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Create multipatch features

In the Create Features pane, feature templates for multipatch layers include construction tools that enable you to create multipatch features from standard predefined 3D shapes or start with a single 3D face and develop your feature using an additive workflow.

To add 3D models from a gallery of imported 3D models, see Add a 3D model as a multipatch feature.

Create 3D geometry

When you create a multipatch feature using Create 3D Geometry Create 3D Geometry, you start by sketching a face and extruding it by dragging it or using dynamic constraints to specify a depth. You can add additional faces and split them, create openings, and drag edges until your feature is complete.

Tip:

As an alternative to this workflow, you can copy a 2D polygon to the clipboard and paste it to a multipatch layer using Paste Special Paste, and use Vertices Edit Vertices to extrude it and develop your feature.

To learn more, see Modify a multipatch feature.

  1. Add a multipatch layer to the active scene from the Catalog pane using one of the following methods:
    • Expand Databases Databases 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 active template button Forward.

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

    Create 3D geometry from polygons
  5. In the pane, click Create 3D Geometry Create 3D Geometry.

    The tool becomes active and the editing toolbar appears.

    Multipatch toolbar

  6. In the attribute table, type the values you want to apply to the new feature.
  7. Click the scene.

    The tool enters sketch mode and creates the first point of the new face.

  8. Move the pointer and click the face again to create a new edge segment.
  9. Create the remaining segments for the new face.

    Notice active constraints appear, and snap when you hover 90 degrees from the first edge, parallel or orthogonal to other edges.

  10. Hover over the first point of the first segment.

    Notice the active endpoint constraint appears and snaps to the endpoint.

  11. Click the scene and sketch a face and extrude it by dragging it or using dynamic constraints to specify a depth.
  12. Close the polygon by clicking the first endpoint of the first segment.

    Closing the polygon shades the new region and a 3D handle appears at its centroid.

  13. To set the extrusion depth, do one of the following:
    • Drag the 3D handle vertically.
    • 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.
    Dynamic constraints
  14. To develop the feature further, you can use the following methods:
    • To split a face, click an edge, sketch a cutting line across the face, and click the opposite edge. You can drag the new common edge vertically and create a ridge.
    • To create an opening, sketch a face onto an existing face and press Delete.
    • To add a new volume, click an existing face and sketch a closed polygon. You can drag the new face to set its extrusion depth.
    • To stretch two adjacent faces, drag the common edge.
    Create 3D geometry

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

  15. To complete the feature, click Finish Finish.

Create a predefined shape

Use a predefined shape such as a cube or a cylinder when you need to add a 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.

  1. In the Catalog pane, add a multipatch layer to your map using one of the following methods:
    • Expand Databases Databases, 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 active template button 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 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.