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# looking for a way to convert shapefiles to 3d to use in Blender

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Hi,
I was wondering if somone here can point me in the right direction, either by a different forum discussing about 3D modeling City Developmert, or someone here knows more about it. In the past I have tried different types of software that can produce City Procedural Development, such as Blended Cities (a python script for Blender 3D) and another one was Urban Pad. Both of these engines are very complicated to use, and Blended Cities is way by far still in not perfect running standards. My Urban Pad free trial had expired, and it does not fully support my integraded graphics card. However, just recently I have been researching, and understanding that it is possible to grab a shapefile from GIS software and convert it to 3D. One example I have just recently found at slideshare's website, was how UbrbanPad supports importing shapefiles to develop the street map and then afterwords export it to Unreal Tornument. (you can find the video here
However, due to the lack of \$ and my computer does not fully support UrbanPad, I was thinking of another option. Possible options I think could work would be to know how to convert a shapefile to Blender or writing my own script, which I do not know how to do either option. I tried googling "converting shapefile to 3d", but most of the results I have found were about how this can be done using ArcGis, which is also not free.

So basically, I am looking for a way to convert a shapefile to use in Blender. Does anyone have experience with shapefiles or knows of a forum for this type of discussion. I have tried for almost a year now abd still cannot find how this can be done for free

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You'll likely have to write your own converter to an acceptable format. Blender imports several formats. You can google for "shapefile library" and find support for several languages. If you know Python, the pyshp library (on google-code?) would probably be best as Blender is quite Python friendly.

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You'll likely have to write your own converter to an acceptable format. Blender imports several formats. You can google for "shapefile library" and find support for several languages. If you know Python, the pyshp library (on google-code?) would probably be best as Blender is quite Python friendly.

Thank you Buckeye. Also, if I understand you, I am assuming a shp script file, such as pyshp library only reads the file but does not convert the vector lines into 3d streets. Am I correct on that? if so this is the part I am stuck on, turning the line data into 3d roads. Any solution for that?

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[quote name='Buckeye' timestamp='1299421793' post='4782411']
You'll likely have to write your own converter to an acceptable format. Blender imports several formats. You can google for "shapefile library" and find support for several languages. If you know Python, the pyshp library (on google-code?) would probably be best as Blender is quite Python friendly.

Thank you Buckeye. Also, if I understand you, I am assuming a shp script file, such as pyshp library only reads the file but does not convert the vector lines into 3d streets. Am I correct on that? if so this is the part I am stuck on, turning the line data into 3d roads. Any solution for that?
[/quote]
Hmm. Not sure what you mean by "I am assuming a shp script file..." If you mean a python script to read the shapefile, I believe that's the intent of the library. I used pyshp only briefly, I'm afraid, as I went on to shapelib (another library for C++). I don't know if pyshp includes exporting any particular format, but I would sincerely doubt it does anything as specific as you want.

If you want to import something into Blender (assuming you can't find a specific shapefile-to-whatyouwant converter ), you'll need to be familiar with both shapefile data and the particular file format you want to convert it to. I assumed you have some programming experience and are familiar with the shapefile specification. If not, and you really want to do what you describe, you may have to (at least) learn python. It's one of the easier languages to learn. You'll certainly have to become familiar with the format specifications of shapefiles and some file format that Blender will import.