How to Create City 3D Models

Let’s imagine that you want to create a city 3D model. The first steps in this matter can be quite difficult, but fascinating:

Modeling of cities in 3D

Volumetric tools and tools are now widely and widely used. Modeling of various objects has received unimaginable popularity in connection with the development and dissemination of computer technology.

Creating a 3D model of the City: The first steps

It can not be said that such technological trends appeared only in recent years, but they are gaining popularity more and more. The planned work of specialists in this direction has been going on for decades.

Perhaps the history of such creativity is not so long compared to many others, but in this short time of its existence this direction has experienced a rapid and rapid development.

The appearance of 3D-drawings and plans is closely connected with the development of geoinformation technologies (GIS), due to which the obtained panoramas of the territories are of high accuracy and georeferenced to real geographic coordinates. Data is actively being collected to create 3D geoinformation systems, and it is believed that this way of storing data is the future.

The basic ways of constructing volumetric drawings of the urban space and other territories are divided into the following types:

  • automatic;
  • semi-automatic;
  • manual.

The first direction is the easiest direction in terms of the skills that are required from the future creator of 3D-drawings. However, such technologies were created recently, and to obtain the  data for the presentation of information in a bulk requires a certain set of hardware and software.

In addition to special computer programs, digital cameras like Pictometry or Geosystem 3-OC-1 are required, as well as an airplane for aerial photography. If the advantages of this technology: its fast and photorealistic. But it has a lack of accuracy in geometry and poor quality of the image textures.

In the process of automatic constructing a volumetric representation of the territory, numerous errors arise. Many objects that really differ from each other in a real life just merging together in 3D city. Thus, the image becomes insufficiently detailed: buildings, trees and relief often look like a single solid surface.

Semi-automatic methods for implementing such concepts largely mitigate the shortcomings of the previous methodology for implementing voluminous city 3D models. However, in the same way the result of work has low textures due to low resolution of aerial photographs in comparison with images obtained with the help of ground photography.

But the geometric accuracy of such 3D embodiment significantly increases, and the buildings in it become full-fledged separate objects.

More traditional and at the same time labor-intensive method for the re-creation of 3D city panoramas is using the computer software. The following software is used for this purpose:

  • ArcGIS + 3DAnalyst;
  • Google SketchUp4;
  • ArchiCAD;
  • AutoCAD;
  • 3ds Max.

The process of working on the details of the city 3D model is very time-consuming, however, the more time is applied to the implementation of such large-scale project, the better the result. Modern graphic editors simplify a process a bit, but still most of the operations are done manually.

The shortcomings of such methods are the low photographic realism of the city 3d model. During the preparation, the obtained image is connected to the standard textures of the graphic libraries. Most often the result of this synthesis is unrealistic and artificial.

The embodiment of territories in 3D form is characterized by insufficient accuracy for example a numerous buildings scattered around the city. For the convenience of work, the buildings are typified, it shows the results of the creative process.

However, there are many advantages in manual creation. The results of the work have a high details, and each object is endowed with attributive information, which is tied to it.

Photos are processed manually by the operator. At this process all unnecessary objects are removed, fuzzy lines are processed, shadows are eliminated, the received image is corrected.

Unfortunately the process of creating 3D models is very time-consuming. And, to create a detailed model, you have to spend a lot of time. Often, many similar projects are created by a whole team of developers, and Flatpyramid provide such kind of services or you can find already created city 3D models there too.

Volumetric drawings of cities

If you have set a goal to create a 3D model of any city, it is best to start with the simplest techniques. Firstly, sketch a small picture that can become a prototype of your future project.

Creating a 3D model of the city: the first step is to use the numerous geoinformation technologies that do not leave any, even the most ambitious projects, without the possibility of implementation.

3D models can be used for saving the people’s lives. For example, such projects may be needed in forecasting various emergency situations, as well as planning for evacuation and rescue activities.

Similar projects can help in setting up investment activities for the city. The availability of the model helps to attract potential investors who are ready to invest in further development and realization of the city’s potential.

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