Esri CityEngine icon

Esri CityEngine icon

Esri CityEngine

Business Software Design
CityEngine by ESRI is one of the most advanced 3D modeling suites designed specifically to develop cityscapes. It uses procedural modeling to generate city models in brilliant 3D with loads of detail. Standard 3D modeling systems use basic CAD tools, but CityEngine takes 3D modeling to the next level with data sets that use rule-based protocols. Since the software is so proficient at developing realistic 3D city models, it has been used for research purposes and in the gaming and movie industries. Read moreless

Alternatives to Esri CityEngine

  1. Blender alternatives



    Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video e...

    {{ alternatives[0].votes }}
  2. Wings 3D alternatives

    Wings 3D


    Wings 3D is an advanced subdivision modeler that is both powerful and easy to use.

    {{ alternatives[1].votes }}
  3. Cinema 4D alternatives

    Cinema 4D


    This 3D modeling and design software from Maxon is simple enough for beginners to learn the ins and outs of the craft but advanced enough to provide seasoned professionals with all the tools they n...

    {{ alternatives[2].votes }}
  4. MakeHuman alternatives



    This site uses cookies necessary to its functioning and third party cookie profiling for the ads. If you want to know more or withdraw your consent to all or some of the cookies, please click HERE....

    {{ alternatives[3].votes }}
  5. ZBrush alternatives



    ZBrush is a 3D modeling tool that allows artists to sculpt high-definition characters. It further creates maps for other kinds of content creation software, such as Maya and 3D Max, which can apply...

    {{ alternatives[4].votes }}
  6. Sculptris alternatives



    Sculptris is three dimensional modeling software that's specifically tailored to accommodate the needs of sculptors.

    {{ alternatives[5].votes }}
  7. MODO alternatives



    MODO is a 3D modeling, rendering, and texturing software optimized for artists who want to explore and develop their ideas. It's meant to be a starting point for creativity. MODO has a huge numbe...

    {{ alternatives[6].votes }}
  8. Houdini alternatives



    Houdini is a suite of graphic rendering software used for movies, video games and other forms of media. The software is developed by SideFX, a company that saw its beginnings in 1987. SideFX has re...

    {{ alternatives[7].votes }}
  9. Poser alternatives



    Poser is one of the most popular software programs for creating popular poser 3D characters. The software is useful for artists, forensic professionals, and content creators. It creates realistic l...

    {{ alternatives[8].votes }}
  10. Maya alternatives



    Maya is 3D computer animation software with powerful modeling, rendering, simulation, texturing, and animation tools for artists, modelers, and animators.

    {{ alternatives[9].votes }}
  11. Silo alternatives



    Silo is Nevercenter’s 3D Modeling and UV Mapping software that is built to virtually design any shape imaginable. Its use can be applied to video games, animation, 3D printing, and state-of-the-art...

    {{ alternatives[10].votes }}
  12. Substance Designer alternatives

    Substance Designer


    Substance Designer is a 3D material authoring tool for video games and other digital media. It is a product of Allegorithmic, a French company that was founded in 2002 by highly educated individual...

    {{ alternatives[11].votes }}
  13. Cheetah 3d alternatives

    Cheetah 3d


    Cheetah3D is a versatile and easy to learn 3D software for Mac. Create animations or 3D models for games, virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D printing.

    {{ alternatives[12].votes }}
  14. alternatives

    Freemium is a piece of design and development software that focuses on 3D graphics and animations. It was originally created by a Canadian company called Exocortex, and it has been available since...

    {{ alternatives[13].votes }}
  15. Chief Architect Premier alternatives

    For all aspects of residential and light commercial design. As you draw walls and place smart architectural objects like doors and windows, the program creates a 3D model, generates a Materials Lis...

    {{ alternatives[14].votes }}
  16. UV layout alternatives

    UVLayout is a stand-alone application for the creation and editing of UV texture coordinates for 3D polymeshes and subdivision surfaces. Used by professionals in the games and visual effects indust...

    {{ alternatives[15].votes }}
  17. formZ alternatives



    AutoDesSys are makers of formZ and RenderZone--the best 3D modeling tools available.

    {{ alternatives[16].votes }}
  18. Quixel Suite alternatives

    Quixel Suite


    Megascans · Tutorials · Community · Support & Contact · Login · Quixel Logo · Megascans · Tutorials · Community · Support & Co...

    {{ alternatives[17].votes }}
Suggest an Alternative

Missing a software in the list? We are always happy if you help us making our site even better.

Suggest an Alternative

Esri CityEngine Reviews

We have 1 review for Esri CityEngine. The average overall ratings is 4.0 / 5 stars.

Write a Review
grex avatar
My Opinion on Esri CityEngine
written by grex on 2018-03-02 04:26:15
Ease of Use
Customer Service
Value For Money

Overall Opinion: CityEngine might be the most powerful 3D modeling software suite dedicated for the production of urban sprawls. Once the software has been integrated with a BIM, or Building Information Model, it will be able to display building data through a larger field of view, which only makes the scenario even more realistic. Thanks to the procedural modeling core of the system, rules associated with computer-generated objects give you the power to control a wide range of variables. These might include geometry, mass, texture, proportions, street details, and much more. When you use the CityEngine software to import data from public 3D maps, it can then generate a city model in minutes. For instance, you can find a location that you want to model and import 3D data and satellite photos of that location. Any map data transferred in the OSM format will work with the software. CityEngine also features the parametric modeling interface, which is a specific UI designed to help you change certain parameters for the streets or buildings. You can edit and modify any urban environment you have already created, and curved streets can be added for the ultimate freedom of expression. If you don't want to design your own roads, you can use the integrated street patterns that will help you build sophisticated layouts. One of the best aspects of CityEngine is that it performs analytics and reporting on a regular basis. This way, you can show potential investors the exact details of the building or buildings as they are. To make sharing easier, you can export models from the software and open them in a web browser that will create a WebGL scene for the file. The scene allows for comments, comparisons, exploration, and physical rotation through all three dimensions for optimal viewing angles. If you want to go all-out, you can use the software to develop a specialized virtual reality experience that is all-encompassing. The 360-degree range of motion allows you to see a completely virtual version of your city model from within the model itself. Thanks to the inclusion of the Python scripting interface, you can easily code using Python. The Facade Wizard is dedicated to creating new rules and authoring visual facades. Video game support is now integrated with the CityEngine software. You can build a model in CityEngine and export it directly to the Unreal Engine. That engine allows for unlimited textures, thousands upon thousands of objects, and polygon counts over 10 million. The CityEngine software is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Pros: Excellent Modeling Tools Large-Scale

Cons: Overly Complex

grex is using Esri CityEngine every other week recently.


  • Procedural Modeling
  • Virtual Reality Display
You can always update Esri CityEngine to add more features!

Esri CityEngine Videos

Youtube Video: Esri CityEngine 2016 Highlights

Build Smart 3D Cities in Minutes with Game-Changing CityEngine 2016:

Disclaimer: This video was not made by us, but we found it interesting enough to embed it here.


Commenting on this article is disabled right now.

About This Article

This page was composed by and published by It was created at 2018-04-28 07:24:37 and last edited by at 2020-03-06 07:50:13. This page has been viewed 5618 times.

Did you like this article about Esri CityEngine? Please rate it!
4 of 5 liked this article. This is equivalent to a star rating of 4.00 / 5.

More Software in Business Software > Design

More Popular Business Software

Filter Platforms


Filter Features

Python code execution Customizable appearance Animation Animation creation and editing functions Rendering module D modeling Sculpting tools VFX Ready Edit 3D Scripting 3D Models and Materials Smart and simple animation tools Direct modeling tools Procedural modeling system UV workflow toolsets Layer-based shading systems Limitless resolutions for infinite details Dynamic simulations and effects software Houdini website in the Houdini . SuperFly PBR renderer Volumetric materials FBX Exporter D studios D Graphic Production Web-Based Tools Large amount of documentation for users 3D House plan Construction modeling
Suggest an Alternative to Esri CityEngine
{{ suggestSubmitSuccess }}
You can only sugggest alternatives that are already published on our platform. If you want to submit a software or app, please visit your account page to submit a software.
List of Suggestions
Please start typing the name of the software you want to suggest as alternative to Esri CityEngine in the field above.
{{ suggestSubmitError }}
Suggest {{ suggestedAlternatives.length }} Alternative(s)
This action requires user authentication. Please log in.
Don't have an account yet? Sign up.