Towards a 3D British Tree Species CityEngine Library

Towards a 3D British Tree Species CityEngine Library

The ESRI.lib plant (trees) rule file is great but why is the most detailed ‘model’ a default?

I’ve talked about trees in CityEngine before, but not in any great detail.  The fact is 3D urban models look really dull without a few trees and plants. Come to think of it so does the real-world! 

A 3D model of Durham, UK looks way better with 90,000+ trees in it! 

I know the ESRI.Lib has a Plants directory and an amazing list of trees all in ‘Model’, ‘Analyical’, and ‘Fan’ 3D model types.  The Plant_Loader.cga and Plant_Distributor.cga I consider one of the most useful rule files for users in CityEngine, simply because it saves us time.   However it is quite North American in its approach and I’ve always meant to add to it with some ‘tweaks’ to reflect how I work and how I train others in my CityEngine courses.

Exciting dropdown lists! (work in progress)

So I’ve started a new project in CityEngine!   It is the start of a British specific tree species rule file, I’ve adapted a list of the British tree species (native and non-native) from the Woodland Trust.

Like this, but more (and British Specific).

I’ve made simple small steps at first and I’ve started at the interface (inspector pane in the CityEngine interface).  I’ve used the ESRI.Lib as a basis for an approach but obviously I want ‘British’ tree species.

After the overall structure of the interface and how it gets 3D assets to use is settled I will start trying to source 3D assets that represent these species.  That’s the difficult bit for each species Esri has done 3 models (model, analytical, and fan).  Whether I can finish this on my own is doubtful, so I will be adding this soon to my Github account and hoping others can help.  Now, I’m not a big user of Github at all but it seems a good place to do this.

Feel free to contact me directly if you want more information or better yet want to help!

2 thoughts on “Towards a 3D British Tree Species CityEngine Library

  1. Elliot, I was thinking about the same but for New Zealand. What tools are you using for modelling? How long does it take you for a tree species?

    As always available time is a key. Coming back from 2 weeks of training in Cook Islands and with Christmas just around the corner I don’t know if that work would be realistic target.

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