Frequently asked question

How do I Import existing 3D modeling data?

Last Published: October 20, 2023


An Advanced CityEngine license allows the importation of .dae, .dxf, file geodatabase, .kml, .obj, .osm, and Esri shapefile formats. ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro import .3ds, .wrl, .skp, .flt, and .dae formats. This is important, as many users export from 3D Studio Max to its native format, and this is one of the few widely used formats that CityEngine cannot import but Desktop can. DAE is an extremely useful format, as it is built upon an open standard XML schema that supports mesh geometry as well as materials and textures.

The most efficient way to import 3D files into ArcGIS Desktop and/or ArcGIS Pro is through use of the Import 3D Files (3D Analyst) geoprocessing tool. Simply point to one of the supported input file formats and specify an output feature class location. This tool converts imported 3D models to multipatch to be stored in either a file geodatabase or a shapefile feature class. It is important to note that if model textures are present, the output must be to a file geodatabase, as shapefiles cannot store texture information.

If you already have an existing set of multipatches, the Replace with Model geoprocessing tool can be used within the ArcScene 3D editing environment. This is a particularly useful workflow, as a series of georeferenced points can be created and converted to multipatches by applying 3D symbology. Models can then be correctly placed in coordinate space. To scale interactively, SHIFT+right-click. The model can also be moved using the other editing tools from the 3D Editor dropdown.

Article ID:000013233

  • ArcGIS CityEngine Prev
  • ArcMap
  • ArcGIS Pro 1 x

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