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Troubleshoot CityEngine Web Viewer

Listed below are issues you may encounter when using CityEngine Web Viewer and some recommended solutions.

Open CityEngine Web Viewer

View Web Scenes

When I open CityEngine Web Viewer, I see a message that my browser does not seem to support WebGL.

CityEngine Web Viewer requires a desktop web browser that supports WebGL, a web technology standard for rendering 3D graphics. The latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Edge desktop browsers have WebGL built in. CityEngine Web Viewer is not supported on mobile devices at this time. To test if your browser has WebGL enabled, open To troubleshoot WebGL-related issues, visit WebGL Troubleshooting.

Internet Explorer

  • Internet Explorer (IE) 11 has an experimental WebGL implementation that currently does not support all CityEngine Web Viewer features. Depending on the update version of Internet Explorer 11, the following features are either not working correctly or are missing entirely:
    • Internet Explorer11 version with WebGL 0.91
      • Not supported
    • Internet Explorer 11 version with WebGL 0.92
      • No Shadows
      • No Antialiasing
      • Flickering (z-buffer precision problems)
    • Internet Explorer 11 version with WebGL 0.93
      • No Diffuse Shadows
      • Flickering (z-buffer precision problems)


Some older versions of Safari do not have WebGL enabled by default. To enable WebGL, do the following:

  1. Click the wheel icon, click Preferences, and click Advanced.
  2. Check the box next to Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  3. In the newly enabled Develop menu, click Enable WebGL.


Some older versions of Firefox do not have WebGL enabled by default. To enable WebGL, do the following:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config.
  2. Search for WebGL.
  3. Ensure webgl.disabled is set to false.
  4. Set webgl.force-enabled to true.

When I open CityEngine Web Viewer, I see a message that my hardware does not seem to support WebGL.

Make sure that your computer hardware has a graphics card that supports WebGL and that your graphics drivers are up-to-date. To get more detailed information about WebGL requirements, visit WebGL Troubleshooting.

It takes a long time for a Web Scene to open in CityEngine Web Viewer.

Due to the large file size of CityEngine Web Scenes, and depending on your Internet connection, it can take up to several minutes for the scene to load in CityEngine Web Viewer.

When browsing in CityEngine Web Viewer, there is a long lag time and the interactivity seems slow in general.

WebGL uses your system’s graphics card; therefore, the performance of CityEngine Web Viewer directly depends on the power of your graphics card. Larger Web Scenes with more complex content require more system resources. On less powerful systems, this can lead to slow interactivity.

Below are some recommendations for improving the performance:

  • Turn off direct and diffuse shadows in the Settings pane.
  • Open only one CityEngine Web Viewer at a time. Close other browser tabs or windows that are running CityEngine Web Viewer or other WebGL content.
  • Close other 3D applications that are using the graphics hardware, for example, ArcScene.
  • Make sure your video drivers are up-to-date.
  • A Web Scene that requires more memory than your graphics card's video memory can result in a significant drop in performance and cause slow interactions. Try opening a more lightweight Web Scene or consider upgrading your graphics card.

Comment icons are not displayed in the 3D viewport.

Some systems can automatically switch between integrated graphics and dedicated graphics cards to render 3D graphics. CityEngine Web Viewer works best with a dedicated graphics card; therefore, in your graphics card driver settings, make sure the per-application settings for your web browser are set to the dedicated graphics card.