I am exploring the possibilities for visualizing underground infrastructure and imported a shapefile of two lines drawn in ArcGIS. This created in City Engine two segments and 3 nodes. Where the two lines meet, there is a street shape created. For the rest of the line segments they remain lines (with no possibility to assign a rule file?) unless I widen the default street width from 8 to 15 or so, then they become shapes. When I tested out a cga file from the forums (piperules), it created the shape over the street shapes, which is one issue that doesn't look right, and it created a weird shape where the two lines connect at a node. Any tips on visualizing this better? Ideally, I would be able to assign rules to create 3d geometry out of lines and/or nodes, but possibly there is a way to get around this and still create a nice looking product?
I've attached images of how the layer of two lines automatically import and the result once I have widened the "streets" until they become shapes and then applied the rule.
Also, if such data is imported, the shape creation is deactivated, so that needs to be manually activated, just as a precaution since users can easily kill the computer when it tries to subdivide a 10x10 mile square block into smaller lots .. :)
Just to visualize the lines, it may be easier to convert the lines simply into extruded cylinders or cubes already in ArcGIS, then import them in CE as such, basically to avoid the usage of the street tools.
Network stuff is still on the wishlist, there's no nice solution for this available yet.
( Neither CE nor WebScenes can so far just display / use line features per se, so that needs being worked around with replacing them with actual geometry before importing. There's tons of users who did that already. )
Now I have created a multipatch version of my data, but I have a few questions about assigning attributes to this.
1. Now that I have multipatch "cylinders", it is actually a bunch of long thin polygons that are put into a cylinder shape. I want to give the cylinders of a certain network a color, which I tried to do with the following script:
The lines the separate each polygon of the "cylinder" are still black, which makes the entire pipe structure look black when it isn't zoomed in (see attached image; top is zoomed out and bottom is what it looks like zoomed in). Am I missing another geometric element of the multipatch that I need to assign the color to?
2. To create a multipatch file (which I did in ArcScene), I use symbology to define a 3D shape and then create the multipatch based on that shape. Is it possible to then change the "size" or "diameter" of the "cylinders" I created in City Engine? How would I go about that?
the 'black lines' are not part of the geometry, that's just the way the data is displayed, a 'display feature', called 'wireframe'. you can activate and deactivate this with the '7' key in the viewport.
if your goal is to visualize colorful cylinders, you can do this all in ArcGIS alone and don't really need CityEngine for this. so, what's your goal with your data ?
note that when you use 3d symbology in ArcGIS to create cylinders from those lines, you create 'just' multiPatches, which is basically 'dumb polygon soup' without any more information. Means the cylinder multiPatches do not know anymore that they were cylinders, thus you can no more change the radii in CityEngine. You need to create this in ArcGIS.
let me know what the goal is ( what data you have and what you need to reach), this makes it easier to help. :)
Thanks for your answer. I am aware I can change the cylinder diameters and colors in ArcScene. I changed the diameters for the pipes/cables in ArcScene before I created the multipatch, so they are correct. I was really just curious if it would be possible to alter that in CE as well because then it could be automated (in ArcScene, I have to change the diameters for each size pipe by hand and there are a lot of different sizes).
My goal is to research what the possibilities and potential benefits of 3D models would be for underground infrastructure. Obviously I can create the models and use them for analysis with the 3D analyst extension, but I also wanted to explore the possibilities and potential benefits for visualisation purposes. City Engine seems more suitable for above ground visualisation (buildings, streets, hydrants, etc), which I want to couple with the underground.
yes, CityEngine was designed originally for just building creation. After Esri having acquired us ( Procedural Inc. ), we basically just started with the proper integration into the world of GIS.
CityEngine has it's applications currenlty mostly above terrain, but we're constantly improving the tool, of course.
1 other idea:
instead of adding the cylinders in ArcGIS, you could insert 1 quad ( rectangular polygon ) in ArcGIS ( length = line length, width = 0.005 m). this way, you can create one polygon to all lines you have in one step.
then, since CGA NEEDS a geometry ( shape ) to work on, just import those attributed polygons into CityEngine and insert a cylinder there. of course, you'd bring in the cylinder diameter attribute and scale the cylinder in CGA.