"LumenRT offers a solution that is better looking, simpler to navigate, and protects the work file. This is very good for us and our clients."
Recently, Ronen has been using LumenRT and has kindly agreed to share some of his early findings.
E-on: Tell us a bit about yourself, your company, and your blog.
Ronen Bekerman: I started with 3D visualization as part of my architecture degree studies during 2002. I also started to work soon after in an architecture firm, doing 3D Design Exploration using SketchUp and 3D Studio Max for modeling and Lightscape or V-Ray for rendering. I kept working part time during my studies, mostly on medium to large public projects and after 3 years I decided to go solo and opened my own architectural visualization studio - Polytown, providing 3D Design Exploration & Photo-Real Visualization services for Architecture firms and Real-Estate Developers, as well as distributing related software that we use in the studio.
I've always been fascinated with the web and ways of sharing and getting information online worldwide -- the ronenbekerman.com blog was born out of this inspiration. It started as a test but quickly turned into more than that and it is now a very popular website amongst architectural visualization artists worldwide. Ronenbekerman.com is a great source of learning about all aspects of 3d architectural visualization with dedicated forums and challenges to push the artists beyond their daily routine. It really hones their skills, allowing all the followers to view, respond and learn in the process.
E-on: Explain a bit about the type of projects you typically get involved with.
RB: Polytown is a small scale studio and so I try to focus on interesting projects -- the type I would enjoy working on and be part of the design process as much as possible. Project scale varies a lot and ranges from small private houses to high-rise residential or commercial buildings to urban planning projects. We do only still images, and recently got into animation via the use of Real Time tools. We are most interested in such tools for the Design Exploration of the 3d models with higher visual fidelity then the usual SketchUp look and feel.
E-on: What are your initial reactions about LumenRT? Where do you think it will be useful in your workflow?
RB: What I liked about LumenRT the most is how easy it is to start with -- plug and play really. It didn't take much more then exporting the model as is and getting a very good and workable result - I did not expect that!
LumenRT is a very useful presentation tool for designs done within SketchUp. It takes the model to the next level with added material properties that respond to light and reflects the environment too. The fact that one can easily navigate the scene in a game like fashion is super important for the client to really use it and benefit from it. With capable video adapters becoming more and more a standard these days, it is very accessible to all our clients.
E-on: Besides LumenRT, what other tools do you use in your workflow?
RB: SketchUp is the main tool that we use. I call it the "Little engine that could". It amazes me how easy it is to model things in SketchUp compared to other more expensive platforms. When asked if I can pull something off with SketchUp, I simply answer like that little engine would - "I think I can!"
While SketchUp is our main 3d modeler, 3D Studio Max is the main hub for the final visualization creation - That one ring the rules them all! We get the model inside, render it with V-Ray along with many other plug-ins we use, depending on the task, like Forest Pro, MulltiScatter, RailClone, BRIX, GrowFX, Vue xStream, Ozone, etc...
E-on: What is your feeling about the idea of using LumenRT Live Cubes to allow your customers to navigate and explore designs?
RB: I like it very much that the model can be contained within a self executable file that can be sent to the client for review. I don't like sending the actual SketchUp model file though sometimes it was necessary. LumenRT offers a solution that is better looking, simpler to navigate, and protects the work file. This is very good for us and our clients.
E-on: Do you think Immersive Collaboration (sharing interactive designs with customers) will become a sizeable opportunity?
RB: I think so, yes. Any method of cutting the communication gap of the design will be embraced by all those involved in the process, especially if it is cutting turn over times too.
E-on: Any other ideas/thoughts on how you plan to use LumenRT in the future?
RB: I believe that once we get our SketchUp models done in a way that takes full advantage of what LumenRT can offer, we will use it as the main way to share models for review alongside still images too as we do today.
E-on: What kinds of improvements/additions would you like to see in LumenRT?
RB: The first thing would be dynamic lighting within the exported cubes. Currently it is fixed to the sun position in the SketchUp file at export time and I can't stress enough how important it is to allow for lighting changes on the fly... not just the sun, but artificial lighting too. Walkthrough recording would be a gladly accepted feature as well. I trust the LumenRT team knows all this and works hard to incorporate many new things in the following updates.
For more information, follow Ronen's Blog at RonenBekerman.com.
With LumenRT, architects no longer have to choose between high-quality images and real-time visualization: they can walk or fly through their designs and experience the true quality of light in fully immersive 3D!
Designed to provide high fidelity visualization with accurately simulated lighting including Global Illumination, shadows and reflections, LumenRT is the ideal solution for:
- Creating exciting virtual interactive showrooms
- Demonstrating and sharing design concepts with associates and customers
- Creating attention-grabbing client presentations
- Exposing projects in fully real-time photo-realistic 3D
LumenRT provides a number of revolutionary capabilities to breathe life into 3D designs including:
- A More Engaging User Experience which allow clients and co-workers to interact with designs in a much more immersive and exciting manner.
- No Need for Specialized Viewing Software since LumenRT LiveCubes™ are shared as self running files that play on PC and Mac platforms. Just click and run – it’s as simple as that.
- Seamless Background Processing allows models to be transformed into LumenRT LiveCubes with a single mouse click, rendering in the background while you continue to work.
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