I am trying to create a TIN layer based off of a DEM. I watched a video about going to the "Base Height" section of the layer properties and selecting "Floating on a custom surface" to create a terrain model.

However, every time I have tried making a TIN, I get:

Maximum number of data points has been reached

I looked at these two sources, and performing their suggestions still didn't help me create a TIN:

I'm just wondering why it is not working. I have tried changing the maximum number of points, the z value, converting the raster to multipoint then to TIN, and creating a terrain to turn into a TIN. None of these processes worked for me.

Is my data too big to create a TIN in ArcScene?

It is 2.16 GB.

  • 1
    Welcome to GIS SE! As a new user be sure to take the Tour where you will see that there should be only one question asked per question under our focussed Q&A format. – PolyGeo Jul 6 '17 at 22:17
  • is this better? – Mark Jul 6 '17 at 23:27
  • Better, but I'm still counting two questions. Focussed Q&A works because each granular question and its answer can be made clearer than when trying to mix answers to two questions. If the answer(s) to the question that you decide to ask first leaves you with (an)other question(s) then simply ask another one in a separate question. – PolyGeo Jul 6 '17 at 23:43
  • Oh yes. Sorry. Thank you. This better? – Mark Jul 6 '17 at 23:50
  • Do you have links to those two sources? If they are from GIS SE then simply copy/pasting them into your question will display their titles as magic links. – PolyGeo Jul 6 '17 at 23:55

In an official answer I got from ESRI, they were stating that ArcScene cannot handle TIN files larger than 2GB. Their advice was to subset the data as @PolyGeo mentioned in his answer.
On the other hand ArcGIS Pro does handle it, so give it a try. I managed to process bigger files then yours and everything was fine.
When getting the error with maximum points I always enter very large number(several orders in magnitude then what I need), just to be sure the number of points wont be and issue.
To answer your question Is my data too big to create a TIN in ArcScene?, the answer is Yes!

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It sounds like you are using Raster To TIN and the help on How Raster To TIN works says:

If specified, the maximum number of points acts as a TIN size constraint. The tool will stop and return a failure if the Z tolerance is not achieved by the time the node count of the TIN gets this big. This number is approximate, and it's possible to produce a TIN that is slightly larger than this value but it's recommended that TINs be kept under several million points. Large input rasters and small Z tolerance settings may exceed this. If size is an issue, consider processing subsets or use Raster To Multipoint followed by building a terrain dataset.

I suspect that a 2.16Gb input might mean that you are trying to work with far more than the maximum of several million points that is recommended.

If the advice for what to do "if size is an issue" is not helping, then the way to be certain that the amount of data you are passing to Raster To TIN is too much will be to start with a tiny part of it clipped from the original DEM to see if that processes and then to work towards the full dataset.

Alternatively, provide precise details of where you got stuck when trying to follow each piece of "if size is an issue" advice in separate questions.

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  • Thanks for all your help! I actually just set the Z tolerance to 0.5 and it worked. It's not perfect and as detailed as it is supposed to be, but it's all good. – Mark Jul 7 '17 at 22:57
  • If you have the DEM why do you need to convert the DEM to a TIN? Why not just bring the DEM into ArcScene? – GBG Jul 10 '17 at 17:57

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