How to create a VR walkthrough using Lumion?
When it comes to sharing photorealistic designs, thousands of Architecture & Design firms globally use Lumion to create walkthroughs to share with clients during the design process using images, videos & now 360 panoramas. In the previous post, we talked about how Architects can get started with Virtual Reality. With the launch of Oculus Quest 2 & the increasing need for cloud-based collaboration in the design process between different stakeholders, architects and designers are looking at new ways of communicating beyond static renders, videos, and floor plans - with a shift towards the cloud & immersive tools.
In this article, you will find all answers you need for Lumion to VR walkthroughs - on the web and VR headsets like Oculus Quest 2. First, let us quickly answer the most common question asked by Lumion users.
Does Lumion work with VR?
There is no direct integration between Lumion’s software & popular VR headsets like Oculus Quest 2. So, if you are looking for a feature in Lumion or an extension to export your model for viewing in VR headsets, the answer is there isn’t any as of today. However, there are indirect ways of getting your Lumion 3D content to VR headsets which we explore in detail in this tutorial.
How do I export from Lumion to VR?
The most popular (and easier ) method to get your Lumion content to VR is through 360 panoramas, which we recommend based on our experience with thousands of users. In summary, as of today, 2 options can be used to export from Lumion to VR.
1. The recommended option from Lumion is to use Sketchfab, a 3D model-sharing website. This tutorial from Lumion shares their recommended way in detail. From our own experience, this process needs quite many steps which can be cumbersome - especially if you are looking for a simple 3D to VR workflow.
2. The alternative is to export 360 panoramas from Lumion to your desktop & use virtual tour software to upload panoramas, edit tours & share on web & VR headsets.
How to create a 360 panorama from Lumion?
They are images. JPG o PNG files that can be rendered as an output file from Lumion in a few clicks. Once you have imported the model, applied the materials and objects, you can export an image to your desktop by clicking on the ‘360 panorama’ icon. Ideally, you will need to export multiple images for a walkthrough — think of each image as a separate view you would use for your client presentation.
To create a panorama in Lumion, you need to:
1. Set up your Scene & choose effects
2. Click on the "Panorama Rendering” Button
3. Set Your Render Configuration
Output quality: You need to consider the additional time to render the image with higher quality. The difference between a 3-star quality and 5-star quality in time for rendering can be significantly high depending on the configuration of your PC ( minutes to more than an hour )
Monoscopic or stereoscopic: Choose stereoscopic if you plan to provide your clients with a VR experience. For sharing on web browsers, the experience between the two formats is the same.
4. Download 360 renders to desktop to use a 360 viewer
Typically, client presentations involve viewing multiple scenes in a sequence or walkthrough mode. To do that, you can create multiple panoramas using the same procedure above. Once downloaded, these panoramas can be then be used to create an interactive walkthrough that can include hotspots to link the images, floor plans, pop-ups with information, and more multimedia content.
Note: Images from Lumion blog ( link )
Which viewer can I use to share 360 walkthroughs?
Once you have the 360 panoramas, you are now ready to be shared them on different platforms. If you are looking to just share the panorama on a Facebook page, check this link
Let’s focus on these two options:
As you can see from the above table, for simple requirements like creating a link with the Panos and sharing with clients, MyLumion is a reliable option. For more advanced features like a powerful 360 tour editor, a 360 VR Viewer to view the walkthrough online like SENTIO VR is required to simplify your team's workflow.
How to view 360 panoramas on Oculus Quest 2?
To get your 360 panoramas to VR, the traditional method has been to use the Oculus Gallery App provided. However, this option is no longer available in our research. We will offer a step-by-step tutorial on how to get it done using your SENTIO VR Account:
Create an account HERE
Drag & Drop your 360 panoramas
Edit & save 360 tours and note your 6 digit access code
Download the SENTIO VR app from App Lab here
Enter your 6 digit code and view your panoramas
From a design perspective, the benefit of using cloud-based solutions for this workflow are:
Save time in creating virtual tours using software
Show information additional to the 360 image using floor plans, hotspots, etc.
Share links to clients for easy viewing on mobile devices & PC
Add VR to your client presentation workflow
Manage design changes to your content using software to save time
Feel free to leave your opinion & reach out if you have questions about your Lumion to VR workflow, If you’re interested in trying out SENTIO VR for efficient and cloud-based collaboration, you can get started here.