Crysis’ Virtual London

An amazing work in progress is being unveiled over at Digital Urban, the blog of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London. They’re importing models from the Big Smoke into the Crysis engine, with astounding results. “Our London model goes out to the M25 covering 3 million buildings,” says Andy from Digital Urban, in the comments thread following this piece.

GameTrailers, you’re the capital city of the internet.

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  1. AbyssUK says:

    Won’t somebody think of the terrorists!!

    But seriously this will be shut down, due to security concerns I bet my last 10 pence.

  2. Philip says:

    Won’t somebody think of the terrorists!!

    But seriously this will be shut down, due to security concerns I bet my last 10 pence.

    I thought about posting that; again, I thought I was being old and cynical…

  3. Jonathan Burroughs says:

    How very strange to have a virtual flyover of the very office you’re currently sitting in.

  4. Nallen says:

    I’m pretty fucking far from astounded, is there something impressive about this that’s not obvious to the layman?

  5. DigitalSignalX says:

    Add some live ammo on that helicopter, some textures, some vehicles and pedestrians scurrying around in a panic, and you could definitely have hours of fun. There is *no* substitute for flying guns blazing through a well rendered city, unless they added Godzilla and a pig with a hat.

  6. ɹǝʌo llǝɟ ı poƃ ʎɯ ɥo says:

    Yeah, what’s astounding about this?

    It wasn’t even that impressive when Google Earth did this kind of schtick years ago.

  7. roBurky says:

    But will those buildings collapse if I jump on top and superpunch the roof?

  8. Jim Rossignol says:

    Meh, I was impressed. Importing a major city into game engines tickles my imagination though.

  9. digitalurban says:

    The movie is only a work in progress – as the blog states, although we feel crysis is impressive in the level of detail that can be achieved in only two days and thats including working out how to use it.

    We will have a tutorial online sometime next week, fingers crossed…. its all about outreach and sharing the techniques.

    Our London model goes out to the M25 covering 3 million buildings for those interested :)

    Andy (of Digital Urban)

  10. AbyssUK says:

    Didn’t the Getaway team do something similar on the ps2 for london ? I remember some screenshots of a next gen getaway apparently heading towards the PS3.. that also was mean’t to have london modeled and textured from the M25 inwards.

  11. drunkymonkey says:

    “Our London model goes out to the M25 covering 3 million buildings for those interested ”


    I’m looking forward to seeing more of this, then.

  12. James T says:


    ‘Cryminy’, surely?

  13. Nick says:

    This makes me think about how cool the nanosuit would be in an urban environment

  14. Andrew says:

    Wow, that’s quite a number of buildings! Perhaps that’s why it’s impressive ɹǝʌo :)

  15. Slappeh says:

    Yeah, it’s impressive to me just because of the sheer size of the area model, I knew Crysis could handle large environments but bloody ell!

  16. raigan says:

    meh.. we had it first with the Toronto HL2 mod ;p

  17. Nallen says:

    Oh don’t get me wrong, if this was London mapped with the detail of Crysis all the way out to the M25 I’d pay real life cash money just to spend the time wandering about in it.

    The fact that it has about the same graphical detail as a 10 year old flight sim/google earth at the moment doesn’t really impress though.

    Also, yes, the Crysis editor is very easy to use even for an idiot like myself. I’m sure technical gurus the likes of which are putting this together would have a field day with it.

    Looking forward to the tutorial so I can get a better idea of what work actually went in to it.

  18. Raptornas says:

    Theres some textured sections in the link, I’d really like to see a fully fledged High Res London imported into a GTA style engine and empty the streets just so you could drive about like a loon.

    Would be awesome for teaching cabbies the ‘knowledge’ and what not too.

  19. ryan in exile says:

    you only love us for our bandwidth

  20. Thiefsie says:

    This is amazing for an architectural person, not only because of the breadth of the model they are using (I would kill for that! the sheer data size of it is amazing), but that it is rendered real time after who knows what sort of compiling to get it into Crysis. Architectural rendering is OK, but never real-time… that is where this could be good.

    Of course it isn’t textured… how do you think they made the model? Most likely they had land plots or rough outlines of every building from space and then assigned the right heights to them… and of course buildings of note were modeled close to real form. Texturing everything in there would take decades.

  21. Zeh says:

    You know what I’ve always dreamed of? Someway to get satellite data and the kmz buildings they use on Google Earth and the ability to walk around like a FPS. It’d be fun for some hiking simulation.

  22. Sum0 says:

    I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Visual Flight London (link to, which is essentially 7000 textured custom buildings and aerial photo textures in the London area for Flight Simulator X.