Always my favourite time of year a new ‘ArcGIS’ CityEngine release, of course I’ve been on the beta so nothing has surprised me. You should be able to download from your ‘my.esri.com’ account shortly (if not now). As with most ‘.1’ releases there seems be a whole bunch of minor improvements. I think the main highlights for people are the inclusion of a USD importer (for CGA and general import) that builds on support for USD exports in 2020.0. There’s now support for LOD’s in exports for Unreal (via datasmith), this requires you to code your CGA properly like the Redlands Redevelopment example.
Improvements on street creation (so you can snap to shapes) I like, but I wish you could fix street segments to an axis. Lots of people use CityEngine to create street grids and this would help. The workaround for now seems to be create square shapes (which you can draw to an axis direction) and draw a street that snaps to it.
ArcGIS Urban integration moves forward with building type alignments and ‘skyplane’ attributes. I like ArcGIS Urban but for me I can’t help seeing it as a less flexible frontend to CityEngine. Planners in some local governments should love it though!
The support of CSV files was a big improvement to CityEngine and they’ve added a transpose function to the mix with this release. They also seem to have produced a new tutorial for it as well.
Whilst those are the ‘Esri’ headlines on improvements this release, I’m happy to see the Plant Loader (in Esri.Lib) has been updated to use CSV files (this is a fantastic use case for CSVs in CityEngine too). Improvements to the RPK export, validation and better handling of referenced assets, should make sharing CityEngine rules easier and more reliable. The addition of perpendicular snapping in the measurement tool is welcome.
As always I recommend creating a specific workspace for CityEngine 2020.1 and importing/copying from previous versions into here using the CityEngine import project tool. This means you can always load up old projects in previous versions (CityEngine can run alongside multiple versions of itself).
There are a lot of additions and improvements (albeit minor), if you really want all the details check the links below:
- What’s new in CityEngine 2020.1
- CityEngine 2020.1 Release Notes
- Tutorial 21: CSV import
- CGA Changelog
- Python Changelog
Finally, if you’re still asking… Should you download and start using it? YES