Epic Games Updates Twinmotion Architectural Visualization Tool25 Mar, 2020 By: Cadalyst Staff
Twinmotion 2020 features new lighting, material, and vegetation options that yield more realistic renderings for communication with project stakeholders, according to the developer.
Epic Games has released Twinmotion 2020, the latest version of its architectural visualization software application. Built on top of Unreal Engine (Epic’s video game engine, which has grown to address a range of 3D creation needs), Twinmotion offers real-time project visualization for professionals in AEC disciplines such as architecture, design, construction, urban planning, and landscaping. Users can create a variety of presentation materials — including images, panoramas, videos, and virtual reality content — without specialized visualization expertise, according to Epic Games.
Twinmotion 2020 boasts new lighting, vegetation, material, and other features that are intended to give users achieve flexibility and help them achieve more realism in their designs. Many of the new enhancements are focused on improving the realism of lighting and plants. According to Epic Games, key features include the following:
Lighting and rendering:
A new screen-space global illumination (SSGI) method for dynamic indirect lighting, enabling realistic reflection of light and color throughout a scene, such as the effect of a colored floor on a ceiling above.
Physically based atmospheric sun and sky model to improve realism of exterior renders represented at various times of the day and year. Martin Krasemann, Twinmotion technical marketing specialist at Epic Games, demonstrated the automatic exposure functionality during a “What’s New” webinar. “When the camera is in a dark place, it automatically adjusts the brightness of the camera, and if I come to an area that is not in the shadow … the camera will automatically adjust,” he explained.
Area lighting tool to accurately fill spaces with diffuse lighting.
Volumetric lighting tool for light ray effects through particles such as fog or smoke, including dramatic “God ray” effects.
- Cinematic depth of field.
All-new high-fidelity tree assets from Xfrog, and bush assets from Quixel, containing various age and season options “Now we have highly detailed models … it’s really better quality compared to what we had in the past,” said Krasemann, zooming in on the leaves of ferns and bushes. “We have also completely reworked all our trees.”
Sub-surface scattering tools filter light through leaves.
New vegetation growth tool enables users to see how vegetation will look over time.
- New grass customization options, a new vegetation scatter tool, and improved vegetation painting.
Project presentation and review:
Twinmotion Presenter enables users to share an individual project in a standalone viewer
- New note tool lets users annotate elements within a scene for project review and information sharing; notes can be exported to Autodesk Revit, Graphisoft ARCHICAD, and other building information modeling (BIM) packages. “It’s just a basic drag-and-drop from the library to the viewport,” Krasemann demonstrated. “When you are making a project review with your clients, if you see some problem with the project, you can add a few notes, like ‘Change the material over here,’ ‘Fix the geometry here’ … [then] you can export those notes back to Revit or back to ARCHICAD, and in your CAD software, you will retrieve the title, the description, and you will also retrieve the thumbnail of the note so you can visualize quickly where was the problem in your model, and fix them while in your CAD software.”
Material and texture options:
Users can now import and use H264-encoded video as a material, enabling animated features such as a TV playing or a flickering fireplace.
New Frosted Glass material simulates translucent glass (such as privacy windows) and accurate light scatter.
Enhanced Glow material uses SSGI to enable objects to act as a light source.
- New X-Ray option lets users see the position of objects occluded by other objects, simplifying visualization of MEP data such as pipe or air duct locations. “If I turn this [X-ray] option on, now I can visualize this object on top of everything,” Krasemann said, making an underground pipe visible in spite of the earth, trees, and structures located over it.
All 3D animated human characters have been replaced with photo-scanned character assets from AXYZ design.
- Rhino is now supported by Twinmotion’s Direct Link feature, enabling users to sync Rhino and Grasshopper data into Twinmotion with a single click, while retaining organization and hierarchy.
Pricing and Availability
Twinmotion 2020 is compatible with Windows and macOS, and is available now. New users can take advantage of a special offer for a 50% discount off the $499 purchase price, and receive free upgrades through December 2021. Early adopters using previous versions of Twinmotion get access to the new version at no cost, plus free upgrades through December 2021.
Twinmotion has accumulated almost half a million registrations since it joined the Epic suite in May of last year, shared Marc Petit, general manager of Unreal Engine, Epic Games, in a press release. “It’s always our mission to make high-end visualization more accessible to all users regardless of experience, and Twinmotion 2020 is the most robust release to date — enabling high-quality visuals in real-time, while still being extremely intuitive and easy to use.”