ArcScene to Sketchup to ArcScene

Getting Started

  • Open ArcScene
  • Add your polygon data from shapefile, geodatabase, or SDE connection
  • “Right Click” on the layer in the Table of Contents ->
    “Select” = ‘Properties…’ (very last option)

Extruding Features

  • “Select” ‘Extrusion’ tab on the Layer Properties
  • Check the box and then either extrude feature by a
    set value or pre-determined expression. (You can also select and/or construct attribute expressions using the ‘Expression Builder’ button)
  • Visually inspect extruded features in the Dataframe
    and ensure they look to be correct.

extrude the layer

Convert to feature class

  • In ArcToolbox > 3D Analyst Tools > Conversion >
    “Layer 3D to Feature Class” is the tool we will use to
    convert the extruded features to a ‘Multipatch’ feature class.
  • Input the corresponding Feature layer to be converted into a Multipatch, put it in a familiar directory for output.

layer3D in toolbox Layer3d to Feature Class

Convert to Collada

Again in the ArcToolbox > Conversion > To Collada > ‘Multipatch to Collada’ tool is what we will use to output a file in a format Google Sketchup® will recognize.
arctoolbox multipatch2collada
Multipatch to Collada

Import to Sketchup

  • Open Google Sketchup® and choose a template that is in the same units as your projection in ArcScene (i.e. meters, Feet and Inches, etc.)
  • In Sketchup > File > Import…
  • Navigate to where you just exported the Collada file from ArcScene and make sure your file type is COLLADA in the drop down menu
  • “Select” > Options…
  • Here you will want to decide if you want to merge coplanar faces – typically for texturing the outsides of builds you do want to merge

Sketchup Import Tool

Rendering tasks

Perform all necessary rendering tasks. Be sure to group all elements before saving.

Returning to ArcScene

Getting the model back into ArcScene is almost the exact opposite first we want to export our finished model in Sketchup by “Selecting” File > Export > 3D Model

  • Name the File something relevant and save it in a familiar directory as a COLLADA .dae file
  • Add an empty or populated multipatch feature class into ArcScene or ArcGlobe.
  • Begin a 3D edit session by clicking the 3D Editor drop-down and click “Start Editing”.
  • Click the Edit Placement tool on the 3D Editor toolbar.
  • Click the multipatch feature in the Create Features window.
  • The Insert tool will appear in the Construction Tools window.
  • Select the Insert tool under Construction Tools.
  • Click the desired location of the multipatch model in the 3D view.
  • When prompted, navigate to the location of the supported 3D model file on disk.
  • Select the model and click Open.

***Note you will add the same model over and over again with ever click until you deselect the “Insert Tool”

The Result

By following these steps you can bring your model back and forth between the two programs.
original model

Original model in ArcGIS

post-sketchup model

Post-Sketchup Model

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