I’ve been busy this weekend making some of my old demo videos more ‘presentable’! We (Garsdale Design Limited) purchased 3D Sedbergh off of CyberCity3D so that we had a test bed for 3D workflows and so we can go outside quickly and check the model ‘in the field’ as it were…
smart cities start with smart data
I personally wanted Sedbergh my home town in 3D as I’m quite frankly fed up of seeing cities get all the fun 3D data. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, forget smart cities, what about smart villages and towns?!
People really struggle with CityEngine and what it can do, this is understandable as CityEngine is a very versatile and technical software tool. We often start with pretty imagery and nice 3D models but we embed intelligence, the underlying 2D GIS data we already knew about. What we do (amongst other things) is create nice looking 3D basemaps and take your 2D data and make them attractive and importantly useful.
Okay this is a relatively old model from the 3DPathFinder we did last year. We’ve been looking at eefficientways of creating ‘higher end’ visualisations and one of the quicker routes is through LumenRT 2015. This has direct integration with CityEngine and can you add some really nice touches, like real weather and animated traffic and people!
Okay this video is relatively boring but hey, it took less time than previous methods we have used. LumenRT has a little bit of a learning curve when using with CityEngine, but we’ve had great support from them and the software seems to be kept up-to-date. CityEngine is a niche product and it really is nice to see other people using and supporting it, thank you e-on software!
Here’s a picture of my internal research to degrade a perfect column or any stone block. The workflow I have found currently takes me about 3 minutes per asset that I need to degrade. It is planned to automate this process to have it run for hundreds of assets or landscape parts for bigger productions.
Applications for this workflow are obviously in highend visualizations and VFX, since the number of resulting polygons is quite high.
Warning these opening lines are painful to read, at the time I thought I was being clever… apologies to all of Canada.
O Canada (specifically Toronto)! My wife’s home and native land! True 3D love for all thy peoples to command. With glowing heart we see 3D rise, The True North (specifically Toronto) strong in 3D! From far and wide, O Canada, we create visualisations for thee. OpenData keep your land glorious and in 3D O Canada, we create VR for thee. O Canada, we create AR for thee.
This is all to do with the news that the OpenData initiative in Toronto has gone and released a combination of 3D detailed and 3D massing models as OpenData. What this seems to be is just the models with no attributes and in a variety of formats. True OpenData advocates will no doubt be upset to read this is just ESRI Shapefile, Geodatabase file, MicroStation files, but honestly who cares?! Those lot are so technical they can open anything right?
We already have height data in OpenStreetMap but this is different as it seems to be a combination of detailed ‘landmark’ buildings and block modelling (i.e. simple extrusions for the rest). The result is a very good looking model. This data will of interest to many types of people and industries, first person to make a Minecraft map out of it wins I guess…
Lovely wording to go with the release as well, what other planning department in the world would do this? London couldn’t do it here as someone would shout “Ordnance Survey Licence” and suck all the fun out of the party…
Exploring new ways to share information with each other is a cornerstone of improving the planning process. To do this it is essential to have city-wide data in accessible formats. A variety of 3D digital information and models exist but currently the data is not readily available to the general public. Providing a consistent city-wide 3D data source will link these digital city planning models and materials together and will allow us to imagine our city from different perspectives. The Open Date site will enable access to to application developers, designers, urban planners and architects, and the public. Ideally this will enable the creation of a visual portal and access to a large collection of city building ideas.
The expected disclaimers apply to but who cares?!
Further to the Open Government Licence, the Context Massing Model is being provided by City Planning on the OpenData website for information and illustrative purposes only. City Planning does not warranty the completeness, accuracy, content, or fitness for any precision purpose or use of context massing model for such purposes, nor are any such warranties to be implied or inferred with respect to Context Massing Model as furnished on the website.
City Planning and the City are not liable for any deficiencies in the completeness, accuracy, content, or fitness for any particular purpose or use of Context Massing Model, or applications utilizing Context Massing Model, provided by any third party.
A word of warning the files are large and it takes a while to load into some programs *cough ArcGIS* and importing all of it into CityEngine in one go should be interesting for you. As is always the case careful data preparation is key!
Finally I take the time to write my first post on GeoPlanIT. It’s been too long, but too being busy for these kinds of things is usually a sign that ‘business is good’.
Read a bit more about my background here and follow me on Twitter: @MattB3D
I wanted to share some thoughts and experiences about my time with Garsdale Design so far:
I must say the knowledge that Garsdale Design staff combines is very deep and very well balanced, evenly among Architecture, Heritage, Urban Planning, GIS, 3D Modeling and Visualization. Everybody has their own field of expertise, interests and great specialization. Having said that, it becomes clear that we are proud to be able to address an extreme range of different jobs. And this shows in the people that contact us from many sectors, from all around the globe. This feels wonderful.
The services we offer are unique. The consulting we provide is rooted in deep knowledge of theory, but also practice – which is essential.My own expertise is 3D graphics. I’m specialized in modeling, texturing and rendering detailed cityscapes. I hope I can further explore this field in future. As we will be growing as a company, I hope to get a hold in the visual effects and game industries, providing unique services to produce high-quality 3D city content.
A simple example of a visualization of data provided by our friends at CyberCity3D.
In future blog entries, I will cover more technical topics and experiment with applications of procedural modeling that shall inspire everybody and show the capabilities of CityEngine and other tools I know.
I am looking forward to continue the great time I’ve had so far in the team!
If you have not had not seen mine and my friend Cyrill Oberhaensli’s ‘Favela’ project, have a look here: