Love Handles – Part One

In celebration of the new release of CityEngine 2015 (click here for release notes) and the announcement of a new feature set called ‘handles’ we’ve produced this AnimatedGIF (next time I might just do a video).

(It's a 8MB animated GIF so be patient those on a slow connection)

(It’s a 8MB animated GIF so be patient those on a slow connection)

Comments on this post should really only be suggestions as to what these two are saying I think.

This is directly from the Tutorial 18 Handles 2015 that you can download by clicking here.

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What’s new in CityEngine 2015.0?

CE2015 Splash Screen

It’s that time of year when a new release of CityEngine becomes available (okay we think it maybe the 9th of April)!  Yes we would love more bug fixes and features added, but they’re a small development team so we shall forgive them (this time…).  

As usual the Changelogs are publicly available here.

CGA Changelog

2015.0
CGAC 1.5
new functions:

changes to existing features:

  • split operations:
    • missing sizes are not allowed any longer. For instance, split(x) { A } does not compile anymore. The correct equivalent is split(x) { ~1: A }.
    • functions in size expression do not need extra parantheses anymore.
  • @Hidden annotation: changed propagation across imports. A hidden import hides all its imports recursively.
  • uid shape attribute deprecated. Use the getTreeKey function instead.

bugfixes:

  • Fixed a bug in the cgb decoder which failed to read compiled cga files with a large number of attributes/rules/splits.
  • Vertexmerger: fixed a bug which prevented hole vertices to be merged with vertices of other faces.
  • float() function: made string-to-float conversion independent of locale.
  • split operations: intensified internal mesh cleanup to reduce memory load, fixed a bug which led to undesired vertex-merges.
  • roofHip operation: avoid duplicate vertices.
  • offset, roofGable and roofHip operations: made offset / roof construction more stable on polygons with co-linear vertices and fixed a memory explosion bug.
  • cleanupGeometry operation: fixed bug which led to illegal material assignements (“filled holes rendering bug”) on edge cleanup for geometries with per-face-materials.
  • Fixed undefined behaviour if the same name was used for a scalar attr and a map attr.
  • CGA compiler: Parameteric rules and functions with a large number of parameters do not hang the compiler / CityEngine anymore.

 

Python Changelog

Status Commands
new get/setExportDatasetRelationships in FGDBExportModelSettings
new get/setExportFeatures in FGDBExportModelSettings
changed get/setAddObjectAttributes renamed to get/setExportObjectAttributes in FGDBExportModelSettings
new Several new methods in FGDBImportSettings
new setFloat in ImageExportTerrainSettings
new additional argument animate for View3D.restoreBookmark and View3D.setCameraPerspective
note Selection behaviour change in UI changes behaviour of ce.selection(), ce.setSelection() in cases where shape has a model. To get the shape from a selection with shape and model, usece.getObjectsFrom(ce.selection, ce.isShape)[0] instead of ce.selection()[0]
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Procedural Landscapes: Tuscany

Believe it or not, but this whole scenery was created procedurally. In e-on software’s VUE.

Villa_In_Tuscany

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.

I’m ready for some holiday in that villa now!

 

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CityEngine and Bank Barns? Built Heritage meets Geodesign

BankBarns_01

Variant versus True Bank Barns in CityEngine??

 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).

procedural_sheep_esiruc_01

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.  

Read more

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Berlin joins the 3D OpenData club: 3D buildings released, in six formats

berlin3D OpenData

mmmm 3D Buildings……

 

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:

Textured

  • CityGML
  • 3DS

Un-textured

  • CityGML
  • 3DS
  • 2D Shape
  • DXF
  • ESRI PGDB
  • 3D Shape
  • KMZ

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.

You can read the press release here.

Better yet go and download the data here.

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3D Sedbergh, Analysis and New Symbology

sedbergh_in_3D_analysis_skyline_2

I’m creating a new Sedbergh in 3D webscene and thought people would be interested in some screen grabs…

I’m creating a new set of urban design symbology for use in our CityEngine related projects and here are some of the first few for testing.

I’ve also done some skyline analysis with trees and buildings modelled in CityEngine, the viewpoint is a local Motte & Bailey castle site above my home town of Sedbergh.

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Procedural Amphitheatre

amphi_1

In a free hour (literally 1 hour), I created a CGA rule that creates a procedural amphitheatre.

It is full circle or circle segment based (0-360 degrees), has attributes for inner and outer radius.

 Additionally, I can drive:

  • Number of radial stairs
  • Number of levels
  • Number of sitting rows
  • Walkway width
  • ..

If you’re interested in reconstructions of historic or ancient cities: Contact us!

 

amphi_2

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