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How to Smooth a TIN surface?

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Guys, i have some point-z datas, and i made TINs from them. The results are very ugly, if there was only a small amount of points, the TIN is rigid, angular. I want to smooth a bit, like in the modeller programs, or like in the ArcMap at the Advanced Editing toolbar (smooth feature). Any idea?

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Hello friend,

Exist more options for what you need but the most importatnt is how looks your original data.

Density of points , grid or random like lidar files...

If the tin was done in Arc , what tolerance you used as that can output som strage results sometimes.

For smoothing you have TerraScan+TeraModel+Microstation/VRMesh that is here on the forum/Some tools from Arc ...etc.

If you provide more info about your data or a small sample of it I can try to help.


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hoya 946!

Like i wrote in my first post, i have everytime point-z data, so only points with z coordinates. Every TIN files created from 40-60 points. (The points are collected by surveyors with special geodetic measurement equipment).

and why not make a terrain is better than tin ...test this is powerfull....


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I would suggest the same , to generate a regular grid from this points then to generate contour lines(that you can smooth ) and then create the tin from the lines. In Arc you can after insert the original points in the tin .

I think is a good ideea also to try VRMesh where you can smooth the points or the surface (but you are going to lose the survey precision)

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thx guys for the responses.

First, the terrain is good, i tested once, but ArcScene can't display it. I need surfaces, to rotate the camera around them, and zoom etc. The second idea is good too, but i don't have time to convert all source data to line, line > surface > TIN. Once i've tested, i made very nice, smooth TINs with 10-15 minutes of work. But, now i have around 30 surfaces, 500 points, and i thought, maybe there is a free toolbar, or a hidden option to smooth a TIN.

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If the second idea is ok for you why not try to do all at once using Global Mapper. You can create all the surfaces in the same time for all areas of interest and also do the contours ,etc.

If you are interesed I can describe a workflow of how I was going to do in your place.


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hey 3dbu:

superspack wrote that before some month to my post, about terrain opening error in arcscene:

Hi maunaloa,

what your are experencing is actually not a license issue but just a normal ArcScene limitation! As a matter of fact ArcScene does not support Terrain-files but just TIN-files. Try opening a TIN and everything will be perfect. If you want to visualize a terrain-file in 3D, open ArcGlobe and try it there. This will work.

Here some quote from the ESRI-dektop help: "By default, terrain layers cannot be directly displayed or used as elevation sources in ArcScene. If you want to consume terrain data in ArcScene, you will need to export your area of interest to either a raster or a TIN."

Ok have a lot of fun! 


Btw, i'm using globalmapper but i don't made any TIN's with it. Mainly, my TIN's based on point (the height source), and polygons (borders of the surfaces), and on polylines (the TIN's are calculated by these lines, for example to make a stairs-shaped relief etc., configured by Create TIN tool in ArcGis (soft line, hard line, etc.))

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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi All,

Very interesting topic, same as Maunaloa, I have facing problem to smoothing Z of point data, interpolate and extrapolate of blank/error recording from echosounder. on my opinion, that software which have good capability to solve above problems is Qinsy+Qloud, but unfortunatelly i not have that software. so i need your advise if there are any software which capable to solve my problems and handle huge point data and able to convert in XYZ format.

Thank you

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  • 2 months later...

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