Change Terrain Resolution Bounds (3D Analyst)

Available with 3D Analyst license.


Changes the pyramid levels at which a feature class will be enforced for a given terrain dataset.


  • Pyramid resolution bounds can only be assigned for surface types that are not designated as masspoints.

  • Consider adjusting the resolution bounds for a terrain feature when new pyramids are introduced or its current range provides undesirable display performance.

  • The terrain dataset will not be invalidated from this operation and will not need to be rebuilt with the Build Terrain tool.


arcpy.3d.ChangeTerrainResolutionBounds(in_terrain, feature_class, {lower_pyramid_resolution}, {upper_pyramid_resolution}, {overview})
ParameterExplanationData Type

The terrain dataset to process.

Terrain Layer

The feature class referenced by the terrain that will have its pyramid-level resolutions modified.


The new lower pyramid-level resolution for the chosen feature class.


The new upper pyramid-level resolution for the chosen feature class.


Specifies whether the feature class will contribute to the overview of the terrain dataset.

  • OVERVIEW Enforces the feature class at the overview display of the terrain dataset. This is the default.
  • NO_OVERVIEWOmits the feature class from the overview display of the terrain dataset.

Derived Output

NameExplanationData Type

The updated terrain.

Terrain Layer

Code sample

ChangeTerrainResolutionBounds example 1 (Python window)

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

import arcpy
from arcpy import env

env.workspace = 'C:/data'
                                       'breaklines', 2.5, 7.5)
ChangeTerrainResolutionBounds example 2 (stand-alone script)

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

Name: Update Terrain
Description: This script demonstrates how to update a terrain dataset
             with new elevation measurements obtained from Lidar by
             importing LAS files to multipoint features, then appending the
             new points to another multipoint feature that participates in a
             terrain. The terrain's pyramids are modified to optimize its
             draw speed.
# Import system modules
import arcpy

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

    # Set Variables
    inTerrain = "sample.gdb/featuredataset/terrain"
    currentPts = "existing_points"
    lasFiles = ['las/NE_Philly.las',
    newPts = 'in_memory/update_pts'
    # Define spatial reference of LAS files using factory code
    # for NAD_1983_StatePlane_Pennsylvania_South
    lasSR = arcpy.SpatialReference(2272)

    arcpy.AddMessage("Converting LAS files to multipoint features...")
    arcpy.ddd.LASToMultipoint(lasFiles, newPts, 1.5, 2, 1,
                              'INTENSITY', lasSR)

    arcpy.AddMessage("Appending LAS points to {0}..."\
    arcpy.AppendTerrainPoints_3d(inTerrain, currentPts, newPts)

    arcpy.AddMessage("Changing terrain pyramid reference scales...")
    arcpy.ddd.ChangeTerrainReferenceScale(inTerrain, 1000, 500)
    arcpy.ddd.ChangeTerrainReferenceScale(inTerrain, 2500, 2000)

    arcpy.AddMessage("Adding terrain pyramid level...")
    arcpy.ddd.AddTerrainPyramidLevel(inTerrain, "", "4 4500")

    arcpy.AddMessage("Changing pyramid resolution bounds for breaklines...")
    arcpy.ChangeTerrainResolutionBounds_3d(inTerrain, "breaklines", 5, 4)

    arcpy.AddMessage("Building terrain...")

    arcpy.AddMessage("Completed updates.")

except arcpy.ExecuteError:
except Exception as err:

Licensing information

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

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