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How do I generate buildings from footprints and heights from a dsm?

05-16-2017 01:01 PM
New Contributor

I have created a scene I have the orthomosiac draped over the DTM and I have also generated the streets in my scene. However, I would know like to extrude the building using the building footprint in the form of shape files and taking the elevation from a DSM. How can this be done? I read somewhere that using a DSM and building footprints you could produce building models to LOD1 which is fine for me 

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7 Replies
Esri Regular Contributor

Thank you for the question.

In CityEngine point cloud or DSM analysis is not possible.

Please use ArcGIS Pro for such workflows.

CityEngine,  LiDAR,  building footprints and roof modelling 

The building height can stored as an attribute of the footprint shapes and imported into CityEngine to model buildings.

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Esri Contributor

You could try the Local Government 3D Basemaps toolbox LOD1Buildings.tbx to help you create the 3D buildings. Download the solution from ArcGIS Online: 

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New Contributor

Hi Sean,

Actually,  you are in a great situation to build some nice looking models from your data.

There are some workflows that could work for you.

Obviously, some trade-offs are involved but on the plus side it is really quick to do.

Let's say you have DEM and DSM as Raster Data available (if not then google "ArcGIS convert LAS Multipoints to Raster"):

  1. Import DEM and DSM layers as Terrain Layers in CityEngine.
  2. Make sure that you convert your elevation data from feet to meter - if needed using the layer attribute window.
  3. Create a cga with two attributes: attr Ground_H = 0 attr Eave_H = 0
  4. Create a start rule rule: Footprint --> extrude(Eave_H-Ground_H) X.
  5. Connect the two attributes with the height values from each terrain layer
  6. Run the rule and have fun!

This is of course quite basic. But now you could extend this rule with generating roof shapes among other things.

At this point it is up to you if you use rule by thumb precision for reconstructing the shapes or if you invest more time to classify building with roof forms, orientation, style etc.

In any case, the generated geometry is great to generate floors and to run reports on surfaces etc...

Let me know if that helps!

Best, Jan

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New Contributor III

Hello Jan,

I understand this is an old post, but I am trying to build a 3D model of about two blocks of buildings. We have lidar data and a full enterprise agreement. What is my best option? Using CityEngine, ArcPro, Arcgis, Arcscene? A mix? I need a step by step from raw data to model. Any source for such walk through's?

James Bush
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New Contributor III

Thank you Luiz,

I should clarify my question. We have building footprints and raw lidar. I need to extract the height information from the raw lidar and add that field to my building footprints so I can then extrude in CityEngine like stated above . I have no idea how to do so..

James Bush
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Occasional Contributor III
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