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Thread: Real-time visualization software for urban planning

  1. #1
    Sep 2010
    Burbank, CA

    Real-time visualization software for urban planning

    Hi! I'm a student researching the 3D visualization and simulation industry for my master's thesis. Anyone out there know of, or use, real-time 3D software for urban planning? Can you point me to any products, or share any insight you have about the value of real-time 3D in this market? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Jul 2010
    right here
    Don't know about real time, but there are tools such as Google's sketchup, ESRI's ArcScene and CommunityViz. ArcScene allows a fly through in a 3D mock-up that's made from LIDAR data draped with an aerial. Utilizing an ArcGIS compatible tool called CommunityViz, you can play with different development scenarios. SketchUp is user made 3D buildings and textures which you can also fly through.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3


    I tried Lumion 3D last month. It's quite quick and can give u a real-time visualization like 3D games ( look fantasy) or what-u-see-is-what-u-get.
    However, it's not a modelling software, so u still need SketchUp or any 3D software to create the models.

    I also created a movie clip with Lumion. I uploaded it here:

    it's my first time work with LumiOn and I had only 2 days to finish from modelling to 3d movie rendering. So hope u dont mind the simple plant models I used.

    Last edited by redgoat3003; 10 Jul 2011 at 10:41 AM. Reason: edit my reply content

  4. #4
    Cyburbian AG74683's avatar
    Jun 2011
    The Woods
    I've only had experience with ArcScene with respects to planning. Never used SketchUp for anything besides drawing quick 3d plans for some home improvement type stuff.

    ArcScene works pretty well though, not too difficult to learn if you have any ArcGIS experience. Ive seen some videos done that have buildings extruded to the correct height and even have textures that mimic the real buildings. You can use ArcScene in conjunction with Hec-GeoRas to make a 3d image of your floodplains too, you can see how deep water would be, where and under what conditions.

    ProTip - When recording a video of an animation you are putting together in ArcScene using the pre-made book mark method, make sure ArcScene is the only thing on your screen. The software records whats on the screen, not whats happening within the program. If you have anything else brought up it will record it!

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