I have a High resolution Georeferenced Orthomosaic, as well as a DEM of that area. The pixel size of both is 20 cm. The data is in Tiff format.

I tried to drape the Image on the DEM in ArcScene, but the output doesn't have the resolution of the input Image.

enter image description here

You can see that the image appears blocky and pixelated. This pit must be about 40 meters in diameter, and looks much better in the orthomosaic.

Are there any other software which can be used to drape a georeferenced image over a DEM ?

While I'll prefer a free software, I don't mind a proprietary source, paid software.

  • I can understand that there won't be much pixels on the vertical cliffs in the area, but atleast on flat ground, it shouldn't appear so pixelated Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 10:01

3 Answers 3


To add to @Neil's answer, you also need to increase the resolution of the DEM over which the image is being draped if you want to drape over a full resolution DEM. This is controlled under Propoerties -> Base Heights ->Floating on a custom surface -> Raster Resolution.

By default ArcScene will assign very course resolution so that you can see the data quickly.

Initially, both increasing the rendering and raster resolution will take potentially a VERY long time to render but after rendering is finished you will be able to navigate and rotate the model quickly.

enter image description here

  • While Both Answers helped, changing this setting had the maximum effect on the rendered output. Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 8:12

The raster quality is deliberately downgraded to increase display speed. See the Rendering tab of the raster layer properties in ArcScene and crank up the slider bar second bottom.enter image description here


Late to the party here but a couple of open-source alternatives are perfectly capable of this:

  • QGIS3.X now has native 3D canvas support, so you can achieve the same result. There is also the qgis2threejs plugin which creates browser-based 3D models and has some nice options for customisation.

  • Blender3D, in conjunction with the BlenderGIS plugin, allows you to import georeferenced rasters and shape files. This makes it possible to bring in a DTM and drape an image over it, while providing all the advantages of 3D modeling software i.e. realistic lighting options, particle fields, HDRI backgrounds etc etc...

I.e. 20cm DTM with aerial imagery: enter image description here

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