Available with 3D Analyst license.
There are several ways to import a three-dimensional (3D) model into a multipatch feature class. The files can be imported directly into a feature class, converted from 3D symbology, or interactively placed and updated inside a 3D edit session.
Each of these options is effective for specific use cases and is described in more detail below.
Import 3D models directly into a feature class
The Import 3D Files geoprocessing tool takes a collection of 3D model files and imports each model into a separate multipatch feature.
This tool is most effective for large numbers of 3D models that have been correctly georeferenced. If the models are not georeferenced—for example, they are in a local origin coordinate system centered on (0,0)—a second step to position the features correctly in geographic space is required after importing them.
Convert symbolized points into a feature class
The Layer 3D To Feature Class geoprocessing tool converts a symbolized 3D layer into 3D features. By symbolizing point features using 3D models, the source files can be converted into correctly placed, rotated, and sized multipatch features.
This tool is most effective for a small number of 3D models that are not already georeferenced. It is also effective for layers that use repetitive symbols, such as proposed building tracts with a limited number of housing models.
Interactively place or update a feature using a 3D model
The 3D editing environment allows you to interactively place a 3D model into the view as a new multipatch feature class stored within the geodatabase. You can also choose an existing multipatch feature and switch out its current geometry with an updated or new 3D model.
This workflow is most effective for digitizing new content or iteratively updating existing multipatches and requires an active 3D edit session.
Learn more about using the Insert tool to place 3D models
Learn more about the Replace With Model tool for multipatches
What are the benefits of converting 3D models into multipatch features?
Once you have converted your 3D models into multipatch features, you get several GIS benefits:
- The ability to define and maintain feature attributes
- The ability to link the feature to other data sources through relationship classes
- The ability to track changes through versioning and history
- Access to many advanced 3D analysis tools such as Construct Sight Lines, Intersect 3D Line With Multipatch, and Skyline