An overview of the 3D Analyst toolbox

Use the ArcGIS 3D Analyst geoprocessing tools to create, modify, and analyze TIN, raster, and terrain surfaces, then extract information and features from them. The 3D Analyst toolsets let you convert TINs to features and rasters; create 3D features from functional surfaces by extracting height information; interpolate information from rasters; mathematically manipulate rasters; reclassify rasters; and derive height, slope, aspect, and volumetric information from TINs and rasters.

Creating surfaces and 3D data can help you harness information from your GIS data that was not readily apparent in its 2D form.

Learn more about surfaces and surface models

Learn more about feature data and 3D

Once you have created your data structures and derived result sets, you can use ArcScene or ArcGlobe to visualize your data in 3D.

3D Analyst has a comprehensive array of toolsets that contain a rich set of tools to accomplish a wide variety of tasks. Some of the tools work with TINs, some with rasters, and some with either type of surface. Tools are available to help you create TINs and rasters, convert between formats and surface components, conduct surface analysis, and interpolate and perform functions on rasters.

The following table lists the available toolsets in 3D Analyst and a brief description of each:



3D Features

The 3D Features tools allow you to manipulate features and surfaces in 3D.


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.

Functional Surface

Functional surface tools let you extract elevation information from surfaces into output feature classes.

Raster Interpolation

Raster interpolation tools create continuous raster surfaces from a given set of sample points.

Raster Math

Raster math tools apply a specified mathematical function on each cell of an input raster or series of rasters.

Raster Reclass

Raster reclass tools enable the changing of input cell values with new output cell values.

Raster Surface

Raster surface tools enable you to analyze input raster surfaces.

Terrain And TIN Surface

Terrain and TIN Surface tools allow you to create feature classes that extract 3D information from terrain or TIN surfaces. Using the Terrain and TIN Surface toolset, you can determine patterns that are not readily apparent in the original surface, such as slope and aspect. You can derive contours or isolines and convert polygons to multipatches based on elevation information.

Terrain Management

The Terrain Management toolset is used to create and manage terrain datasets. Terrain datasets are TIN-based, multiresolution surfaces made from measurements stored in feature classes. Terrains reside inside feature datasets and are composed of participating feature classes and rules that govern their participation.

TIN Management

You can create TIN surfaces from vector data containing elevation information using the ArcGIS 3D Analyst TIN Management tools. You can create an empty TIN with a spatial reference and add features to it when they become available. You can also add features to existing TINs to enforce real-world structures in the TIN surface model.

Overview of 3D Analyst toolsets table