Skip To Content

Create multipatch features

In the Create Features pane, feature templates for multipatch layers include tools that create features from polygon faces and predefined generic shapes that you can edit in an additive workflow to develop a feature.

As you create or modify multipatch geometry or hover over existing shapes or terrain, active constraints help you snap the pointer orthogonal to the feature or to the coordinate system, 90 degrees to other segments, and to midpoints and vertices of other edges.

You can also start a new multipatch feature by copying a 2D polygon to the clipboard and pasting it to a multipatch layer using Paste Special Paste, and use Vertices Edit Vertices to extrude or split faces, add and remove faces, and drag edges.

For steps to add 3D models directly into your map or scene, see Add a 3D model as a multipatch feature.

Create 3D Geometry

Create 3D geometry

Use Create 3D Geometry Create 3D Geometry to create 3D geometry from polygon faces and edit them to develop the feature. After you drag and extrude the first polygon face you can continue to add other faces, split existing faces, and drag edges until your feature is completed.

You can edit a multipatch feature using the following methods:

  • To split a face and create two faces, such as a pitched rooftop, create a splitting line across the face and drag the edges by its 3D handle.
  • To add and extrude a new face, create a 3D polygon on an existing face its drag the 3D handle.
  • To create a hole, create a face on an existing face, drag its 3D handle into the feature at the appropriate depth, and press the Delete key.
  • To stretch an existing face, hover near an edge and drag the 3D handle.

When you drag a face or an edge, directional constraints appear automatically as arrows. Depending on its alignment with the unfinished feature, you can constrain a face or edge orthogonal to the x- or y-axis of the map, perpendicular to its base face or to an adjacent face, or in a direction taken as the average between two adjacent faces.

  1. In the Catalog pane, add a multipatch layer to your map using one of the following methods:
    • Expand Databases Database Folder, expand the database containing your data, and drag the feature class onto the map.
    • Right-click the default database, click New, click Feature Class Polygon feature class, type the feature class name, choose Multipatch for the geometry type, select the coordinate system, and click Run Run.

    The layer is added to the map, and a feature template with default settings is automatically created.

  2. On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  3. In the pane, click a multipatch feature template.

    The tool palette appears in the pane.

  4. Next to the tool palette, click the forward arrow Forward.

    The tool palette and the feature attribute table for the active template appear in the pane.

  5. On the Edit tab, in the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences, and move the pointer back to the map.
  6. In the pane, click Create 3D Geometry Create 3D Geometry.

    The tool becomes active and the multipatch toolbar appears.

    Create 3D geometry from polygons
    Multipatch toolbar

  7. In the attribute table, type the values you want to apply to the new feature.
  8. In the scene, create the polygon face.
    • To close the polygon, hover near the first vertex until the pointer changes to a circle, and click the vertex

    When you close the polygon, the region is shaded and a 3D handle appears on its face.

  9. Drag the 3D handle to extrude the face and release it at the appropriate height.
  10. To develop the feature further, create, extrude, split, or remove additional faces.
  11. To complete the feature, click Finish Finish.

Add a predefined shape

Use a predefined shape such as a cube or a cylinder when you need to add a simple 3D volume to a scene, or to help you eliminate a few steps when creating a more complex feature. You can set the size and orientation of the feature before you add it to your scene.

You can edit a shape with Vertices Edit Vertices and extrude or split faces, add faces, and drag edges. The editing methods are the same as Create 3D Geometry Create 3D Geometry.

  1. In the Catalog pane, add a multipatch layer to your map using one of the following methods:
    • Expand Databases Database Folder, expand the database containing your data, and drag the feature class onto the map.
    • Right-click the default database, click New, click Feature Class Polygon feature class, type the feature class name, choose Multipatch for the geometry type, select the coordinate system, and click Run Run.

    The layer is added to the map, and a feature template with default settings is automatically created.

  2. On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  3. In the pane, click a multipatch feature template.

    The tool palette appears in the pane.

  4. Next to the tool palette, click the forward arrow Forward and click a predefined shape.

    The tool palette and controls for changing the default attribute values and tool settings appear in the pane.

    Create multipatch shapes

  5. In the pane, click a predefined shape:
    • Cone Multipatch Cone—Creates a tapered multipatch cone.
    • Cube Multipatch Cube—Creates a multipatch box.
    • Cylinder Multipatch Cylinder—Creates a straight multipatch cylinder.
    • Diamond Multipatch Diamond—Creates a multipatch octahedron with eight triangular faces.
    • Hexagon Multipatch Hexagon—Creates a multipatch hexagonal prism.
    • Sphere Multipatch Sphere—Creates a multipatch sphere.
    • Sphere Frame Multipatch Sphere Frame—Creates a multipatch sphere consisting of 10 equally spaced spherical wedge surfaces and 10 spherical wedge surface gaps.
    • Tetrahedron Multipatch Tetrahedron—Creates a multipatch tetrahedron with four triangular faces.

    Parameter settings and a preview of the feature appear in the pane.

  6. To set the size and orientation of the feature, scroll the tool parameters, and expand and set one or more of the following settings:
    • Size—The feature height (Z), width (X), and depth (Y).

      Click the vertical bracket control to link or unlink the dimensions. Linking dimensions scales the model proportionally.

    • Rotation—The feature angle, tilt, and roll in 3D space.
    • Position—The insertion point of the feature along its x-, y-, and z-axis.
  7. To restore the settings saved with the feature template, click Reset.
  8. Click Attributes Attributes and type the attribute values you want to apply to the new feature.
  9. On the Edit tab, in the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences, and move the pointer back to the map.
  10. In the scene, click a surface to create the shape.

    The multipatch feature is inserted in the scene.

  11. Press the Esc key to exit the insert mode.
  12. To edit the shape, in the Modify Features pane, click Vertices Edit Vertices.
  13. To complete the feature, click Finish Finish.
Note:

Multipatch feature classes contain the vector geometry of a feature and its descriptive attributes. When you create new multipatch features, consider the following:

  • Multipatch features are enclosed volumes defined with three-dimensional rings and triangular patches. They are used to model the outer surface or shell of natural and as-built 3D features. Examples include trees, buildings, bridges, and interior spaces. You can create multipatch features from scratch, or import 3D models to a multipatch feature class.
  • Feature templates that create multipatch features include several tools to create multipatch features in different ways. You can import 3D models directly into your map or scene, create multipatch features from scratch by creating and extruding polygons using an additive workflow, or start with a basic 3D shape and modify it until you create the feature you need.