Export Heightmaps from QGIS by Print Layout


Last modified

22 July 2018


To get the highest quality heightmaps from QGIS we use the Print Layout function. This tutorial builds on the heightmap refinements taught in Export Heightmaps from QGIS by Screenshot.

Print Layout Window


Zoom In Icon  Zoom in on the desired area

Print Layout Icon  Create a new layout

Add Map Icon  Add a new map to layout. Move the mouse pointer over the page and click and drag to place the map

Move Item Content Icon  Adjustments can be made by clicking on the map and dragging. The mousewheel can adjust the zoom. CTRL mousewheel will make finer adjustments.

Click and Drag Map

Go to the Item Properties Tab
Item Properties Tab

Change the Width and Height unit to px. Then enter the desired width and height. Use square dimensions.

If you intend to use the exported image as a texture to be rendered then Power of Two dimensions are preferred, 1024x1024, 2048x2048, 4096x4096 etc.

Position and Size

Go to the Layout Tab
Layout Tab

Click Resize Layout
Resize Layout Button

This will make the page match the dimensions of the map.

Export as Image  Export as Image

Resize Layout to Content


I haven't found a way to determine the best dimensions for exporting a heightmap. Trial and error is the method I use.

Going further

Make Mountains in Blender from Heightmaps
These exported heightmaps can then be used to create 3d models. You can do this with any good 3d modelling software. I do this using, the free software, Blender.

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