Software Review / CityEngine

City engine is an amazing piece of software that can really cut you some corners, the problem that usually occurs is the dreaded city creation process when your making a render or just simple design processing. The city engine software enables the user to creates city landscapes in a matter of minutes without the hassle of exporting maps and converting them into blocks and increasing the scale to resemble a city landscape perfectly.

Stubbling upon this program will surely help you along the way with improving the efficiency of the design and completion process.

CityEngine Night City Template

CityEngine loaded into Cinema4D


CityEngine uses a procedural modeling approach which means it automatically generates models through a predefined rule set. The rules are defined through a CGA shape grammar system enabling the creation of complex parametric models. A user can change or add the shape grammar as much as needed providing room for new design possibilities.

Modeling an urban environment within CityEngine usually starts out with creating a street network either with the street drawing tool or via maps imported from Next step is to subdivide all the lots as many times as specified resulting in a urban map of lots and streets (see the New York 2259 example). Now by selecting all or some of the lots CityEngine can be instructed to start generating the buildings. Due to the underlying procedural modeling technology all buildings can be made to vary from one another to achieve a urban aesthetic. At this point the city model can be re-designed and adjusted by changing parameters or the shape grammar itself.


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