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Interactive slice creation methods

An exploratory analysis slice object can be created in a variety of ways based on your workflow.

The creation methods are as follows:

  • Interactive Plane
  • Plane From Feature
  • Plane From Camera
  • Interactive Volume
  • From Layer

To create an interactive slice, click the Analysis tab and click the Slice tool Slice from the gallery in the 3D Exploratory Analysis group. This opens the Exploratory Analysis pane, and the tool is active and ready to use.

Each creation method listed on the Create tab generates a slice plane using the parameters displayed in the Exploratory Analysis pane. Changes to the default parameters for a creation method only affect the next newly created slice.

You can interactively edit an existing slice object at any time once it has been selected by using the anchors that appear on the graphic. You can optionally update values using the Properties tab in the Exploratory Analysis pane. A custom configuration of the slice tool can be added to the template gallery to reuse the current tool settings. Updating properties also allows you to determine which layers are affected by the slice object.

Note:

Slice planes have no creation limit and do not impact the display budget as other interactive analysis objects do.

When creating slice planes, it is helpful to reposition the view to change the viewing perspective. You can orient the camera by repositioning the scene view anytime a slice tool is active by pressing the C key as a shortcut to the Explore tool Explore Tool. Optionally use the Navigator control Navigator in the lower left of the scene.

Interactive Plane

Place one or more slice planes in the scene by interactively clicking to place one side of the slice plane, and clicking again to set the orientation and the width. The planes are generated as horizontal or vertical based on creation settings in the Exploratory Analysis pane. This creation method is well suited for general exploratory slicing within a scene, such as pushing vertically down through a building, or pushing horizontally through a geological structure.

Note:

Interactive Plane is compatible with snapping. Enable snapping in the scene view for more precise placement. For example, vertex or edge snapping allows you to snap to the edge or corner of a building.

  1. Click the Interactive Plane creation method Interactive Plane if it's not already active. This is the default creation method the first time the Exploratory Analysis pane opens.
  2. Set the Plane Direction parameter by choosing one of the following:
    • Vertical—Creates a square, vertical standing plane
    • Horizontal—Creates a square, horizontal laying plane
  3. Click in the scene to place the initial construction point. Notice the plane is pinned here and you can pivot to preview the plane shape as an outline.
  4. Move the pointer to preview the plane shape and click in the scene to complete it. The slice plane is added to the scene.
  5. The Interactive Plane creation tool remains active. Continue to add more slices or click another tool, such as the Explore tool Explore Tool on the Map tab, to stop creating slice planes.

Plane From Feature

Place a slice plane in the scene using the extent of an existing 3D feature. This method is well suited for slicing through specific containing features such as extruded polygons or multipatch building shells.

Interactive Plane is compatible with snapping. Enable snapping in the scene view to assist with the choice of feature.

  1. Click the Plane From Feature creation method Use Feature in the Exploratory Analysis pane.
  2. Set the Plane Direction parameter by choosing one of the following:
    • Horizontal—Creates a horizontal plane based on the 2D extent of the clicked feature, oriented north
    • Vertical—Creates a vertical plane based on the volumetric extent of the clicked feature, oriented toward the current camera position
  3. Click a feature in the scene to generate a slice plane from its geometry. The extent of the feature's geometry defines the size of the plane. For point features, which don't have an extent, the slice plane dimensions are a 100-by-100-meter square.
  4. The Plane From Feature creation tool remains active. Continue to add more slices or click another tool, such as the Explore tool Explore Tool on the Map tab, to stop creating slice planes.

Plane From Camera

Add a slice plane in the scene using the view's current camera position. This method is well suited for creating distance-based slices from an important view point—for example, on top of a building. The slice that is created is aligned to the tilt and heading of the camera, and you use a depth slider to push or pull the slice along the current view vector.

  1. Navigate the view to position the camera, setting up the location you want to use as your current view direction for the slice plane.
  2. Click the Plane From Camera creation method Use Camera in the Exploratory Analysis pane. Optionally activate the pane by choosing a slice tool from the template gallery on the Analysis tab.

    A slice plane is automatically added to the scene, as well as a depth slider overlay.

  3. Set the Depth property by either typing a distance value in the Exploratory Analysis pane or adjusting the interactive on-screen depth slider. By default, the depth value is the distance from the camera to the location in the center of the view.
  4. When you no longer want the slice plan to follow the camera's movements, click Detach in the Plane From Camera section on the Create tab in the Exploratory Analysis pane.

Tip:

Press the C key to temporarily activate the Explore tool Explore Tool when creating and interacting with slice objects to navigate the camera to a different viewpoint.

Interactive Volume

Place one or more slicing volumes in the scene using one of the predetermined shapes: box, sphere, or cylinder. This method is well suited for clipping out a volumetric space in the view, for example, clipping away one wing of a building (using the box shape), a 3D radius around an explosion point (using the sphere), or features along a railway line (using the cylinder). All shape types are created using two construction clicks in the view.

  1. Click the Interactive Volume creation method Volume on the Create tab in the Exploratory Analysis pane.
  2. Choose a shape for the volume, either the box, cylinder, or sphere. The default is sphere.
  3. Click in the scene to place the initial construction point.
    • Box—Sets the start point for the center line of the front face of the box
    • Cylinder—Sets the start point for the central interior line of the cylinder
    • Sphere—Sets the center point for the sphere
  4. Move the pointer to preview the volume as an outline and click in the scene to complete it.
    • Box—All box volumes are initially cubes. You can interactively adjust the size, location, and rotation angles after it has been constructed.
    • Cylinder—All cylinder volumes are created with a width equal to half of the cylinder height. You can interactively adjust the size, location, and rotation angles after it has been constructed.
    • Sphere—All shape volumes complete by using the given radius. You can interactively adjust the size, location, and rotation angles after it has been constructed.
  5. The Interactive Volume creation tool remains active. Continue to add more slice shapes or click another tool, such as the Explore tool Explore Tool on the Map tab, to stop creating slice planes.

From Layer

Slices can be generated from a point layer where feature attributes set the applicable shape type and associated construction parameters. This method is well suited for reloading slicing shapes, that have been converted to features, so you can pick up where you left off.

  1. Click the From Layer creation method From Layer in the Exploratory Analysis pane. Optionally activate the pane by choosing a slice tool from the template gallery on the Analysis tab.
  2. Choose the layer containing the point features you want to load the slicing shapes from. The menu lists all point layers present in the current map view.
  3. Click Apply.

    The slicing shapes are added to the scene according to the values defined in the attributes of the point layer.

  4. The From Layer creation tool remains active. Continue to add more slice shapes or click another tool, such as the Explore tool Explore Tool on the Map tab, to stop creating slice planes.

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