Saving a 3D document

Saving a 3D document allows you to preserve your work. A 3D document contains information about paths to your data and the 3D view's properties and layers. When you open an existing 3D document, it will appear as it did when you saved it. ArcGlobe documents have a .3dd extension, and ArcScene documents have an .sxd extension.

You can save 3D documents so that you can open and work with them in previous versions of ArcGIS. This makes it easy to share those files with other ArcGlobe or ArcScene users who have not yet upgraded to the most recent release of ArcGIS.

Saving a 3D document to a previous version of ArcGIS

With ArcGIS 10, you can save ArcGlobe documents so they can be opened and used in the ArcGIS 9/9.1/9.2/9.3 versions of ArcGlobe. ArcScene documents can be saved to ArcGIS 9.3, 9.2, 9/9.1 or ArcGIS 8.3. All ArcGIS 9.1 documents are directly compatible with ArcGIS 9, so there is no need to save them separately for use in ArcGIS 9.1.

Saving 3D documents to a previous version of ArcGIS is similar to saving map documents to a previous version. When you save a 3D document to a previous version of the software, you are only saving that .3dd or .sxd file to the previous version, not the data referenced in it. The source data referenced in the .3dd or .sxd document is unchanged. In addition, older versions of the software won't be able to support some of the new functionality and properties that were added in ArcGIS 10. For example, in ArcGlobe the background display settings for stars and atmospheric halo are dropped when saving to 9.2. As well, any 3D symbols will be converted to 2D symbols when an ArcScene document is saved to the ArcGIS 8.3 version.

For more examples like the above, see Saving to previous versions of ArcGIS. Here you will find a list of new functionality and properties that will not be available in previous versions of ArcGIS, and some tips to keep in mind when saving to ArcGIS 9.3, 9.2 and earlier.

Saving a 3D layer to a previous version of ArcGIS

You can save and share your 3D layers as layer files (.lyr) and layer packages (.lpk). A layer file references its data source, whereas a layer package is a layer saved with its data. Layer files can also be saved to previous releases of ArcGIS.

With ArcGlobe, you can save a layer file only to releases that will support it. For example, terrain layers are supported starting with version 9.2. So when you save a terrain layer, you can only save it as a 9.2 or 9.3 document; you will not be able to save it as a 9.0/9.1 document because terrain layers were not supported in those releases. In addition, if there are any layers in your group layers that the version of ArcGIS you chose to save as won't be able to draw, a dialog box appears listing them. You can then decide whether to continue with saving the copy in the format of that previous version.

Learn more about tips and steps on saving layers and layer packages. The process of saving layer files for ArcGlobe and ArcScene is the same as in ArcMap. You can also save layer packages with 3D properties.

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