I’ve not written about CityEngine much recently, sometimes it’s hard keeping up with work and family life so things slip a little! Anyway here’s a cool side project I did. I wanted a desk globe symbol for no real reason except to see if I could do it! Because CityEngine has it’s own primitive shapes (such as sphere, cube, quad etc..) some of this was easier to do than I thought specifically textures!

Sure it looks clever… but is it?

On a very basic level this is two primitiveSpheres with textures from Nasa (Blue marble) one for the earth and the other of clouds. Now I made sure I edited the clouds in PhotoShop to make transparent PNG. Then I made the cloud sphere a little bigger than the earth sphere. Then I moved them around…

Cosmetic additions such as the stand were harder, and required some trial and error with scope! Anyone who uses CityEngine regularly knows that the concept of scope (an invisible box that encompasses your geometry with associated xyz axes) is tricky especially when you start trying to be clever.

I find this bit harder than the coding sometimes!

The next trick is deciding what attributes to expose to the user and what should be made into cool handles. This I always find hard and often my first mistake is allowing all attributes to be exposed. This is of course wrong because end users then play and inevitably break your nice geometries…

So I’ve packaged it up and made it work in ArcGIS Pro too as some ‘advanced’ symbology for use on points. You can use a feature layer with appropriate attributes to control it too… I’m not 100% sure why anyone would want this but there you go!

I hope to make this available for free on our GD3D ArcGIS Marketplace listings shortly, and include the dirty CGA code as well.

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