Twinmotion 2023.2 finally gets Unreal Engine 5's Lumen, this is why it matters

Twinmotion 2023.2 for Unreal Engine 5; a render of a villa in Unreal Engine
(Image credit: Epic Games Twinmotion)

Twinmotion 2023.2 has landed and it is stronger than it has ever been; its connection to Epic Games and therefore to Unreal Engine 5 is becoming increasingly apparent with every release. The new version of Twinmotion includes the Unreal Engine 5 feature Lumen, a tool that has been mesmerising users of the real time engine since its introduction.

Think of Twinmotion as a very light version of Unreal Engine, a software perfect for visualisers, architects and designers. Read my Twinmotion 2 review for more details on how it works, and my Unreal Engine 5.3 review for a grasp of why everyone loves this real time platform. I regularly use both, which is why Twinmotion 2023.2 looks very exciting. 

This new update of Twinmotion, the real-time visualisation tool, is split into two separate previews, with each containing new and exciting features. Twinmotion has done well to position itself within an increasingly crowded visualisation market, but is clearly providing intuitive tools that can be picked up by even the most amateur of users. So what are some of these new features?

UE5's Lumen comes to Twinmotion 2023.2

Lumen is Unreal Engine 5's name for its global illumination system and now it's included in Twinmotion 2023.2. Lumen is a feature that Twinmotion users have wanted for a while (you can see why in our tech preview of Lords of the Fallen). We knew it was possible when it appeared in Unreal Engine 5 and rumours have been flying around that it would be added into Twinmotion. The development team has made it happen, and I couldn't be happier. 

I’m always impressed to see features like Lumen appearing in real-time applications because of the sheer number and complexity of calculations that are required to make it happen. This is no small feat, Lumen will instantly transform tired and unrealistic scenes into photo-realistic visuals and videos without much work required from the artist. 

Twinmotion 2023.2 supports animated objects

Twinmotion 2023.2

Lumen makes global illumination possible in real-time. (Image credit: Epic Games Twinmotion)

Another fantastic new addition is support for FBX and gITF/GLB file formats for animations. This hasn’t previously been possible to make use of this functionality inside Twinmotion. It is now, and as a visualiser I'm now able to create my animations in any digital content creator application I choose while at the same time making use of the rendering and lighting strengths of Twinmotion for final delivery.

This new addition in Twinmotion 2023.2 gives us the best of both worlds. As with most new features and especially experimental features, like this one, there are some unsupported features. In this instance it’s the lack of blendshape-based facial animations, or animated cameras and lights.

Twinmotion 2023.2

Real-time visualisation gets even better in Twinmotion 2023.2. (Image credit: Epic Games Twinmotion)

Improvements to its Paint and Scatter tools

One of the other new features that I am impressed by is the addition of some tools to help instance objects around a scene. This is made possible through a set of Paint and Scatter tools which work using assets from Twinmotion, Quixel Megascan and Sketchfab. This makes it much easier to 'dress' scenes directly inside Twinmotion and will ensure that available memory is used wisely. 

New licences for Twinmotion 2023.2 cost £493.20 but there is a Community Project version for non-commercial projects; this is perfect for artists wanting to see if it'll fit into their workflow without having to commit to paying for it. Visit the Twinmotion website for a free download or sign-up to a paid commercial edition. 

Twinmotion 2023.2 is ideal for artists who want a simple workflow that lets them create simple and rudimentary visuals. The bridge to Unreal Engine 5 makes it possible to extend designs to greater levels of visual quality. Don't sleep on this amazing software.

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Paul Hatton

Paul Hatton has 13 years experience in the CGI industry, including five years leading a studio. Paul has been writing features and tutorials and more for international CG art magazines, including 3D World 3D Artist and 3D Total.  With a first class BSc Computer Science Degree and a passion for technology and computer graphics Paul is an expert in his field.