Can I create a European city square in SimCity 3000? (... from a current non-user)

Dear Experts, I do not actually own the simulation myself but I have an idea for a project and I am wondering if it would be do-able within the SimCity environment. I'd like to create a 3D simulation of the market square of the city of Bruges, Belgium... right down to each building (an ambitious project, I know). Just from googling around, I see that it is possible to create one's own custom buildings within SimCity 3000 Unlimited, so I'm thinking that it could be the best/easiest platform for me to accomplish this - since I'm not really experienced at all in 3D computer-aided design softwares or techniques. Could it be a simple as taking photos of each individual building in the square (from different angles), and importing these into SimCity 3000 Unlimited software to have it rendered in 3D?
   Thanks to all who reply and help to point me in the right direction!

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I would go with SimCity 4 as you can use Google Sketchup to create custom buildings and there are a lot online resources to get you started with Sketchup.  You might have a harder time with SimCity 3000 as there aren't as many resources to creating custom models.

Good luck.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
If you Google this you'll find a YouTube on Importing exisiting rendered buildings into Sketchup and using it to convert to SimCity objects which is great if you already have a rendered building that you can use.  There are however a few issues you'll need to overcome first.

The (unsupported) editing tool for SimCity (BAT) to do this with only works with SC4 and SC4 Rush Hour Deluxe so you will need that version of the game engine installed.  Most players work with imports of existing structures that are rendered in other programs and available on the Web and import them not faithful reconstructions of whole scenes.

Have you ever created a 3D representation of an actual building from scratch?  Taking photographs and wrapping them around a 3D building frame will look, well - flat.  You are going to need a lot of time put aside for this especially if you are going for something so architecturally complex as medieval Bruges. (My guess is it would take far less time to render most of Manhattan!).

Depending on your current 3D skills I'd suggest you try a basic render of something like the Belfry tower to give you an idea of what's involved.

I think it's a great plan (I would love to see the center of Bruges rendered like this) but I also think you are going to need a lot of people to help you put in the hours required.

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shawn857Author Commented:
Thanks for the responses guys... sounds like you both agree on SC4 over SC3000. But let me give you a little more insight into what I'm trying to do: I'm not really interested in having my rendering be *exact*, so in that way I would actually be okay with "Taking photographs and wrapping them around a 3D building frame" as Masq said. It doesn't need to be perfect. Additionally, because there is literally zero space between individual buildings in the square, I really don't care about rendering the "depth" of them.... I just care about the front "facade" of the building that is visible when the viewer is placed in the middle of the square and "walking" through it. The other little twist to this, is that I'd like to "re-arrange" some of these individual buildings. For instance, I'd like to take a few buildings from the central square of Brussels or Ghent and fit those in too. Think of it as basically building a "composite" square of buildings from different Belgian cities.

Masq - I have *zero* 3D skills... I've never done this before. That's why I'm looking for the easiest, most straightforward way to do it. My thought/hope was I could obtain a few photos of each individual building I want (from a few different angles).. crop out everything from the photo except the desired building, and using some software, render a 3d object from these photos, and then arrange these 3D objects in a layout to form a city square. Maybe the SimCity approach is not as straightforward as I figured... but I'm open to any and all suggestions to get me on the best path!
shawn857Author Commented:
When I say I don't really care about the "depth" of my buildings... I mean sort of like what you see here in the short video from the creators of the "Make3d" software at Cornell University:

I just came across this a few minutes ago while googling around. Do you think the pseudo-3d models that make3d produces could somehow be imported into SimCity to build my square... or any other CAD platform for that matter?

shawn857Author Commented:
Update: been doing more research and it appears SketchUp will be the best option for me. Thanks guys for your input.

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