Trying to do the Creating Shaded Relief in Blender tutorial


Got the file from SRTM 1 Arc-Second Global. Got also a DEM file from NASA STRM3 STRMGL30 and Blender does not read it. The file does not appear in Blender's file opener.

  • You write DT2 file in the question topic, but I doubt Blender can read those. Reading the tutorial that you are linking, there is quite a long process of preparation for the DEM-raster (here: somethingaboutmaps.wordpress.com/…). Did you go through these steps and convert the DEM to a integer TIF?
    – hexamon
    Oct 14, 2019 at 13:49

2 Answers 2


You can also use QGIS (which is open source) and/or Blender plugin Blender GIS.

Using QGIS, you can make a SHP (shapefile) out of a DEM and with Blender GIS you make a mesh out of the SHP (see this question and this question), or, you can import SRTM directly into Blender using only Blender GIS.

enter image description here


Try this approach:

  1. Under QGIS save the raster as GeoTIFF from Raster -> Conversion -> Translate (convert format).... This is actually an interface to the underlying gdal_translate.
  2. (optional) Open the GeoTIFF in GIMP or Photoshop
  3. (optional) Save the file as simple TIFF
  4. Open in Blender

Screenshot of the gdal_translate interface.

Make sure you select UInt16.

enter image description here

From https://somethingaboutmaps.wordpress.com/blender-relief-tutorial-getting-set-up/ the important excerpt:

Once you’ve got the DEM reprojected, clipped, and rescaled, it’s time to save it as a 16-bit unsigned TIFF. ... If you’re in QGIS, you’ll need to Translate and manually add the -ot tag to the GDAL output to specify the data type (UInt16).

(Possible) Step Eight: Re-Save I have no idea if this is true for QGIS, but ArcGIS, at least, saves TIFF files that Blender can’t read directly. Not sure why. But, if you open the TIFF in Photoshop, then Save as a new file, Blender will be able to read that new file. Passing it through Photoshop seems to clean it up somehow; other image editing programs may fix this problem, too.

  • Blender still does not read the file even I use the Translate in QGIS and export it again as TIF via GIMP. I'd appreciate any help. Thanks!
    – BallpenMan
    Oct 16, 2019 at 12:46
  • This might be obvious: does the file have a .tif extension? Could you post the exported file somewhere? Oct 16, 2019 at 13:34
  • Yes. It's a TIF file. i.imgur.com/1YA9zru.png Blender still does not read it.
    – BallpenMan
    Oct 17, 2019 at 12:23

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