Vray vs Lumion: Why I Ditched Vray for Lumion

Featured Image_why I ditched vray for lumion

In this article we’re going to explore the differences in Vray vs Lumion and explain why we decided to ditch Vray for Lumion. Vray is a great option for rendering Sketchup models, but we tried it out and here’s what happened…

Immediately we noticed a lot of problems using Vray. After contacting the third party we purchased the software from, our rep. (who is a former chaos group employee) informed us that most of the programming for Vray was now being outsourced which made the quality of the program go down. In hopes of resolving some of the issues, our rep. gave us a test version to use. There were still issues opening materials from the library and applying them to objects and there was about a 50/50 chance the rendering button would work or just crash Sketchup.

Vray vs Lumion. Sketchup render window

After researching other rendering softwares, we discovered Lumion. It was about the same cost as Vray, so we gave it a shot.

Vray vs Lumion

Lumion is a standalone software whereas Vray is integrated into Sketchup. This means that Vray relies a lot on Sketchup working properly, so if your Sketchup has the habit of crashing, good luck using Vray for Sketchup. Lumion also offers live rendering so you don’t have to wait for your screen to react to changes in lighting or worry about adjusting and locking your camera view.

Vray vs Lumion. Sketchup model

When it comes to the end result in Vray vs Lumion, both programs can create beautiful renderings, but the process of using Lumion is much smoother. However, we found that the most beneficial part of using Lumion is that it allowed rendering to become a fluid part of the design process. You can set up your view exactly the way you want and not have to be concerned with the ability of the program to handle it. The sliders give you the ability to quickly achieve the look you want, and you can add endless details like landscaping, lighting, and people. Vray offers a certain level of customization as well, but every time you add a detail you have to wait for the scene to render.

Vray vs Lumion. adding Materials in Lumion

Summary of Vray vs Lumion:

– Vray and Lumion (base price) are about the same cost
– Vray is entirely dependent on Sketchup
– Lumion is a standalone program
– Lumion comes with a 3D models library
– Both come with textures and materials, and allow custom ones
– Lumion is a real-time renderer where Vray is not.
– Lumion has unique preset effects (night render, day render, volumetric lighting)
– Lumion has the ability to make animations and panoramic views

Vray vs Lumion. Vray rendering
Vray vs Lumion. Lumion Rendering

After comparing Vray vs Lumion, it was clear that Lumion is the better choice for us when doing full renderings. However, we won’t completely ditch Vray. It can still be used for things that have no textures or specialty lighting, so we may use it for quick studies like clay massing or simple models. For us, we found that Lumion was just more intuitive to pick up, and it was easier to get a nice renderer faster. When you start getting into tons of customization, Vray is going to leave Lumion behind, but for most people the quality of Lumion is sufficient for the gained speed.

Which rendering program do you prefer between Vray vs Lumion and why? Do you prefer something else entirely? Let us now in the comments! Interested in how other rendering programs stack up to Lumion? Check out our comparison of Twinmotion and Lumion here and let us know what you think!

Happy Hacking!


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

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  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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