Get map data
- We added the game-changing ‘Get map data’ feature for creation of smart 3D city models around the world within minutes.
- Users can clip out and import georeferenced satellite imagery and 3D terrain.
- If available, street and building footprint data from OpenStreetMap (OSM) can be conveniently downloaded and imported into the scene.
Scene layer packages
- We have added support for exporting 3D models as scene layer package (SLPK) files.
- SLPKs can be loaded to ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS and then published as a 3D streaming service (Scene layer).
- We have added options for saving an SLPK as a local scene service (i.e. projected coordinate system) or a global scene service (i.e. WGS84 geographic coordinate system).
ArcGIS platform in the cloud
- New Portal Navigator allows you to conveniently find rule package (RPK) files, web layers and other contents by searching the libraries in ArcGIS Online/Portal for ArcGIS.
- Feature layers are now fully supported, i.e. the user can connect to feature services that can be combined with rules to generate new 3D layers for buildings, parks, streets, or other features.
- Multiple ArcGIS Online/Portal for ArcGIS accounts can now be simultaneously and conveniently managed within CityEngine.
- We have added support for Alembic (.abc) format which can handle massive 3D models (dozens of GBs).
- Alembic caches maintain tens of thousands of building geometries at the highest level of detail and visualize them in a renderer without the need for an advanced production pipeline.
- Alembic cache files written by CityEngine can be read by popular 3D tools such as SideFX’s Houdini®, The Foundry’s KATANA®, and Autodesk’s Maya®, where they work together with renderers such as Chaos Group’s V-Ray® and Pixar’s RenderMan®.
In CityEngine, the procedural modeling of buildings is based on rules. These rules are written in CityEngine’s own shape grammar language, CGA. With CityEngine 2016, we have introduced numerous novel operations and modes which simplify and enhance the CGA user experience, including:
- New CGA operation for generating inner rectangles that allows for the accurate placement of building instances within parcels. It supports different alignment options and lets you compute the remainder shape between the original input polygon and the new inner rectangle. It also computes correct inner rectangles for concave polygons with reasonable vertex count.
- New parameters for the insert operation allow for the easy-to-use positioning of custom 3D models by keeping the original dimensions or proportions of the input geometry.
- New operations for creating 3D primitives such as spheres, cones, cylinders, cubes, disks, and quads. All operations let you set the dimensions and corresponding mesh resolutions.
- New splitArea operation for subdividing polygons according to area sizes. For example, the operation allows for the subdivision of a block polygon into smaller parcels of exactly the same area; regardless of the complexity and shape of the initial block polygon.
- New extrusion modes lets you extrude in the direction of the vertex normals. This allows for the extrusion of non-planar meshes without resulting gaps or overlaps along the edges. Another new mode allows you to generate a flat top surface regardless of the alignment of the input polygon on the ground.
- Roofs can now be generated using the roof height as an input parameter (before, only roof angles could be set). This allows for the creation of roofs of an exact height, regardless of overhang. Also, we fixed issues in the roof geometry generation resulting in improved shading, trim planes, and edge classifications.
- New tools for cleaning-up the normals of polygonal meshes have been introduced. For example, irregular normals of corrupt 3D objects can be automatically corrected, resulting in consistent normal orientations. Furthermore, a new operation automatically computes smooth normals while preserving hard edges where required.
- The geometry clean-up capabilities have been improved, e.g. duplicate faces are now correctly removed (up to inversion and index shift), and the vertex merger is more stable.
- A CGA rule editor issue has been fixed so edit changes in imported CGA rule files are now detected and the rule is now re-compiled automatically.
- We improved floating-point precision in overall, specifically for normal and area calculations.
- We have upgraded CityEngine’s internal rendering engine to OpenGL 4.1 allowing for better support of modern graphics cards and resulting in higher frame rates as well as superior virtualization capabilities.
- We have improved support for AMD graphics cards, e.g. certain problematic 8- or 16-bit PNG textures are now displayed correctly.
- On OS X, we have fixed several OpenGL issues during startup and shutdown and enhanced the wireframe rendering.
- We have updated CityEngine’s Python interface by upgrading the underlying Python to version 2.7, allowing for the use of the most common Python libraries.
- Python bindings now handle layers and layer groups (visibility, lock state, colored state).
- To get reliable screenshots via Python, the command "waitForUIIdle()" now also checks the render queues of the viewports.
- We have updated the Inspector GUI in order to simplify the user experience, such as setting rule defaults or working with different attribute sources.
- When changing layer attributes in the Inspector, the street shapes are now regenerated to reflect the new values.
- The style selector is now a drop-down menu allowing for fast access of styles.
- The style previews windows are now shown without rendering artifacts in georeferenced scenes.
- For static models, new options for normal computation, mesh repair, and simplification are now available in the Inspector.
- The Cleanup Shapes tool now automatically corrects invalid normals of corrupt 3D geometries, correctly removes double faces, and has improved vertex merger stability.
- The Align Shapes/Graph to Terrain tools now set the height of vertices and nodes outside of the terrain extent to the height of the nearest terrain location, resulting in reasonable alignment locations.
- When rotating the camera, the CGA handle positions no longer flicker.
- Handles are now only shown when selection or camera move tools are active. They are hidden while transform tools are used so as not to interfere with the transform handles.
- Handles now use the lead selection color as the default color.
- Dashboards can now add more than six charts.
- Dashboards now include the "divided by" feature that allows users to perform a division of two reported values and plot the result in the chart.
- Dashboards now use a dynamic http port for internal communication.
- We have fixed several issues on Linux.
3D file format export
- Texture atlas generation now crops images to the used extent.
- Memory consumption has been optimized when batch exporting complex models using CGA occlusion statements.
- We have fixed a RenderMan export issue where the suffix in filenames were incorrectly set.
FileGDB and shapefile support
- We have improved the performance for importing and exporting FileGDBs with relational data; no more restrictions in number of attributes.
- An issue where the last segment of a closed polyline feature and the multipatch feature with inner rings (holes) has been fixed.
- The FileGDB previewer (also in Navigator) now displays the full path for datasets.
- Features with existing OBJECTID attributes no longer overwrite each other on export.
- An export issue wherein the attributes of two layers could be mixed up in the resulting FileGDB datasets has been fixed.
- The lengthy wait times when updating features of an existing FileGDB has been resolved.
- We have fixed several SHP export issues with string attributes (NULL values, non-ascii character handling, trimming too long strings).
- In the Navigator, it is now possible to conveniently search for files by name or type.
- We introduced more advanced format versioning in CEJ (scene file) that requires CityEngine 2016.0 or later. The CEJ version is visible in the Navigator’s preview.
- An issue that prevented Esri.lib plants from being included automatically in RPKs has been fixed.
- A memory leak in the Façade Wizard has been resolved.
- In the Scene Editor, we fixed issues when toggling layer visibility; the object selection now gets reliable updated accordingly.
- We updated the internal projection engine (proj4) resulting in support for additional coordinate systems and improved accuracy.