1. Method A: .FBX format
1.1: Select the models you want to export to Lumion and click on:
File -> Export -> Export Selected...
1.2: Select the .FBX file format followed by the Autodesk Media & Entertainment preset:
2. Method B: .MAX format
2.1: Alternatively, import the .MAX file in Lumion provided that you have installed 3ds Max on your computer.
Lumion will then open 3ds Max in the background and export the model to a temporary .FBX file during the import process.
3. Tips & Troubleshooting
3.1: Why can't you see the model after importing and placing it in your Scene?
- The Insertion Point for the Imported Model in Lumion corresponds to 0,0,0 in 3ds Max.
- If a model is far away from the Insertion Point in Lumion, you need to move the model closer to 0,0,0 in 3ds Max, before exporting it to Lumion.
3.2: Why can't you assign a Lumion material to individual surfaces?
- Lumion will always combine surfaces that use the same material in 3ds Max. If you want to assign a Lumion material to a specific surface, you must assign a unique material to that surface in 3ds Max before importing the model.
3.3: Why are the textures missing when you import your model?
- If you are using any other materials than the default of Standard or Arnold (eg, V-Ray, Physical, Arch & Design, MentalRay, Raytrace materials etc), then the models will be untextured in Lumion.
- For that reason, please convert all materials to Standard or Arnold materials in 3ds Max.
- V-Ray, Corona or FStorm materials can be converted with either:
- External Link: Lime Exporter - 3ds Max to Lumion (up to version 1.23)
- External Link: Lime Exporter website (version 2.53 compatible to 3ds Max 2023)
3.4: Why are some parts of your model flipped, offset or invisible?
- This is usually because the model has been mirrored or offset procedurally. Please apply a Reset Xform modifier via the Utilities tab. Then right-click on the model, select Object Properties and turn Backface Cull on to see if you need to flip any surfaces manually.
- If you do not have 3ds Max, then you can use the special import option to force the model to be double-sided by adding the suffix '_safemode' to the file name, for example, 'Model_safemode.fbx'.
- Or in 3ds Max add a 'Shell' modifier to the model:
1. Right-click on the model and select 'Convert to Editable Poly'.
2. Open the modifier list and add 'Shell' modifier.
3. Right-click on the 'Shell' modifier and click on 'Collapse All'.
4. Export the model as '.FBX'.
3.4.1: Some faces for a mirrored model do not display correctly:
- For example, the color of the faces seems darker.
- When you mirror the model it also mirrors how the surfaces interact with light. When the sun is facing the model from one side it renders as if it were facing the model from the other side.
- To avoid this, use the Geometry option :
3.5: Which Map Channels can Lumion import from 3ds Max?
- Lumion can import diffuse textures that have been assigned to the Diffuse Color Map Channel. Any other Map Channel textures will not be included (for example Specular, Opacity, Bump etc). Use one of the following texture file types for the diffuse textures: .JPG, .TGA, .BMP, .TIF, .PNG or .DDS.
- Make sure that the color format is not an 8-bit grayscale or 16-bit grayscale image.
- The Map type should be set to Bitmap. Other Map types such as Falloff or Mix are not supported.
- You can also include a Transparency mask in the so-called Alpha Channel of the texture if required (use a 32-bit .TGA or .PNG texture). There is more information in this article:
- Knowledge Base: How do you make some parts of a material transparent?
3.6: How do you reduce the detail level of 3ds Max models?
3.7: How do you import animated models from 3ds Max?
- Knowledge Base: How do you import animated objects in Lumion?
3.8: How do you replace imported objects with Library objects?
3.9: Importing Edges from 3ds Max:
- Lumion version 9 and newer support import of Edges, similar to edges for SketchUp. But it can only support 3ds Max Shapes and Lines. Here are two methods to create edges.
3.9.1: Select and Convert Edges in 3ds Max:
1. Open or import your model in 3ds Max.
2. Convert it to an 'Editable Poly'.
3. Select the edge loops/edges within the model you want to be seen as edges in Lumion.
4. Within 'Editable Poly' -> Edge -> select the option to 'Create shape from selection' -> choose 'Linear' for the 'Shape Type'.
5. When finished, save as .MAX or export as .FBX and Import into Lumion.
3.9.2: Convert Edges via SketchUp:
Manually selecting and converting all the edges to shapes in 3ds Max can be time-consuming. An option is to use one of the edges import features supported in Lumion for SketchUp models.
See section 3.1: How do you import edges from SketchUp? in our Knowledge Base article: Model import guidelines for SketchUp.
If you want to import the model from Max/FBX for edges only, then import the model into SketchUp to create the edges, and tick the Export Edges tickbox in the Collada (.DAE) export options in SketchUp (see the steps in the above article, section: Prior to Lumion version 9.0).