Combining multiple shaded reliefs with hypsometric colouring and digital orthophotos using free and open-source software
Keywords: shaded relief, Blender, DEM, orthophoto, hillshade, QGIS, hypsometric colouring
Abstract. In this paper we combined layers created from several terrain rendering techniques, namely a shaded relief rendered in the free and open-source 3D computer graphics software Blender, a hillshade created in the free and opensource Geographic Information System (GIS) software QGIS, a hypsometric coloured Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and a draped digital orthophoto. Following a recent trend in the cartographic community towards using Blender, we tried to improve the standard relief visualization in common GIS software by blending it with a shaded relief rendered in Blender. Using different QGIS blending modes and opacity values we achieved different graphic visualizations. To compare and evaluate the suitability of different rendering techniques we chose national park Risnjak located in Croatia because of its specific and diverse terrain landforms. After comparing different input layers and parameter sets, we selected the blending combination which is best suited for visualizing terrain characteristics of all Croatian national parks. The result is a shaded relief created for every national park which is combined from a shaded relief rendered in Blender, a hillshade created in QGIS, a hypsometric coloured DEM and a draped digital orthophoto.