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Pix4D – Drone imaging software

by Fabio Affortunato
Pix4d
Reading time / Tempo lettura : 3 minutes / minuti

Pix4D full imaging suite for the drone

Pix4D is a company with headquarters in Switzerland and operating offices in the United States, Germany, China, Spain and Japan, which develops software and App solutions, both for the post-processing of the data acquired with the drone, and for the acquisition of the themselves. We see in this article then the first of the solutions that Pix4D has developed for different needs: Pix4Dmapper.

Pix4D Solutions

The Pix4D software house has developed 7 applications covering: aerial photogrammetry and mapping (Pix4Dmapper), BIM (Pix4Dbim), flight planning (Pix4Dcapture), cloud aerial data (Pix4Dengine), precision agriculture (Pix4Dfield), 3D modeling (Pix4Dmodel) , 2D mapping for emergencies (Pix4Dreact) and soon also data organization for BIM (Pix4survey).

The solutions offered by Pix4D are complementary to each other, but they can obviously be used independently of each other.

Pix4Dmapper – Pix4D solution for mapping

It is the solution dedicated to aerophotogrammetry and mapping. In fact, the software automatically converts the images captured with the drone into geo-referenced models in 2D and 3D.

Through a post-processing the software therefore allows to generate from the acquired photos:

  • 3D point cloud
  • Orthomosaic maps
  • 3D weaving patterns
  • Digital models of the surface
  • Level curves
  • NDVI maps (vegetation index).

Compatible drones

Pix4Dmapper is completely free from the type of drone, in the sense that the fundamental element is the video camera, not the drone. However, it is clear that the drone must be able to carry a payload (video camera), suitable for capturing images in relation to the purpose we have set ourselves.

Compatible cameras and image format

Pix4dmapper is able to process the images captured with any camera, be it metric, multispectral, fisheye, DSLR, camera rigs, thermal camera or smartphone camera.

Consequently the compatible image formats are: JPG / TIFF, RGB / NIR / Thermal / single or multi band and MP4 video formats.

Pix4Dcapture – Flight planner for Pix4Dmapper

The achievement of a good post-processing result presupposes a correct and precise acquisition of aerial data. Fortunately Pix4D has also thought of an App, Pix4Dcapture, for the Android and iOS operating systems, which allows you to plan and perform a correct, precise and fast mapping. The App, available for free in the two Google Play and Apple Store markets, therefore allows you to plan your flight, after setting some parameters such as the type of drone. In relation to the type of survey to be carried out, it will be possible to define the best flight mission.

Pix4dcapture

Screenshot of Pix4Dcapture – Source Pix4D website – Screenshoot editing 4mydrone

The technical data sheets of the App in the two versions are available for iOS and Android.

Post-processing data formats

The post-processing output formats are varied and related to the purposes. They include: GeoTIFF, KML, XYZ, LAS, SHP, PDF, DXF, OBJ, PLY, FBX, CSV.

Computer requirements for Pix4Dmapper sw

Pix4Dmapper runs on computers with Windows 7/8/10 64-bit operating environment, with a minimum of 4GB of RAM (better 16GB). For the graphic part, any machine that has an OpenGL 3.2 compatible GPU is fine.

Post-processing examples

Since an image is worth 100 words, here are some examples of post-processing obtained with Pix4Dmapper.

Pix4dmapper Immagini

Pix4dmapper images post-processed – Source Pix4D website – Screenshoot editing 4mydrone

Prices

ix4D places its products on sale essentially in two forms: acquired through a perpetual license or subscription on a monthly or annual basis. The cost for the perpetual license includes, in addition to a license for one computer, personalized support and updates for one year. The monthly subscription includes the license for two computers, updates with personal support and cloud processing and sharing up to 2500 photos or 20 projects per month. Regardless the price, the subscription-based solution appears more convenient from a support / update point of view and for those who need a medium-term or spot solution.

Conclusions

Pix4D offers professional solutions for image post processing with drones. The products offered, including Pix4Dampper are undoubtedly very valid and the software ecosystem offered by Pix4D also allows to cover needs related to a specific starting survey. The Pix4D flight planner Pix4D, also made available for free, allows you to perform every job with maximum efficiency, speed and precision.


Note regarding the images: The images (screenshoots) showed in the article are taken from the Pix4D website. The images have been re-organized in relation to the contents of the article. The use of the images is exclusively for the purpose of a better understanding of the contents of the article. The highlighted image was created by 4mydrone.

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Last Updated on/Ultimo aggiornamento – 14/10/2021

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