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4dartist
08-22-2011, 11:59 AM
I have a client asking for me to do some animation in a small city or urban environment. It's in the early phase so really I am just doing research on ways to acquire a nice set. I have a feeling it should be more residential with houses and maybe some commercial stuff. Trees, roads, terrain that goes on a good distance so I can pull the camera out a lot.

The project is basically going to involve a scenario where a vehicle will travel to multiple places in the city so they will likely want a wide shot from pretty high up.

I've checked turbosquid with mixed results. There are some nice high density cities, but not really low density. Sadly with turbosquid it's usually a .obj so they take a ton of work fixing the shaders. Does anyone know of a model like this for sale anywhere?

Thanks for any information. I don't think the budget will be large enough for me to basically build my own set so that's why I'm seeing what is already out there.

Here are the better ones on turbosquid I guess.

http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/3d-max-city-building/592830
http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/3d-city-blocks-build-street-model/388721
http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/modular-new-york-city-blocks-3d-fbx/605641
http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/town-set-3d-model/503120

Cryonic
08-22-2011, 04:00 PM
You might want something like CityGen (http://www.citygen.net/) or another type of procedural city development app or plugin for doing this rather than looking for individual resources.

http://arnaud.ile.nc/sce/ <-- City Generator script for Blender
http://www.procedural.com/cityengine/features.html <-- City Engine

shrox
08-22-2011, 04:32 PM
Look on Sketch up 3D warehouse. I've noticed the quality of the models has substantially improved.

daforum
08-22-2011, 04:42 PM
The City Generator script for Blender http://arnaud.ile.nc/sce/ works really well.
It only works with Blender v2.49, but a newer version is in the works for the latest version of Blender.

I quickly generated this (see attachment) with it then exported out a lwo from Blender, then loaded into LW and rendered the image from there.

tischbein3
08-22-2011, 11:27 PM
http://arnaud.ile.nc/sce/ <-- City Generator script for Blender

don't forget "Blended Cities":
http://jerome.le.chat.free.fr/index.php/en/city-engine/
a forked out version of the suicidator generator, wich has a higher focus on details. (but less usefull in generating hudge cities).

wesleycorgi
08-23-2011, 12:08 AM
Check out Daz3D (some free and some LWO native): http://www.daz3d.com/i/search/searchsub/?_m=d&sstring=city&x=0&y=0

wesleycorgi
08-23-2011, 12:13 AM
You may also want to try taking a nurnies approach for a small city with QuadPanels (on sale right now on L3D if you use their promo code): http://www.liberty3d.com/tools/james-plugins/

wrightyp100
08-24-2011, 10:47 AM
If only I had found this cityblocks stuff when doing that music video. Heyho. Going to try the daz3d one. Anyone used these before?

wrightyp100
08-25-2011, 05:23 AM
Tried the daz3d dystopia free set. Its pretty good. within an hour I was tweaking rendering and planning camera moves. Its good for free.:thumbsup:

4dartist
08-25-2011, 09:17 AM
Wow thanks guys. I need to digest a lot of that. I never knew any of that existed.. Thanks.

wesleycorgi
08-25-2011, 05:21 PM
Tried the daz3d dystopia free set. Its pretty good. within an hour I was tweaking rendering and planning camera moves. Its good for free.:thumbsup:
I just purchased QuadPanels. Combining the dystopia buildings with QuadPanels, you get some crazy arse architecture.

4dartist
08-29-2011, 04:43 PM
It looks like this is going to be a much larger effort that I had hoped. I figured their had to be stock suburb models for sale, but I guess not.

citygen.net seems interesting, but just too impersonal. It's all buildings instead of houses and city structures.

Shrox, I've used sketchup before, and that's a good idea especially if I'm looking for individual assets. I bet they are pretty low density too.

Daforum, that thing is freaking cool. Unfortunately it looks to generate huge cities instead of small cities. I need the houses to be a little better than just cubes. Still so awesome though.....

tischbein3, I'm having trouble finding examples of what this can do. It sounds pretty neat in that it can do streets, sidewalks and the small things.



The client may want to run sims on a tablet device so now I have to consider the polycount. Buggers.

archijam
08-30-2011, 03:22 AM
Shrox is right 3DW is the way to go, from what you describe (suburbs, with no modeling on your part)

There are a multitude of fully textured single houses for you to put together. Or take a simply textured, full area:

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=5797d555e25316d4799a0a258a4b48ab&prevstart=336

For some money there are a few examples online:

http://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/3d-model-suburban-street/315900

wrightyp100
08-30-2011, 09:27 AM
This what what I ended up doing with the daz3d stuff. I know its not what you're after, but it does look cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHk6qTaJy6w

TalleyJC
08-30-2011, 01:34 PM
Yea Dystopia was modeled by a friend of mine Francesco Navarro (He generally goes by Mobius87) He was actually in the process of taking Dystopia to the street level modelling individual shops... He's got other stuff here http://team-dystopia.com/

Cryonic
08-30-2011, 02:00 PM
citygen.net seems interesting, but just too impersonal. It's all buildings instead of houses and city structures.


Sounds like you are needing CityEngine from Procedural then...

http://www.procedural.com/cityengine/examples/medieval-town.html

daforum
09-08-2011, 08:11 AM
This what what I ended up doing with the daz3d stuff. I know its not what you're after, but it does look cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHk6qTaJy6w

That does look cool - great work :thumbsup:
If you do make it in full please post a link.

Phil
09-08-2011, 03:19 PM
Sounds like you are needing CityEngine from Procedural then...

http://www.procedural.com/cityengine/examples/medieval-town.html

I love CityEngine, but it has a number of flaws. The exports can be unwieldy and need some creative handling to get them into LW. I needed to workaround some of this using HDInstance to generate assets on proxy polygons.

The coding language implementation is also quite limited in capability and the inability to break out the text port from the UI is additionally aggravating - even with a high resolution display, you end up having to work in a tiny area of the UI. It takes a while to wrap your head around the coding.

Note that only the really expensive versions give you FBX and DAE capability. Indie limits you to the likes of .obj. If you have the Vue version (the cheapest option, setting aside the cost of Vue), you can then export to .vob, but getting that export into Vue itself can easily cause Vue to fall over due to the sheer amount of data involved. I've lodged a bug report with e-on software about this. Additionally, much of the surfacing still seems to be discarded and no instancing option is available to reduce the dataset complexity within the .vob file.

Paying more gets you FBX and DAE, as mentioned, but the FBX and DAE exports are limited in terms of the texturing output and some other aspects. Basically, if you were thinking about going this route, check the documentation carefully to ensure that CE will meet your needs in getting it to the target application.

Plan to spend quite some time getting to grips with the application and even more time figuring out a pipeline to the target application. This is, by far, the biggest time sink in CityEngine. The quick and easy part, by comparison, is learning CE itself.

Also bear in mind that the content is usually not royalty free, unlike LW's. You'll need your own assets for wider usage.

Silkrooster
09-09-2011, 11:21 PM
I love CityEngine, but it has a number of flaws. The exports can be unwieldy and need some creative handling to get them into LW. I needed to workaround some of this using HDInstance to generate assets on proxy polygons.

The coding language implementation is also quite limited in capability and the inability to break out the text port from the UI is additionally aggravating - even with a high resolution display, you end up having to work in a tiny area of the UI. It takes a while to wrap your head around the coding.

Note that only the really expensive versions give you FBX and DAE capability. Indie limits you to the likes of .obj. If you have the Vue version (the cheapest option, setting aside the cost of Vue), you can then export to .vob, but getting that export into Vue itself can easily cause Vue to fall over due to the sheer amount of data involved. I've lodged a bug report with e-on software about this. Additionally, much of the surfacing still seems to be discarded and no instancing option is available to reduce the dataset complexity within the .vob file.

Paying more gets you FBX and DAE, as mentioned, but the FBX and DAE exports are limited in terms of the texturing output and some other aspects. Basically, if you were thinking about going this route, check the documentation carefully to ensure that CE will meet your needs in getting it to the target application.

Plan to spend quite some time getting to grips with the application and even more time figuring out a pipeline to the target application. This is, by far, the biggest time sink in CityEngine. The quick and easy part, by comparison, is learning CE itself.

Also bear in mind that the content is usually not royalty free, unlike LW's. You'll need your own assets for wider usage.
My thought on city engine is to use the Vue xtreme and let Vue handle the dataset inside of lightwave. Though I may be barking up the wrong tree. As the Ecosystem may differ from the cityengine's data.

Phil
09-09-2011, 11:55 PM
My thought on city engine is to use the Vue xtreme and let Vue handle the dataset inside of lightwave. Though I may be barking up the wrong tree. As the Ecosystem may differ from the cityengine's data.

Vue can't handle the full dataset, due to limitations of the .vob implementation available to them.

I tried a modest export here and it took a lot of work to get the individual .vob files loaded into Vue. Trying an all-in-one .vob approach caused Vue to fail during import (OS X seems to get really unhappy as well!). With many 20-50 MB .vob files (using the file size limit option during export), I could eventually assemble the full city. The resulting .vob file is 2 GB on disk. It takes a very long time to load and the system page file goes up to 60 GB.

With proxy polygons instead of the full building geometry, the whole effort becomes more viable, and this is the approach I took. To mark out different assets, you can use the set(material.name) code. You need to then make sure you record, as part of the material name, the asset and other properties you care about (e.g. rotation, scale, etc.)

You can then use 'merge materials' on export to bundle identical proxy polygons into the same scene entity.

It takes a lot of trial and error, so best to develop the technique with a simple test case, using a few lots, streets, etc.

Silkrooster
09-10-2011, 12:11 AM
Vue can't handle the full dataset, due to limitations of the .vob implementation available to them.

I tried a modest export here and it took a lot of work to get the individual .vob files loaded into Vue. Trying an all-in-one .vob approach caused Vue to fail during import (OS X seems to get really unhappy as well!). With many 20-50 MB .vob files (using the file size limit option during export), I could eventually assemble the full city. The resulting .vob file is 2 GB on disk. It takes a very long time to load and the system page file goes up to 60 GB.

With proxy polygons instead of the full building geometry, the whole effort becomes more viable, and this is the approach I took. To mark out different assets, you can use the set(material.name) code. You need to then make sure you record, as part of the material name, the asset and other properties you care about (e.g. rotation, scale, etc.)

You can then use 'merge materials' on export to bundle identical proxy polygons into the same scene entity.

It takes a lot of trial and error, so best to develop the technique with a simple test case, using a few lots, streets, etc.

Interesting, good to know though.

PeT
09-10-2011, 04:57 AM
http://www.rendering.de/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9551