- Can CityEngine export 3D GIS data to Unity or other VR/AR visualization engines?
- Does CityEngine support the creation of 3D KML files?
- Can I use CityEngine to generate 3D buildings out of LiDAR data?
- Can I use CityEngine to generate LOD1 buildings out of a DSM?
- What are the version differences between CityEngine BASIC and ADVANCED?
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What is CityEngine?
What's new in CityEngine 2017?
- CityEngine 2017.1 introduces a new set of interactive Visibility Analysis tools. You can use these tools, for example, to assess the vista from an apartment in a new building site or determine whether a specific building blocks a protected view. You can perform visibility analysis of static and dynamic models, streets, and terrain. The Viewshed and View Dome tools are designed to conveniently identify visible and nonvisible areas of your 3D model from one or multiple observer points. The View Corridor tool models protected views, such as to and from historic sites in your scene. The buildings in your scenarios that interfere with the view corridor are highlighted automatically. This allows you to design the silhouettes of your proposals to fit optimally into your city model.
- Interactive experiences, whether on the screen or in VR, are the next big step in architectural visualization. The demand for faster turn-around times prompted a shift from expensive ray-tracing to interactive game-engine-based visualizations. Esri worked with the development team of Epic Games industry leading Unreal Engine to streamline the transfer of your CityEngine 2017.1 scenes into the Unreal development environment. This provides the foundation to build 3D experiences that allow you to walk through realistically rendered city models or even create a fully fledged 3D game (see demo video). Learn more about the new CityEngine-to-Unreal workflow at the recent Unreal Engine SIGGRAPH User Group Meeting.
- CityEngine 2017.0 introduces the concept of scenarios. With scenarios, you can create multiple design alternatives in a single scene and compare them. You can display the scenarios side by side in different viewers for visual comparison. The new customizable dashboards are scenario-aware and can show reports for multiple scenarios simultaneously. This allows you to analyze the performance of designs against each other in real-time while designing. Using these intuitive planning tools will simplify the complex design iteration workflows.
- You can now apply local edits to your scene, which is one of the remaining challenges in procedural modeling. Local edits allow you to make changes to specific structural features in the procedural model, such as resizing windows, adding balconies, or changing usage types per floor, without affecting the entire procedural model.
- Measure distances, heights, areas, and paths with a new set of intuitive interactive tools. The measure tools include laser lines that, for example, allow you to see the elevation of a building relative to all the other objects in the scene.
- CityEngine 2017.0 presents a completely redesigned graphical user interface, resulting in a fresh, modern look and improved ease of use. Also, CityEngine 2017.0 improves support for high-DPI displays allowing for larger UI elements and fonts at high resolutions.
See What's new in CityEngine 2017 for more details.
Who can use CityEngine?
What is the long-term vision for CityEngine?
Over the next few years, we see CityEngine becoming the desktop application of choice for city planners, urban designers, and architects. We will invest in advancing special-purpose capabilities such as procedural master planning tools, interactive urban analytics on the GPU, or the management, comparison, and communication of redevelopment scenarios. At the same time, we will continue to tightly integrate CityEngine with the ArcGIS 3D platform, namely, interconnect CityEngine with web apps such as Scene Viewer and Story Maps, and with VR/AR apps based on Runtime SDKs.
Is CityEngine really used in the production of Hollywood blockbusters?
Yes. CityEngine is used by several major animation studios and visual effects houses for the creation of digital sets of urban environments. CityEngine 2017 can generate Alembic geometry caches of unlimited size on disk. Alembic allows for the hassle-free management and rendering of massive 3D models in DCC tools such as Houdini or Maya and is typically used in the production of feature films.
Can CityEngine export 3D GIS data to Unity or other VR/AR visualization engines?
Yes. CityEngine is well suited to export your 3D GIS data or city models to Unity, the tool of choice for developing Virtual Reality applications (for example, Gear VR, Hive, and Oculus) or Augmented Reality solutions (for example, HoloLens). As a result, CityEngine writes the popular FBX file format, which can now be flawlessly read by Unity. In the typical use case, an FBX so-called "instancing" feature allows for small file sizes and high frame rates in Unity.
Does CityEngine support the creation of 3D KML files?
Yes. The ability to import and export KML is available in CityEngine. Industry-standard 3D object properties such as advanced materials and multiple textures are supported by CityEngine and can be read by KML viewers such as ArcGIS Earth.
Can I use CityEngine to generate 3D buildings out of LiDAR data?
No. CityEngine does not support LiDAR data nor are tools provided for the automatic extraction of surfaces out of point clouds. However, based on ArcGIS Pro and CityEngine RPKs, Esri provides solution workflows to extract building and tree parameters from LiDAR and generate procedural representation of buildings and trees at various levels of detail.
Can I use CityEngine to generate LOD1 buildings out of a DSM?
Yes. If you have a detailed DSM (digital surface model, including buildings), you can compute the building height and automatically generate LOD1 buildings in CityEngine. To get the building footprints, you could use the CityEngine Get map data functionality, which imports OSM data and the underlying digital terrain model.
What are the version differences between CityEngine BASIC and ADVANCED?
- ADVANCED: Available as a single use (node-locked) or concurrent use (floating) license and comes with all features including Python and advanced import and export formats support (for example, Alembic, Collada, and FBX formats).
- BASIC: Available as a single use (node-locked) license only. Comes with the most essential features for 3D city creation with support for GIS data import and export to CityEngine scenes (export is limited to OBJ format). Suited for freelancers, hobbyists, and 3D artists.
What is CGA?
How long do I need to learn CGA?
What exactly is procedural modeling?
Procedural modeling means that 3D geometries and textures are constructed using rules (procedures) instead of labor-intensive manual modeling.
A single procedural rule can be used to generate many 3D models. For example, the rule can use feature attribute information stored in GIS data—such as the number of floors, roof type, wall material type, and son on—to generate a series of alternate 3D models that accurately represent the properties of each feature. The more attributes you have, the more accurate the generated model can be.
Where can I get these procedural rules?
What is the CityEngine Web Viewer?
The CityEngine Web Viewer is the original, special-purpose application on ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise that allows you to view exported CityEngine Web Scenes. CityEngine Web Scenes are hosted on ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise and viewed in 3D on browsers that support WebGL, a web technology standard built into most modern browsers for rendering 3D graphics.
What is Scene Viewer?
What is the difference between CityEngine Web Viewer and Scene Viewer?
The original CityEngine Web Viewer visualizes so-called CityEngine web scenes (3WS), which are limited in size. It is a viewing-only tool that allows commenting and comparing scenarios (for example, using the swipe tool). The CityEngine Web Viewer can only view content created by CityEngine.
Will Scene Viewer replace the CityEngine Web Viewer?
In the future, Scene Viewer will take over the same functionality and user experience as the CityEngine Web Viewer. Until then, the CityEngine Web Viewer will remain on ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise with mainstream support guaranteed. Additionally, after Scene Viewer takes over the CityEngine Web Viewer, you will still be able to use the CityEngine Web Viewer safely for another two years.
What formats are supported by the CityEngine Web Viewer and Scene Viewer?
Can CityEngine host 3D content on the web?
No. CityEngineCityEngine is not a web server and does not contain hosting capabilities. You can, however, use CityEngine to download content from ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise and add to your CityEngine scenes. You can also share CityEngine Web Scenes (3WS) to ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise in the CityEngine Web Viewer and through scene layer package (SLPK) files that can be consumed by Scene Viewer.
Is CityEngine part of the ArcGIS platform?
How do ArcGIS Pro and CityEngine work together?
There are several ways ArcGIS Pro and CityEngine work together. Both ArcGIS Pro and CityEngine can share layers via Web GIS, read and write geodatabases, and provide support for a wide variety of compatible 2D and 3D exchange file formats. While ArcGIS Pro is a powerful general-purpose application that manages, analyzes, and visualizes GIS data on any scale, CityEngine provides unique interactive design tools, for example, the editing of multipatch features and the parametric modeling of detailed 3D roads, as well as powerful 3D export capabilities.
Can I use CityEngine to author custom procedural symbol layers in ArcGIS Pro?
ArcGIS Pro includes system styles that contain procedural symbol layers. The latter derive all their properties and 3D geometry from RPKs. To create procedural symbol layers, you can find RPKs by searching ArcGIS Online. Alternatively, you can author your own custom procedural symbol layers in CityEngine and export them as RPKs for use in ArcGIS Pro.
What are the system requirements for CityEngine?
On what operating systems does CityEngine run?
Does CityEngine have native 64-bit support on all operating systems?
Is CityEngine supported in virtualized environments?
I work for a city government and want to build my own city in 3D with CityEngine. How can I get started?
Many cities all over the globe want to go 3D with their GIS. To get started, check out the series of Follow-Along-Demos Esri provides that are designed to introduce users to the basic concepts of CityEngine, demonstrate the workflow for creating a 3D city model, explain how to create and share RPKs, and outline the process for exporting 3D models from CityEngine to various 3D formats and publish a 3D scene to ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS. These one-hour demos are free and available through Esri Educational Services. Furthermore, Esri is also offering three-day CityEngine jumpstart offerings via professional services or Esri Partners.
If I have an older version of CityEngine, how do I get the new version?
Where can I get more technical information about CityEngine?
Visit the CityEngine resource center for forums, blogs, and technical information.