I have three layers: 1-Parcels 2-Buildings 3-DEM

I imported them all into CityEngine and I aligned parcels and Buildings to Terrain (DEM).

I noticed that, in large parcels (see Figure 1), some buildings are floating. The reason is, the large parcel vertices have been aligned to terrain. But the middle part of the parcel has not been aligned to the height locally. So, when I align the building to the terrain, it aligns it to the terrain based on the height of the footprint of the building. Accordingly, it aligns it to a higher height and it shows the building is floating in the air.

What would be the best method for fixing this issue? Can I align a layer to a layer?

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  • I understand the hand drawn picture and that makes sense to me. But the screenshot seems to either have buildings outside the terrain area or buildings that aren't aligned to the terrain yet. – gostefan Nov 1 '17 at 8:44
  • Yes, Please ignore the screenshot. I just aligned one parcel. What do you think for fixing this issue? @gostefan – mbehnaam Nov 2 '17 at 4:40

There are multiple approaches on how to solve your issue - depending on what outcome you want. The easiest is probably to align your buildings with the parcels:

  1. Align the parcels with the terrain.
  2. Copy your terrain.
  3. Align the copied terrain to the parcel shapes (only the copied terrain).
  4. Align your building footprints to the copied terrain.
  5. Delete the terrain copy.

After this your building footprints should be co-planar with the parcels.


You can subdivide your big parcel in CityEngine and align it to the DTM.


  • But in doing so all the created shapes will be single shape without any connection to the larger shape. If you really want to do subdivision I'd rather use the polygonal shape creation tool and subdivide the shape by hand. This yields one shape with multiple faces instead of multiple shapes with one face. – gostefan Dec 1 '17 at 6:57

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