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Month: March 2014

Unexpected consequences and the power of instant feedback

Unexpected consequences and the power of instant feedback

ce_unexpected_consequences
Bridge Supports don’t go upwards…. (generally)

Did I tell you I like CityEngine today?   Okay you will have noticed that CityEngine gives a designer an instant feedback on their rule files.   You move a centre line of a road or a node on a building plot and the model created on top of it dynamically changes as it’s moved.    It’s fascinating to watch your simple rule files come alive.

Take this example, it’s my attempt at really simplifying a street rule that includes a bridge element.  Above a certain elevation (either 0 or a terrain) and the street gets bridge supports and simple sides.   Also no trees are planted and no zebra crossings (‘crosswalks’ to our North American friends) are created either.

It works great, raise the road and supports are made, trees are taken out, just as I wanted but what happens if the road goes down… well have a look, I think I have some unintended consequences of a decision I made in my rule file…

You see?  I’ve created a model from a rule and can instantly see that I have made a mistake.  Or perhaps better described I need to modify this rule to be more forgiving of the terrain.   Perhaps when the road is below ground I should put a tunnel around it?   Come to think of it I’ll go and do that now…
Conducting my first CityEngine training session

Conducting my first CityEngine training session

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The imaginatively titled ‘Esri CityEngine Training Course’

Well it finally happened I conducted my first full CityEngine training session in conjunction with my good friends at GISTEC in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).   I have done workshops and presentations before on CityEngine and conducted SketchUp training sessions for clients but not something like this.

Sharjah
Sharjah, near the GISTEC Offices

I was staying in Sharjah a smaller emirate within the UAE, where GISTEC have their offices.   My two days consisted of being collected at 5am and driven from Sharjah across Dubai to Abu Dhabi which took close to two hours!  Fortunately I had the company of two GISTEC colleagues who provided me with excellent and interesting conversation.

If you are looking for CityEngine training sessions come talk to me, or if you are located in the Middle East contact my friends at GISTEC directly (tell them I sent you).

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CityEngine 2013 Service Release (2013.1 140203R)

CityEngine 2013 Service Release (2013.1 140203R)

cityengine2013 SR splash screen
2013.1 140203R – a snappy title for a release huh?

Just a quick ‘heads-up’ for all you CityEngine fans out there, a new version of CityEngine 2013 has been released which fixes a few, ahem, ‘issues’ the main one being a ‘concurrent licence’ issue.   I’m reliably informed there is also a fix in there to solve an issue of data being shifted when exported to a webscene (why they haven’t said that in the release notes I don’t know).

cityengine2013 SR about screen
Not just on the splash screen but also on the About screen so it must be true..

If there are any other fixes I hear of or notice, I’ll let you know.. in the meantime you can download it from the Customer Care Portal, oh and you’ll need to uninstall the 2013 previous version to install this.. I hope one day these fixes come in updates rather than total new versions…

cityengine2013 SR customer care portal screen
If it fixes anything else they’re not officially saying….