Shaded relief raster function returns incorrect color ramp

10-27-2021 04:17 PM
New Contributor II


I used the shaded relief function from the raster functions pane in ArcGIS Pro 2.8.3 and the result does not look like the elevation color ramp.

My steps:

  1. I downloaded a DEM from NOAA's Data Access Viewer as a tif. 
  2. Generated a hillshade of the DEM using raster function>>hillshade
  3. Generated a shaded relief of the hillshade using raster function>>shaded relief

I've done this before, and it worked correctly (see left side in graphic). I repeated the process on that same DEM and a different DEM and now get the shaded relief shown on the right side of the graphic. I don't remember if the correct shaded relief was done in a different AGP version.


The DEM is projected and has statistics calculated.

I've tried the following, but nothing works to correct the result:

  1. importing symbology from the correct shaded relief
  2. save as permanent dataset
  3. changing symbology stretch type, gamma values, statistics type on the DEM, hillshade, and shaded relief
  4. importing statistics from the correct shaded relief
  5. generating a new shaded relief using a different elevation color ramp, still get a ghoulish shade from what it's suppose to be
  6. tried different parameter settings for the hillshade and shaded relief functions
  7. using a different computer (same AGP version)

I'm not sure where to go from here with the troubleshooting. Any ideas?

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2 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

If you have the spatial analyst or 3D analyst extensions, can you try

Hillshade (Spatial Analyst)—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation which will enable you to produce a shaded relief with your dem

Do you get predictable results with your datasets?

... sort of retired...
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New Contributor II


I tried the process using the Spatial Analyst extension and had the same weird color ramp. 

I realized what I was doing wrong. I was running the shaded relief function on the hillshade. I ran the shade relief on the DEM itself and got the results I was looking for.

Thanks, Charlotte

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