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Can 3D Symbols be rotated in ArcMap

September 25 2011 | 2 comments
Categories: 3D Mapping, Symbology

Hi Mapping Centre, I have tried all the options (set up a rotate field, tried rotate axis, & 3D placement but cannot seem to rotate a 3D symbol in ArcMap. Is this possible? Thanks in advance.

Mapping Center Answer:

This looks like a bug which we will be checking into. Thanks for alerting us!

In the meantime, there are a couple of workarounds that you could try. Basically, when this kind of 3D Symbol (to be clear, a 3D Marker Symbol) is shown in ArcMap, we just show a bitmap version of the symbol. The problem is that the bitmap image is not honoring the rotation-per-feature value (driven by attributes), or the rotation-of-the-whole-symbol option. So one workaround is to define/change the bitmap manually, as shown in the graphics below.

3D symbols

The other solution is to use a different layer in ArcMap -- that is, the 3D symbol is not being displayed anyway, so if the rotation is important then just use a picture-marker symbol in the map document and leave the 3D symbol in the 3D doc.

Not a bug posted by Jeff Swain on Jan 23 2012 7:25AM
After discussing this with a member of development, the rotation not being seen in ArcMap is not a bug. ArcMap will display a 'picture' of the 3d object in ArcMap as ArcMap is not a 3d display application. The rotation can be seen in ArcScene and ArcGlobe, which are both 3d applications. The recommended workaround would be to add the point and the 3d Marker Symbol to ArcScene, fix the rotation and then make a screenshot to use in ArcMap.
Thanks! posted by Aileen Buckley on Jan 23 2012 10:22AM
Thanks for the update, Jeff!

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