1. Preparing animations for Lumion
It is not possible to import vertex animations, morph animations or bone animations in Lumion.
If you try to import animated 3D people/animals from websites such as TurboSquid, Daz3D and Axyz Design, or animated trees/plants from Plant Factory or SpeedTree, they will be imported as static models.
However, it is possible to import move/rotate/scale animations from some 3rd party modelling 3D modeling applications, e.g. 3ds Max, Maya and Cinema 4D.
1.1: Please use these settings when exporting animated models:
- Frame rate: 25 frames per second.
- Export format: .FBX
- .DAE format can also be imported but the keyframe interpolation in Lumion will be linear.
2. Step-by-step instructions for 3ds Max
2.1: Set the Frame Rate to 25 frames per second:
Time Configuration -> Frame Rate -> PAL (or 25 frames per second)
2.2: Animate your object(s) using move/rotate/scale keyframes:
- External Link: Autodesk Help: 3ds Max Animation Tutorials
Make sure you have added a key at the last frame of your animation. The last key will be the last frame played back in Lumion before the looped animation is replayed. For example, if you have an animation with 100 frames and the object's last animation key is frame 65, then Lumion will replay from frame 65. Simply add another key at frame 100 for Lumion to play all required frames.
2.3: File menu -> Export... -> FBX format-> Preset -> AutoDesk Media & Entertainment
2.4: Import the FBX file in Lumion with Import animations turned on:
2.5: Place the object anywhere in your Scene to see the animation.
3. Tips & Troubleshooting
3.1: Why is the animation looping too early in Lumion?
- The animation will loop automatically in Lumion. If you need to have objects hold their transform after the the last animated object, so that the length of playback matches the length of a Clip in Lumion, then you need to increase the duration of the animation in 3ds Max to match the time in Lumion, and ensure each object has a keyframe on the last frame in 3ds Max.
3.2: How do you fix animation import problems?
- In rare cases the animation does not import as expected. To resolve this issue, you can set the FBX export settings to bake the animation for each frame (FBX export settings -> Animation -> Bake Animation -> Resample All -> On, Steps = 1). This adds keys to all animated objects at each frame, and adds significantly to the replay load and memory requirements in Lumion, so should only be used for less complex models or as a last resort:
3.3: How do you export a spinning propeller or wind turbine from 3ds Max?
- In 3ds Max, set the framerate to 25 frames per second (see step 2.1 above).
- Create a keyframe at frame 0 where the propeller is at 0 degrees.
- Create a keyframe at frame 25 where the propeller is at 360 degrees.
- The propeller is now spinning at a rate of 360 degrees per second.
- In the Track View - Curve Editor in 3ds Max, set both keyframes to Linear.
- Set the animation range to 0-24 frames in the Time Configuration. That way the rotation of the propeller won't be identical at the first and last frame of the animation.
- Make sure that you only export this animation range (frame 0-24) in the FBX exporter window (it doesn't matter whether you bake this animation or not - it will look correct in Lumion either way).