What’s New in Twinmotion 2021.1

April 1, 2021 Kenniston Crane

Twinmotion 2021.1 is out now and below are some of the exciting new features that we will be doing deeper dives on in the future.

Import via DataSmith  

Aside from a snazzy new loading screen image, one of the first features you’ll notice when importing your model is that there is now DataSmith supported linking! This is an exciting new tool that allows for even better linking of models from authoring software, such as Autodesk Revit. It is best used when combined with the updated Revit addon (the first software to get the addons). The benefits of this new Direct link include:

  • Synchronize as many Revit files as you want, within the same Twinmotion Scene.
  • Datasmith is also what is used to bring Twinmotion scenes directly into Unreal Engine, giving you an enhanced workflow to bring the Revit designs into Unreal Engine itself, if you choose to.
  • Carries over some `BIM information, but not all of the family properties.
  • Replace or Transform individual objects, which previously required an actual exported fbx to do.
  • You can still switch out materials as before

Speaking of new materials, we have….


Yeah, you heard me. Assets including scanned objects and materials from the largest library of its kind is now freely available to those that have a ‘paid version’ of Twinmotion 2021. Quixel was used in such award winning media as Disney’s live action Junglebook, the Lion King, The Mandalorian, and others. Just so you have an idea of the quality of this library.

You’ll find a new icon for Quixel in the Library panel. In previous releases, adding materials and assets from Quixel required downloading and painstakingly rebuilding them inside of Twinmotion in your User Library. Not anymore.

To add Quixel assets to your scene, simply drill down to find the one you want, hit the download button (if it wasn’t previously downloaded) and drag it into your scene. Simple as that! You can even build a favorites library of not only the Quixel assets, but any assets, to more easily locate them for later use! Oh, and since the library is being constantly added to- so is your Twinmotion library! The only thing you must keep in mind is that they will download the 2k version of the assets. If you require higher-rez, you will still need to go the old fashioned way.

Height Maps

Keeping the materials theme, we now have height, otherwise known as displacement, maps added. Height maps add an extra channel for displacement of the material from the “floor” of the surface. This allows for even more added realism in your scene. You can find the control for this new layer next to the Bump Map control.

Lighting Improvements

In order for even more realistic lighting, some default settings have been changed. This may require some slight updates to older Twinmotion files. However, it will mean smoother day cycles and better lighting presets for any scenes in Twinmotion 2021. You can find out more about these changes here.

New OOB Assets

So, staying inside the Library Panel, if Quixel wasn’t enough for you, Twinmotion has added 140 new assets out of the box. These include 20 new species of Japanese and American trees, 60 furniture assets for indoor and outdoor gyms, and 60 new ready-posed humans. Some of these new humans include healthcare workers, which was a specifically requested asset bundle popularized this past year.

Tinting on vegetation

If you want even more variety on your vegetation, you can now tint both the leaves AND the bark. Yes, I’m speaking specifically to you, Landscape Designers. Now you can easily place a wide variety of colors and assets very quickly in your scene, as shown below. Don’t forget that if you have clumps of foliage that you’d like to duplicate for later use, you can add them to your User Library and all of the settings will already be tweaked!

More Non-Realistic rendering styles

For architects, 4 new camera effects have been added. Including “Hidden Line” shown here. You can create several images with different camera effects and overlay them in an image editing software such as Photoshop for even greater variety or just include them in your presenter exports.

Phasing in Presenter

Now phasing can be included in the presenter files and played from any camera position. Of course, this also means that phasing can be a part of your presentation in the cloud.

Presenter in the Cloud (Early Access)

Wait, what?!!?! You mean I can send my huge Twinmotion files to the cloud? That’s right!! You can include those images, along with your Presenter file using the new Presenter Cloud. The new cloud-based service allows the Twinmotion user to share projects running on a GPU cloud instance. This feature is exclusively available to full commercial licenses. Your customer doesn’t have the beefy rendering computer that you do? No problem!! Send them a link to the finished project and they can experience your Twinmotion scenes from anywhere - including their tablet smart phone!! There are a few points to be made though:

  • Maximum file size is 2GB
  • Maximum number of users accessing a shared file is 100.
  • It will be available for Education and Trial versions in the coming months.


About the Author

Kenniston Crane

Building Solutions Applications Expert<br><br>Having spent more than 20+ years working in the building industry, Kenniston puts his expertise to work for clients whether its creating complex electrical systems for data centers, design custom luxury homes, or helping them integrate all disciplines into a cohesive BIM process.<br><br>He’s spent time doing custom residential architecture and electrical designs, creating quantity takeoffs, and developing construction sequences, and implementing construction pre-fabrication services. Helping organizations make the most of their technology – and plan for future goals – is a key part of how he aids clients at IMAGINiT.

Follow on Linkedin More Content by Kenniston Crane
Previous Article
Creating a Revit Central Model
Creating a Revit Central Model

Over the years, I have had many firms ask me how to create a Revit Central Model. Therefore, I thought I wo...

Next Article
Register for Autodesk Tandem Community
Register for Autodesk Tandem Community

Participate in the community, invite your colleagues to join, and get ready to explore and discover excitin...