Import "Real-Life" Terrains to Lumion with Plex.Earth

In many cases, advanced visualization is necessary. Especially during the conceptual phase or during design demonstrations. This is why a lot of architectural software lean in this direction. In order to optimize this process, it is much more beneficial to show your designs in their actual location, so as you and your clients have a more detailed understanding of how your project will look into its real environment. Adding to this, corrections and adjustments, will be limited, thus minimizing the redesign cost and time.

Lumion is a 3D rendering software, with a more architectural perspective, that allows the creation of 3D Models for better visualization.

In the following tutorial, the processes for importing your "real-life" terrain, created with Plex.Earth 4, into your Lumion's 3D model, is described. Thus, as mentioned, better interaction with the real world is achieved, more accurate preliminary designs are created and your colleagues and clients will better grasp your proposals.

 If you don't already have Plex.Earth, download your fully-functional weekly trial from here.

Step 1: Import a 3D Terrain by using Plex.Earth 4

Import your project's area 3D terrain into your AutoCAD drawing, as shown in the picture below.


Once you have done that, save the changes to your drawing.

tip_icon_small.png Tip: It is preferable to use "Specify its Location" for georeferencing your drawing. This way, by importing your 3D Terrain at the 0,0,0 coordinates into AutoCAD,  it will respectively appear at the center of your Lumion project.

Step 2: Import your Project's Terrain to Lumion

Open Lumion software and start a new Project.

On the next screen, click on "Select Model" and load the AutoCAD file you created in Step 1.

Then, choose one of the offered backgrounds.


Your 3D terrain is now is imported and ready to be modified in Lumion, as shown below.


tip_icon_small.pngTip: If your Terrain contains zero elevation points (such as sea parts, as in the example above) you will have to elevate it a little into Lumion, for better rendering.

Step 3: Add or Create your Lumion Design Based on the Imported Terrain

Go to your Lumion project and click on "Objects".

Then, choose "Place" and select your design from your "Imported Models library", as shown below.


Go on and place your model to the imported terrain, applying all the necessary changes.

Alternatively, you can start designing from scratch.

Now you can have a complete visualization of your project.


In case you are already working on a Lumion project and you want to directly import your 3D terrain into it, you can just follow the same procedure and import your terrain from the “Imported Models Library”.  

Note: This procedure applies to the latest version of Lumion (10.3). For earlier versions,
you can follow the above steps, but the imported terrain may not be accompanied by its draped
imagery as a texture.

Feel free to contact us at, for any questions you may have, and don’t forget to start your free trial today.


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