Generate a 3D mesh using ArcGIS Reality mapping

Available with Standard or Advanced license.

Available for an ArcGIS organization with the ArcGIS Reality license.

A 3D mesh is 3D textured model of the project area in which the ground and above-ground feature facades are densely and accurately reconstructed. The 3D mesh can be viewed from any angle to get a realistic and accurate depiction of the project area. The 3D mesh wizard simplifies the 3D mesh workflow with predefined, sensor-based parameters for high-quality mesh generation.

Reality mapping product generation

To generate a 3D mesh using the ArcGIS Reality for ArcGIS Pro 3D Mesh wizard, follow the steps below.


  • Before you begin the workflow, ensure that you have created a Reality mapping workspace and completed the block adjustment process.
  • 3D mesh generation is recommended from oblique imagery or a combination of oblique and nadir imagery.

  1. On the Reality Mapping tab, click the 3D Mesh button 3D Mesh in the Product group.

    The Reality Mapping Products Wizard window appears.

  2. Click Shared Advanced Settings.

    The Advanced Products Settings dialog box appears, where you can define parameters that will determine all Reality mapping products to be generated. For a detailed description of the advanced product settings options, see Shared Advanced Settings in the wizard.

    Advanced Product Settings for generating a 3D mesh
  3. Quality and Scenario settings are automatically set by the application and should not be changed to ensure optimum performance and product quality. However, if you want to generate a reduced resolution product, the Quality setting can be lowered. See Shared Advanced Settings above for more information on the impact of various Quality settings on product generation.
  4. For Product Boundary, select a feature class identifying the output product extent from the drop-down list or click the Browse button Open folder connection and browse to one.

    It is recommended that you enter a project boundary for the following reasons:

    • Define the proper output extent—When you do not define a product boundary, the application automatically defines an extent based on various dataset parameters that may not match the project extent.
    • Reduce processing time—If the required product extent is smaller than the image collection extent, defining a product boundary reduces the processing duration and automatically clips the output to the boundary extent.

  5. To specify a water body feature layer, click the Browse button Open folder connection next to Waterbody Features.

    If water features such as lakes and rivers exist within the project area, it is recommended that you add a precreated 3D feature class identifying those areas, using the Waterbody Features option to hydrologically enforce these features in the output product. Use the stereoscopic compilation in ArcGIS Image Analyst to generate the 3D feature layer that identifies water body features. This ensures that there will be no image stretching around hydrological feature boundaries in the output due to differences in elevation between the derived DSM height and the feature class height values.

  6. For Processing Folder click the browse button Open folder connection, navigate to disk, and define the Reality Mapping temporary folder location. The temporary files required for generating 2D or 3D products will be stored here.
  7. Accept all other defaults and click OK.

    The Advanced Products Settings dialog box closes, and you return to the Products Generation Settings page in the Reality Mapping Products wizard.

  8. Click Next in the Reality Mapping Products Wizard window to advance to the 3D Mesh Settings page.
  9. For Format, ensure that SLPK is selected. SLPK is the natively supported mesh format in ArcGIS Pro.

    Additional DSM mesh output format options that can be generated, but not visualized, in ArcGIS Pro include 3D tiles, and OBJ.

  10. Click Finish to initiate product processing.

    When processing is complete, the 3D Mesh product is added to the Reality Mapping container in the Meshes folder in the Catalog pane.

  11. To visualize the generated 3D mesh, right-click the 3D_Mesh.slpk file in the Mesh folder, and from the drop-down menu, click Add to New > Local Scene.
3D mesh with building facades

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