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Shaded Relief in Blender

- - - - - shaded relief hillshade Blender

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#1
Daniel Huffman

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For the past few months I've been using a program called Blender to do my shaded relief. I think it produces really great results that are superior to what I was getting from other programs (ex: http://cargocollecti...lief-in-Blender)

 

I'd really like to spread this technique around and see where other people can take it. So, I've put together a video tutorial: http://somethingabou...ender-tutorial/. I hope you'll give Blender (which is free) a try. And if you come up with improvements what I'm doing here, please let me know!


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#2
Csongor Kovacs

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Just watched your tutorial, seems a great tool to work with.

I will give it a try on Monday, I've made my previous shaded reliefs mostly in ArcMap and Global Mapper, lately in Ocad, not quite satisfied with the first two...

Thanks for sharing!



#3
Adam Wilbert

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Awesome! I've been looking forward to this since you teased it at NACIS.


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#4
Daniel Huffman

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Looking forward to seeing what people can do with it!



#5
Hans van der Maarel

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I'll give it a try too. In the past I did my shaded relief in VNS, then Global Mapper and I recently moved to Natural Scene Designer (all with Photoshop post-processing), but it's always good to check out the alternatives.


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#6
Mike Boruta

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I just watched all the videos and followed along with your sample DEM.  Great job Daniel!  I've tried using Blender and Vue before and have always found them to be very daunting.  You made Blender a lot more understandable for me.  I'm anxious to try it on a DEM of my own.  

 

By any chance have you created a basic outline of all the steps and suggested settings?  It would be useful to have it all written down so I don't have to scan through all the videos again to make sure I don't miss anything.



#7
Daniel Huffman

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Good thought. I have not made an outline (other than a rough skeletal one I used to make the videos with, and which doesn't quite follow the way I did it). I will try and put something together soon. And I'm glad you were able to understand Blender. I used a Lynda.com tutorial to get familiar with the basics of the program before I eventually learned to do the relief work, which helped a lot and gave me the confidence to keep poking around until I could figure out how to do what I wanted. I think in some ways I got kind of lucky; I stumbled on to some of the key settings by accident early on, and if I hadn't, I might have just thought, "oh, well, it does relief but I can't make it very good; guess it's not worth pursuing."


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#8
l.jegou

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Nice ressource, thanks !



#9
Lui

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Interesting tutorial. I've tried to create hill shading in 3D Max years ago, but the results were not good enough. Now I'm doing all calculations in Saga GIS. It has some very interesting terrain analysis algorithms like skyview, valley depth, curvature,... I render those, combine them with some queries and manually edit them in Photoshop to produce a hill shading image.



#10
l.jegou

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I tested the method with blender and used a texture generated by Terrain Texture Shader (http://www.naturalgf...ts_download.htm) on a work in progress, with nice results (i think) :

 

image



#11
Hans van der Maarel

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Nice look!


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#12
hasecbinusr

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I use Maya at work to accomplish this, but I'm glad to see Blender 3D can do it too. Go open source!



#13
Daniel Huffman

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I'd love to see some examples of your relief work in Maya, if you have any you can share! I figured I wasn't the only person to think of doing something like this.



#14
hasecbinusr

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[duplicate]

Got an error the first time I submitted. Guess it worked after all.

#15
hasecbinusr

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Unfortunately I don't have Maya at home, so I can't replicate the process to post here. However, I'm inclined to give Blender a spin and see what I can do with it. It is also possible to fake the ambient occlusion (the nice shadowing effect) by layering images with blending modes. One method I've been experimenting with that draws upon Eduard Imhof's principles is:

 

- Hypsometric tint layer, blended with multiply, overlay, or color, depending on how it looks. The color blend mode preserves the contrast of the base hillshade the best, I think.
- Focal statistics process on the DEM, then hillshaded. Use this to simulate atmospheric haze.
- Slope layer by percent, represented as a dark gray to white color ramp. Blended with multiply and 20-30% opacity. This is the layer that fakes the ambient occlusion that Blender applies. Also note that shadows are never black, so don't use a black to white color ramp. The multiply blend mode will drop out the white and all that will be left is a nice shadowing on the relief.
- Hillshade, normal greyscale hillshade.

 

I've only attempted this process with ArcMap and Photoshop, but it seems like it would work in any GIS and image manipulation package.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: shaded relief, hillshade, Blender

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