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ArcScene 2D Export

November 03 2009 | 2 comments
Categories: 3D Mapping, ArcGIS Methods

How can i export a very high resolution 2D image from ArcScene since the 2D export utility only allows a course low resolution image to be exported? I am interested in exporting complex scenes containing many layers some with transparencies. Exporting to a 700DPI tiff while increasing the scene size to over 4000 pixels yields a blank or a corrupt image file. Exporting the same scene at a 300DPI while adjusting the scene size to less then 2000 pixels usually succeeds but the result is a low quality course image.
Thank You

Mapping Center Answer:

Available memory is your main issue.  The graphics rendering engine in Windows is just not well equipped to handle very large images (like ArcGIS does with large raster datasets).  Your 700DPI 4000+ x 4000+ pixel 24bit color image is going to be larger than windows can handle. 

I realize this is frustrating because I'd love to be able to put a large image of what I have in ArcScene into a poster. I have not found a way to do it.  Though one thing I learned in Photoshop recently is that it has a scene matching capability for making panoramic photos.  If you can focus your scene into four quarters, and export each quarter, and then use Photoshop to merge them, you might have some luck--I would also recommend minimizing the bit depth of the images before doing the merge. 

That brings up one other idea, which is that TIFF is the most expensive, memory-wise, option you could choose.  I honestly don't know why people use it anymore (outside of traditional press workflows).  Try JPEG with a quality of 85.  Anything with some compression will help.

One other trick we use is to put our Window's pagefile.sys file (virtual memory) onto a separate, dedicated hard disk partition.  That guarantees it will not become fragmented.  If you've ever failed to produce an export file with ArcGIS, and then rebooted to find that it worked, this fragmentation issue is likely what you encountered.


thanks posted by Jakub Sisak on Nov 3 2009 7:45AM
I use tiff because I can prefer to work with lossless files for in my workflow. (i never deliver a product in this format) Most of my cartographic products are delivered as PDF and creating a PDF from lossless tiff results in a cleaner and a smaller file then attempting the same with compressed files. (99% of my maps have several raster layers)
When i export maps, I often export them as extremely large tiff files without any memory issues. (My default is 700DPI tiff and maps are sometimes as large as 36"x55") Does the ArcScene's exporter memory management differ from that of ArcMap?
Another thing to try posted by Chris Brown on Oct 8 2010 8:06AM
I had the same problem exporting a nice high res image out of ArcGlobe. It seemed to work, when exporting to a JPEG, resolution 300 (or whatever you need), but with the cryptic "scene size" option at the bottom of the Globe Export to JPEG dialogue box, set to higher and higher values for a higher resolution output. At about 3500 I got the output necessary for the product I was working on.

I had trouble with the 4 quadrant photoshop method because extruded features change their look as you move your perspective...

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