I'm fighting a problem with ArcGIS Desktop 10.2.2 when converting points to raster using either "Feature to Raster" or "Points to Raster" tools (or the arcpy.FeatureToRaster_conversion() function). Though I don't know what is going on under the hood, the resulting output is clearly being processed in tiled blocks, and if a tile does not contain any points in the shapefile to convert, zeroes are being inserted for the entire block into the output raster. If, however, there are points within a block then the correct NoData value is inserted as the background with the values from whichever field I've selected as the conversion value correctly placed in the other output pixels.
This could normally be worked around by replacing the zeroes in the output raster after conversion, but in this case I have good, non-missing data that are "real" zeroes. This did not occur prior to 10.2. Also, this behavior does *not* occur when the raster is saved as a File Geodatabase, but does occur when the output is saved as a .tif or .img. The outputs are being fed directly into R so I'd like to avoid the extra step of saving to a File Geodatabase. Is this a bug or a feature and any other ideas on a workaround?