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Month: August 2013

CityEngine and Fossils?

CityEngine and Fossils?

So I’ve said before CityEngine is so much more than for Cities with that in mind I used CityEngine to export some Fossil 3D models to a webscene….

This is getting out of hand…. (click on image to view in 3D on

The 3 3d fossil models came from this new website which is an impressive project :

The GB3D Type Fossils Online project, funded by JISC, aims to develop a single database of the type specimens, held in British collections, of macrofossil species and subspecies found in the UK, including links to photographs (including ‘anaglyph’ stereo pairs) and a selection of 3D digital models.

I’ve been looking at new things outside of cities to model and display within ESRI’s WebGL webscene viewer so this was a perfect test.   To view this model you need a web browser that supports WebGL (currently Internet Explorer doesn’t) and a reasonable download speed…. you’ve been warned.

 Fossils from GB3D WebGL webscene

Ringworld with CityEngine

Ringworld with CityEngine

So I’m quite a fan of scifi, especially the classics so this was always going to be a model I would try doing…. it’s more of a proof of concept at this stage, but I definitely want to work on this some more.   Perhaps with some landscaping (hills and water features?).

Ringworld is scifi novel by Larry Niven and you can read more about it on the wikipage… 

Niven RIng?
Niven Ring?

Just another demo of the flexibility of CityEngine

CityEngine leaves earth behind…

CityEngine leaves earth behind…

UPDATE : You can view a model very similar to this on just click here!

Forget flood modelling space surely is where it’s at?  No this isn’t a new ESRI web globe release, you can do this all in CityEngine…


Okay this was really easy to create, I used pre-built models and created a ‘star’ panorama… I think it looks quite good and the animation between bookmarks makes the model look really good.

UPDATE : You can view a model very similar to this on just click here!

Flood map visualising using OS Opendata & CityEngine

Flood map visualising using OS Opendata & CityEngine


Okay it’s a little odd but I’ve been experimenting with Ordnance Survey Opendata and CityEngine on and off for a while…. using ArcGIS Spatial Analyst Extension tools I created from some OS terrain an artificial flood polygon.   I imported the terrain and polygon into CityEngine renamed the flood polygon “flood__water”  (the “__water” tells the CityEngine webgl viewer to render it as water).  Then I exported it out as a webscene.

Whether this is actually useful I don’t know, certainly for this demo it’s not as I’ve exaggerated the terrain a little for ‘dramatic’ effect.

I think it looks pretty good, I’m in the process of adding buildings, roads and forests, I’ll let you know how it goes… I’m also wanting to do this again using opensource software like QGIS and CityEngine (there is no equivalent of CityEngine as an opensource product).



Oh and I think they need some more water types… I think flood water might be dirtier….  if you’re interested in more do you remember the tree top walkway post I did a while back?

An evening with CityEngine?

An evening with CityEngine?

evening with cityengine_escape_tech_esri

So is this the first real CityEngine event in the UK this year?  I’m hoping we get more!

Unfortunately this event is right when my holiday is so I can’t make it, but I recommend that if you’re interested in 3D cities and can make it, you should go.

Oddly this event seems to being held by Escape Technology (a creative industry company) and ESRI Inc. not ESRI UK (although they have promoted it via twitter).   This is probably down to the history of CityEngine being developed by the now bought out Procedural based in Zurich (now ESRI R&D Zurich), and the hybrid nature of CityEngine with one foot in two differing types of industry.

The great thing about CityEngine is it has uses in the creative industries of movies, computer games and graphic design as well as Urban Design and planning.   This event seems geared to the creative types, but that doesn’t mean urban designers and planners shouldn’t go and find out more about this great product.

Click here to find out more about the event and register and if you go tell Dominik Tarolli I sent you!

Now I hope this even paves the way for a CityEngine event for urban designers, planners and architects!



An Evening With EscapeTechnology and CityEngine!
15th August 2013, The Wheatsheaf, Rathbone Place, London
The Escape Technology team are pleased to be hosting an evening with CityEngine.
On Thursday August 15th join us at The Wheatsheaf, on Rathbone Place, for an exclusive evening with Esri, the team of masterminds behind CityEngine, the tool of choice for 3D modelling of urban environments, architecture, simulation, game development and film production.
The evening will include a full presentation packed with CityEngine tips & tricks and the Esri team will be on hand to answer any questions.
We’ll finish the evening off with some drinks, snacks & a good old’ natter!

6:00pm – 6:30pm – Registration
6:30pm – 7:15pm – “Hacking Cities: The Future of 3D CityModeling” with
Dominik Tarolli & Pascal Mueller
7:15pm Onwards – Drinks & Networking