Tuesday, May 21st, 2024 Posted by Jim Thacker

iCity 1.0 generates procedural 3D cities inside Blender

Architecture student and tools developer Hothifa Smair has released iCity, his promising procedural city-generation add-on for Blender, in commercial beta.

The Geometry Nodes-based tool, which is aimed at both entertainment artists and architectural visualization, lets users draw out road networks that iCity automatically populates with 3D buildings, generated using a library of readymade assets.

Set down the outlines of city blocks and have iCity populate them with 3D buildings
iCity lets users generate cities – or at least, sets of city blocks – by extruding the edges of existing blocks, or drawing out road networks using the Procedural Road tool.

The software then automatically populates each new block with procedural buildings.

Users can change the city layout by moving the roads directly in the viewport, with iCity automatically regenerating the buildings to match the new road network.

The look of the roads and the buildings can be customized using a set of parametric controls to change major properties like overall dimensions and storey count.

It is also possible to replace the buildings in a city block with a park, again generated procedurally.

Generates roads and 3D buildings from an accompanying library of assets
iCity comes with 20 procedural buildings, ranging from skyscrapers to smaller apartment blocks, with users able to set up their own custom presets.

The streets can be dressed using readymade 3D assets including trees, cars and street lights, and with procedural details like fallen leaves, litter or puddles.

A proxy mode makes it possible to toggle to untextured low-resolution geometry to improve interactive performance when working on complex assets.

The online documentation on the product website is still fairly bare-bones, but you can see the workflow in the video above.

Price and system requirements
iCity 1.0 is compatible with Blender 4.1. The software is still officially in beta. It has a standard price of $75.

Read more about iCity on the add-on’s Blender Market page

Have your say on this story by following CG Channel on Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). As well as being able to comment on stories, followers of our social media accounts can see videos we don’t post on the site itself, including making-ofs for the latest VFX movies, animations, games cinematics and motion graphics projects.