Phantom 3 and 3D Terrain Modeling

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I've been doing some research on how to use the P3 for 3D terrain modeling. The software I've come across is Pix4D and AutoDesk Momento.

Is anyone using the P3 for this type of work? This is the reason I bought the drone!

Any input and guidance would be appreciated. Thanks!
 
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I can't offer any advice or specifics on 3D mapping, but I bought my P3 from these folks:
http://www.dronesmadeeasy.com/
When I purchased mine it included free use of their Maps Made Easy Processing. I haven't tried it yet, but they do mention the ability to make your own orthophoto and 3D models.
Not sure if this would help with your plans.
 
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I'm a photoscan can disciple. Started crunching models yesterday. Very promising.
 
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Could you explain more what exactly your doing? Creating a topo from your p3?
 
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Could you explain more what exactly your doing? Creating a topo from your p3?

Honestly, I'm not sure yet. When I started learning about drone, I immediately (like many of you) saw using them to do topographical modeling, hopefully quickly and easily. And then of course, I think about the commercial applications for this.

I have an acquaintance that currently is using drones commercially for topography. I hope to meet with him soon to talk about he P3.

In short, I don't have a specific application yet. I'm just here to learn! :D
 
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I had a little play with Pix 4D last year with my V+ and it looked promising. We've just got a licence at work and had my first chance to use it last week. I shot a single battery from my p3 pro and was very impressed with the result. Ortho and terrain model for civil - survey. Have also been playing with importing into 3DS Max to give the architects and landscape architects something to play with. I'm keen to use the Pix 4D app when it comes out but you can work without it - just get lots of overlap. With 4K video I'm hopeful that the software and hardware will allow video capture rather than stills. Time will tell.

 
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When you refer to lots of overlap, do you mean flying a path that's tight with each pass back and forth or do you do multiple paths offset with each mission? Then have the software weave all shots together. It appears that your paths are flown manually.
 
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Just as with panoramic photography, you need to have a certain amount of overlap between photos so the software can pattern match - usually at least 30%. The same is true for 3D model building. To build this model I did several orbits of the building at different altitudes, shooting 4K. After acquiring about 14 minutes of video I used ffmpeg to extract one frame per 3 seconds of video (arbitrary.. you'll need to adjust based on the area covered, speed and altitude). Then I manually selected the best shots, which resulted in about 180 jpegs. Those were imported into PhotoScan. It took a few hours to build the mesh. For terrain mapping, I'd suggest a few dozen passes at different altitudes and make sure that you have about 50% overlap on each pass. More is always better but it just takes longer to process all the images.

hyde3d.jpg
 
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Appreciate your help Mark. I find the technology fascinating. I currently have a P3P and an I1, both of which are not supported by Pix4D and I'm itching to try my first project. Your input is excellent. Thanks again. I'm going to try this weekend and I let you know how it went.
 
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I just wish the Phantom 3 had a shorter intervalometer frequency. 5 seconds is a big one. 1-2 secs would be much better I suppose. Still, we'll see what Pix4d rolls out.


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I think I understand what intervalometer frequency is as in time lapse photography. It appears that the camera would be stationary with shutter triggers at preset intervals capturing the subject that may be moving. According to Pix4D, my understanding is that in auto pilot mode (predetermined flight path) the camera is triggered by the software at 5 meter horizontal intervals and 3 meter vertical intervals. So really, the frequency of pictures taken is related to distance travelled during the mission as a function of the speed you are traveling. That makes sense why mark_in_lincoln shot video at 4k, then selected frames at 3 second intervals. Is that about right, or am I missing something?
 
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I had a little play with Pix 4D last year with my V+ and it looked promising. We've just got a licence at work and had my first chance to use it last week. I shot a single battery from my p3 pro and was very impressed with the result. Ortho and terrain model for civil - survey. Have also been playing with importing into 3DS Max to give the architects and landscape architects something to play with. I'm keen to use the Pix 4D app when it comes out but you can work without it - just get lots of overlap. With 4K video I'm hopeful that the software and hardware will allow video capture rather than stills. Time will tell.


Hey there, I'm OP. I just saw this video and it looks amazing! Did you shoot it with P3? Is there anyway we could chat privately to discuss how you did this? Thanks again! :)
 
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So your shooting a series of overlapping photos to create 3D terrain that can be used in apps like 3dsMax, Maya, etc.?
 
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I was talking with pix4d and they said fisheye cameras work best. What kind of accuracy have you guys gotten with the p3p?
 

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