Scatter cities

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First you need to read the fundamentals of SceneCity

Scatter cities have overlapping buildings and roads that are scattered randomly, with some control on where they have higher probability to appear, and on their size. These cities are simpler, lighter, and faster to make, but less precise, best for far-away shots.

Here you'll learn how to create one as quickly as possible. In the detailed page, you'll see more details how the generation works, so you can adapt it to your own needs.

Start by linking or appending the pre-made assets and preset city graphs, as explained in the fundamentals.

In the outliner, in the SceneCity presets helper objects collection, only leave the Scatter city object visible. The city will be a single mesh, and it'll be that mesh in that object.

The SceneCity low-poly assets collection is necessary also, this is where you'll find a low-poly building and low-poly road portion. If you haven't touched anything in the imported assets, located in SceneCity assets and collections, then everything is ready. No need to show it or enable it.

All the other imported collections are unnecessary in this example, so you can delete them if you want. To do that, right-click on them, delete hierarchy. If you linked the assets, first you'll have to make their parent collection local to the file (right-click on collection -> ID Data -> Make local) before deleting them.

Select the scatter city preset graph, in SceneCity's node panel. Then locate the node in this image (middle right of the graph) and click on its button. It will generate and update the city mesh, and you'll see it in the viewport. The object was already present in the scene before, but its mesh was empty. So now that SceneCity has updated it, it is visible.

The object is also already scaled to 0.01, otherwise it would be very large, as 1 Blender unit equals 1 meter in SceneCity.

What you just did is tell SceneCity to scatter two different types of buildings (procedural cubes, and a custom mesh) over a given area, according to a distribution map and a building size map.

They are output as a single merged mesh.

Now you will generate a material for the buildings. Locate this node (top right of the graph) and click on its button.

It generates a facade texture.

Then in the viewport choose the Material preview display mode. A material should be already applied to the mesh, and you should see the texture you generated just before.

If you don't see something like in this picture, select the city, and apply the material SC low-poly building facade to the first slot. The second slot is for the roofs of the buildings, but we can leave it empty for now.

What you just did is tell SceneCity to create / update an image datablock (so it's just within Blender, not an image file), to be used in a pre-made material that was appended from the library along with the city mesh and object.

Now you'll create simple roads.

In the outliner create a new collection: right-click -> new. Name it something like Roads. Then select it to make it the active collection, the many roads objects will be put in the active collection. That way, your scene will stay clean and organized. SceneCity can generate lots of objects for you, so keeping things organized quickly becomes critical.

At the bottom of the city graph, click on the two Create button: first on the left node, then on the right node, in that order.

The first one creates curves for the roads, the second one adds the road portion object along those curves. You could also manually add a ground plane for the city. You can use the delete buttons anytime to delete the created objects easily (as long as you don't change their names).

You could also manually add a ground plane for the city, scale it appropriately, and give it a simple material with an albedo color of about 0.4 gray and a roughness value of 0.9.

Notice how the roads flow nicely in the city, and have different heights also. However they overlap, and never branch.

Finally you could add a sun, or better an HDRI to light your scene. Add a fog object covering the city, using Blender's volumetrics, to give a sense of scale and realism. And you can render city scenes already. It's up to you to improve it further if you wish.

Now you have a basic understanding of how scatter cities are made. You can try and experiment with the graph, see if you can figure things out (play with the seeds for instance, to get different but same-looking cities), study how the buildings and roads are made, change the materials, or add manual details to the city.

Next you should learn how to create such cities from scratch, use them to their full potential, so they can better fit your needs and your urban projects.