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When producing a hill-shade from Raster_>Analysis->Hill-shade in QGIS, I cannot stop my hill-shade from becoming too dark, leaving massive parts cities to be black.

I have tried the extremes and in between of light altitude and azimuth, as well as change the z factor to 11120, 111120, and 1111420. These are all suggestions I found on the internet.

I am not sure if it is the fact that I am doing to large of an area? I would like to get the shade as it the light was coming from directly above so that I made see all features.

EDIT: I have added a few screen shots below. The hillshades are followed by their settings. I included the stock settings, and then the best one I have come up with. The problem with the latter is still the amount of black when zoomed in.

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  • can you update your question with the data source of the DEM? – SaultDon May 31 at 18:17
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    Screenshot(s) would also help! – Stu Smith May 31 at 19:35
  • I suspect your raster is on geographical coordinates. Try small Z-Factor such as 0.00001 (inverse of s=111120). – Kazuhito Jun 1 at 3:02
  • DEM Data Source: 1/3 arc sec USGS 1 x 1 degree 2013 NED adf file The inverse z factor left the hillshade completely black Screen shot(s) to be posted below momentarily! – evet2364 Jun 3 at 15:25
  • Start playing with rendering options on any of the results. – Matthias Kuhn Jun 3 at 16:24
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Your resulting images are the typical look of a vastly over-exaggerated Z factor.

Your Z factor is way too high, what you are basically saying is "for 1 horizontal step, take 11000 steps in elevation" for the light simulation.

Try a Z factor of 1 for a start. If that still looks like your images, take a closer look at your coordinate values. If you use geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude), you need to lower your Z factor to something about 0.00001 as one degree is many kilometers in size but you don't want that many kilometers of fake vertical height.

The Styling Panel can help you interactively find an appropriate value as the map updates live if you use it.

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