UPDATE: I’ve added more images at the bottom of the page…

So I can’t really share with you everything about a project but I can share some of the screenshots.  This is an urban renewal project we’re doing in Iraq.  One of the issues with 3D is how to visualise proposals for clarity.   My view is that “less is more”, try and make something photorealistic and people’s expectations of accuracy go through the roof, make the models more diagrammatic and you have the “it’s just a diagram” as an excuse for errors!


We’re providing a backdrop to some proposals for this project and it needs to look good but not the centre of attention.  I’ve tried minimal textures and solid colours but somehow white looks a lot better.   Working pre-existing rule files to this project’s specifications has been interesting it needs detail and yet I’ve chosen to make switch to make it all white.


One other trick I’ve used with this project is to provide a switch to demolish the central core of the city (as an option) and then we can switch on the new proposals.   In SketchUp this would have been very awkward to do but here once the rule is written adaptations can be made quickly and the results instantly displayed.


One last thing I’d like to point out is that putting your model into the CityEngine web viewer is so easy and makes it look so good that we actually take screenshots from it to put in our reports!

Swiping between scenarios is very useful!
Once a rule file is created scenarios for proposals and developments can be quickly implemented.


  1. Elliot,
    Nice images! I like your all white scheme and its reasoning.
    User interface question for you – what do you think is a good way to organize different design scenarios for comparison, inside CityEngine? Say you have several design iterations, and the rules did reporting of FAR, costs, et cetera, and you wanted to stand up the reports side-by-side, more than two at a time (web scene is currently set to do two compared nicely)… It could be done by layers being compared, or it could be done by selection sets. Not sure. Thoughts?

  2. Hi,Thanks
    How do you colorize buildings in the white in such beautiful way?
    Could you prepare a example?
    thanks again

    • Hi, I’m not entirely sure that I understand exactly what you want. But to create a wall around a land parcel you should use either the offset function or the shapeO then use a simple extrude on the remaining shape. EG:

      comp(f){inside : Garden | border : Wall}


      Hope that helped! Let me know how it goes 🙂


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