Dec 20, 2009

CityScape 1.8: What would it be like on an interactive touch or gesture screen? (Video and link to demo)

Pixel Active, has announced version 1.8 of CityScape, "the rapid urban modeling tool that allows users to build both custom and real-world environments quickly and easily"

CityScape 1.8 looks ideal for use on an interactive touch/gesture display or table.  Since it allows people to work within the same environment concurrently,  I have a hunch that it might work, perhaps with a few tweaks, in multi-touch, multi-user situations.  

As you watch the video below, imagine your finger as the pointer, creating terrain, landforms, buildings, roads, and other structures and spaces, and editing on-the-fly.  

CityScape  "Real Cities, Real Fast" (via Digital Urban & YouTube)
The above video is of version 1.7. To learn about the new features, see the "What's New in CityScape 1.8" section of the Pixelactive website.

Unfortunately, it comes with a high price tag.  Even so, wouldn't it be a great tool to use in middle and high school classrooms?  I want to get the demo and try it out on a SMARTboard....I can think of quite a few ways that it could be put to work in learning environments.

About CityScape
"CityScape was created to reduce the tedious, labor intensive process of building and modifying urban environments, empowering the interactive world builders of tomorrow."

"Using robust data importing, rapid urban modeling, Active Adjustment features, and procedural modeling, CityScape is able to achieve substantial improvements in worker efficiency over traditional object modeling tools and scene editors.
Worlds created by CityScape are compatible with a variety of file formats and optimized for real-time rendering engines."

Pictures from the Pixelactive website:
CityScape's client-server model allows collaboration between co-located or distributed teams so that the environment can be modified concurrently if needed.  It also lets users to check regions in and out in order to work on things independently.
Client-Server Model diagram for CityScape.

Terrain Painting                           Imported Heightmap
Hills created with the terrain painting tool.Mountain range created by importing a heightmap.

Dynamic adjustment allows you to quickly change your mind and modify without headaches!
Buildings will keep their relative positions to the roads as roads are dynamically adjusted.

If you change elevations, everything will adapt automatically.
Animation of a road adapting to the change in geography as a mountain is moved under it.

Here's a picture of the traffic data generation feature:
Downtown intersection showing all available traffic splines (colorized according to current snapshot in street-light simulation).

Here is a picture of an example of CityScape's GIS data import feature:
Aerial view of La Jolla city model.

Pixelactive Company Information

"PixelActive Inc. was founded in 2003 and is located in Carlsbad, California. Our mission is to develop state of the art interactive 3D technology. We believe that tools and technology should be intuitive to users regardless of its underlying complexity. Our focus is on the video game, virtual world, simulation, serious game, and GIS industries."

"The company's rapid urban modeling tool, CityScape, allows users to build both custom and real-world environments quickly and easily. With the editor, developers can focus on designing their world rather than the labor involved in creation. CityScape's unique feature set allows users to produce environments magnitudes faster than with traditional object modeling tools or scene editors."

"The PixelActive team has a track record of delivering exceptional products on time and on budget. Our core technology is focused on stability, reliability, modularity, usability, high performance and visual quality. PixelActive develops technology for a variety of PC platforms including Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista, and video game consoles such as the Microsoft XBox360™, Nintendo Wii™, and Sony Playstation® 3.P"

You can download a demo of CityScape from the Pixelactive website.

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