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).
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.