3D View Configuration

The 3D View Properties settings impact the display of data in the 3D window.

Access the 3D View Configuration by selecting the configure button Configuration button from the 3D Window. Or, select the Configuration button from the File Toolbar or Tools menu, and navigate to the 3D View Properties section.


Vertical Exaggeration

Use the slider or enter a value to control the vertical exaggeration. This is also available as buttons on the 3D Toolbar. For more information see Vertical Exaggeration.

Field of View

The Field of View is a degree measurement that defines how wide of a view the camera has in 3D. The default field of view is 60 degrees.

Press F11 to increase field of view by 5 degrees. Press CTRL + F11 to increase field of view by 1 degree.
Press F12 to decrease field of view by 5 degrees. Press CTRL + F12 to decrease field of view by 1 degree. …

Background Color

Specify the background color to use in the 3D view. This color will only be visible when the Skybox Drop-down on the 3D toolbar is set to None (Solid Background).


The drop down menu may be used to set a specific sky texture background or to set a solid background (None).

Lighting Controls

Eye Dome Lighting (EDL)

Enabling this option can give users a better visualization of 3D data by enhanced lighting techniques to highlight depth and edges in the middle ground of the scene. It will improve the ability to tell what objects in the 3D scene are in front of other things, but adding a dark edge around the data. Lidar will appear to have outlines which may give you a better visual of structures and features in the lidar, and also a better sense of depth while viewing data. EDL may be most useful on non-RBG or non-colorized Lidar. EDL lighting also impacts 3D models, 3D vector data and terrain data. At very low horizon angles, eye dome lighting can add additional darkening to the scene.


This example shows the Strength setting set at 100. EDL effects are not as strong or noticeable, but you can start to see outlines of trees and buildings.

This example shows the Strength setting at 900. EDL is much more distinct at this level as you can visualize the shadow effect on terrain, and see clearer outlines of tree, and buildings.


This slider adjusts the intensity of the EDL settings. Acceptable values can be between 0 through 1000. Higher values will show a much stronger effect of depth perception and outlining of features in Lidar.


Enter a pixel Radius value. EDL works by analyzing the depth of image around each pixel. Higher values strengths the effects of EDL. Acceptable values between 1 and 4.


Falloff settings can gently change the display. EDL works by analyzing the depth of image around each pixel from each point. The effect looks at the differences in depth, from the center pixel of that circle and only considers points on that circle that are farther away (closer ones are ignored). Pixels which have "close" neighbors don't appear to change much visually. But those whose neighbors are much farther away change a lot (perhaps an isolated tree in a field, or a tall building stand out more). The idea of "close" changes based on how the falloff gets used, so it brings out edges (since they have distant neighbors).

  • None -No falloff option is applied. This is the default setting. EDL gives an equal weight to each depth difference. A scale factor of 1 is applied to each depth difference.
  • Linear - Keeps the scale factor 1 in the center, but allows it to fall off to 0 linearly on the edge pixels. (when viewing lidar at an angle to view a horizon, data appears brighter than using None)
  • Inverse Linear -scale is 1 on the edge and falls to 0 in the interior. (when at same angle, lighting appears like the none setting)
  • Geometric - keeps it 1 in the center, but allows it to fall off much faster to 0, non linearly, on the edge pixels (when compared to Linear at the same angle, lidar appears just slightly darker)
  • Inverse Geometric -scale is 0 from inside, to 1 on edge but allows it to fall off much faster to 1, non linearly, on the edge pixels

Data Display

Draw the Terrain Surface

Un-checking the Draw the Terrain Surface check-box will turn off the display of the terrain surface and draped data, leaving only any 3D vector data or LiDAR point cloud data. This can be useful for adding relative offsets to 3D vector features, when the surface display is not needed.

Draw Multiple Surfaces for Overlapping Terrain

Check this option to display multiple layers of elevation datasets at locations where the elevation datasets overlap. This is good for rendering subsurface terrains. See 3D Multi Layer Surfaces for more information and examples.

Mask 3D Data by 2D bounds

Enable this option to mask the 3D view to show only the extent of the primary 2D map view. This setting will hide the display of additional data outside of the 2D bounds, but does not stop the load of enabled data in the 3D View. For the best performance, use other methods to limit the loading of large datasets in 3D.

When Path Profile with 3D Cutaway is enabled, the path profile cutaway will override the masking to the 2D bounds.

Water Display

Display Water in the 3D View

Toggle on and off the display of water. This is also available as a button on the 3D Toolbar.

Water Level

Use the slider to adjust the water level height and the units of measure. Increment buttons are also available to control this on the 3D Toolbar.

Water Level Increment

Specify the increment used when increasing or decreasing water level with the toolbar Increase water Level and Decrease Water Level buttons .

3D Vector Display Options

Display 3D Vector Features in Space Above/ Below Terrain Surface

Use this option turn toggle on and off the display of 3D vector features. This setting does not impact Lidar data.

Relation of Vector Data Elevations to Terrain

Specify what the height or elevation values of vector features are relative to. This will only apply to layers with an Altitude Mode of Unspecified. It is overridden by Layer specified Altitude Mode or Feature specified Altitude Mode settings.

  • Absolute - The elevation numbers are measure from zero (origin) on the vertical axis
  • Relative to Ground - The elevation number are measured starting from the location of terrain that shares the same horizontal space as the object.
  • Clamp to Ground -
  • Depth -
Show 3D Point Models

Turn on or off the display of point features specified with a 3D model style.

Display Lidar Features

Turn on or off the display of loaded LiDAR data in the 3D View.

Extrude 3D Areas to Surface (Useful for Buildings)

Turn on this setting to draw sides on 3D area features extending to the ground.

When extruding to the surface, the default base of the extrusion is set just below the minimum elevation, so your extruded areas should always extend through the terrain surface.

Draw 3D Vector Features Reflected on Terrain Surface

Check this option to drape 3D vector features on the terrain surface. Draped vectors are not selectable.

Show Textures in Meshes

3D Models may contained fill patterns or photo-realistic displays for the polygons that make up the mesh. Un-check this option to hide the rendering of these textures in 3D.

Toggle 3D model / mesh textures on and off with the T key

Show Fly Through Paths

3D line features that have been set up at Fly-Through-Paths will be displayed when this is checked. By default Fly Though Paths are hidden.

Enable Backface Culling

Check this option to hide 3D mesh faces that are pointing away from the camera.

Toggle backface culling on and off with the CTRL + B keys

Lidar Selection Display

Specify how selected lidar points appear in the 3D view. A color overlay with an transparency setting can be applied to either selected lidar points or deselected lidar points to highlight the selection while still maintaining other color reference and context.

The default will apply a gray overlay to deselected points, so that they are desaturated compared to the selected lidar points. This setting may not be optimal for all lidar color modes, such as Color by Intensity using the standard grayscale shader, so it can be customized to better highlight selected points or de-emphasize non-selected lidar points.

Stylize Selected Lidar (Instead of Inselected) – Check this option to apply the color overlay specified below to selected points in the 3D view. The default is to apply a color overlay to the deselected points.


The default selection style applies a gray overlay to de-selected points so they appear desaturated in the 3D view, highlighting the selected points.

Here a light red overlay is instead applied to selected points when the points have been colorized by intensity. This makes the selection more obvious when the points are colored this way.

Restore Defaults

Press this button to reset the values for all 3D display options.

Information / Navigation

Dolly Tolerance

The dolly tolerance is an advanced setting that controls how close the camera can get to the center of the pivot axis. The number set represents a percentage of the data extent. Adjusting the dolly tolerance can allow for finer zoom and rotation control, when set to a small number, or faster movement through data when set to a large number. When the dolly tolerance is hit when zooming in, further zooming will push the pivot access along, similar to walking through the data while pushing the pivot axis on a dolly cart in front of the camera.

For example with a dense lidar point cloud, setting a small dolly tolerance, such as 1, will allow for more comfortable close examination of clusters of points within the point cloud. Setting a larger dolly tolerance with the same dataset will facilitate faster update of the pivot access when zooming, and allow for a feel of faster movement through the data.

Walk Mode Height

Specify the height when entering Walk Mode. Height can be enter as above Ground (based on the top terrain surface) or Sea Level (elevation above 0) using the drop-down.

Show Active GPS Track

Check this option and the GPS track will be displayed in the 3D View window

Snap Edit and Measure Cursor to Feature

Check this option to enable Snap Cursor Mode. This setting is also available with the toolbar Snap Cursor button.

Show Pivot Axis

Display the pivot axis. This is also available as a button on the 3D view, or toggled with the P key. For more information see Rotating, Moving, and Zooming in the 3D viewer

2D Map Cursor

When Show Cursor Location is checked, the location of the cursor on the 2D map display will be indicated with a vertical line. Use the Color and Scale settings to modify the appearance of that line.

Show Compass Rose

Display a Compass in the 3D Viewer. This display is also available as buttons on the 3D Toolbar.

Compass Rose Height

Specify the height of the Compass or 3D axis.

Compass Rose Scale

Set the scale factor of the compass rose symbol.

Relative to

Specify what the defined height is relative to.

  • Absolute
  • Relative to Ground
  • Clamp to Ground
  • Depth
Onscreen Notifications

Onscreen notifications provide a notification message when properties are modified in the 3D view.

Display Notifications

Check this option to toggle on onscreen notifications. Onscreen notifications appear when settings are changed in the 3D view.

Notification text color

Specify the text color of the notification.


Specify how long the notification will appear after a property is changed.


Specify the position of the notification box in the 3D View.

Restore Defaults

Press this button to reset the values for all 3D Information/ Navigation options.