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Pix4D Demonstration

VIDEO 5: Pix4D Demonstration

Hi, in this video, I’m going to give a very brief overview of Pix 4d mapper that can be using in conjunction with our separate UAV products starting with geo-tagged images—however non-geo-tagged images can still be processed with this software as well.

Geo-tagging images is possible through our included ground station control software by matching flight log data with photo image data.  It can also be done using PIX 4D alone in the same manner of tagging images with flight log data.

For this video, I am going to start with already geo-tagged images to demonstrate how easy it is to get started with this great piece of software to create DEMs, orthomaps, and more.

So the first thing you are going to want to do is start a new project.

When you do this, a few different options will be available to you, however we are going to stick with the default ‘aerial’ choice here and name our project ‘Crops,’ and click next.

From there, we are going to want to add images from our flight, and as you can see here, there are again some other various options to choose from.

We have ‘near infrared’ and ‘RGB’ to pick from, so you will want to choose what would apply to you and would depend on which of our payloads you had flown with at the time.

If you have captured near infrared images using our Tetracam payload, you’re going to want to choose that option, but for this video, we’re simply aligning and processing geo-tagged photos from one of our RGB camera payloads.

Moving forward, we are going to go ahead and click ‘add images’ and navigate to the relevant folder that has the geo-tagged images from the last flight that we have saved.

We’re going to select all and click open to choose our entire set of images.

As you can see, all of our images have been selected, so we’ll go ahead and click next.

From there, we have an overview of what the program had noticed about our images—it can tell us that there is geo-location data for 34 out of the 35 images that we have uploaded, and one image that, for whatever reason could not be geo-tagged.

This program knows which camera model was used for capturing our images and has some information about that particular camera listed when it goes to process the photos for us—since Ricoh is displayed, we know the Zephyr 2 was used for this flight.

You can see the one image that does not have the geo-tagged information listed can be selected that and excluded, but for the ones that do have the geo-tagging information listed, we can examine the latitude, longitude, and altitude for each image—confirming our EXIF data to be correctly uploaded to the program.

Lining up these geo-tagged photos will be very simple for the program—again, the software can align photos without the information having been geo-tagged by using the image shadowing itself, however, data accuracy and time in processing will be less ideal vs using images with their geo-tagged information included.

So to move forward processing our photos, we’re just going to click finish, and, ultimately, you will be able to preview your processed photos in Google Earth as well as using them to perform a variety of other functions.

To learn more about using this program, I recommend reading through the PIX 4D software documentation that explains very well the process of going through and aligning photos to create point maps for orthomap generation and DEMs, as well as to export geo referenced image files to kml or geotif format.

A link to the PIX 4D documentation is on this same page.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us through email or phone and we’d be happy to help!

Thanks for watching and happy flying!

Agrisoft Photoscan Pro

Transcript: Agrisoft Photoscan Pro

 Hi again! In this video, I’m going to demonstrate the basic use of the post-processing software, Agrisoft Photoscan Pro, which can be used to align and process photos that were captured with our Zephyr 2 or Zephyr 3 UAV systems, whether it’s RGB, or near infrared images.

The first thing that we’re going to do once we have opened the Agrisoft photoscan pro program, is click on the little photo icon, here, and navigate to the folder that has your images—preferably ones that have already been geo-tagged with our ground station software.

If you have not geo-tagged your images already, you can geo-tag the image set after a flight mission using the flight log that has been generated from your ground station control software.

The software can process photos that aren’t geo-tagged, but since the procedure for geo-tagging images is so simple and straightforward, you would normally want to do that in advance so that your processing time, as well as the necessary resources for processing the photos will be reduced, and with a higher overall level of accuracy.

Normally for photo processing, we recommend that you have a PC with roughly 16 gigs of memory and a quad-core processor at minimum, but of course, the more powerful your computer, the better.

A standard desktop isn’t really going to be able to handle the level of processing required by the software.

Once you have uploaded your geo-tagged photos, you will want to click on your folder that has your images within the chunk that you are currently processing.

Go to the view menu and select ‘ground control,’ and then click on the ground control tab.

At the top of the menu to the left, you will want to click on the button labeled ‘import EXIF data.’ .

As you can see, all of the images that we have uploaded have their x,y, and z data displayed and extracted from the hidden EXIF data; the latitude, longitude, and altitude, so that when we align our photos, the software will know where the images are in space instead of having to estimate by looking at the shadowing of the images alone to generate an accurate end result.

Once you have uploaded your geo-tags, go to the ‘work flow’ menu item and select ‘align photos.’

Depending on your system’s resources, you’re going to want to select the accuracy setting that matches your processing resources.

You are always going to want to go with the highest of level of accuracy that you can, but processing times will be extended the higher the level of accuracy you chose.

If you have captured images on a windy day, high accuracy level could increase processing times immensely, so keep this in mind.

So once you have chosen your accuracy level, you’re also going to want to select ‘ground control’ for pair selection, since we have ground station control points available for the software to use.

You can also choose to go with ‘generic’ if you do not have ground control points available.

Go ahead and click ‘ok’ to get the alignment process started when you are ready.

After the alignment is completed, you can assign some ground station control points to your aligned photo to increase your photo-mosaics end level accuracy and create a point of reference for the software to use.

By adding 3 or more ground control points, 1 cm of accuracy can easily be achieved with our systems.

After your ground control points are set, (we’re going to go ahead and cancel our alignment process prematurely) the next step is to build your geometry, which serves to geo-reference all of the pixels on our photo-mosaic image so that you can see the GPS coordinates and elevation at any one point of our photomosaic.

This highly accurate, geo-referenced, and post-processed image can be used to output ortho-maps and DEMs, as well as perform distance measurements or even perform volume and slope calculations.

Another option this software allows, is for the user to build texture onto the photo-mosaic image so that we can three-dimensionally visualize the image and see where elevation changes exist without having to create a digital elevation map.

If you wish to combine data from multiple flight missions together, you can align several post-processed chunks using this software to compile our individual flight mission’s image data into a bigger piece of image data.

By doing this, you can virtually extend the flight time of our UAV hardware many times over to map very large areas.

Once your image data has been post-processed using the method I have already described, you can export an ortho photo via a jpeg, tif, or png, or even create a Google kml file for viewing in Google earth.

DEM’s and geotiff’s are also exportable for other specialized types of analysis software.

So, this has been our intro course into the use of Agrisoft Photoscan Pro.

If you want to learn more, I encourage you to read over Agrisoft’s documentation for using this software available on this same page.

Feel free to contact us through email or by phone if you have any questions regarding this software. We are happy to help!

Thanks for watching and happy flying!