Is it possible with QGIS 2.14 and/or the Qgis2threejs-plugin to create 3d objects that don't "start" on the ground level (z=0), but are 3d objects "flying/floating" in the air?

For example wind turbines (their blades), bridges or certain towers or structures with overlapping elements.

If this is possible with Qgis, how can it be done?

3 Answers 3


It's possible to do some quite clever things in more recent versions of qgis2threejs.

Objects don't have to lie on the DEM, they can float above them (using a constant or a numeric field value), such as in the setting shown below...

enter image description here

Things like wind turbines can be used for point symbols, if you use the COLLADA 3d format (e.g. exported from Blender or Sketchup)

enter image description here

For example, you can make "trees" by adding spheres slightly above the ground, and cylinders on the ground.

For example, the blog post Further adventures with 3D GIS by Nicholas Duggan shows what can be done and how to achieve it.

You can't animate them, though, so I doubt you can make your wind turbines rotate ;)

  • Thanks. This opened some ideas an possibilities, also MappaGnosis' comment helped. Will check your proposals. If it of any worth I try to remember to come back here and write my actual solution. Sep 8, 2016 at 7:08
  • Okay. Turned out it was enough to create sphere and cylinder with the plugin qgis2threejs I was able to achieve what I aimed for. An animated or more realistic object might be something for the future for example with Blender. Sep 8, 2016 at 11:26

You need a 3D viewer to do that. In QGIS have a look at NVIZ, available through the GRASS plugin. However, in my experience, this will almost certainly not give you a sufficiently satisfactory result. You are better advised to export your data and create a 3D scene in a 3D modelling package like Blender or Unreal (or even X3D) - other solutions are available. Search this site for more information on these alternative approaches.


QGIS 3.0 will support rendering of 3D models out of the box. Install the latest nightly build of QGIS using OSGEO4W or another installer for your platform.

  1. Add 3D Canvas from main menu View > New 3D Map View
  2. Add your 3D model as new layer
  3. In style panel, enable 3D renderer.
  4. For floating/flying objects, set height parameter in the styling panel

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