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Esri CityEngine Review

Esri CityEngine
Our score: 9.8 User satisfaction: 100%

What is Esri CityEngine?

Esri CityEngine is an easy-to-use, standalone 3D editing and visualization tool designed by EsriR&D for users in urban planning, architecture, simulation, entertainment, general 3D content productions, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). It’s a powerful conceptual modeling and design solution that enables users to intuitively generate and maintain 3D city scenes and buildings as well share the outputs to ArcGIS online. The software delivers unprecedented 3D visualization power to help users monitor the relationships of projects and scrutinize their feasibility before implementing them.

Esri CityEngine enables users to view the conceptual representation of buildings and make informed decisions that benefit the community for years. It takes a procedural modeling approach to every project and relies on three key aspects (feature attributes, feature geometry, and procedurally-defined rules) to accomplish tasks. The platform comes in two licenses levels (Basic and Advanced) and works well on Windows, Linux, and Mac devices.

Overview of Esri CityEngine Benefits

Esri CityEngine is a powerful 3D modeling suite that offers numerous benefits. The solution comes in two editions;

  • Esri CityEngine Basic which comes with single user licensing and is designed to support the file geodatabase.
  • Esri CityEngine Advanced which is designed to extend the functionality of the basic version. This version incorporates professional design and modeling and utilizes procedural technology to facilitate the efficient creation of 3D cities.

One of its strengths is the customizable user interface. The interface adapts to your tasks at hand. Whether you are working on a street network, rule creation, studying reports of the current developments, or editing aspects with real-time feedback, Esri CityEngine makes it a breeze. This interface allows you to manage repetitive tasks, automate specific actions, and generate reports in a format of your choice.

Another highlight of Esri CityEngine is the ability to create and design 3D urban scene using the existing GIS data. The solution makes it easy to come up with high-quality 3D content by combining procedurally defined rules, 2D data, and attributes. This enables GIS organizations to create spectacular 3D urban environments using nothing more than the data they already have. Better still, the rule-driven 3D city model makes it easy to iterate through multiple design scenarios by changing rule parameters.

Additionally, the Dynamic City Layouts allow you to generate interactive street networks which can automatically update in real-time. The parts of a specific urban context including sidewalks, streets, and whole blocks adapt efficiently to your input and deliver an intuitive way to come up with a comprehensive layout of a complete city. In terms of data interoperability, Esri CityEngine is the real deal. It supports the most common formats for data import and export and gives you the freedom to shape data footprints, modify 3D geometry, and transport line data to and out of CityEngine.

Overview of Esri CityEngine Features

  • Façade texturing
  • Share smart 3D city scenes
  • Visualize 3D zoning rules
  • Instant report generation
  • City wizard
  • Local edits for procedural models
  • CGA rule editor
  • Measure tools
  • Terrain and map support
  • Get map data
  • Parametric city design tools
  • CryEngine SDK
  • 3D plant library
  • OpenStreetMap Import
  • Python scripting interface
  • 3D mouse support
  • Scenario-based planning
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Esri shapelife support KML support
  • Script-based export
  • Esri File geodata support
  • Rule package (RPK) creation
  • Integrated with ArcGIS

Esri CityEngine Position In Our Categories

Bearing in mind companies have special business-related wants, it is only rational they avoid getting an all-encompassing, ”best” software. Regardless, it is troublesome to stumble on such an app even among branded software systems. The practicable step to do would be to narrow down the several critical aspects that demand research including critical features, packages, technical skill capability of staff, business size, etc. After which, you must perform your research through and through. Have a look at these Esri CityEngine evaluations and look over the other software programs in your list in detail. Such detailed product research makes sure you steer clear of ill-fitting software solutions and pay for the one that includes all the features you require company requires to be successful.

Position of Esri CityEngine in our main categories:

TOP 1

Esri CityEngine is top 1 Architecture Software product

If you are considering Esri CityEngine it might also be beneficial to investigate other subcategories of Architecture Software collected in our base of B2B software reviews.

Companies have different needs and requirements and no software platform can be perfect in such a scenario. It is pointless to try to find an ideal out-of-the-box software app that meets all your business wants. The intelligent thing to do would be to adapt the solution for your specific needs, worker skill levels, budget, and other factors. For these reasons, do not hurry and subscribe to well-publicized popular applications. Though these may be widely used, they may not be the best fit for your particular requirements. Do your research, investigate each short-listed application in detail, read a few Esri CityEngine Architecture Software reviews, contact the seller for explanations, and finally choose the application that provides what you want.

How Much Does Esri CityEngine Cost?

Esri CityEngine Pricing Plans:

Free Trial

Quote-based Plan

Contact vendor

Esri CityEngine doesn’t reveal its enterprise pricing details to the public. Contact the vendor for detailed pricing information.

User Satisfaction

Positive Social Media Mentions 25
Negative Social Media Mentions 0

We realize that when you make a decision to buy Architecture Software it’s important not only to see how experts evaluate it in their reviews, but also to find out if the real people and companies that buy it are actually satisfied with the product. That’s why we’ve created our behavior-based Customer Satisfaction Algorithm™ that gathers customer reviews, comments and Esri CityEngine reviews across a wide range of social media sites. The data is then presented in an easy to digest form showing how many people had positive and negative experience with Esri CityEngine. With that information at hand you should be equipped to make an informed buying decision that you won’t regret.

Video

Technical details

Devices Supported

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Mac

Deployment

  • On Premise

Language Support

  • English

Pricing Model

  • Quote-based

Customer Types

  • Small Business
  • Large Enterprises
  • Medium Business

What Support Does This Vendor Offer?

  • email
  • phone
  • live support
  • training
  • tickets

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Esri CityEngine Comparisons

Esri CityEngine user reviews

Can be used for so many projects.

Read full review >
Tyra
4/5

Overall impression

3/5

Customer Support

3/5

Value for Money

3/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 14.12.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Higher Education

Great for visual representation of projects.

Read full review >
Vivianne
4/5

Overall impression

4/5

Customer Support

3/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 29.11.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Government Administration

Impressive 3D visuals.

Read full review >
Clare
5/5

Overall impression

5/5

Customer Support

5/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 29.11.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Higher Education

A tool for just about anyone.

Read full review >
Coby
4/5

Overall impression

3/5

Customer Support

4/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 21.11.2019 Company Size: Industry: Internet

Great visualizations!

Read full review >
Jeromy
4/5

Overall impression

4/5

Customer Support

3/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 20.11.2019 Company Size: 11-50 Employees Industry: N/A

What are Esri CityEngine pricing details?

Esri CityEngine Pricing Plans:

Free Trial

Quote-based Plan

Contact vendor

Esri CityEngine doesn’t reveal its enterprise pricing details to the public. Contact the vendor for detailed pricing information.

What integrations are available for Esri CityEngine?

No information available

Esri CityEngine average rating:

Average score
4.1/5 (17 user reviews)
4/5

Overall impression

5/5

Customer Support

4/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Write your own review of this product

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The most favorable review

Leon

PROS: Right off the bat, I can say that this tool really is the best one I’ve worked with. It’s complete--from the visualization to the importation of data, all the way to the application of the design. You can easily share files from AutoCAD to it, plus the 3D simulations are very impressive. This is every designer/engineer’s best friend. To top it all off, it’s very easy to use and it has pretty solid support from their customer reps too.

CONS: There is not much I would change with this tool. However, I am noting that the program itself can get overwhelmed by the bulk of data you feed into it and can slow down a bit on some days.

Reviewed 5 months ago

Read full review >

The least favorable review

Kenna

PROS: I find the terrain on CityEngine’s 3D models very impressive and very accurate. Because it taps into the satellite for its geodata, we have been able to produce accurate representations of terrains on our outputs.

CONS: One of the things that I don’t like about CityEngine is that it does not seem to work very well with other software. Now I understand why a lot of users have warned me against getting the software package.

Reviewed 4 months ago

Read full review >

More reviews from 17 actual users:

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  • Latest
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Can be used for so many projects.

Read full review >
Tyra
4/5

Overall impression

3/5

Customer Support

3/5

Value for Money

3/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 14.12.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Higher Education

PROS: I think that the color and graphics are two elements worth noting with CityEngine. This program can easily process and work with more complicated algorithms on colors. And the best part? All of this translates well in 3D visuals. When I’m not too happy about the outcome of the rendering, I can easily take it to ArcMap to do the necessary adjustments too.

CONS: CityEngine not only has software support but hardware too. However, hardware can be very pricey when it comes to CityEngine. Some of our clients have a hard time paying for it.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

Great for visual representation of projects.

Read full review >
Vivianne
4/5

Overall impression

4/5

Customer Support

3/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 29.11.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Government Administration

PROS: CityEngine has allowed me to see my designs come to life through 3D visualizations of it. It is such a remarkable tool.

CONS: While it is easy to use this program, basic knowledge on Esri still needs to be in place. Other than this, there is nothing bad to say about this software.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

Impressive 3D visuals.

Read full review >
Clare
5/5

Overall impression

5/5

Customer Support

5/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 29.11.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Higher Education

PROS: If you think you’ve already seen and explored all that there is about ESRI programs, here comes CityEngine. It takes model creation and design planning to a whole new level. In fact, the best edge that this tool has is that it presents its output in 3D format. I mean, sure other tools offer this too but believe me when I say that CityEngine is the best out of all of those. For one, it allows you to set up rules. Said rules, when used in the context of applying layers, can be replicated between different projects. This way, you can have your favorite settings with just a simple click of a few buttons. Designing and creating layers is so much easier this way. This is MAC compatible too, which I find important. And finally, all the designs you can dream of can easily be translated in 3D, thanks to ArcMap.

CONS: I wouldn’t consider this as a major drawback, but I was a little taken aback when I discovered that I would have to familiarize myself with coding. This was for the purpose of fully utilizing the CGA script. Now, I don’t have much beef with this at all. However, I do wish that CityEngine would set up more easy-commands on the toolbar for this function. Another thing I don’t like is how heavy this program is on the RAM. You either have the option to upgrade your computers or run the risk of having all other open programs crash.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

A tool for just about anyone.

Read full review >
Coby
4/5

Overall impression

3/5

Customer Support

4/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 21.11.2019 Company Size: Industry: Internet

PROS: One thing that I really like about CityEngine is that anyone--and I mean ANYONE--can use it. If you’re someone who isn’t too familiar with programs such as AutoCAD and the like, that’s no problem. This tool is loaded with features that are meant to simplify the creation of design representations. On the contrary, if you’re a developer also, you would surely enjoy experimenting with the features that CityEngine has. In any case, you will be given a lengthy training manual should you have any questions about this tool. And I’m not just talking about a brief 10-page catalog here--the manual has up to 500 pages that you can browse through. If reading through or flipping through the pages of a manual doesn’t appeal to you, you can easily reach out to their support team too. They’re very responsive, which is important in every support team. As for the program itself, I do like how it allows me to explore visual representations in 3D. This really helps clients inspect the proposals that I submit to them.

CONS: Communication with the support team is quite limited because they only speak English. It would be nice if they trained consultants in Spanish, for example. Manipulating colors and graphics can be quite a challenge sometimes too. I think it is very important to have a background on coding just to manipulate the settings on this aspect. Lastly, this program can be quite taxing on my PC’s RAM. Once I load this up, all other programs start to slow down.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

Great visualizations!

Read full review >
Jeromy
4/5

Overall impression

4/5

Customer Support

3/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 20.11.2019 Company Size: 11-50 Employees Industry: N/A

PROS: CityEngine has upped our work-game, for sure. Through it, we’ve been able to conceptualize and visualize our designs very efficiently. It is packed with tools that allow us to experiment with our projects. Presenting proposals to clients and other members of our organization is easy too because of how thorough the reports are. It also presents an avenue that encourages brainstorming and a healthy exchange of ideas.

CONS: I don’t like how we need to constantly update our systems to keep up with the roll-out of new tools and features of this product. The price, itself, can be quite heavy on the wallet too. I wish that they would lighten the burden a bit and make it more affordable.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

A tool that supports creativity and vision.

Read full review >
Gillian
4/5

Overall impression

4/5

Customer Support

4/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 19.11.2019 Company Size: 1-10 Employees Industry: N/A

PROS: This tool takes 3D modeling to a whole different level. It allows you to explore your craft fully. With CityEngine, you don’t just churn outbuildings. Instead, it can inspire you to envision a space in the best possible way--through a 3D diagram.

CONS: This tool allows you to brainstorm and exchange ideas with people in your organization--however, this feature still needs to be developed. It doesn’t work very well with other software that we use too.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

Still exploring this tool… so far, so good.

Read full review >
Amos
4/5

Overall impression

3/5

Customer Support

4/5

Value for Money

3/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 19.11.2019 Company Size: Industry: N/A

PROS: This program is very easy to use. Clearly, this was designed with the user in mind.

CONS: It has a feature that allows you to exchange ideas with your teammates. Although this works fine in principle, the implementation is quite sloppy.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

Really helps me a lot.

Read full review >
Samantha
3/5

Overall impression

3/5

Customer Support

2/5

Value for Money

2/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 06.11.2019 Company Size: Industry: Information Technology and Services

PROS: I have nothing but praises for its design capabilities. It has a really robust graphics and coloring details. Plus, you can generate thorough reports from it too. You can easily extract and share data and other designs from this tool without a problem.

CONS: This tool allows you to brainstorm and exchange ideas with people in your organization--however, this feature still needs to be developed. It doesn’t work very well with other software that we use too.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

Impressive 3D conversion tool.

Read full review >
Kenna
3/5

Overall impression

2/5

Customer Support

2/5

Value for Money

2/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 03.11.2019 Company Size: 1-10 Employees Industry: Apparel & Fashion

PROS: I find the terrain on CityEngine’s 3D models very impressive and very accurate. Because it taps into the satellite for its geodata, we have been able to produce accurate representations of terrains on our outputs.

CONS: One of the things that I don’t like about CityEngine is that it does not seem to work very well with other software. Now I understand why a lot of users have warned me against getting the software package.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

I use this mostly for sending proposals to clients.

Read full review >
Brock
4/5

Overall impression

3/5

Customer Support

4/5

Value for Money

3/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 04.10.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: N/A

PROS: This is a really innovative software! Through it, we’ve been able to fully showcase to our clients our visions--in terms of design and the specs of the space. With all the layers that we can include in these representations, our proposals are much better received now. I can’t wait for CityEngine to fully explore its VR capabilities!

CONS: You’d need to have a solid background in coding, CGA, and other ESRI programs for you to fully utilize this tool. CityEngine doesn’t have the full capacity of other design programs too. Once I transfer outputs from other software, sometimes the color or texture don’t translate well. Finally, their VR features still need to be developed. While I’m glad that this is the direction that they are taking, I do wish that they would give users more information on how to use it.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

A really big help for our company!

Read full review >
Jacey
5/5

Overall impression

5/5

Customer Support

4/5

Value for Money

5/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 03.10.2019 Company Size: 11-50 Employees Industry: Architecture & Planning

PROS: CityEngine is every architect’s dream partner. It is intuitive and the dashboard can be easily customized to fit the user’s preferences. Through it, one can easily set up their designs and then render them in 3D so that clients can get a better idea and feel of how space will be developed. The layers, textures, colors are all very impressive. I think that this is all thanks to how advanced the CGA feature is here. I’ve also been able to experiment with different versions of my projects. The exporting and importing of data is no issue at all too.

CONS: The design tool that I am currently using isn’t supported by CityEngine yet. For now, they only offer Collada, which isn’t exactly the best option for me. While we’re on the topic of design, I don’t like how all of my designs still need to go through photoshop just to have images and layers render properly on the program.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

The best tool for urban planning and development!

Read full review >
Shawna
4/5

Overall impression

3/5

Customer Support

3/5

Value for Money

3/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 02.10.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Government Administration

PROS: CityEngine has the complete suite of functionalities for creating an urban environment. So far, I’m really loving this tool because it takes care of the bulk of my tasks for me, offering both software and hardware support. I was able to use it right away, at the get-go, because it’s pretty easy to use and to understand. The planning and creating of 3D simulations are equal parts uncomplicated and impressive, which I really appreciate. It can even help you come up with a budgeting plan for your project thanks to its reporting functions too!

CONS: There’s nothing to complain about, really. I think that CityEngine is the best among its competitors.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

Best for project planning and designing.

Read full review >
Leon
5/5

Overall impression

4/5

Customer Support

5/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 29.09.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Transportation/Trucking/Railroad

PROS: Right off the bat, I can say that this tool really is the best one I’ve worked with. It’s complete--from the visualization to the importation of data, all the way to the application of the design. You can easily share files from AutoCAD to it, plus the 3D simulations are very impressive. This is every designer/engineer’s best friend. To top it all off, it’s very easy to use and it has pretty solid support from their customer reps too.

CONS: There is not much I would change with this tool. However, I am noting that the program itself can get overwhelmed by the bulk of data you feed into it and can slow down a bit on some days.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

A really nice addition to our organization.

Read full review >
Germaine
4/5

Overall impression

3/5

Customer Support

4/5

Value for Money

3/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 27.09.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Information Technology and Services

PROS: CityEngine is just what our organization needs. It is robust, for one. Packed with a plethora of features, experimenting and coming up with inspired designs for urban developments is so much easier now. It works really fast too--no lag times nor delays. Plus, setting it up didn’t take up too much time. It only took a short while to have everything up and working; it even took a shorter while to get to know it. It’s really understandable and the tool is easy to use.

CONS: To be honest, I feel like the price could still be adjusted so a lot more organizations could benefit from it. Right now, it is packaged at such a high price that only bigger corporations can afford to subscribe to it.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

The best visual representations–very lifelike!

Read full review >
Winfield
4/5

Overall impression

3/5

Customer Support

4/5

Value for Money

3/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 26.09.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Military

PROS: I really love how beautifully and accurately represented our designs are in this tool. I believe that this program offers the best 3D visualizations there is, even the terrains look almost lifelike. It is really easy to use as well.

CONS: I love this program because of the quality and accuracy it lends our projects. However, I do feel like we need more options in terms of adding images and other elements.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

Intuitive and smart–this has everything you need for urban planning projects.

Read full review >
Malinda
5/5

Overall impression

4/5

Customer Support

5/5

Value for Money

4/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 10.09.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Information Technology and Services

PROS: I love how CityEngine has managed to maintain its clean layout and simple environment despite being packed with so many features in its toolbox. On the off-chance that you find yourself stuck on something, it’s always a good idea to reach out to their friendly support team too. They’re always willing to help at any time of the day and the week. I also like how one can easily access this tool online, making it easy for me to work on projects anywhere. For its price, I really find CityEngine very useful.

CONS: I haven’t come across anything negative that is worth noting here.

What do you think about this review? Great Poor

This has been such a game-changer in my organization.

Read full review >
Nikki
5/5

Overall impression

5/5

Customer Support

4/5

Value for Money

5/5

Ease of Use

Published on: 04.09.2019 Company Size: More than 100 Employees Industry: Mining & Metals

PROS: I really love how the set-up at the beginning was quick and relatively painless. We had the program running in no time. Until now, everything has gone smoothly too. CityEngine is really intuitive, easy to use, and has the capacity to let you work on large scale designs and visualizations. You can tweak its controls to your preference, plus it encourages you to brainstorm with your team too. If you do so, you can easily share ideas and designs with your teammates.

CONS: There’s nothing negative to say about this program. This has become my go-to tool when I’m working on urban development projects. I absolutely love it!

What do you think about this review? Great Poor
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Reviewed By Jenny Chang
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