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8. Configure ArcMap and CityEngine


Now that we have a scenario layer, we want to visualize what that might look like by taking advantage of City Engine.

We will do that by exporting a map of the site through ArcMap and use that inform our future developments.

1. First, open up the ExportMap file in ArcMap:

2. Next, add a Base Map. At the top of the menu, click the dropdown menu next to Add Data.. and select Add Basemap...

3. Select the Imagery option and click Add.

Your screen should now look something like this:

4. Now we are going to export our maps, but first let's make sure we have the appropriate coordinate system in place. In the Table of Contents, right-click on Layers and select Properties.

5. Change the Coordinate System to "NAD 1983 StatePlane Texas Central FIPS 4203 (US Feet)". It can be found be going to Project Coordinate Systems> State Plane > NAD 1983 (US Feet).

6. At this point, it will be important for you to not change the extent of your map during this process. First, uncheck the scenario layer.

7. Next, at the top of the menu, go to File> Export Map.

8. In the Export Map box, name the file "Aerial_Imagery", save as type "TIFF", and ensure that the "Write GeoTIFF" Tags box is checked. Save it in the CSD_BuildingLibrary project folder under Maps.

9. Now, uncheck the World_Imagery layer and check the ET_Vision2 layer.

10. Repeat a similar process. Go to File>Export Map.

11. Save in the same "maps" folder as "ET_Land_Use_Map_1". Ensure that the "Write GeoTIFF Tags" box is checked and that you are saving this file as a TIFF.

12. Now, import the map back in to ArcMap. Click the Add Data button at the top of the menu,

Select the ET_Land_Use_Map_1 file and click Add.

13. Now, uncheck the ET_Vision2 layer, and right-click on the ET_Land_Use_Map_1 layer. Select Data>Export Data.

14. In the Export Data box, under Extent and Spatial Reference, check the radio button for "Data Frame (Current)". Make sure that the output location of the file is your same working folder and name the map "ET_Land_Use_Map_2". Save as a TIFF and click Save.

These steps may seem strange and redundant, but these are necessary to make the connection with CityEngine. 

Now, close ArcMap and open CityEngine.


1. If you haven't opened CityEngine before this step, it will walk you through a "getting started" wizard. When you are finished, import the project package called CSD_BuildingLibrary. First, go to File>Import.


2. Next in the Import Box, choose Existing Projects into Workspace within the Project folder.

3. Click Browse and navigate to the 8_ConfigureCE folder and select CSD_BuildingLibrary. Click OK.

Now click Finish. Take not of the folder in the Navigator window.

4. Open the maps folder and take note of the files you have exported to that location. Now, right-click on the scenes folder and go to New> CityEngine scene.

5. In the Scene Box, name the file Future_Hutto.cej and select Choose for Coordinate System. Then navigate to the correct coordinate system: "NAD 1983 StatePlane Texas Central FIPS 4203 (US Feet)".

6. Now open the data folder and drag and drop the Hutto_Road_Network.shp file into the Viewport.

7. Now open the maps folder and drag and drop the Aerial_Imagery.tif into the Viewport.

You will be shown a menu prompt. Leave this as is except change "Max. elevation" to 1:

Write down or take a screenshot of the values underneath Bounds (X-Size, Z-Size, X-Offset, and Z-Offset).

8. Now drag and drop ET_Land_Use_Map_2 into the Viewport.

Next to Texture File click Browse and navigate to ET_Land_Use_Map_1. Change Max. elevation to 1; and adjust all of the values underneath Bounds to match those values from the Aerial_Imagery.

Once you click Finish, this is what your Viewport should look like:

9. In the lower left corner, click on Terrain ET_Land_Use_Map_2. Then, in the upper right corner, an Inspector window should appear. If it is not there press ALT + I. Adjust the Alpha to 0.7 and Elevation Offset to 10.0.

This step is strictly for visibility.

Now you scene is almost ready for visualization.