I think I've had it. I've been struggling to create polished scenes and flyover animations using the ESRI tools. SketchUp is great but it does not handle large datasets and most 3rd party models (3D DXF, COLLADA) do not retain spatial reference when imported into SketchUp.
I've been able to build fairly large scenes in SketchUp in the past after I prepared my GIS data in ArcGIS 9.x and then used the Sketchup Plugin to export my features. Adding new features was very easy simply export them to SketchUp then copy the model from a new SketchUp project and paste into place in my primary model. This is no longer possible in ArcGIS 10 and the "Collada" method; files exported from ArcGIS are centered at 0,0,0 when opened in SketchUp. The existing "ESRI" workflow seems to be designed only around improving the 3D characteristics of simple extruded multipatch features in SketchUp but the ArcGIS --> SketchUp workflow via the legacy Google plugin has been obliterated.
I am not looking for a freeware but rather a solid, polished software that is capable of producing large 3D scenes from GIS data. My budget is up to $8,000 or less.
What are alternatives are there? I have fairly large datasets; Usually LiDAR surface and my scenes need to be very large and detailed so this software needs to handle large datasets and also need to be able to retain spatial reference in files imported from 3D DXF, Collada, etc.