An overview of the 3D Analyst Conversion toolset


Conversion tools allow you to convert surfaces to different formats or convert TIN surfaces to the features that comprise them. You can use conversion tools to convert TINs to rasters, rasters to TINs, or TINs to features.

Use these tools to convert surfaces to different formats that allow different types of analysis, show different interpretations, or extract features from TINs that you can use to enhance your analysis results or visualization in 3D.

Converting between raster and TIN formats allows you to employ the benefits of each while modeling the same surface. For example, use a TIN to model a surface if you have features, such as lines or polygons, that you want to use to enforce natural features, such as ridges or valleys, or clip a TIN to a study area. Convert this TIN to a raster using the natural neighbors interpolation option to preserve the linear features in the output raster. You'll now be able to use spatial operators on the raster that may not have been available for the TIN. In addition, the TIN to raster conversion is a smoothing process, so contours you generate on the raster will be smoother than they would be as a TIN.

If you have supplemental data for a raster surface, such as breakline data, you can convert the raster to a TIN, then add the features to the TIN. You can then convert it back to a raster using natural neighbors interpolation to preserve the breaklines or use the TIN for your visualization or analysis.

Learn how to convert rasters and TINs

Learn how to convert TINs to features

Learn more about 3D visualization

The following table lists the tools in the conversion toolset and a brief description of each:


From Feature Class Geoprocessing Tools
Geoprocessing Tool Description
Layer 3D to feature Class Applies 3D properties to a new multipatch feature class.
Feature Class Z to ASCII Exports a 3D feature class to either an xyz ASCII text file or GENERATE file.
Mulitpatch Footprint Converts multipatches into polygons.


From File Geoprocessing Tools
Geoprocessing Tool Description
ASCII 3D To Feature Class Imports 3D features from an ASCII file into a new feature class.
Import 3D Files Imports a 3D model into a feature class.
LAS To Multipoint Imports LAS file(s) into a multipoint feature class.
Point File Information Generates statistics about one or more input files.


From Raster Geoprocessing Tools
Geoprocessing Tool Description
Raster Domain Creates a new 3D feature class based on the interpolation zone of the raster.
Raster To TIN Converts a Raster to a TIN.


From Terrain Geoprocessing Tools
Geoprocessing Tool Description
Terrain To Raster Converts a Terrain dataset into a Raster.
Terrain To TIN Converts a Terrain dataset into a TIN.


From TIN Geoprocessing Tools
Geoprocessing Tool Description
TIN Domain Converts a TIN to a polygon or line feature class based on its domain.
TIN Edge Converts TIN triangle edges to a fine feature class.
TIN Line Converts TIN breaklines into a 3D polyline feature class.
TIN Node Converts TIN nodes to a point feature class.
TIN Polygon Tag Converts a TIN to a polygon feature class based on tag values.
TIN to Raster Converts a TIN to a raster.
TIN Triangle Converts TIN triangles to a polygon feature class.

See Also