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Month: March 2013

Mobile CityEngine Web Viewer (WebGL on Android)

Mobile CityEngine Web Viewer (WebGL on Android)

This is interesting, I was looking at viewing CityEngine web scenes on my iPad and apparently it is capable (webGL is supported in adverts) but only if you jailbreak it.    I’m not really prepared to go down that route, I might break it and then my 3.5 year old daughter would be mad at me.

So I looked at weather my new Samsung Galaxy S3 could view webGL content.   Well no it can’t by default except when you download the beta version of Chrome Beta for Android!   What you do is install Chrome Beta and type into the address bar Chrome://flags and then enable webGL, of course then you point your Chrome Beta browser at your favourite CityEngine webscene.   So far it seems ok, there are times when the 3D is a bit sluggish, the big issue is that you can’t navigate the model by touch, so you have to really on the bookmarks.  Also the slider for moving between two scenes doesn’t work.   My guess is this can be programmed in, as soon as one of ESRI’s nice CityEngine developers (who read this blog?) feel like a quick side project for me….. ? 🙂

Don’t believe me?  Here are some screen shots (not got a 3D view as the screen capture software won’t let me… I’ll try again later)


CityEngine Workshop at GISWORX ’13 (preview)

CityEngine Workshop at GISWORX ’13 (preview)

I’ll be holding an introduction to CityEngine workshop at GISWORX ’13 this year entitled “Using CityEngine for Urban Planning (the Instant City in practice).

I’ll show you how to do this….

I’ll introduce attendees to the basics of CityEngine and how I use it in a city master planning context.   I will outline a couple of rule files that create quickly an urban block model with details such as building facades and lamp posts.

The second part of the workshop will take you through our process for creating and visualising a city neighbourhood in realtime from taking real GIS data through to rendered visualisations.

Hopefully I will also have the time to show attendees how they can share their models on line and off line.

…and this.

Top Tip for CityEngine – Detailed to Simple Model Toggle

Top Tip for CityEngine – Detailed to Simple Model Toggle

Just a quick tip this one, and it starts to help you when you make very large city/urban models.   When you are starting to add more detail to your rule file buildings like nice windows or doors (or in my case balconies and air conditioning units) it’s always best to create a simplified model at the same time.   That way you can create a mechanism to speed up CityEngine, remember the more detail it has to draw the more PC resources it needs.

Guess what 3D modeller I use…

Once you’ve done this you can use the following rule syntax to enable easy switching off and on of the detail without losing the feel of your model.   Remember your urban model maybe small now, but because you will inevitably reuse this rule file and asset, it’s best to ‘front load’ some of the work.

attr toggledetail = false

asset_balcony =
case toggledetail == true : "assets/detailedBuildings/BuildingFeatures/balcony.obj"
else : "assets/detailedBuildings/BuildingFeatures/balcony_simple.obj"
I know this city like the back of my hand….

I know this city like the back of my hand….

Sorry but I just had to.

In CityEngine

Exported to the WebViewer (hosted locally)