Create multipatch features

In the Create Features pane, feature templates for multipatch layers include construction tools for creating multipatch polygons, rectangles, and circles. They are available on the multipatch construction toolbar when you create multipatch geometry.

To create multipatch geometry, draw a face using the polygon, rectangle or circle tool, and extrude it by dragging it with the pointer. After you create the first multipatch volume, you can add additional 3D volumes to the feature.


Another way to start building a multipatch feature is to copy a polygon from a 2D layer to the clipboard and paste it to a multipatch layer using Paste Special Paste and develop it further by editing its vertices.

To learn more, see Modify a multipatch feature.

Draw a face and extrude it

  1. If the current map does not contain a multipatch feature layer, add it.
    1. On the View tab, click Catalog Pane Catalog Pane, and expand Databases Databases.
    2. Expand the default database or the database containing your data.

      To create a multipatch feature class, right-click the database, click New and click Feature Class.

    3. Drag the feature class onto the map.

      A feature template with default settings is autogenerated for the new layer.

  2. On the Edit tab, set your snapping preferences and show the Create Features pane.
    1. In the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences.

      You can press and hold Spacebar to temporarily turn snapping off as you sketch a feature.

    2. In the Features group, click Create Create Features.
  3. In the Create Features pane, choose a feature template and set your attributes values.
    1. Click a multipatch feature template.
    2. Click the active template button Forward and type the attributes values you want to apply to the feature.
  4. On the feature template toolbar, click Create 3D Geometry Create 3D Geometry to show the multipatch construction toolbar at the bottom of the current scene.
  5. On the multipatch construction toolbar, click a tool and create a face.

    Multipatch construction toolbar

    To enter numeric values, turn on Dynamic Constraints.

    • To draw a polygon, click Create 3D Geometry Create 3D Geometry and click the scene to create vertices. To close a polygon face, click the first vertex.
      Polygon with an arc

      Press A to switch between drawing a line and a circular arc. To increase or decrease the number of segments for an arc, press + or - respectively.

    • To draw a circle, click Circle Circle and click once to set the center of the circle. Move the pointer to specify the radius, and click again to finish. To specify a numeric distance, press D and type the value.
    • To draw a square or a rectangle, click Rectangle Rectangle and click to start drawing. Click again to define the first edge, drag the rectangle to specify size, and click to finish. The rectangle is constrained to the line perpendicular to the first edge.

      When you drag the pointer for the second perpendicular edge, the snapping extension line highlights when its length equals the first edge and forms a square.

    After the first click, multipatch snapping is enabled automatically. An orange square appears near the pointer when a snap agent is active. Line extensions appear as orange dashed lines and actively combine to snap to inferred intersections.

    The following table illustrates how multipatch snapping works.

    Global axis or line extension

    Global axis or line extension

    90 degree

    90 degree









    Multipatch snap agents
  6. Drag the 3D handle vertically and extrude the face.
    • To specify a numeric value, turn on Dynamic Constraints, drag the 3D handle along an axis, press the Tab key, and enter the value in the on-screen text box.
    Extrude a multipatch face
  7. To add additional 3D volumes to the feature, use the same tools to draw a polygon, circle, or rectangle on an existing face and extrude it.

    For example:

    Create 3D geometry
    Example workflow showing basic multipatch construction techniques

Move a face

To move a face, hover over the face and drag its 3D handle. You can drag a face along a global axis, face normal, face normal projected on the ground plane, and special directions from adjacent faces.

Move a face

Remove a face

To remove the current face from the feature and create an opening, press Delete. To create a opening in an existing face, draw a face on the existing face and delete it.

Move an edge

To move an edge, hover over the edge and drag its 3D handle. To create a roof, split the face by drawing a split line and dragging the resulting edge. The connected faces update automatically.

Drag an edge

Multipatch feature classes contain the vector geometry of a feature and its descriptive attributes. When you create 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.