Creating your first city¶
Find the general city options panel¶
A new panel has been added in the Scene properties if you installed and enabled SceneCity correctly.
In this panel you have the general city options and can import the included library of roads and buildings. From here you generate the road network, then mass-place the buildings.
At the bottom of this panel are listed the roads and buildings models you have in your .blend file. You need at least one model of each to generate a city. Later you’ll learn how to make your own and mark them so that SceneCity detects and uses them in your cities, but for now, we’ll simply use the included library of models.
Open Blender’s console¶
(We are talking about Blender’s output console, not the interactive Python console inside of Blender)
Before you generate anything you should open Blender’s console to see SceneCity’s output, where it reports its progress. Blender will not respond to any user input while SceneCity is working. For large cities that can take a while, up to several minutes. So it’s important to see the console to check if Blender is still working in the background and not just frozen.
Open it now by going to the Window menu -> Toggle System Console, because you won’t be able to open the console when the generation is in progress.
Import the default library¶
Have layer 1 the only active layer. Importing the library puts objects in the active layer(s), so you should keep track of that to make the next steps easier.
Click on the import button. You should see the roads and buildings appear in the 3d scene.
Warning: do not move the buildings and roads because they’re groups of objetcs, their position in the scene matters. If you do, then you should change the group’s origin offset accordingly.
Generate the road network¶
Have layer 3 the only active layer. You will have your road network on layers 1 and 3, as well as on all the active layers at the time it is created, so on layer 3 we’ll have a clear view of the network only, without the rest of the scene cluttering the viewport.
You should see the road models listed under the options.
Click on the Place roads in 3d scene button. You can leave the options on their default values. The generation starts, you can look in Blender’s console for progress reports. After a short while your network is ready.
Each road portion making the network is an object, instance of a group from the library you imported before. There are other ways to place the roads, see the placement methods
Mass-place the buildings¶
(This step is almost identical to the previous one)
Have layer 4 the only active layer. You will have your buildings on layers 1 and 4, as well as on all the active layers at the time they are created, so on layer 4 we’ll have just the buildings, without the rest of the scene cluttering the viewport.
You should see the building models listed under the options.
Click on the Place buildings along roads button. You can leave the options on their default values. The generation starts, you can look in Blender’s console for progress reports. After a short while, you will have your buildings ready.
Each building in your city is an object, instance of a group from the library you imported before. There are other ways to place the buildings, see the placement methods
Switch to Cycles first. SceneCity’s included materials are for the Cycles render engine only. Set your 3d viewport to Rendered display mode for a realtime preview.
You should use SceneSkies (included with SceneCity) for easy realistic outdoor lighting.
You can now place the camera anywhere you want and start rendering.
Optional: hand-edit your city¶
Making a city doesn’t stop here. You are free to use Blender’s powerful editing capabilities to work on your newly generated city: add pedestrians, cars, animate them, place your own buildings and focus points...
To change something in all the instances of a road or building model, edit the model (they all are on layer 1 if you followed the steps above), and all the instances placed in the city will reflect your changes immediately.
To change one particular instance of a road or building in your city is a bit more involved. By default in Blender you cannot just select an instance and edit it. To do that, first select the road or building instance, then go to the Object menu -> Apply -> Make Duplicates Real. This will turn the group instance into individual objects, but their datablocks (meshes) will still be the same as all the other instances. So select the object you want to edit, and make its datablock (mesh) unique. Now you can edit that particular road or building freely.