Adding Shaded Relief in Photoshop

I’ve had occasion, from time to time, to show my colleagues in the UW Cartography Lab the technique I use to combine shaded relief with other map layers in Photoshop. After a recent request to share the technique again, I decided to make a video, so that people can watch at their own convenience. So, if you’re interested in this:

Equation

then watch this:

(make sure to view in HD, so you can see the details I’m talking about). If you’d like, you can also follow along with the same file I’m using: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6teczksvgajrxdb/ReliefTutorial.psd?dl=0.


This tutorial is, and will remain, free, but if you derive some value from it, you are welcome to make a donation to support my continued work.


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6 thoughts on “Adding Shaded Relief in Photoshop

  1. Pingback: Terrain in Photoshop: Layer by Layer | somethingaboutmaps
  2. Hi, this is a great tutorial. May I ask how you generated the hypsometric tint? was that in GIS or Photoshop? And is it also a copy of the hillshade with color applied? I would like to try generating my own.

    cheers,
    Lucas

    • For this example, I believe I did it in Photoshop, though I have also done it in GIS. It doesn’t use a copy of the hillshade, but a copy of the DEM itself. So, in ArcMap, for example, you can load in a DEM and then colors are automatically applied based on the values in the DEM — usually the default setting is a black (low areas) to white (high areas) setting, but you can go in and change that to a variety of other ramps. If you have a similar black-to-white image in Photoshop, you would use the Gradient Map tool to alter its colors, which is what I did in creating the example. Hope this helps!

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