SceneCity ⛫

add-ons
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architecture
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(rambrogi) #1121

Wow, yes you are correct. A quick test on my laptop shows that is how to go.

Thanks again for the quick response, and since 2.74 in now formally out, would hope the error has been corrected.


(HeadClot) #1122

Hey piichan -

I am an Unreal Engine 4 user and I am looking at purchasing Scene City Generator 0.7 for my own use with UE4 with large worlds using unreal Engine’s World Composition Tools.

I have a few questions that hopefully you or someone else will be able to answer.

  1. Is there support for breaking up a city into manageable “chunks” so to speak so we can export them for streaming in a game engine?
  2. Can we replace the base building meshes in Scene City generator with our own? If so Is this via GUI or Script?
  3. What is the maximum size of city we can generate with SCG?
  4. Does SCG have PBR (Physically Based Rendering) support?
  5. Are there any plans to support UE4 in the future?
  6. Are there any Plans for Open Street Map Support?

A few details about Unreal 4 and how it works -

FBX Static mesh pipeline - UE4 Docs

UE4 World Composition Tools - UE4 Docs


(Arnaud Couturier) #1123

Hi HeadClot,

right now SceneCity is rather difficult to use with external game engines, because you’d have to take care of the materials and scene complexity by hand, which isn’t fun…

  1. The city is made of 10m x 10m blocks on a grid, so it easy to “cut” it wherever you want
  2. Yes, the roads and buildings are instances of Blender groups, so you can add/remove/replace any object/mesh in those groups
  3. The cities can be as large as 1280mx1280m (size limit removed for v0.8). The problem will be more with performances, since the roads and buildings are too detailed for that size. I’m planning options to have simpler meshes for very large cities
  4. if you mean “Are the materials and textures PBR ready?” the answer is no, since SceneCity is mainly for Blender and offline rendering
  5. Probably :wink: I’ll have to make myself more familiar with it first though
  6. I’m thinking about it!

Short answer: though you can export cities, SceneCity is more for Blender now. Specific versions for the popular game engines should follow, but I can’t guarantee when.


(HeadClot) #1124

Hey Piichan -

First off thanks for the reply. Really means allot. :slight_smile:
I have a bit more information for you if you want to go down the route for supporting Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5 as well.

Keep in mind that these are just suggestions with some information.

Notes on PBR:
I would Highly recommend looking into Quixel Suite or Substance Designer for PBR textures. These tools will handle allot of the heavy lifting for you.

Here is a video on PBR and its benefits.

UE4 PBR Chart

Unity 5 PBR Chart

Notes on Texture Atlases -

Texture Atlases might be the most optimal way to get fully textured cities or City Districts into UE4/Unity 5 with little performance overhead texture wise. We would need to make our own texture atlases for custom meshes and the like. This should not be to hard if we have references to go off of.

So you would want to have buildings have one atlas, One atlas for Road objects (Sidewalks, Roads, Pedestrian Crossings, etc. ), and Street Decorative objects (Street Lamps, Mailboxes, Traffic Lights, etc. ) to have another atlas. I am thinking that 512x512 or 1024x1024 should be done as you still need to consider that you need to make the other maps for the city and as well as the other atlases and their respective maps.

I am going to do some experiments using UE4 and 3DS Max to see if 512x512 or If I need to bump it up to 1024x1024 is enough texture space for a bunch of city buildings.

Again thanks for the reply -

HeadClot


(Arnaud Couturier) #1125

Thank you headclot, some of it I know already, but I’ll learn from what I haven’t seen yet :slight_smile:


(ArMan) #1126

From the preview picture i found there were the same building used many times just in different angles. Are the buildings pre modeled, or could I edit every building separately with script, like how many floors etc there would be or just add random buildings?


(Arnaud Couturier) #1127

For now the buildings are pre-modeled. Random versions are planned very soon.
In the meantime it’s possible to modify or completely replace the buildings with your own.


(julperado) #1128

Hey @piiichan, have you seen GhostTown?

It is a great addon for 3dsMax, personally the best I’ve seen for city generation. I think you should check it out if you haven’t already, maybe you can get some ideas from it to include in further versions of SceneCity :slight_smile:

I read in your blog that you plan to have the 0.8 version as 3 separate addons for Blender, that sounds really nice!
Anyway great work man, I really appreciate it what you’ve done with this addon.


(Arnaud Couturier) #1129

Hello Julperado,
yes I’ve seen several videos of GhostTown, it’s a great source of inspiration! I’ll try to integrate some of its ideas in SceneCity.
Thank you for the suggestion, and for the encouraging words :slight_smile:


(SHABA1) #1130

Yeah right. piichan you have made a great program from what I see and I congradulate you. BUT you have been promising a free version of the program since version 0.56 and if I recall correctly that was over three years ago. If your software is going to be commerical thats good. You deserve to be compensated for all your effort. But do not keep dangling the promise of a free version of the program to people on this thread and never do it. Just come right out and say that scene city/suicidator is a commercial/ pay program and that is all.


(Arnaud Couturier) #1131

Hi Shaba1,

I will make a free version!!

I’ve been thinking about it since 0.7 came out (0.5 had a free version), and I found a way for the skies and the terrains components. The roads and buildings part is still WIP concerning the free version. I had difficulties during the development of 0.7 (0.6 was skipped due to a very bad design direction) as explained on my latest blog post, so my priority was to make SceneCity work and be useful to paying users first. Now that I solved most of those problems, the free version moves up in my priority list.

I understand your frustration if I sound like not keeping my “promises”… I’m taking note.


(julperado) #1132

Hi @piiichan, I have another question, are you planning on supporting Open Street Maps and 2D GIS Data in the future?

I’ve been working on a project in which I have to create some new models over an almost exact replica of my city, and CityEngine (http://www.esri.com/software/cityengine) has been a great help but with the demo version I can only get so far :confused:


(HeadClot) #1133

Curious about Open street map integration as well :slight_smile:


(Arnaud Couturier) #1134

Julperado,

I’m not trying to compete with monsters like ESRI’s CityEngine. So I will probably never go in their direction to support GIS professionals. They already have CityEngineand other “industrial-grade” software anyway. Different markets, different needs (and different budgets as well :wink:

Instead I’m targeting artists and game developers, who need pretty-looking cities easily, and as customizable as I can make them.

That said, I’m not against integrating some GIS stuff into SceneCity. It depends on what you call 2d GIS data, do you have an example file, screenshot or description of what you mean? And of what you’d like to have in Blender?


Julperado, HeadClot,

about Open Street Map support, you’ve convinced me it’s an interesting feature to have. I’ll work on it right after the imminent 0.8, and I’ll keep you informed of my progress here and on my blog.

I’ve also started looking into easily getting Google Maps images to map on a terrain, eg below the buildings, but that’s as far as one can get with GoogleMaps, as Google doesn’t make their underlying data accessible (pity).


(HeadClot) #1135

Hey Piichan,

Thank you for considering support for Open Street maps. Really is sad that Google does not make their underlying data accessible to more people. That said Open Street maps is a good substitute.

I look forward to seeing your blog updates :slight_smile:


(julperado) #1136

Well, is true that ESRI is a monster hehe, but small studios and freelancers can benefit from some of the features CityEngine can offer. While is true that CityEngine has many features thought for other markets (like city planning), features like creating a model based on a map, using gis data (tags, as they call them) like roads, streets, blocks, and terrain height are pretty useful for archviz, games, and vfx.

Imagine a small studio trying to create a racing game based on a city like New York. In that case they need a functional and smart way to use real existing data from the city to recreate it in 3D.
Or a team working on a short film which includes the destruction of London… if the model of the city can be quickly generated using this type of data a lot of time would be saved!

I know that you won’t and probably don’t want to compete with such a product, but having the ability to import the information of a open street map to generate a 3D model of the city (terrain, streets, blocks and buildings), combined with the features you already have in your addon would be a killer combo! And apart from CityEngine, and the GhostTown plugin, there aren’t much choices…

There’s currently 2 addons to import osm files into Blender, but they just do that, import the file… So the manual work needed is still a LOT to be able to have a really useful city model.
Here’s a screenshot of my actual project, I’ve managed to import the map of the city, but now I have to go and tweak the streets ('cause they’re just edges) and create the buildings manually based on that map… still several days of work ahead! :stuck_out_tongue:



(Arnaud Couturier) #1137

Headclot, thanks :slight_smile:

Julperado,
ok, if I understand well, the screenshot you have here is an imported OSM file, and what it does is to create edges. The faces we see (buildings etc…) have been made by you. As you said, lots of “fun” in perspective to complete that map lol

So I’m guessing what you’d like to have is

  1. a way to import the most common OSM file formats, which, according to their wiki, are XML and PBF
  2. make the roads and buildings solid
  3. have materials and textures applied
  4. options to tweak step 2 and 3

What kind of options you’d need in 4) ?


(julperado) #1138

Pretty much that’s it :slight_smile:

That process combined with what you already have in your addon, plus having it all inside of Blender: killer combo!


(Arnaud Couturier) #1139

Ok, noted!


(julperado) #1140

Thank’s!

And sorry if I came as demanding or annoying, that’s not the intention at all. Is just that while working on this project I noticed that there aren’t really that much choices for artists… On one hand you have CityEngine and similar packages, which are great, but can become really complex really fast, especially if you just want to generate a 3D model. And then there are plugins for 3D software like GhostTown or SceneCity, that can generate the models easily but are lacking the ability to use real cities data.

So, unless my googling skills are terrible, I think your addon would be a first if combining both things :smiley: