NOTE: Prior to performing these steps with your data you would want to ensure that the DEM and image have the same geographic extents.
We created a video to show that it is possible to use geospatial data and the 3D capabilities of Adobe Photoshop. It performs very well with a decent computer and video card.
In this video, a combination of Geographic Imager and Adobe Photoshop functions are used to open a DEM file using a script. The script also transforms a DEM into a 3D model and allows for an overlay of a colour model based on the data or a custom image (e.g. ortho image). Video after the jump.
Geographic Imager 3.2: Introduction to Terrain Shader, Part 3 - Applying Terrain Shader to multiple DEM files
If your workflow involves Terrain Shader, specifying a DEM schema is an important step, especially when dealing with mulitple DEM files.
When importing a single DEM file, Geographic Imager converts elevation values to gray scale values. For example, if the elevation range in your DEM file is between 0 and 2500 meters and the "Auto-stretched" option is selected, this range will be converted to the Adobe Photoshop gray scale range between black and white. As shown below, the black color is assigned to the lowest elevation value (0 meter) while the white color is assigned to the highest elevation value (2500 meters). For elevation values between 0 and 2500, Geographic Imager calculates and converts them into gray scale.
The upcoming release of Geographic Imager 3.2 introduces a new feature called Terrain Shader, used to apply color gradients and shaded relief to imported DEM images. Color gradients can be exported so that you can use them for other images or share them with other people.
You might want to take a look at our brief video about the Geographic Imager Terrain Shader on our Avenza YouTube channel.
With Geographic Imager 3.x, you can import DEM files to Adobe Photoshop and can create shaded relief images.