The Inspector

The Inspector is the main tool for viewing and modifying CityEngine objects. Depending on the type of object selected, the inspector adapts its user interface to provide full access to the object attributes. The inspector is invoked via Window→Inspector in the main-menu, or by pressing ALT+I.

Shape inspector showing the relevant attributes and parameters of the current selection

For CityEngine layer objects such as shapes, the inspector shows all attributes and parameters of the object. If the object is associated with a rule file, the rule file is parsed and all rule parameters are available for modification.

The inspector not only supports editing of single objects but also a collection of objects. Attributes that are unique across all objects are shown as-is. If some attribute has different values in the object collection, the attribute is marked as non-unique with the ? sign. Regardless of the uniqueness of attribute values, changing a value will apply this value to all objects in the collection. This allows for easy editing of large collections of objects.

In addition, the inspector automatically groups object collections by type so that even for heterogeneous collections multi-edit is possible.

For attribute maps, the inspector lets you change the map files, modify the bounds, and adjust the display offset (how much the rendering of the map is displaced regarding the actual map values). In addition to that, an overlay color and alpha value for the map can be specified. The mapping function can also be edited by the map inspector.

Attribute map inspector including layer attributes

Working with Object Attributes

Adding an attribute

To add an attribute to a selected object, right-click in the inspector "Object Attributes" shelf, and click on "Add Object Attribute".

Object Attributes context menu

A dialog is then displayed which allows the user to create an attribute, define its name, its value and its type.

"Create Attribute" dialog

City Engine has the following types of object attributes:

When entering the value of an attribute, the user can enter a "NaN" value for a float (Not a Number), or a "NULL" value for a String.

When entering the value for attributes arrays, separate the values with a semi-colon. For example :

Editing an array attribute with the List Editor Dialog

Edit the array attributes by clicking Edit List... from the drop-down menu.

"Edit List..." drop-down menu

After clicking Edit List... a dialog box opens.

"Edit List..." dialog

The user can modify the values by editing the second column cells.

It is also possible to replicate the elements, to add one element, duplicate one element, or delete elements by using the toolbar. Pressing OK will record the new values in the data model and the scene.

"Edit List..." toolbar

Editing tables attributes with the Table Editor Dialog

If an object has many attribute arrays which follow the prefix_... syntax, when you click the drop-down menu the Inspector will show Edit Table... for each of the attributes.

"Edit Table..." drop-down menu

It is possible to edit all these array attributes in the same dialog window. The user can modify the values by editing the table cells.

"Edit Table..." dialog

Each array attribute is displayed in one column of the table.

It is also possible to replicate the lines, to add one line, duplicate one line, or delete lines by using the toolbar as in the List Editor Dialog. Pressing OK will record the new values in the data model and the scene.

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