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TIN To Raster


Creates a raster by interpolating its cell values from the elevation of the input TIN at the specified sampling distance.

Learn more about how TIN To Raster works


Create Raster From TIN illustration


  • Because interpolation of the input TIN surface occurs at regular intervals, some loss of information in the output raster should be expected. How well the raster represents the TIN is dependent on the resolution of the raster and the degree and interval of TIN surface variation. Generally, as the resolution is increased, the output raster more closely represents the TIN surface. Because the raster is a cell structure, it cannot maintain the hard and soft breakline edges that may be present in the TIN.

  • When exporting a large raster, consider specifying the Output Data Type as an integer to save on disk space if the accuracy requirements of your z-values are such that they can be represented by integer data.


TinRaster_3d (in_tin, out_raster, {data_type}, {method}, {sample_distance}, {z_factor}, sample_value)
ParameterExplanationData Type

The TIN dataset to process.

TIN Layer

The location and name of the output raster. When storing a raster dataset in a geodatabase or in a folder such as an Esri Grid, no file extension should be added to the name of the raster dataset. A file extension can be provided to define the raster's format when storing it in a folder, such as .tif to generate a GeoTIFF or .img to generate an ERDAS IMAGINE format file.

If the raster is stored as a TIFF file or in a geodatabase, its raster compression type and quality can be specified using geoprocessing environment settings.

Raster Dataset

The data type of the output raster can be defined by the following keywords:

  • FLOATOutput raster will use 32-bit floating point, which supports values ranging from -3.402823466e+38 to 3.402823466e+38. This is the default.
  • INTOutput raster will use an appropriate integer bit depth. This option will round Z-values to the nearest whole number and write an integer to each raster cell value.

The interpolation method used to create the raster.

  • LINEARCalculates cell values by applying linear interpolation to the TIN triangles. This is the default.
  • NATURAL_NEIGHBORSCalculates cell values by using natural neighbors interpolation of TIN triangles
sampling_method distance

The sampling method and distance used to define the cell size of the output raster.

  • OBSERVATIONSDefines the number of cells that divide the longest side of the output raster. This method is used by default with the value of 250.
  • CELLSIZEDefines the cell size of the output raster.

The factor by which Z values will be multiplied. This is typically used to convert Z linear units to match XY linear units. The default is 1, which leaves elevation values unchanged. This parameter is disabled if the spatial reference of the input surface has a Z datum with a specified linear unit.


The value that corresponds with the Sampling Distance for specifying the output raster's cell size.


Code sample

TinRaster example 1 (Python window)

The following sample demonstrates the use of this tool in the Python window.

arcpy.env.workspace = "C:/data"
arcpy.TinRaster_3d("tin", "raster.tif", data_type="INT", method="LINEAR", 
                   sample_distance="OBSERVATIONS 3500", z_factor=1)
TinRaster example 2 (stand-alone script)

The following sample demonstrates the use of this tool in a stand-alone Python script.

Name: TinRaster Example
Description: This script demonstrates how to use the 
             TinRaster tool to create rasters from 
             each TIN in the target workspace.
# Import system modules
import arcpy

# Set environment setting
arcpy.env.workspace = "C:/data"

# Set Local Variables
dataType = "INT"
sampling = "CELLSIZE 10"
zfactor = "1"

# Create list of TINs
TINList = arcpy.ListDatasets("*", "Tin")

# Verify the presence of TINs in the list
if TINList:
    # Iterate through the list of TINs
    for dataset in TINList:
        # Define the name of the output file
        outRaster = "{0}_natural.img".format(dataset)
        # Execute TinRaster
        arcpy.ddd.TinRaster(dataset, outRaster, dataType, 
                            method, sampling, zfactor)
    print("There are no TIN(s) in {0}.".format(env.workspace))

Licensing information

  • ArcGIS Desktop Basic: Requires 3D Analyst
  • ArcGIS Desktop Standard: Requires 3D Analyst
  • ArcGIS Desktop Advanced: Requires 3D Analyst

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