Believe it or not, but this whole scenery was created procedurally. In e-on software’s VUE.
This image is the result of an 8 week online (yes, late evenings and weekends!) 3D Workshop I just recently completed (my second already) on CGSociety.
Everything is procedural: The terrain model, the vegetation (each plant plus the distribution), the volumetric clouds and haze. Even the main attraction: The almost too well hidden villa. The villa is a procedurally generated model coming from CityEngine, which was manually placed.
Rendering this single image took about 26 hours on my quite fast hex-core machine. Minimal post work was done in PhotoShop.
Imagination is required to use CityEngine, I’ve said this before and I say it a lot in our 3DPathFinder CityEngine training sessions (shameless plug). The power of the rule file is in it’s ability to be used in other contexts and is often only limited by your imagination. Some of what I think Geodesign is also about this, connecting up other peoples workflows, joining disciplines together to form a coherent team.
Take the humble rule that places a parapet around a roof top and places a satellite dish inside, this is the same rule that I use to make my infamous “procedural sheep”. Get your head around that and the world is yours (in a metaphorical sense).
What do you mean you haven’t heard about my Procedural Sheep??!
This leads me to a little rule file I adapted yesterday, my colleague and friend Matthias had created a couple of rule files for a client (Philadelphia University’s Geodesign course). One rule file coloured a surface depending on the steepness of a slope, which clearly when drawing a path or a road can be useful. The other rule file was one that placed arrows facing down a slope in a grid pattern, think about water run-off and this is cool, useful stuff.
Have a look at what Berlin has done! Releasing 3D textured building data in six different formats! I’m currently downloading some of the CityGML data (there’s a lot), but this along with the Toronto data set should give you some great real world data for playing with in CityEngine! It looks like the data is available in the following formats:
The lack of choice in the textured version is a product I guess of the limitations in the fileformats but also processing time and file size. When we do CityEngine projects we almost always use untextured buildings they are easier to download and view on other peoples PCs, and lets face it textures don’t always add anything to your scene.
Berlin plays a leading role throughout Europe in the digital economy – as of today a 3D city model of the German capital is available to the public as Open Data. Until now Internet users have had the opportunity to explore the city of Berlin online by using the Business Location Center’s realistic model from Berlin Partner for Business and Technology – now they can also use the data. Regardless of whether for scientists, game developers, city planners, architects or graphic designers, the large-scale model of Berlin is available as a free download.
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.
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!