It's not often I see new technology come along with the potential to really make a difference in a pipeline. CityEngine is one such product that is gaining momentum in the industry and worthy of a closer look.
I caught up with the Procedural team for a bit more info. Here, Marcel Reimer chats about the top 5 advantages of using CityEngine in a CG pipeline and how it all works.
1. Saves time building complete 3D cities
Anyone that has ever had to create a 3D city knows the amount of detail that goes into - it takes a lot of time to build and construct. CityEngine does most of this work for you using ‘procedural’ technology, cutting out time consuming tasks such as manual design, texturing and modelling of city models, buildings and streets, so you can build your city in no time.
2. Procedural technology lets you cheat
Procedural technology is a rule-based technology that replaces manual tasks with processes giving you more options. You can create cities from grid, organic or circular street patterns and you can even choose the topography of the terrain. At the core of CityEngine is a world first ‘Shape grammar implementation’ that uses simple scripting language to let you control or vary mass, elements, proportions, rhythms or materials to create a realistic 3D city. You can cheat on the hard bits and concentrate on the detail.
3. You can create blocks, streets and towns with just a few clicks
The “Dynamic City Layouts” in CityEngine lets you edit street layouts interactively, so you can add in new streets and whole blocks with just a few mouse clicks. Then when new changes are made, you can just watch all the blocks and building models get recalculated in real-time. By editing rules, multiple different outputs of models can be generated which can be handy for game creation where different levels of detail or collision meshes can be automatically created.
4. Make the city your own by adding your own detail
CityEngine allows for any combination of generated geometries or instanced assets. In simple terms this means that architectural details such as doors, overhangs, and widows or even whole buildings can be laid over your design. They’ll match any desired poly count or memory footprint and create your own unique city. You can also import real street networks to recreate any city in the world.
5. It's free to try
You can check out the software with a 30-day evaluation. There are plenty of videos to take you through what CityEngine can do as well as demo cities for you to download. For example check out 3D Paris or New York for inspiration.
Next topic: How to work with large data sets in CityEngine!
For more information or to request an evaluation copy, get in touch.