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Previously I have made marine habitat maps using multiband imagery and remote sensing techniques (e.g blue, green and red bands from satellite imagery).

I am now attempting the same process however using drone imagery (DJI Phantom 3 pro). Is it possible to obtain separate bands from the RGB images that are captured and if so how can I do this?

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    I don't know about your drone software but GDAL_Translate -b n gdal.org/gdal_translate.html where n is the band you want will extract just one band to a separate raster. If you're not comfortable with commandline it can be invoked from QGIS (Raster::Translate). – Michael Stimson Feb 28 '18 at 5:33
  • @MichaelStimson, I would recommend adding this excellent comment as an answer. – Aaron Dec 29 '18 at 2:35
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In QGIS, load the RGB image> Processing > ToolBox > Search "r.rgb". (SAGA also has an algorithm in toolbox : split rgb band) enter image description here

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It is simple and the reverse process of layer stacking in Erdas Imagine. Just follow the steps. I am giving here the process one by one. :)

First open the stacked image in Erdas Imagine 2014. Go to Raster> Spetral>Layer Stack. In the Layer stack window, input the Stacked image. You can see the bands by clicking in the layer. The given file has 6 bands.

enter image description here

Second step: Select which band you want to separate and then click add. A directory will be displayed in the box, as shown by red box in the give picture.

enter image description here

Third Step: In the third step, go to output and save the image band in your preferred directory.

Thus you can separate all the bands repeating the step 2 and 3.enter image description here

  • You might want to elaborate on what the steps are. I understand your solution and think it's an effective one, but someone who hasn't done it before might not be able to infer the process from what you've provided. – JoshC Apr 15 '18 at 16:00
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I don't know about your drone software but GDAL_Translate -b n where n is the band you want will extract just one band to a separate raster, for example GDAL_Translate -of GTIFF -b 1 -b 3 -b 7 will create a 3 band raster with bands RED=1, GREEN=3, BLUE=7; GDAL_Translate -of GTIFF -b 3 will create a single band GeoTIFF with the contents from band 3.

If you're not comfortable with commandline it can be invoked from QGIS (Raster::Conversion::Translate) but I've found with the more recent versions of QGIS it difficult to edit the command line to insert the -b switches; there is scripting syntax for Translate but I have not seen the band implicitly specified. You can copy/paste the string into a text editor from the GUI invoked by Translate and add your band specifier(s) manually and run in a GDAL shell window.

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You could use Raster Calculator in QGIS, you would be able to separate Red, Green and Blue bands individually.

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