View Full Version : How to create shaded relief maps in Photoshop

11-08-2007, 05:20 AM
here (http://gis.esri.com/library/userconf/proc03/p0137.pdf).

And this taken from a thread in the Carto talk (http://www.cartotalk.com/index.php?showtopic=1404&#entry14254)forum:

Wow, Lui! Those are amazing, and about exactly what I am trying to create for my area. Unfortunately, I don't have VNS, which looks like a great program, and would have many applications for Forestry. Just so expensive!
Well there are another ways to achive that kind of natural looking maps. One is instancing of trees by quasi-random noise creation in ArcGIS. Jeffery S. Nighbert way. The other way could be tree instancing by Image hoze tool in Corel Painter. This is more artistic way. The third and last way to my knowledge is using Photoshop (probably it is not the most optimized way):
You should have a landcover image of forests in solid black color. Convert image to grayscale.
Create duplicate layer. Select nonforest areas (white) in duplicate layer (Select -> Color range: tolerance 0) and delete them.
Use Filter->Texture->Grain: Grain type: soft, Intensity 100%, Contrast 50-75%
Again select remaining black areas with Color range and small tolerance
Invert select and delete
Change image colorspace to CMYK or RGB
Create new Solid Color layer with desired green
Copy/Paste forest texture layer to the Solid Color layer
Add Layer Style to that layer: Bevel&Emboss-> Style:Inner Bevel, Technique: Chisel soft, Depth: as you wish, Size 1-2px
The image is usually to sharp so apply small amount of Gaussian blur to layer (0.5 - 1)
And that it!
My result of this process is shown in attachment. This can be usefull for maps in smaller scales (from 1:10000 downward)
What steps do you take to classify in Photoshop? Do you slice out polygon regions piece by piece, or do you use the magic wand tool? Once they are selected, how do you fill them? I've been using the texturizer, with mixed results so far.
Piece by piece approach. Bottom layer was grayscale orthophoto, upper layer a classification result layer. First I contour polygon of same class with Pencil tool in color of the class then I filled it with Paint bucket tool. Tablet suggested!
Again, very nice land cover. Are the lighter parcels farmed plots?
Thank you! Yes they are. The most demanding landcover type in natural looking mapping is vineyard. But it can be done with some GIS tools.

The result looks like this:

11-08-2007, 09:03 AM
Awesome finds! Thanks!!

11-08-2007, 09:09 AM
I'm picking the Carto Talk forum clean of items that might be relevant to us here! There are some amazing tutorials / words of wisdom there and the people are really nice too. Most of them are pros both academic and industrial. A lot of the terms they use are just beyond me and I'm reading everything I can from there at the moment. It really is an education.

11-08-2007, 09:18 AM
Yeah, keep doing that! :)

I just popped over there too--it is a nice forum! They were very helpful and supportive of your maps, I saw, ravs. I'll bet we could learn a lot from them!

Thanks for this work. (I definitely plan to steal the forest technique from the above map!)

11-08-2007, 09:30 AM
I think they were being extremely polite. I felt like a five year old handing my scribbles to Da Vinci and asking him for his opinion.

Do read the thread on 'Bad Maps' in the Cartography Design section. It's a fascinating insight into the tensions between professionally trained Cartographers and Graphic Designers and what Cartography means. There is a super essay on the subject posted in that thread too. I suspect it's just up your street Don. I was riveted anyway!

In fact I even pinched my new sig quote from there!


11-08-2007, 01:13 PM
Yeah -

I noticed you two popping up there (I subscribed to their RSS feed)!

-Rob A>

12-17-2007, 11:16 PM
(First attempt at trying to attach an image.) I downloaded the first PDF and sort of loosely followed it, speeding through. Instead of a grey-scale elevation thingie, I used random Phtoshop clouds (I didn't know how else to generate a decent grey-scale image that would do).

I did some funny cutting and pasting to cut the original clouds into two bits: land and ocean (on separate layers) and then made the other part transparent (land transparent on the ocean layer and ocean transparent on the land layer). I then did as the tutorial said with applying gradient maps. I added the lighting effect only to the land layer, though.

This looks a bit odd to me, but I think this is somewhat workable as a starting point for a longer effort. Notice that the coast lines seem to pop up from the oceans... This is because I had the oceans set to black and the coast-line was some medium-ish grey (picked a la threshold). Also notice that there are odd shallow spots in the deep parts of the ocean and not deep parts where you'd expect. Also the whole thing is a bit too bumpy for my tastes. I think most of this could be worked around. I'm going to keep playing with this, but I thought I'd share my results (notice I didn't do any trees or anything, of course).


Robber Baron
01-02-2008, 12:21 AM
Anybody else having trouble accessing the features of that board? I've registered but can't look at maps, post topics or even PM the Admins. Any ideas?

01-02-2008, 05:13 AM
Seems to be working fine for me. Are you sure that your registration has been approved?

Robber Baron
01-02-2008, 07:23 AM
Seems to be working fine for me. Are you sure that your registration has been approved?

Good question. My logon is working. Thanks! I'll keep at it.

04-17-2012, 02:57 PM
unfortunately, your first link doesn't work anymore.

04-17-2012, 07:45 PM
Ah well, I'd best remove it. To be honest I can't even remember the tutorial.

Thanks for pointing out the dead link.

01-09-2013, 01:46 AM
TNX I looked this