Models are not fully generated nor exported

04-22-2015 01:28 PM
New Contributor III

Hi all,

Not sure how to explain this and I don't have the time tonight to make screenshots etc... but

I have generated streets by importing a shp-file, manually setting the attributes of the segments and assigning the 'complete streets 2015' rule.  The rule doesn't quite work as I thought it would but I haven't read/looked for a manual (yet).

Next to this, I have converted some blocks into static elements and subdivided them by hand.  The result looks ok in CE in wireframe but somehow I don't have the impression that the faces are really separated - maybe they are still grouped or so.

Anyhow, proof and pudding and stuff ... so I exported the scene to fbx but nothing shows up.

Maybe it is the CE 2015 Trial license or the combination of actions or a bad workflow ... can anyone share some quick thoughts before I elaborate?

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8 Replies
by Anonymous User
Not applicable

For the block shapes, select them then choose "separate faces" from the Shapes menu.

Otherwise, for the streets rule and the pudding and stuff, I would suggest a good night of sleep, and then try to elaborate with screen shots. Sleep always helps. I'll bet after the sleep you will be able to explain everything.

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New Contributor III

The faces have been separated as in your earlier response and the menu option is greyed out now (as they are separated).  I'll split the issue into 'blocks' and 'streets'.


As far as I understand, the 'empty space' between streets is filled with a block polygon.  Earlier exports did not export the blocks even though I did not change anything to them.

Recently I have set subdivision to 'none' on some of the blocks so I can manually trace the lots using an aerial.  I have converted those blocks to static, used the Polygonal Shape Creation tool to do the tracing and afterwards selected the block and separated the faces.  Seems ok I guess ... but I noticed this morning that there still exists a complete-block-polygon on that same location (maybe more than one).  The export still doesn't export the blocks, static or dynamic.

This screenshot shows the rendering artifacts in CE due to double faces.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 13.47.53 .png

My exports to fbx (before the lot tracing actions) didn't show the blocks either (FBX Review screenshot)

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 14.08.52 .png

Should I 'do something' to the blocks or run a rule to 'solidify' them?


I'm using the Complete Streets 2015 rule but the roads I'm visualizing are far less complex.  Trying workarounds (mentioned by David in earlier posts - use asphalt buffer with full street width to override all other geometry) to exclude unnecessary geometry is throwing errors during export.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 15.00.44 .png

BTW, in this screenshot, all 3 segments have 6m street width and 2 x 2m sidewalk. So why does the sidewalk only occur on the short stretch?

These are just the first blurts of issues that come to mind - I'll post the others later once I have a fix on the above which seem to be the most important for now.

Chris Wilkins​, Matthias Buehler​, David Wasserman​, I hope you have some clues on what went wrong (likely user errors)

by Anonymous User
Not applicable

David Wasserman​  - street questions

Brooks Patrick​ - fbx questions

Matthias Buehler​ - you know more than i do

Regular Contributor

Hi Erwin,

Did you solve the issue?

When you allocated all the geometry to buffer, you did not have any other geometrie in bike lanes/bus lanes etc. added correct?

Did you try instead of a full buffer street allocation just turning the center section to median and set the width to 0? If you are concerned about lanes you just need to make sure the lane-width is either half of or the total of the street width (either should work, but total might make it one way).

I acknowledge these are work arounds, I have thought about adding centerline option or changing the None option so that it made a "residential street" or a street with no markings what so ever. Currently what is there is somewhat left over from older Zurich code. I was more interested in making many of the other features of the rule first. The workaround are clearly not sufficient long term.

I think the code of interest might be this section here:

Asphalt(TextureAndReport,Area_Fraction,Usage) -->

  case TextureAndReport:


  cleanupGeometry(all, 0.001)

  texture(StreetTextureFolder + "/Lanes/asphalt_14x14m.jpg")


  color(_Usage(Usage))#If Display Thematics==Usage, goes to usage, if not, Thematic-strings might have other purpose later.

  report("Lane: Asphalt Only Area Total (m^2)",geometry.area*Area_Fraction)


  report("Lane: Asphalt Only Area Total (m^2)",geometry.area*Area_Fraction)

Clean up geometry is supposed to help merge identical vertices and help prepare a shape for more operations. It helps in some cases, but I don't know all the implications it may have for export to FBX. I would suggest setting it to 0, and if that does not help removing this line all together. I would do this if working with a zero width median does not work first though.

I have not tried an FBX export before so I would like to see the final result.

Relevant documentation pages I could find below:

Help - FBX Export

Help - Clean up geometry- currently in the rule set to be very insensitive (close to 0)

Hope this is helpful,


David Wasserman, AICP
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New Contributor III

Hi David,

I experimented a lot with settings and have some screenshots to 'showcase' the differences:

1. I generated the full scene with only the 'street modern standard' cga rule and - aside from the 'problem that I cannot add height to the sidewalks - the streets, sidewalks and blocks are visible in the scene.  (On the junctions there seems to be a texture 'confusion' and I don't get why the crosswalks are still showing.)

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 13.35.15 .png

2. I generated the full scene with your 2015 rule and using asphalt-buffer or not, the blocks and sidewalks on the segments are gone.  The sidewalk texture is correctly linked and I also did a trial without the 'cleanupGeometry(all, 0.001)' entry in the rule but that didn't change the outcome

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 15.11.27 .png

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 15.18.07 .png

Above is a screenshot of the block settings in the test.  I set all blocks to recursive subdivision as a check but that didn't make the models generate correctly/appear.

Does this make any sense to you?  Given my time pressure I'll work with the generic CE rule for the PoC but wanted to show you more clearly what is happening.

This doesn't explain the render artifacts that indicate double faces on the static blocks though ...


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Regular Contributor

Is it possible you could put the scene and data  (a small sample of data) into a zip file and share it?

Did you try instead of a buffer setting the center type to media, and then the center width to none?

Sorry the rule did not perform as expected. I have not tried to export to FBX before with the street rule before, so this is very interesting to me. I would like to see a zip file of the scene and data if it is not to much to ask.


David Wasserman, AICP
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Regular Contributor

Hey Erwin,

Did you solve the issue already?

I've been away in Dubai for a GIS conference last week, will be away in Stockholm this coming week, so I didn't have a lot of time ..

Let me know ..


Interested in CityEngine training or services? Let me know!

Matthias Buehler

Head of 3D Technologies

twitter: @MattB3D


Garsdale Design Limited

New Contributor III

Hi Matthias, David,

I haven't solved it yet.  Will try David's suggestions tomorrow and I will provide an update here.

Thanks for any input and your time.  Highly appreciated!


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