cmiVFX Releases New Houdini XML and GPS Based City Construction Video

High Definition Training Videos for the Visual Effects Industry
Princeton, NJ (April 26, 2010) – cmiVFX launches its latest Full Feature training video in Houdini Generating Regional Procedural City Skeletons using Real GPS Data.  Once again on the cutting edge of creating real world projects, cmiVFX demonstrates how to import map data and create Virtual Cities from around the world.  Generating cities or street level data previously would take weeks or months and a team of artist.  cmiVFX has streamlined that process with this innovative New Houdini series of creating skeleton cities.   
When it comes to high end CG and VFX training, there is only once choice... cmiVFX!  This video is available today at the cmiVFX store for a Special Introductory Offer Price!
Don’t forget about the cmiSubscription plan! Get one today. cmiVFX launched the most affordable subscription plan in Visual FX Training History for only $299 USD, and if you were a subscriber, this New Training Release would already be in your account. For more information on our subscriptions: cmiVFX | Subscriptions_And_Pricing
Houdini: – Generating Regional Procedural City Skeletons 
Introduction
There is an increasing demand for creating virtual cities for film and broadcasting projects, however getting a city built and prepare it for deployment is not an easy task. The time and resources spent can be very time consuming and costly.  cmiVFX provides an innovative solution in automating this virtual city generation process and reduces the time considerably as well as the resources allocated.
Nothing is better than Houdini for such projects, but this course is not limited to just this application, the techniques demonstrated here can be utilized with any other 3D application and it will work the same.
OSM GPS Data
There are many techniques that can be used to generate city patterns; in this video the one demonstrated will be how to use the data of a real life city, exported from openstreetmaps.org, to generate a custom variant of it.  The city data used is the same kind of data used in GPS devices, while the GPS uses it to give routing information and data, here the data will be used to generate 3D cities.
XML Conversion
The first step in the process is to identify what city will be the target of the project.  Once the city is determined the OSM data must be exported from the open street map, which is an XML variant.  Manhattan being the city of choice for this tutorial project, the video will demonstrate how to export Manhattan's data from Open Street Map (OSM).  An overview will also be given to learn more about this data and its structure.
Parsing In Python
The exported data must be parsed into Houdini and Python scripting is the method of choice with this project.  The data will be explored in more detail and the utilization of a Houdini Python SOP will write the corresponding code that will parse the first main part of the data and transform it into Houdini points. (Resembling our city of choice.)
Paving The Roadways
Combining the points already created in the previous sections with the second main part of our OSM data, this section will dive deeper into the data analysis.  Covering more detail in the parsing and coding, the ability to be able to reconstruct the pattern of the city and treat different data types differently, like the roads, parks and buildings, will be discussed at lenght.  At the end of this section the main skeleton of the city will be constructed and ready to be built upon.
Geometry Population
Begin filling the city with buildings, utilizing the OSM data.  It is very important to mention that this data does not contain everything; in particular it does not contain all the buildings, a lot of them will be missing.  To resolve this problem, the implementation of another Open Street Map export type will be utilized to extract the missing buildings using Houdini’s COP’s and customize the contour shapes if needed.  The city will then be filled completely with the respective buildings.
Finalization
When the city skeleton is nearly ready the final data you have will be ready for part 2 in this series. (To be released in 2 week increments)  In less than 2 hours you will learn how to take raw data from an internet map website and transform it into a full 3D city!
This video is available today at the cmiVFX Video Player Online Store
About cmiVFX
cmiVFX is the leader in High Definition Video Training for the Visual Effects Community. Register for FREE and receive hours of FREE content at the cmiVFX Video-on-Demand Player. For additional information about cmiVFX, visit www.cmivfx.com. © 2010 cmiVFX | cmiStudios. All rights reserved.

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