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Breaking down an exterior dusk render in Lumion 11 and Photoshop.

When Show It Better started, these were the tutorial videos that were done back then. It’s been a long time, but these tutorials are back! This render was done between Lumion 11 and Photoshop. So stick around for the principal steps of the tutorial or you can also watch the video tutorial here. Also if you want to see the whole 3-hour video tutorial,  check out our Patreon page to get access to it here.

Download the PSD file here and go along with us in this tutorial.

Final exterior dusk render

3D Model

The 3d model was downloaded from the 3d warehouse, we opened lumion 11 and lived sync it

After updating the view, then we only modified some materials, like the basic concrete, glass.

Each time a small change was done, even adding a texture, we would take a render out of it. To see the changes. In SketchUp, we corrected things in the model that weren’t updated, so it was copying and pasting. 

We also activated the 2point perspective, and we created a small terrain with the sand option in SketchUp, so this terrain would have more visibility than the background. 

In this terrain, we painted it with different materials, we had two different types of grass.

We then created a forest in the background, so you can slightly see it, it is the forest pack that is embedded in Lumion 11. 

After painting two types of grass in SketchUp, we also added a type of path, so you can direct your view, so it has a look that you can go into the building through the path. 

After doing this, we started adding some trees, the good thing about the terrain, we didn’t have to put a lot of trees because of the terrain hiding the background. So we added some important trees that generated shadows in the main building.

We put a small bench that the Lumion library has, and also some light posts.

The next step was importing some context buildings, obviously, the main building was going to be the center of the render, so with the buildings we just wanted them to be in the background.

The buildings were also added to add some shadow to the main building. We kept going back to the main view to see how everything was coming along.

We started importing things like fences, more details, trees, if you have time, just invest it in adding these details.

We were also thinking about the light of the specific moment that the render would be on, we wanted it to have like a sunset so it could be reflected in the glass of the main building. We tried to avoid the generic light styles that Lumion has, and we tried to do this lightning from scratch. 

Looking at the 2point perspective, we saw what was missing. We imported some mountains from texture.com, we imported a rectangular plan and then we painted it with the mountain, we duplicated it for the right and left sides of the ima

We wanted to import the desks that would go inside the building, but it would have taken a lot of time, so we decided to do this later in photoshop. 

We added some lights because we were deciding between a sunset look or almost a dusk nocturnal look, so we added some warm lights in the streets.

The path in the front terrain was way too perfect, so we added elements in the foreground so it could look more realistic, with adding some benches, trees, rocks, leaves, person, etc.

Photoshop

After rendering this, we imported the night render into photoshop, and we also imported the material ID, the rough shadows, the alpha channel, the light. To have a better process and selection in photoshop.

We knew that in photoshop we were going to do a basic color correction and adding lights to the main building. So we imported some buildings textures, the night lights of buildings. 

We imported different textures, and starting using the marquee tool (m) to perfectly cut out the windows and place them, using ctrl+ T plus pressing alt, changing the perspective of the image, then after doing these, using the screen blending mode.

This was a long process, and the key here is to learn how to cut and place the texture accordingly. 

For the color correction, we used the 3D Luts, it is a type of filter that has a lot of correction, like a preset, with contrasts, brightness, hue/saturation correction. We downloaded these free luts from ludify.com.

There were some building lights missing, so we just decided to save some time, and cutting out different lights and merging them, and making our own texture.

Adjusting the perspective, we added this texture to the building in the back.

Using the material ID channel, we selected some of the windows, so the texture in the background could appear, obviously not in all of the windows, because since it is night, some are on and some are off. To avoid that perfect look, and make it look more random.

After adding more lights to the whole background building, and just investing time in this process. We went to the camera raw filter, we started doing some adjustments, adjusting the contrast, the saturation, and also using the dehaze option to add a kind of fog to the image, to make it look more mysterious. 

Final image

What did you think of the outcome? Have you done something similar when doing the building lights? The key in this process is to be constant and also have a lot of patience and love for what you are doing. Hey, check out the process in the video tutorial below and follow along with the PSD file, get it here.

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