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September 2023
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Step inside your design: 360 panoramas and VR presentations in Lumion 9
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Step inside your design: 360 panoramas and VR presentations in Lumion 9


Myanmar in 360-Degree Virtual Reality
Jon Brack
133 subscribers
me in this 360-degree video while walking and boating through some of
Myanmar’s most famous sites: Inle Lake, Shwedagon Pagoda, Pindaya Cave
Pagoda, Mingun, U-Bein Bridge, and more.
All footage recorded on a GoPro Fusion in September, 2018.
- Interactive viewing is available with Chrome and Firefox browsers (not Safari) or in the YouTube app on mobile platforms.
- Select the highest possible quality level (preferably 4K) under “Settings.”
- Use the Google Cardboard icon to view inside of any VR headset.
Myanmar in 360-Degree Virtual Reality
me in this 360-degree video while walking and boating through some of
Myanmar’s most famous sites: Inle Lake, Shwedagon Pagoda, Pindaya Cave
Pagoda, Min…


VR and architectural visualization are a natural match when it comes
to creating a shared vision between the architect and the client. With a
Lumion 360 panorama and a VR headset, you can step into your design and
feel what it would be like to inhabit that space.

Lumion is known for its ability to help architects produce compelling
images and videos, but in keeping pace with growing technologies and
client expectations, many firms are turning to Lumion’s third output to
supplement their presentations and win client trust: 360 panoramas.

With Lumion’s 360 panorama mode, you can produce beautiful,
360-degree images (similar to what you would find with Google Street
View) as well as immersive experiences for VR headsets such as the
Oculus Go, GearVR and other VR headsets and devices.

Example of a monoscopic render made in Lumion 9

Example of a stereoscopic render (cubic panorama format)

In this blog post, you’ll discover the benefits of Lumion’s 360 panorama
mode while uncovering some useful tips and tricks to create engaging
360 panoramas and VR experiences.

What you can do with Lumion 360 panoramas

360 panoramas and VR-ready images can play a major role at all stages of the design-to-construction process.

In the early design stages, architects can view their proposed
designs and concepts from within the building or scene, exploring the
relationship between spaces, the impact of lighting throughout the room
(during different times of the day or even during different times of the
year) and the experience of proportion and scale.

Lumion’s 360 panoramas and VR-ready images are available as high-quality
photo bubbles. With these photo bubbles, you are able to view the space
from a single location, seeing the design in a beautiful, accurate
manner. By moving seamlessly from photo bubble to photo bubble, you can
explore different rooms of a home design.

Tip: Click the ‘eye’ in the lower-right corner to enable viewpoints.

You won’t be able to make full-on, dynamic VR walkthroughs in Lumion
(where the client can freely walk through the design), and there is some
reasoning behind this. For instance, with Lumion’s method of making 360
panoramas and VR-ready photo bubbles, you can:

  • Maintain full control of what the client can view by specifying the
    exact position of the panoramas, thus allowing you to better tell your
    design story.
  • Avoid the risks commonly associated with full-on dynamic VR
    (customer isolation, graphics performance, quality of output, difficult
    technical set-up in a customer environment, possible customer sickness
    because of the motion within the headset)
  • Reduce the time it takes to make VR a part of your presentation, as
    you don’t have to prepare and render every angle of your building.
    Instead, you can simply build and render the spaces that the client
    needs to see.

The idea is that Lumion aims to facilitate better communications
between the architect and the client, not hinder it. Nevertheless, the
Lumion team has a long history in VR technology, dating back to even
before Lumion was developed, and we continue to research this exciting
and developing area. We are carefully following both the market and
hardware trends so that we can continue to develop solutions which work
best in practice.

How to make 360 panoramas and VR-ready images in Lumion 9

With the Lumion 360 panorama mode,
it’s easy to start making beautiful, effective panoramic images and VR
experiences yourself. For a complete and easy-to-follow tutorial about
using the 360 panorama mode, watch the video below:

With the tutorial above, you can learn about the different panorama
options, including how to make monoscopic and stereoscopic images for
different use cases. But if you don’t have time to watch the video
above, we’ll break down the two basic steps to panorama creation.

Step 1 — Choose a viewpoint and add effects

When creating a panorama in Lumion, the first step is to assign a viewpoint. Choose an area of the project you wish to render.

In panorama mode, you can render multiple viewpoints to show the various spaces throughout your design.

After choosing the location, you can add effects to enhance the look
and feel of the panorama. Not all of the effects are available in
panorama mode, but you can use effects such as the Sun, Shadow, Precipitation, Real Skies and many others. With the addition of 3D grass, you can ensure that the landscapes of your panoramas feature that crisp, realistic grass.

Step 2 — Choose the panorama render settings

Once you’ve set up the panorama viewpoints and effects, you will need
to customize the render output by selecting the correct settings
relevant to how you plan on using the panorama.

To start, you can either hit the “Render 360 panorama” button to
render a single panorama viewpoint, or you can render all of the
viewpoints by selecting the green “Render all 360 panoramas” button on
the right-hand side of the screen.

Next, there are multiple settings to
help you define exactly how you want your render to look, and how you
plan on using the render in your presentation. Keep in mind that these
settings will also impact render times.

The “Output quality” setting lets you assign the quality of the
render. With 5 stars, Lumion will render the image with 16x
anti-aliasing but it may take a considerable amount of time.

For instance, rendering a medium-sized (4096×4096) monoscopic
panorama with 5 stars (and using a laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX
1080 Max-Q graphics card) took about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

As a comparison, rendering the same image with a 3-star quality output setting took about 7 minutes.

In addition to render quality, the other important render setting to
consider is “Monoscopic” vs. “Stereoscopic.” In short, monoscopic images
render much faster and they are ideal for 360 panorama views, such as
this one uploaded to MyLumion below:

A stereoscopic image, on the other hand, creates a 3D image and gives
the illusion of depth, and these are ideal for uploading into a VR
headset. You can see an example video below (captured from an Oculus

Other important settings include: 

  • Target device, which features special settings for GearVR / Oculus
    (cubic panorama format) headsets as well as generic devices
    (equirectangular projection panoramas).
  • Eye-to-Eye distance (IPD), which measures the interpupillary
    distance (the distance between the centers of the pupils of the eyes)
    and can help configure the clarity and image sharpness for every
  • Horizontal slices, which helps improve quality. A higher setting
    means a higher quality panorama, but render times will be longer.

For a more in-depth look at the Lumion panorama settings, take a look at this Knowledge Base guide.

3 tips for creating better VR experiences in Lumion 9

Want to start immersing your clients into the heart of your design?
Below are three useful tips to consider when making your next 360
panorama or VR-ready image in Lumion.

1. Make sure the VR experience has a specific purpose

Before you hit the “render” button in Lumion’s 360 panorama mode,
take a moment and determine the specific purpose of the VR experience.
Make sure you have an objective, and don’t attempt to simply shoehorn VR
into the presentation for a “wow” or gimmick factor.

In this panorama, you can show clients the view from the bedroom during a sunset.

Remember, VR can highlight great design, but it can also do the same
for bad design. Define your intent and develop a clear vision, and
you’ll find that clients will be able to easily align themselves with
that vision.

2. Start with small, controlled experiences in your client presentations

If you have never introduced VR in a client presentation, that’s
okay. You have to start somewhere. But instead of introducing VR as the
focal point of the presentation, consider starting small, at least until
you’re more comfortable with the technology and what it can do.

For instance, in the video above, a VR panorama can be used to show
clients the view from the patio. Make sure to include this panorama with
other static image and video renders showing the rest of the house.

3. Help the client navigate the VR experience

As a client, viewing designs on a VR headset can be an isolating
experience. He or she may be looking at a specific feature of your
design, but without you to guide them and provide the necessary context,
it’s easy for misunderstandings to occur. By using waypoints in
Lumion’s 360 panorama mode, it’s easy to know exactly where the client
is at any moment and, therefore, you can guide their gaze.

In this image, you can see various waypoints, allowing you to jump from one viewpoint to the next while wearing a VR headset.

Another idea is to turn VR into a social experience by sharing the content of the VR headset onto an external screen.

Communicate the deeper beauty of your designs with 360 panoramas in Lumion

Lumion 360 panoramas are a viable option for stepping through the
front door of your project and feeling the space from an immersive

To integrate 360 panoramas and more into your architectural workflows, order Lumion 9.5 Pro.

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