Very cool. Expensive, but very cool.
Saw this and thought you would like to see - might have been posted already
If you like 3d rendered cities, import form real world maps, want a quickly generated city layout (then you could do a top down view ) then check this out...
you can have simple buildings or complex ones for making a video game, the way it will create cities from your own layouts as well as real world ones is worth a look alone.
free trial for 30 days, so get as many of your town layouts done before it ends! :-) - (as it's about $3k) Quite an amazing piece of software.
Very cool. Expensive, but very cool.
Dollhouse Syndrome = The temptation to turn a map into a picture, obscuring the goal of the image with the appeal of cute, or simply available, parts. Maps have clarity through simplification.
It's overkill for a cartogrophy project, but the results are impressive indeed.
“Maps encourage boldness. They're like cryptic love letters. They make anything seem possible.”
I'm wondering if it could be adapted for making fantasy-style cities, at the moment it looks a little more tailored towards modern/futuristic settings.
I imagine if you gave it a texture bank of thatched roofs, adobe/stone/beam walls, you could get a decent town out of it if you limited to building height to 2 stories..
Might be easier to map that out too.
That thing's pretty awesome. I've seen one high-end city generator that wasn't very impressive...looked like mostly grid-aligned streets and such. This one seems to allow for a pretty wide variety of layouts, buildings, etc. I would totally buy that if I didn't have to pay my mortgage this month.
i'm considering downloading the trial, but it doesn't have the machine specs anywhere. That's got me thinking it's one of those cases of "if you have to ask, then it aint gonna work for for you"...
I suspect City Engine's requirements are much less steep than any 3d software you'd be using it with.
I seem to recall that the demo has no export function, which is why I'm not using it for one of my projects right now. Of course, nothing stops you from setting an overhead camera and taking a screenshot. On the other hand, there is a procedural city modeler for Blender that is free. I haven't tried it yet, but obviously the features of a free Blender plug-in aren't going to measure up to a pro film-quality tool.
Last edited by Midgardsormr; 12-08-2009 at 11:39 PM.
Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
CityEngine System Requirements
Also there is a new release coming out in the next two days. CityEngine Version 2009.3 with new examples and features, should be worth the wait.
Hrm, dunno how I missed that.
Well, looks like I could push it, depending on how dual-core dependant it is. Then again, I don't think my graphics card is up to snuff either.
Ahwell.. I can dream
The learning section for this program shows how quickly you could do all this... http://www.procedural.com/support/learning-videos.html
check out "1. cityEngine basics" - they have white background and grey buildings, enough of a contrast to make a selection set and cut paste onto your map. he creates the streets in seconds,
Then you could probably bring it up to the basic level of detail only, make sure your light source is in the right place, do another screen grab and selection and use it as another layer.
With the function to import your own larger layouts you could customize for your map. (there is a video on the site for this somewhere, but can't find it right now)
other interesting videos in the
Heightmap creation, Street editing, 2. streets
The FREE stuff
Here's some links to the blender script Midgardsormr mentions - all depends on how much control you want I guess - free stuff is always worth a look at! It's pretty impressive for a free script - everything looks very 'skyscrapery' but I would assume you can control the maximum height and get decent results for your medieval towns and cities
for the purposes of the end results on a map it's a great tool to try and probably more than enough.