CityEngine 2021.0 released
CityEngine is a procedural tool for creating 3D city models. The software generates detailed city models based on simple procedural rules, importing data in standard file formats such as OBJ and DXF and exporting to formats such as FBX, Alembic and USD. Although designed for architects and urban planners, the software integrates with the ESRI ArcGIS platform – the software is also designed for entertainment content and has connections to DCC tools and game engines. In recent years this software has been used in some major films: Scanline VFX used it to shoot ruined cities in the movie “Independence Day: Resurgence” and Walt Disney Animation Studios used it in “Zveropolis”.
For preview purposes, CityEngine allows publishing projects in 3VR format, which creates 360 degree panoramas for each camera in the project. The panoramas can also be viewed interactively on mobile and desktop PCs in standard web browsers. Panoramas in CityEngine 2021.0 can be viewed on a wider range of equipment, as the new Esri 360 VR web app now works with “all popular VR headsets,” not just Oculus Go and Gear VR.
Other changes include new brush-based tools for terrain modelling. The brushes themselves are fairly simple: the Terrain Edit brush pulls the ground surface up or down to the selected height, while the Terrain Reset brush undoes the effect. The update has expanded the CityEngine scenario system, which allows you to create multiple design options for a project and view them side-by-side.
The implementation now supports Graph, Map and Terrain layers, and scenarios can be exported to Unreal Engine, allowing them to be viewed within the game engine as well as in CityEngine itself. The Rotate, Scale and Transform tools have been improved, making it easier to configure individual 3D buildings. An extension has also been added for CGA, the procedural modelling language of CityEngine. Users can now import or export data in AutoCAD DWG format or USDZ format for use in augmented reality applications.
CityEngine 2021.0 is available for 64-bit Windows 8.1 and above, Server 2012 and above and RHEL 7 Linux. Esri has discontinued the release of software for macOS. Subscriptions start at $2,000 per year. Pricing for perpetual licences is available on request.