Sedbergh 3D meets CityEngine and LumenRT

Sedbergh Demo Video Title

I’ve been busy this weekend making some of my old demo videos more ‘presentable’!  We (Garsdale Design Limited) purchased 3D Sedbergh off of CyberCity3D so that we had a test bed for 3D workflows and so we can go outside quickly and check the model ‘in the field’ as it were…

smart cities start with smart data

I personally wanted Sedbergh my home town in 3D as I’m quite frankly fed up of seeing cities get all the fun 3D data.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, forget smart cities, what about smart villages and towns?!

People really struggle with CityEngine and what it can do, this is understandable as CityEngine is a very versatile and technical software tool.   We often start with pretty imagery and nice 3D models but we embed intelligence, the underlying 2D GIS data we already knew about.   What we do (amongst other things) is create nice looking 3D basemaps and take your 2D data and make them attractive and importantly useful.

 

This Sedbergh model we’ve added some landuse data (polygons and points) these represent trees, Listed Building status and community buildings.   For planners and architects imagine visualising your plans for a site with this technology.   If you want to view and interact with a Sedbergh model (not quite the one on the video) you can do so here.

 

 

{lang: 'en-GB'}

Downtown Miami meets CityEngine and LumenRT

Downtown Miami Video title

Okay this is a relatively old model from the 3DPathFinder we did last year.   We’ve been looking at eefficientways of creating ‘higher end’ visualisations and one of the quicker routes is through LumenRT 2015.   This has direct integration with CityEngine and can you add some really nice touches, like real weather and animated traffic and people!

Okay this video is relatively boring but hey, it took less time than previous methods we have used.   LumenRT has a little bit of a learning curve when using with CityEngine, but we’ve had great support from them and the software seems to be kept up-to-date.   CityEngine is a niche product and it really is nice to see other people using and supporting it, thank you e-on software!

 

If you’re interested in this you might like the interactive webscene that was used as the base data for this., you can view this on Garsdale Design Limited’s ArcGIS Online site.

Once again our friends at CyberCity3d must be thanked for the data, and e-on Software  for LumenRT.

 

{lang: 'en-GB'}

Procedural Degrading Of Stone Columns

 

Here’s a picture of my internal research to degrade a perfect column or any stone block. The workflow I have found currently takes me about 3 minutes per asset that I need to degrade. It is planned to automate this process to have it run for hundreds of assets or landscape parts for bigger productions.

Applications for this workflow are obviously in highend visualizations and VFX, since the number of resulting polygons is quite high.

columns_edit

{lang: 'en-GB'}

Toronto’s remarkable OpenData gesture: 3D buildings released with city-wide coverage.

torontoDEMO_1

Toronto in 3D with Height Zoning map! You can tell it’s Toronto by that building in the bottom left…

 

Warning these opening lines are painful to read, at the time I thought I was being clever… apologies to all of Canada. 

O Canada (specifically Toronto)!
My wife’s home and native land!
True 3D love for all thy peoples to command.
With glowing heart we see 3D rise,
The True North (specifically Toronto) strong in 3D!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we create visualisations for thee.
OpenData keep your land glorious and in 3D
O Canada, we create VR for thee.
O Canada, we create AR for thee.

This is all to do with the news that the OpenData initiative in Toronto has gone and released a combination of 3D detailed and 3D massing models as OpenData.  What this seems to be is just the models with no attributes and in a variety of formats.   True OpenData advocates will no doubt be upset to read this is just ESRI Shapefile, Geodatabase file, MicroStation files, but honestly who cares?! Those lot are so technical they can open anything right? 

We already have height data in OpenStreetMap but this is different as it seems to be a combination of detailed ‘landmark’ buildings and block modelling (i.e. simple extrusions for the rest).  The result is a very good looking model.   This data will of interest to many types of people and industries, first person to make a Minecraft map out of it wins I guess…

Toronto, now in glorious 3D! Torontoist Article

Lovely wording to go with the release as well, what other planning department in the world would do this?  London couldn’t do it here as someone would shout “Ordnance Survey Licence” and suck all the fun out of the party… 

Exploring new ways to share information with each other is a cornerstone of improving the planning process. To do this it is essential to have city-wide data in accessible formats. A variety of 3D digital information and models exist but currently the data is not readily available to the general public. Providing a consistent city-wide 3D data source will link these digital city planning models and materials together and will allow us to imagine our city from different perspectives. The Open Date site will enable access to  to application developers, designers, urban planners and architects, and the public. Ideally this will enable the creation of a visual portal and access to a large collection of city building ideas.

The expected disclaimers apply to but who cares?! 

Further to the Open Government Licence, the Context Massing Model is being provided by City Planning on the OpenData website for information and illustrative purposes only. City Planning does not warranty the completeness, accuracy, content, or fitness for any precision purpose or use of context massing model for such purposes, nor are any such warranties to be implied or inferred with respect to Context Massing Model as furnished on the website.

City Planning and the City are not liable for any deficiencies in the completeness, accuracy, content, or fitness for any particular purpose or use of Context Massing Model, or applications utilizing Context Massing Model, provided by any third party.

A word of warning the files are large and it takes a while to load into some programs *cough ArcGIS* and importing all of it into CityEngine in one go should be interesting for you.  As is always the case careful data preparation is key!

I’m waiting for someone to put it in a Cesium demo next….

I’ve been having a go with the data already in CityEngine as you can see from the webscene shot at the top of this article.  Have a look at it in LumenRT too below.

torontoDEMO_2_LumenRT

Even when I model Toronto in 3D I can’t resist making the weather miserable and overcast…

 

So what are you waiting for? Go download it!

{lang: 'en-GB'}

Thoughts on my time with Garsdale Design so far

 
profile_Matt
 
Finally I take the time to write my first post on GeoPlanIT. It’s been too long, but too being busy for these kinds of things is usually a sign that ‘business is good’.
 
Read a bit more about my background here and follow me on Twitter: @MattB3D 
 
I wanted to share some thoughts and experiences about my time with Garsdale Design so far:

I must say the knowledge that Garsdale Design staff combines is very deep and very well balanced, evenly among Architecture, Heritage, Urban Planning, GIS, 3D Modeling and Visualization. Everybody has their own field of expertise, interests and great specialization. Having said that, it becomes clear that we are proud to be able to address an extreme range of different jobs. And this shows in the people that contact us from many sectors, from all around the globe. This feels wonderful.
 
The services we offer are unique. The consulting we provide is rooted in deep knowledge of theory, but also practice – which is essential.My own expertise is 3D graphics. I’m specialized in modeling, texturing and rendering detailed cityscapes. I hope I can further explore this field in future. As we will be growing as a company, I hope to get a hold in the visual effects and game industries, providing unique services to produce high-quality 3D city content.
 
A simple example of a visualization of data provided by our friends at CyberCity3D.

 
LA_Financial_District
 
 
In future blog entries, I will cover more technical topics and experiment with applications of procedural modeling that shall inspire everybody and show the capabilities of CityEngine and other tools I know.
 
I am looking forward to continue the great time I’ve had so far in the team!
 
Matt
 
 
ps..
If you have not had not seen mine and my friend Cyrill Oberhaensli’s ‘Favela’ project, have a look here:
 
{lang: 'en-GB'}

The future of GeoPlanIT

 

A global future.

A global future.

GeoPlanIT which has been my private blog since I started, is changing. The idea was that I would muse on the geography/planning and IT (tech) world as well as off topic posts about my life and things that made me ponder.

What you may have notice happen is that my life has been consumed largely by one product (Esri CityEngine). This has been good for me and this business, in fact so much so that I have led Garsdale Design’s business into the 3D city and Esri CityEngine consultancy business.

This is turning into a tremendously successful move, in fact so much so that in September we took on a new colleague who (shock horror) wasn’t a family member!

This was a personal and professional risk taking on a new staff member with barely a business plan in place (it was more of a gut feeling really). But I needn’t have worried in a little over 3 months Matthias (more on him later) and I have made great strides into the CityEngine consulting and training business and see lots of work on the horizon.

This is turning into a tremendously successful move

GeoPlanIT the blog has been a key point of contact for many of you with us, and me in particular and with what CityEngine is capable of. I want to keep that channel open, I’m not big on the ‘corporate’ thing, and GDL is not a big faceless multinational, we’re people who do interesting work as professionally as we can.

As GDL’s CityEngine work has increased my time has been focused elsewhere and I have not been making the blog posts I should. So I’ve been thinking recently, why not be more obvious about this all and make GeoPlanIT the semi-official blog of Garsdale Design? Then I can get other colleagues to do posts and cover a more broad range of topics (that was originally intended anyway).

Matthias_xmas_2014

Once every year Matthias has a beer… (a half)

may I introduce you to the newest member of Garsdale Design, Matthias?

With that in mind may I introduce you to the newest member of Garsdale Design, Matthias? I have asked him to start contributing posts and articles to this blog and I hope to expand this further.

GeoPlanIT will still stay as it always was, a more informal way of talking about my (and now our) interests as well as our work. Yes it will still have a CityEngine focus. As to noticeable changes, well I will make it clearer this is now becoming more of a ‘company’ blog of sorts. No “look how wonderful we are!” stuff here (unless we are excited). No “buy one get one free” sales pitch either.

So what’s on the horizon for GeoPlanIT? Well Matthias has his first blog post coming soon (stay tuned) an introduction really and then he is going to do a post about some really nice work he is doing.

LumenRTsitelogo

I have a blog post about LumenRT 2015 coming, not a review as such but my thoughts on it and where we see it being used. In the new year GDL has some exciting developments coming that I hope to share with you. I’d also like to finally put to a blog about our first 3DPathFinder CityEngine training event in Miami.

Butter Tarts

Season Greetings and wishing you a successful and productive new year!

{lang: 'en-GB'}

xyHt – Ready (finally) for 3D

Arms crossed, must be serious...

Arms crossed, must be serious…

I’m in the latest edition (December 2014) of the xyHt magazine.

How do current geo and engineering design practitioners view this “3D revolution”? Many practitioners were all-in on 3D long before it became trendy for the masses. We asked for insights from noted GIS/CAD/geodesign expert, lecturer, and GeoPlanIT blogger Elliot Hartley, director of Garsdale Design Limited in the UK.
Hartley specializes in planning and urban development, and visualization and will employ any and all tools appropriate for his domestic and international  projects, including but not limited to City Engine, ArcGIS, AutoCAD, and SketchUp.

My arms are crossed in the photo of me so I must be serious!   You can read it online here (there is an option to download the PDF too).

{lang: 'en-GB'}