This procedure will outline the steps necessary for viewing DEM
data in 3-dimensions using ArcGIS - ArcScene. The steps outlined below assume
you have worked through the steps involved with the initial input of the
DEM data. This procedure uses CDED data from Natural Resources Canada.
Working with DEMs
Run ArcScene by clicking the shortcut on the desktop
- Click the Add Data button and
navigate to the location of the DEM. Select the file and click OK to add the
DEM file to the view.
- If prompted to "create pyramids", click OK. This process occurs
the first time a raster file is opened and will provide faster re-draw.
Right click the layer in the legend and choose Properties.
The "Layer Properties" dialogue box appears.
Click on the "Base Heights" tab and click the
radial select box beside Obtain heights for layer from surface.
Click OK. Don't panic if your view is blank. Continue on
with the next step.
Define a Vertical Exaggeration
Right click Scene Layers and select Scene Properties.
The "Scene Properties" dialogue box appears.
Under the "General tab" click Calculate From
Extent. The number in the Vertical Exaggeration box changes to a calculated
The DEM now appears in 3-dimensions.
To change the colours representing elevation, right-click
the DEM layer, select Properties.
Select the Symbology tab and choose a different colour
scheme from the colour ramps dropdown list.
Click Apply but don't close the Properties dialogue
Adding vector data to the scene
Right click the vector data layer and select Properties.
Click the Base Heights tab.
Select the radial button beside Obtain heights for layer
from surface. The program automatically selects the DEM open in ArcScene.
Click Apply, then move to the Extrusion tab.
Put a check in the box beside Extrude features in
layer and change the extrusion value to 2 or 3. Test different values
to see the changes on the map.
Click Apply to view the changes or OK to return to the ArcScene
Consult the ArcScene help files for further assistance with rendering 3D
images and analysis.
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