Making a 3D Clay Render Model in Lumion

Featured Image_Making a 3D Clay Render Model in Lumion

Ever wondered how you can get a clay render look in Lumion? Follow along with this tutorial and we’ll show you how to get the same look with Lumion! We used the concept art for a Moon House by Catell-Ruz. If you want to see how we modeled this design in Sketchup, check out this tutorial. When you import your model into Lumion you can get a simple background by using the “white” preset, but it’s still not quite the look we’re going for. If you want a gray background, you’ll have to cheat a bit! Follow these steps to see how it’s done!

Creating the Clay Render

Draw a Plane. We have our model dynamically linked to the Sketchup file, so whatever changes we make will appear in Lumion. Use the rectangle tool to draw a plane underneath the model. Then, draw a vertical line on one of the front corners. If you hold the “shift” key while drawing, you can lock to the current direction you’re on. Connect the vertical line to the back corner to create a vertical plane.

draw planes for clay render background

Draw an Arc. Use the arc tool to draw an arc connecting the vertical plane to the horizontal plane.

draw arc for clay render background

Push/Pull. Use the “push/pull” tool to push the arc along the planes you made. This will create a smooth transition between the horizontal and vertical surface. You may have to extend the vertical plane up so that you can’t see the edge when looking at your house model.

push/pull arc for clay render background

Make Group. Select both planes and the arc transition. Right-click and select “make group.” Use the box to extrude each end of the group far enough so that it covers all the area that you will see when looking at your model.

extrude planes for clay render background

Open in Lumion. Make sure the bottom of the vertical plane is not below your ground plane. You can go back and adjust anything in your original Sketchup model until you get the background coverage you need.

clay render background in Lumion

Add Lighting. If you notice that you have an unnecessary shadow, you can add a light source in Lumion to hide it. Select the “area light” and place it below your model. Adjust the “length” and “width” to make it as large as possible. Adjust the “brightness” to be high. Use the rotate tool to align the light horizontally. You can place another light that shines on the vertical plane. Of course, you don’t want to forget to add light to your model! Simply add another area light and direct it towards your model. You may have to adjust the size and brightness, or you could even use the sun as the source of light.

add lighting to clay render background

Effects. Open the “photo” tool to adjust your rendering view. From here, you can adjust the camera and focal length to get the angle you want. Next, to get the clay render appearance you’ll have to use a custom effect. Click on the “add effects” button. Under the “various” tab, select “styrofoam.” Using the sliders on the left, you can adjust the diffusion or color of your material.

edit effects of clay render background

This effect gives you a great base for creating a concept art look! You can adjust the lighting so that the background is all white, make the backdrop a different color, or export the lightmap so you can easily Photoshop the background out and add a new one.

Do you like the look of a clay render? What rendering style is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Hacking!


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

    Great tips. I’m bookmarking this page. Its a great resource to keep. Thanks for sharing.

  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  4. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

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  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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