Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Esri releases CityEngine 2013 3D urban design software
December 13th, 2013 by Susan Smith
Esri has released CityEngine 2013, the latest version of its 3D urban design software. The release includes a new software developer kit (SDK) that enables CityEngine procedural modeling technology to be used in 3D software packages such as Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max, and SketchUp.
It is interesting to note that the software is now available in 3D applications that are generally considered part of architectural design and visualization applications. It demonstrates that this is where Esri may anticipate CityEngine to end up rather than within the traditional geospatial marketplace. Its browser-based capabilities will make it easy for geospatial professionals to access what they need from the architectural design and urban planning aspect of big 3D city design projects, however.
According to the press release, CityEngine improves urban planning, architecture, and the modeling of urban environments, helping you make quality decisions while saving time and money.
“CityEngine 2013 brings powerful procedural modeling technology in your favorite applications such as Autodesk Maya,” says Pascal Mueller, director of Esri R&D Center in Zurich, Switzerland. Also available is the CityEngine SDK, which gives developers a set of tools for creating 3D city applications.
The software also includes the ability to import OpenStreetMap streets into a project to start off a smart 3D city model with the new CityEngine OpenStreetMap importer. OpenStreetMap data can be imported with just a few mouse clicks. The plant library from e-on software, the creator of realistic vegetation adn 3D visualizations in movies such as Avatar and The Hunger Games, also lends itself to the CityEngine content.
The new features also include the ability to create rule packages so that users can promote and share their work. They can also write and package procedural rule files for 3D models and other CityEngine assets, then share with ArcGIS users. As in past releases, CityEngine includes seamless export to the web via CityEngine web scenes.
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