I have a layer of cadastral polygons that I'd like to display as hillshaded. For the elevation model I can use either an SRTM geotiff or use a set of 20m contour vectors.
While I could make a jpeg of the cadastral regions and drape that (never done it in QGIS, but I think you can call GRASS to do it), is there a way to directly drape and hillshade the vectors?
UPDATE 1: SOLUTION BY MAKING POLYGONS TRANSPARENT.
In my first try, I have opted for this method: Basic white hillshaded SRTM DEM, with 10m contour vectors added and coloured cadastral polygons made 60% transparent. Not too bad for minimal effort, but a bit dull.
UPDATE 2: USING BLEND MODES FOR LAYERS IS REALLY EASY
It turns out that the suggestions to use layer blending modes does not require any great delving into the inner workings of QGIS, but is right there in the layer properties, and is as easy as changing a line width or a fill colour. See screenshot below. Also I found some nice examples and discussion of it from the developer, Nyall Dawson nyalldawson.net: Blend modes for layers.
UPDATE 3: LAYER BLENDING MODE "BURN" GIVES THE RIGHT RESULT. JOB DONE.
The screenshot below provides me with a solution to my initial question, "is there a way to hillshade vector polygons with a DEM in QGIS". I would now say yes, or at least the illusion of it is practically perfect.
The Screenshot actually shows two blending modes compared. The one above the thick red line is "multiply" applied to a 60% transparent green polygons, while below is "burn", also to a 60% green polygon. Burn gave a brighter, more '3D' result.
Two points to note: I still found the contour lines necessary to promote the effect; without them the DEM lacked visual form. The contours are above the polygon layer this time (looks better), whereas my old screenshot had them under (looks worse). Secondly, when using Burn, I had to put the cadastral boundaries as a separate layer over the green fill layer, because otherwise 'burn' burned the lines out.