top of page

Rendering and the architectural design process: how Lumion changes the relationship

Forget all those memories of painful rendering experiences. Lumion changes all this by fitting right into your design process, giving you clarity and insight at any moment along your journey towards design perfection.

Not so long ago, rendering was often viewed as a necessary yet painful chore, an activity akin to taking cough syrup or having teeth pulled. The visualization software at the time had a high barrier of entry, it was typically limited to a single CAD program, and it required months of slow-paced practice. Even then, producing lifelike and emotionally gripping renders of a design still could take days, if not weeks.

With these obstacles, rendering just didn’t feel like an integrated and accustomed part of the architecture and design process. There was a broken relationship, a rift of sorts, between architect and rendering, and it was keeping the benefits of fast, beautiful visualizations out of the daily routine and standard workflows at firms both large and small.

Fortunately, the times have changed dramatically since then. You can now sketch an idea, model its basic shape and aesthetics in your CAD software, and render your form studies in Lumion — all before lunch.

Rendering of a maquette, rendered in Lumion by Carlos F. Marques (@carlosfmarquess).

Lumion visualization software brings the art of rendering into the everyday craft of the architect. It encourages your drive for excellence, and clarity, as you express form and function in the built environment, and it’s specially designed to nurture your creativity, diligence, and love for architecture.

In this blog post, we’re exploring how Lumion fits seamlessly into your daily routine, working almost like an extension of your hand. You’ll discover how Lumion empowers architects to render at any stage of the design process, all while fueling a desire to achieve elegance and inspiration in the art of construction.


How to include Lumion at every phase of your design process

There are as many approaches to architecture as there are buildings in the world, and no two firms (or even architects) are exactly alike in their techniques, skills, and the technology they use.

Lumion is designed to adapt to your unique processes and workflows, no matter if you’ve never incorporated in-house rendering into your practice before.

You could be testing an idea, reviewing how the light falls on a specific element of your design, inspecting the form of the building against its surrounding environment, or making polished, beautifully crafted renders to show to your boss, your client, or any other individual.

Modern Victorian Design, rendered in Lumion 10 by MOrenders.

Lumion empowers you to create a beautiful render of your design or idea at a moment’s notice. All you need is a 3D model and Lumion turns the task of rendering into an enjoyable, productive experience. You can incorporate renders into your process from the very first stages of design development to the final visualizations.

It gives you more time to design. More time to refine your idea, perfect your craft, and fully experience the broader impact of your project on its surrounding environment.

Let’s explore how Lumion makes this possible.

Seamless integration with your CAD software

Do you build your 3D models in Rhino or Revit? Does your workflow include a mix of 3ds Max with a little SketchUp on the side? Or are you a dedicated Chief Architect or BricsCAD fan? Maybe you prefer taking the Cinema 4D or Maya route?

Model design by Pixel-Head Studio.

No matter the CAD or 3D software you use, you can always rely on Lumion and effortlessly import your models, accelerating your workflow as you iterate and further develop the design. Lumion supports the most common file formats, including:

.DAE (Collada) .DXF

.SKP (SketchUp) .3DS


.DWG .MAX (requires a 3ds Max installation)

Everything about Lumion’s model import and re-import functionality save you time and effort.

For instance, let’s say