Learn the basics of SceneCity, this page is a prerequisite before reading the rest of the documentation. It is assumed you already know how to use Blender.
Cities are described by node graphs
The first thing necessary is to create a SceneCity graph. You can think of a graph as the description of a city. You can have as many graphs as you want in a blend file, and you give them a unique name. City graphs are like any other type of graph in Blender and other software, but they manipulate data and do things specific to cities.
In a graph are nodes, connected together via sockets. Each node does something specific. Some of them need some kind of input to work, and then they output one or more results. You connect nodes together, you chain them, so that you can tell what operations to perform, and in which order. Some nodes can create fresh new data (a new texture set, or a procedural cube mesh). Some nodes are useful to get data from Blender (eg. load a mesh or an image). Other nodes let you transform that data (eg. by instancing roads and buildings, drawing into images etc..). Finally other nodes let you output your transformed data back to Blender (eg. create or update a Blender mesh) or to files (eg. export an objects hierarchy to a .json file).
It is important to make the distinction between Blender data, and data which is internal to SceneCity. Therefore to avoid confusion, I will explicitly say when it’s Blender data, such as a Blender mesh, as opposed to mesh data for example, which is the internal representation of a mesh in SceneCity.
To create and edit graphs, you have to open a new type of editor in Blender, available when you enable the addon. Select SceneCity node editor in the drop-down list of editor types.
Then you have a choice to make:
- create a blank new graph (for advanced users)
- import a preset city (easier to start)
Importing the preset city graphs
From the SceneCity menu in the node editor, append preset city graphs.
In the list of city graphs, you can see different types of preset cities, ready to be generated, and modify. If you modify one or more of them, and later you need the original city presets again, simply append them again from the menu, as many times as you need, graphs are extremely light.
Importing the pre-made assets
In the outliner, select a collection you want the assets to be imported into, or select the scene itself if you want the assets into the root collection of the scene. The assets are themselves organized into sub-collections, so you can easily keep things clear. You can also create a new collection and select it, to put everything into it.
In the outliner, you will see the new assets. You can hide everything to declutter the viewport. Some data is necessary only for certain types of cities, this is specified in the sections relevant to each city type.
Open Blender's console before computations
Sometimes, generating things can take several seconds or even minutes, depending on the complexity of the task. During that time Blender's UI will be unresponsive, and will show no progress indicator. This is very inconvenient. However SceneCity always outputs its progress in the console, in text form. So think about opening Blender's console before launching long tasks, like generating a large city for instance.
You are now equipped to get started with cities! Choose the kind of city you need to learn more about, from the navigation bar. Each type of city has an easy introduction, then a dedicated detailed explanation page.