Display options for TIN surfaces

The internal structure of a TIN contains nodes, edges, and faces, which can independently display different surface characteristics in either ArcMap or ArcScene. These surface characteristics include slope, aspect, elevation, and contours.

Display options for TIN surfaces can be accessed from the TIN surfaces' properties. Double-click the layer to open the Layer Properties dialog box and click the Symbology tab. Here, you have access to symbols, labels, color schemes, and layer renderers. Click the Add button to display the choices of TIN surfaces display renderers. Use the other tabs to set other display features such as visibility ranges, transparency, and turning attribute fields on or off. The following table shows the different symbology renderers available for TIN surfaces.

TIN Surface renderers in ArcMap and ArcScene

TIN surface renderers

TIN renderer

Types of renderers



Contour with the same symbol


  • Face aspect with graduated color ramp
  • Face elevation with graduated color ramp
  • Face slope with graduated color ramp
  • Face tag value grouped with unique symbol
  • Faces with the same symbol

Terrain Faces


  • Edge type grouped with unique symbol
  • Edge with the same symbol

Terrain Edges


  • Node elevation with graduated color ramp
  • Node tag values grouped with unique symbol
  • Node with the same symbol

Terrain Nodes Renderers

TIN layer renderers
  • Slope values range between 0 and 90 degrees, where 0 indicates no slope. Aspect is also measured in degrees. North is 0 degrees, east is 90 degrees, south is 180 degrees, and west is 270 degrees.
  • Checking the Show hillshade illumination effect in 2D display box makes a TIN look more three-dimensional when it's displayed in 2D because it simulates the sun's illumination of the earth's surface.
  • You can click the Classify button to change the method of classification of the elevation, slope, or aspect.

For steps on displaying TIN surfaces in ArcMap or ArcScene by symbolizing different features, refer to the following topics:

Published 6/7/2010