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Esri ships CityEngine 2014.0

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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CityEngine in action. Developer Esri has just released version 2014.0 of the software, which generates detailed 3D city models from simple procedural rules, including proof-of-concept plugins for Maya and Unity.

Esri has released CityEngine 2014.0, the latest version of its procedural 3D city-generation software.

The tool generates detailed city models from simple procedural rules, importing and exporting data in OBJ, 3DS and DXF formats, as well as Vue’s VOB format.

New plugins for Maya and Unity
There aren’t a huge number of new features in version 2014.0: more presets in the library, and better capabilities for working on buildings with central courtyards (rather charmingly described as ‘improved donut support’).

But perhaps of more interest to anyone working outside of CityEngine’s core user base in urban planning are the new free Maya and Unity plugins, developed as proofs of concept for CityEngine’s SDK.

(Strictly, only the Unity plugin is new in 2014.0: the Maya version was released last December, but it’s new since the last time we wrote about the software.)

With them, game developers or CG studios could author the base procedural modeling rules for a city inside CityEngine itself, then edit the results inside Maya or Unity.

Pricing and availability
CityEngine 2014.0 is available now for Windows and Mac OS X. The Basic version costs $500, and the Advanced edition, which adds support for scripting and FBX, Collada, RIB and mental ray export, costs $4,000.

The SDK and its Unity and Maya implementations are available for free on GitHub. The Maya plugin requires Maya 2012 or 2014; the Unity plugin requires Unity 4.3.

Read a list of new features in CityEngine 2014.0 on Esri’s blog

Download the Unity and Maya plugins from GitHub

Download a 30-day trial of the software (Registration required)

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