So you are looking at doing our exclusive online course on Esri CityEngine? Well you might need some equipment or software first! I’ve divided the list into essential and recommended for obvious reasons. Below this is also the system requirements for running Esri CityEngine as well.
- Windows 10 or MacOS
- PC or laptop capable of running Esri CityEngine
- Esri CityEngine 2019.1 or later (you can use a trial licence)
- Webcam, microphone speaker/headphones
- Ability to access video conferencing software we use Amazon Chime to deliver course content/workshops but can on request use other systems. Amazon Chime has an app or can use a web browser.
- ArcGIS Pro 2.5
- 3DConnexion Space Mouse
- SketchUp Pro
- Twinmotion 2020 or 2019.1
- Headphones with integrated microphone (we quite like Microsoft LifeChat which is USB and just works)
- For webcams we like the Logitech range.
What are the system requirements for CityEngine?
So there are two answers to this question, the first is the official line which can be found here (for all versions not just the latest): CityEngine 2020.0 system requirements on the Esri website
Then there is the answer that involves what I know works, so what PCs do I run CityEngine myself, so here is my list, I’ve taken this from an old blogpost of mine:
- Asus Transformer Pro 3 (i5, 4GB RAM intel graphics card) – Works okay for small projects, I like using it for creating rule files ‘on the road’. If you want bigger city models don’t use this.
- Razer Blade 15″ – (i7 8th Gen, 16GB RAM, 1060 GTX Nvidia) This is a fantastic games PC but also practically a desktop replacement, a new purchase for me but good for most things I would throw at my desktop.
- Chillblast (i7, 32GB RAM,1070 GTX Nvidia) It’s the RAM that makes this great really and has the edge over my new laptop. Oh and I have 2 24inch screens attached.
- For a client I’ve been working with CityEngine installed on Amazon Workspaces alongside ArcGIS Pro this seems to work pretty well so far but I haven’t push the limits (yet)!
- ArcGIS Pro! If you working with Esri software anyway this is essential you can use it to publish easily your 2D and 3D layers. You can also use CityEngine to create Rule Paackages which can be used as advanced symbology in ArcGIS Pro. Users who only have ArcGIS Pro can use CityEngine rule packages which gives you more options to share your hard work.
- ArcGIS Online for those looking to publish quickly an seamlessly to the web geospatial 3D data/models created in CityEngine you need to be using this. Obviously other platforms can be used, if you they can work with the CityEngine export formats.
- I really recommend a 3DConnexion SpaceMouse (any of them) as well for navigating around all that 3D work. It’s not a replacement for your regular mouse but does compliment it greatly.
- SketchUp is still a must have for all those fiddly details, CityEngine+SketchUp are perfect companions applications
- As to 3D software renders? Well that depends on you! Small models you could use the numerous render plugins for SketchUp. But for reall professional stuff think SideFX Houdini which has a nice open source plugin called Palladio which you can get here on github. I hear AutoDesk Maya and 3DS Max are good too.
- For game engines you can’t ignore Unreal Studio as there is export functions in CityEngine now. But don’t discount Unity for its wealth of help and support communities.
If you have any recommendations hardware or software comment on this article and I’ll add it to the list.