- 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?
3D content on the web
What is CityEngine?
What's new in CityEngine 2018.1?
Better drawing experience
- In this release, we introduce easy-to-use tools for drawing arcs and circles. For example, you can draw building footprints with round corners. Use curved 2D shapes to draw features in recreational areas such as parks, ponds, or tree groves. Additionally, to further improve the creation experience of such complex shapes, CityEngine offers new tools for the union and offset of 2D shapes.
- Typically, urban layouts are organized by alignment and parallelism. Therefore, we added the new ad hoc snapping guides tool. You can now set guides at arbitrary angles based on existing geometry to efficiently and accurately create building footprints aligned to blocks, streets, or other footprints.
- Finally, you can import hand-drawn sketches into your scene and use them as textures on your terrain. Evaluate different designs in a geolocated 3D environment, and use them as blueprints to trace sketched parcels, footprints, or streets.
Web publishing of elevation data
- CityEngine now allows you to export a terrain layer as an elevation tile package (TPK) with LERC compression that you can merge with Esri World Elevation Services in Scene Viewer. For example, local terrain modifications caused by new urban development or more detailed street geometry, can be published in web scenes on the ArcGIS platform.
Support for large datasets on the web
- You can now define the working extent of feature layers on the web. This is useful if you have a large layer with hundreds of thousands of polygon features, such as building parcels or footprints, that are too big to load into CityEngine all at once. Therefore, we added a graphical UI where you can set the extent on a 2D map to import or sync only a subset of the layer. For example, you can select only a neighborhood of interest in a city and either import or synchronize a subset of the layer for further urban design and editing workflows. Furthermore, this synchronization maintains a live data connection between the CityEngine layer and the original web layer, allowing for cloud-based or collaborative editing.
New out of the box content: fences
- In the Esri rule library, new rules for creating fences, walls, and dividers have been added. The procedural rules are available out of the box and can be applied to shapes or street graph segments; the latter can also be curved.
See What's new in CityEngine 2018.1 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 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.