GEOG 497
3D Modeling and Virtual Reality

Tasks and Deliverables


Tasks and Deliverables


This assignment has three tasks associated with it. The first task will prepare you to complete the other two successfully.

Task 1: Compare all three models of Penn State’s University Park Campus

Explore all three models and software websites provided below. Working through the questions will help you prepare for Tasks 2 and 3. By now these models should be familiar to you, but you may want to take some notes to help you organize your thoughts and keep everything straight.

  • What are the pros and cons of reality modeling in comparison to procedural modeling and hands-on modeling?
  • What are the layers that have been modeled in the procedural model (Model 1)?
  • Click on one of the buildings or trees in Model 1. What happens? What types of information you can get from each shape?
  • Can you find the name of some tree species in the procedural model (Model 1)?
  • What is the difference between shell modeling and procedural modeling from GIS Data?
  • What types of information can be incorporated into the photorealistic model?
  • What are the differences between hands-on models and procedural models in terms of levels of detail?

Model 1

Procedural model created at ChoroPhronesis Lab using ESRI CityEngine and CGA Shape Grammar rules. This model is shared with you using CE WebScene. You can turn layers on and off, zoom, rotate and explore the part of campus modeled.

Video: Procedural_2015_Jade1 (00:00)

Note: This interface may take a while to load. Please be patient. To see the full size interface with additional options click the Model 1 link.

Model 2

Reality modeling created at Icon Lab using ContextCapture software from Bentley. This model is photorealistic and shared with you as a YouTube video.

Video: Penn State Virtual Campus Project (12:30) This video is not narrated.

If you want to see a larger version of the video, click the Model 2 link.

Model 3

Historical campus models (1922) created at ChoroPhronesis Lab using Sketchup. These models are combined in ESRI CityEngine with trees and base map generated using procedural rules. This model is shared with you as a flythrough YouTube video.

Video: Penn State campus in 1922 flythrough (non-360-degree version) (2:01) This video is not narrated.

If you want to see a larger version of the video, click the Model 3 link.

Task 2: Start a discussion

After reviewing all three models and taking notes, start a discussion on what you believe the advantages and disadvantages are for each of the three approaches. Make sure that you comment on each other's posts to help each other better understand the nuances and details of each one. Remember that participation is part of your final grade, so commenting on multiple peers posts is highly recommended. Please also make sure to use information from the reading assignment on Shape Grammars.

Post your response to the Lesson 4 Discussion (models) discussion.

Task 3: Write a one-page paper

Once you have posted your response and read through your peers' comments, synthesize your thoughts with the comments and write a one-page paper max about the three different approaches.

Submitting your Deliverable

Once you are happy with your paper, upload it to the Lesson 4 Assignment: Reflection Paper.

Grading Rubric

Grading Rubric
Criteria Full Credit Half Credit No Credit Possible Points
Clearly names and describes advantages and disadvantages, including time, learning curve, accessibility, applicability, flexibility, etc. 10 pts 5 pts 0 pts 10 pts
Names areas of application that are best suited to each of the approaches 3 pts 1.5 pts 0 pts 3 pts
The document is grammatically correct, typo-free, and cited where necessary 2 pts 1 pts 0 pts 2 pts
Total Points: 15