Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Marduk Project


NewYorkCity-162147

I still love using the generative aspects of computer programming to generate cities. Countless hours were poured in the past to create programs that generate city-like structures. A few of the endeavours has made it to this blog in the form of TFGORC.

I kinda wanted more than just an aerial-view-generating program. I wanted a more 3D looking image. The other thing was that I was a little lazy. I've tried using Blender to generate 3D images but dammit, learning it was too much of an effort for me.

I tried scouring the web for free 3D textures that could be imported as .OBJ files into Processing but the ones I found didn't work properly with Processing.

Enter OGLE. OGLE is an OpenGL call interceptor. It basically intercepts any calls to OPENGL being used by applications and logs them for the user to peruse. Plenty of amazing things on the OGLE site has been created by this lovely programs. Among applications that OGLE has successfully worked with in the past is GoogleEarth, World of Warcraft, Second Life, and City of Heroes.

Of course, once I read the documentaion I decided that this was something I can do because it's easy. The steps basically went like this:

-launch GoogleEarth
-find a city that has 3D structures.
-hit your super powered ctrl key
-get the resulting ogle.obj file
-import into processing.org
-increase the scale to something big like 450.0.
-manipulate image at will

It's that simple. The above image is generated using midtown NYC as the model. Manhattan seems to be one of the more fleshed-out areas of GoogleEarth. Some more images were generated below. You might want to click on them to see the bigger versions:

NewYorkColumbusCircle

This is a rendition of Columbus Circle in New York City. That big area in the front is actually Central Park. GoogleEarth's 3D structures seems to end at around the Central Park region.

NewYorkWallSt

This is an area of Manhattan I'm familiar with. This is the Battery Park area near Wall Street. I see these buildings everyday on my way to work.

Chicago

This is Chicago. You can see the Sears Tower in the back.

Seattle

Seattle's seaport area.

There are other cities I want to try out in the future. I was a little bit disappointed that GoogleEarth doesn't have a more fleshed-out Paris, Rome, and London. I think Barcelona and Amsterdam is well done so I might try those in the future.

This project is named Marduk because Marduk is the ancient Babylonian god of the city.

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