkward to an ArchiCAD user.

And here is a 16 second rendering ! --

These are just some images and screen shots I made while testing Lumion 9 Pro - I have no doubt that with a few hours time with it I could surpass anything I could make with CineRender ( my still level with CineRender is a bit less than average I would say). But as noted before, if you are a CG Artist or need that level of quality for something, Lumion (as near as I could tell) is not on par with the best rendering possible. However, it may very well be far better than what the average ArchiCAD user could ever hope to do with CineRender, and in literally a fraction of the time. Lumion is so fast that I am not sure what it is doing is "rendering". I have for a long time expected screen shots to exceed the quality of rendering and make rendering engines as we know them obsolete. Perhaps this is some sort of doing both to generate the final image? I don't know.
One other thing I should add is that this is all a live animation while your working/playing with it. Sounds, fish swimming by, birds flying around, breeze in the trees, people, or animals walking by, it's a game. All I am showing is some test images that I made playing around with the demo.
I have played around with an earlier Lumion version, and it is certainly fun, and fast if your scene is small enough (i.e. poly count).
There was always a certain cartoonish quality to the renderings though - which is where a physically unbiased rendering engine would help. Unbiased rendering looks real by default - with the only limitation being your choice of textures and models.

To me, Lumion is possibly not 'competition league' in terms of quality of output, but I do agree, it is good enough for most purposes, especially if you live in the northern hemisphere and can thus use out of the box plant library tree and shrub species, and if you are focused on outdoor scenes involving vegetation, weather effects etc.

The 'wow' factor distinguishing Lumion is for me was a lot less clear cut for urban and indoor contexts - where most architecture is done.

Speed and ease of setup are what attracted me to Lumion. Final output render times (as opposed to what you experience in the game engine type live 3D editing environment) were not that amazing.

Lumion would probably be my go-to option, if not for the insane price. About the cost of two ArchiCAD licences, with an ongoing annual cost to keep up to date probably comparable with another licence of ArchiCAD.

Very hard to justify this as a one-man band, for something that might get used once or twice a year, during the first 2% of any given job cycle.

Octane meanwhile costs a few hundred dollars as a one-off, upgrades are free (so far), setup is a lot slower and much less fun, but final render times seem to be just as fast or faster (depending how many GPUs you have, and if you are matching the quality and size of the scene) , there is no upper limit to quality if you have the time and inclination - and I could just never recoup the cost of Lumion, as fun as it is to use.
I am agree in general with your conclusions. Lumion 9 Pro is just too expensive for my little one man show considering all the other software I need too. I have been using Maxwell Render since before the first version was released so I am a big fan of no limits on quality. I can use a Render Farm if needed. I would like to provide CG Artist quality renderings but my clients never want to pay for that. And the truth is, they don't need it. So anything I do like that is just for fun :( or to show off and appeal to clients that think pretty pictures are what matters :) To most of them it is I think. They would not know a good set of drawings if they saw one. And they expect to see their project in a near identical context to what is existing. On occasion I have had to show surrounding buildings - and in full color with accurate textures for zoning evaluations. Now that City officials are aware of what can be done, they are are demanding it more. This I think is because they are also getting dumber and dumber all the time and need fancy pictures to understand what they are looking at.
They control everything, size of trim, exposure for lap siding, % glazing per complex wind load areas, sun studies, all manner of ratios for dormers, more crap than can be mentioned here. And to document it all with as little work as possible, 3D renderings are very useful.
During the planning process, screen shots with Snagit are totally adequate.

I would also note that the NVIDIA P5000 is not a gaming card, it is a state-of-the-art Workstation Card. ... NL-WEB.pdf for my Dell 7720 Precision Workstation. I need the GPU processing and and 2,560 CUDA CORES for rendering with Maxwell which uses both GPU and CPU. My test scores with the P5000 are off the charts with the Maxwell Render benchmark file - I posted those results somewhere before. Not sure if I can find them again.
If there were a bench mark for CineRender I bet my P5000 would still be among the fastest scores even with out leveraging the CUDA cores. ?
Cinebench is a reliable measure for Cinerender performance, unfortunately Cinerender is a CPU renderer not GPU so your P5000 will not accelerate it, you will however get great performance and quality in your open gl windows

Not sure what prices are around the world, but Lumion 9 Pro (approx $5,200au) is about 2/3 the cost of ONE archicad Licnce (approx $8,000au) in Australia. You definitely can't buy two archicad licences for one Lumion Pro licence. Still not cheap, but with all it's content, it's actually ok if you delve deeper. Imagine buying all the assets (trees, people, cars, texture maps etc) individually from Evermotion, Arroway etc....It adds up.
All objects/assests are also optimised for smooth / trouble free navigation and rendering.
For the purposes of comparison I am assuming you would buy ArchiCAD on a 'Select' annual subscription basis: assuming you want to stay up to date, there seems to be no benefit at all in outright purchase of ArchiCAD followed by a series of annual upgrade costs - as the annual upgrade cost is comparable with the select fee anyway, and with select, there is no upfront purchase required (If I remember rightly - has been a while).

Again, I am assuming you would want to stay up to date with Lumion, so was basing my figures on comparative annual cost between the two.

Yes, set up of scenes is much easier and more pleasant in Lumion than most renderers, though you would be unlikely to buy a lot of that included 3D library content if you had the option - most is pretty generic. There is a lot of equal quality stuff free online, and any library content you do need to buy tends to cost hundreds all up rather than thousands, and can be accumulated over years as the need arises.
You don't get the nice parametric control of vegetation with dumb 3D models though, that you do get with a number of Lumion plants.

Not dissing Lumion at all - I think it is great. It is just that the convenience of Lumion costs far more than it saves for the intermittent annual use it would get in a one-person practice.
Archicad is purchase plus select agreement, close to AUD $10k initial investment
Wow. Lucky to have dodged that bullet!

I seem to recall a slightly more benign arrangement applied here in NZ, though sadly the Australian GS reseller bought out the New Zealand GS reseller a couple of years ago, so if that is the best deal you guys can get for getting on board the annual ArchiCAD treadmill, it probably now applies here too.

Not surprised Revit has been picking up market share here if that is the case, in what was a bastion for ArchiCAD.

OK, either way, once over the initial intimidating, whichever-way-you-look-at-it cost hurdle, the annual update costs of the packages are still of a comparable order of magnitude, while financial returns are vastly asymmetric, unless you have an office large enough to keep Lumion busy all the time.
As far as i know, you definitely need to a buy a full AC licence before you can enter into a Select Subscription, so Archicad setup isn't cheap either. This was the case in 2000 when i got my licence, so this is not something new.
Was this in NZ?

I think we are off on a tangent here, but my negotiated outright purchase price was nothing like $8000, and I dont know anyone else who paid that much at the time, Maybe half that..

Select didn't seem like my best option at the time, but I distinctly recall one of the main reasons touted to me for going via Select was to avoid the stll somewhat steep upfront entry price. The tradeoff was that ongoing upgrades via select were more expensive.

Maybe you were presented with different options? Either way, all ancient history and not really germaine to this topic

However you get there, the present day annual cost to keep up to date with Lumion is of the same order of cost as for ArchiCAD, making it too expensive unless purchased by an office large enough to use it more than just occasionally.