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Hey all,

Does anyone know if the Litchi app does 3D mapping? From what I have seen on YouTube and the internet, I have not seen that feature, but I figured I would ask all the experts here before I bought it. 

We are doing a 3D mapping mission soon with a DJI Matrice 100 with the Zenmuse Z3 camera. The original plan was to use the DJI GS Pro app, but I was having trouble getting the Z3 camera to work with the program. I found out today from DJI tech support that there is a compatibility issue between the Z3 and the GS Pro app, but they are "working on the issue" (whatever that means)... It works fine with my DJI Phanton 3 Pro, but I don't have enough batteries for that to do the mission.

Thanks,

Chris 

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15 hours ago, Orangutan39 said:

Hey all,

Does anyone know if the Litchi app does 3D mapping? From what I have seen on YouTube and the internet, I have not seen that feature, but I figured I would ask all the experts here before I bought it. 

We are doing a 3D mapping mission soon with a DJI Matrice 100 with the Zenmuse Z3 camera. The original plan was to use the DJI GS Pro app, but I was having trouble getting the Z3 camera to work with the program. I found out today from DJI tech support that there is a compatibility issue between the Z3 and the GS Pro app, but they are "working on the issue" (whatever that means)... It works fine with my DJI Phanton 3 Pro, but I don't have enough batteries for that to do the mission.

Thanks,

Chris 

What software are you going to use to process the data once you are done and does that software manufacturer offer an app to program your mission planning? Pix4D does and it definitely works with the X3/Z3. Drone Deploy does as well.

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R. Martin, 

We will be using Pix4D. The issue I have with the Pix4D app is that is seems that the 3D mapping can only be done in squares or rectangles (unless I am doing something wrong).  We are doing a river survey with both 2D and 3D mapping and the river has a bunch of curves so squares and rectangle flight patterns are going to make it more difficult. The DJI GS Pro app lets you customize the 3D mapping flights to fit the area being flown over so I wanted to see if there were any other apps that allow for that. Drone Deploy looks like it does, but I am not sure that I can use the Drone Deploy app and then put the pics into Pix4D. Do you know if that is possible? 

Thanks for you help. 

Chris 

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1 hour ago, Orangutan39 said:

R. Martin, 

We will be using Pix4D. The issue I have with the Pix4D app is that is seems that the 3D mapping can only be done in squares or rectangles (unless I am doing something wrong).  We are doing a river survey with both 2D and 3D mapping and the river has a bunch of curves so squares and rectangle flight patterns are going to make it more difficult. The DJI GS Pro app lets you customize the 3D mapping flights to fit the area being flown over so I wanted to see if there were any other apps that allow for that. Drone Deploy looks like it does, but I am not sure that I can use the Drone Deploy app and then put the pics into Pix4D. Do you know if that is possible? 

Thanks for you help. 

Chris 

Nothing is ever easy. If it was no-one would need us. You are going to be limited in scope regardless of bends in the banks by battery life. Instead of using the square tool to plan your flight use the polygon tool. You can drop a polygon over a 4-5 acre segment of river and then create a new flight plan once you are done flying it. It works in Pix4D. I use it all the time.

If you are going to process with Pix4D then use Pix4D Capture to plan your flights. Pix4D Capture will write a .p4d file to the mission folder that you can point the software to and it will load all the necessary data in one click. You can also use Drone Deploy app to do the same, but you are going to have to process everything manually. I have to do that occasionally...no big deal.

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R. Martin, 

Thanks for your help. We ended up using the Pix4D Capture app for a section of the river project this last weekend. The app crashed a few times mid-flight, which was interesting. I had to bring the M-100 back and start the mission over after restarting the app. I never figured out why the app was crashing. When it was working everything turned out great though. Client only need 2D so we didn't have to worry about 3D stuff. Over a 1000 pics were taken over the weekend with the Pix4D Capture app, so not too bad. 

Chris 

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10 hours ago, Orangutan39 said:

R. Martin, 

Thanks for your help. We ended up using the Pix4D Capture app for a section of the river project this last weekend. The app crashed a few times mid-flight, which was interesting. I had to bring the M-100 back and start the mission over after restarting the app. I never figured out why the app was crashing. When it was working everything turned out great though. Client only need 2D so we didn't have to worry about 3D stuff. Over a 1000 pics were taken over the weekend with the Pix4D Capture app, so not too bad. 

Chris 

I've found that you need to monitor progress constantly. If you lose GPS for a second, the UAS will continue to fly the flight plan but stops taking images. If you look at the UAS on the screen, it will mark each image it takes. Once that stops and the flight plan is not resolved, recall the UAS and start again.

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Hi Chris,

I'm trying to do something very similar. How did you get the Pix4DCapture app to work with the Matrice 100 and Z3 camera? The app supports only X3, X5 and XT cameras with the Matrice 100. I tried to use Pix4DCapture with Matrice 100 and Z3 but the app keeps crashing and my vehicle doesn't take off at all. When I contacted Pix4D they said they do not support Z3 with Matrice100. 

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Chan, 

For some reason the Z3 does not like to work with much of anything out there except the DJI Go app. We got lucky and it ended up working, but the app was crashing a lot. Fully closing down and changing to the home screen on my iPad mid flight. It's frustrating that the Z3 isn't set up to work with more considering the cost of camera. I could not get it to work with the Litchi app either so we had to use my Phantom 3 Pro for the video shoots of our project. The zoom feature would be nice on video shoots especially considering we were restricted by 162 foot high tension power lines over a lot of the project so flying closer wasn't an option a lot of times. 

Chris

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1 hour ago, Orangutan39 said:

Chan, 

For some reason the Z3 does not like to work with much of anything out there except the DJI Go app. We got lucky and it ended up working, but the app was crashing a lot. Fully closing down and changing to the home screen on my iPad mid flight. It's frustrating that the Z3 isn't set up to work with more considering the cost of camera. I could not get it to work with the Litchi app either so we had to use my Phantom 3 Pro for the video shoots of our project. The zoom feature would be nice on video shoots especially considering we were restricted by 162 foot high tension power lines over a lot of the project so flying closer wasn't an option a lot of times. 

Chris

https://support.pix4d.com/hc/en-us/articles/203991609--Android-and-iOS-Which-drones-are-supported-by-the-app-#gsc.tab=0

Sorry for the bad info. The M-100 will work with the X3, X5, and XT with Android compatibility 3.1.1 later and iOS compatibility 1.4.0 and later. The Z3 doesn't work with either.

Capture.JPG

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R.Martin,

No worries. You'd think if DJI was gonna charge $900 for the Z3 camera it would work with a variety of apps, including their own GS Pro app. The standard X3 is only $500 and that's cheaper than buying a new Phantom with a bunch of batteries so we may end up going that route and using the Z3 for jobs where we actually need the zoom. 

Chris

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On 6/30/2017 at 7:08 PM, Orangutan39 said:

R.Martin,

No worries. You'd think if DJI was gonna charge $900 for the Z3 camera it would work with a variety of apps, including their own GS Pro app. The standard X3 is only $500 and that's cheaper than buying a new Phantom with a bunch of batteries so we may end up going that route and using the Z3 for jobs where we actually need the zoom. 

Chris

We use an X3 and have good results with it at 100 ft. I can pick out and digitize 3/4" lines without any problem. At 120 ft, they start to pixelate....the X5 or better is on my wish list for next fiscal year.

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  • 2 months later...

You can do 3D mapping with Litchi, but it won't do it automatically for you.  You have to define the waypoints for each flight line individually.  You first need to figure out what  flight height and speed you need to get your desired front and side overlap.  (You can do that with a spreadsheet available from Pix4d).  The speed is going to be based on using the interval mode photo setting.  The minimum interval is 2 seconds, so given your distance in feet between photos for your forward overlap;  your speed will be equal to (distance/2 seconds) = x fps. Mine ends up being between 4 to 7 mph in most cases.

Being a Land Surveyor I have access to AutoCAD and GIS software to lay out the flight lines and get the coordinates of their end points, but you can use many GIS packages to do that.  You could even do it in Google Earth and get the spacing pretty close to correct.  I could only output State Plane coordinates from AutoCAD so I then imported them into Global Mapper so I could then export them as Lat-Lons, which is what you need to import into Litchi.  Set up a dummy flight plan in Litchi and export it to a .csv to use as a template to put your coordinates into.  If you want to get real fancy, you can set the elevation of each waypoint so that if you are on sloping ground your height above ground and therefore your GSD remain the same.

Litchi Flight Plan sample2.png

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5 minutes ago, T Bennett said:

You can do 3D mapping with Litchi, but it won't do it automatically for you.  You have to define the waypoints for each flight line individually.  You first need to figure out what  flight height and speed you need to get your desired front and side overlap.  (You can do that with a spreadsheet available from Pix4d).  The speed is going to be based on using the interval mode photo setting.  The minimum interval is 2 seconds, so given your distance in feet between photos for your forward overlap;  your speed will be equal to (distance/2 seconds) = x fps. Mine ends up being between 4 to 7 mph in most cases.

Being a Land Surveyor I have access to AutoCAD and GIS software to lay out the flight lines and get the coordinates of their end points, but you can use many GIS packages to do that.  You could even do it in Google Earth and get the spacing pretty close to correct.  I could only output State Plane coordinates from AutoCAD so I then imported them into Global Mapper so I could then export them as Lat-Lons, which is what you need to import into Litchi.  Set up a dummy flight plan in Litchi and export it to a .csv to use as a template to put your coordinates into.  If you want to get real fancy, you can set the elevation of each waypoint so that if you are on sloping ground your height above ground and therefore your GSD remain the same.

Litchi Flight Plan sample2.png

Or you could do it in Pix4Dcapture and export it to CAD or GIS software once the flight is complete. The app does it faster and the accuracy does not suffer.

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