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CityEngine 2017.1 Beta (a sneak peek)

CityEngine 2017.1 Beta (a sneak peek)

Well I’ve been a bit busy as of late working on some exciting 3D projects and attending some really interesting conferences!  One day I’ll get around to writing about them.  🙂 There is so much going on in the 3D GIS space that it can feel a bit too much.  Fortunately that’s where our expertise lies, making sense of it all and helping clients.  

Viewshed from the Motte & Bailey in Sedbergh towards the M6

I’ve made some time though to talk a little bit about the new CityEngine 2017.1 Beta that I’ve just installed. But before I continue this is a sneak peek at a beta release some or all features I talk about maybe removed at the last minute, don’t plan your future projects based on this blog.  What I would say is yet again, if you are thinking of working in 3D and the Esri platform, CityEngine is worth a look, especially for planners.

The team in Zurich seem to be hell bent on adding new features quickly now especially for the Urban Planners among us!  I wanted to show you a very cool new feature/toolset called viewsheds.  This gives you live (see animated GIFS below) views of viewshed domes or corridors in the CityEngine viewport, giving you an indication of what you would see from particular vantage points.  You can change the colour for each area too (colour visible by all, colour visible by one, colour not visible by any) and place multiple viewsheds. 

Well I can think of a number of industries (and former trainees of mine) that would love this particular tool!  Now before you get too excited you can’t export these results yet (its a live dynamic view within the viewport).

If you’re looking for help either training for CityEngine (we’re the first to offer CityEngine training and have been using it longer than Esri even!), or you need help with 3D data capture, contact us directly.

Sedbergh’s 4G mobile telecommunications mast….

There are some usual bug fixes and a few new rule functions I can see coming up (I may write about these later), and there is a facility to import and synchronise feature layers hosted in ArcGIS Online!  This brings some potentially exciting opportunities and workflows but as a new feature I think as usual this should be used with caution, but the direction of travel here is interesting. 

Now one final thought: remember how a previous release of ArcGISPro (1.4) incorporated the ability to edit multipatch geometries using SketchUp-like tools?  Did I mention this really was first seen in CityEngine…?  Now, if I was a betting man (which I’m not) I would look at CityEngine features to see perhaps where new ArcGISPro 3D related tools may come from…. just a thought and I have no insider knowledge here…

oh, this is a lot of fun!

Nice work Esri R&D Zurich, nice work.

 

While you’re here it would be good to know what you think of CityEngine and/or it’s direction into Geodesign and planning.  Add a comment to continue/start the discussion (all comments reviewed/moderated).

 

CityEngine Rule of the Week

CityEngine Rule of the Week

It’s been a while since I’ve posted I know! Anyway this year the CityEngine team at Esri have been publishing ‘Rules of the Week’ videos not only that they’ve been publishing the actual rule files as well.

A great way to learn CityEngine is to look at the code other people have written, and who better to (ahem) copy form than the CityEngine team itself.

It’s a bit of a shame that the audio quality is so good in places but if you like CityEngine it’s well worth a view!

GISWORX2015 Conference, Dubai

GISWORX2015 Conference, Dubai

 

2015-04-21 11.04.28
Nicely produced conference material

Last week Garsdale Design (that is myself and Matthias) attended, exhibited as well as conducted a workshop at the Middle East’s premier annual Esri GIS conference called GISWORX held in Dubai.   This is hosted and run by GISTEC an Esri Distributor. Those who follow me know I’ve been before, in fact I was the guest speaker the first time around (The Power of Play).

IMG_2962 5r
GISWORX2013 Guest Speaker…. Elliot

If you want to see Matthias in a suit click on to read more… 🙂

Love Handles – Part One

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.

CityEngine and Bank Barns? Built Heritage meets Geodesign

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 Read More

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

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.