Dronedeploy 3d to scan a terrain with a drone

Create 3D environment models from drone images

In this first part of a great trilogy to come, Denis shares with you one of his favorite experiences!
Equipped with a Mavic Air drone and his fetish smartphone, Denis goes to the field to scan. He is going to take an aerial photograph with a professional drone. First step is the take-off, second step is the stabilization, third step is the aerial shooting (zoom if necessary) and last step is the landing. Of course, be careful with the authorizations upstream if it is a populated area prohibiting overflights and the use of drones for aerial photography (it is forbidden to film without their knowledge individuals who have not explicitly given their consent to the right of image). Also note that flying a civilian drone as a beginner is a complex activity.

Discover through this guide how to :

  • choose a drone for your hobby
  • Take pictures taking into account geographical information and essential flight authorizations (no shooting in forbidden areas)
  • Avoid obstacles to successful aerial photography
  • take a 3D model made from drone photos (obj.) and integrate it into Sketchup.

Indeed, we will see how to take this 3D model (terrain and existing structures as intact as possible) and develop it in SketchUp thanks to the Dronedeploy 3d solution.

The main rules of using a radio-controlled drone before using dronedeploy 3d

Before buying a drone, it is essential to find out about certain points:

  • How high can it go? (High altitude? Low altitude only?)
  • Will I be able to fly it or should I go through a training center?
  • For what particular activities will I use it? (High-definition photography of places in aerial view? Simple overflight of the French territory ? To make video editing ? To make an aerial map of an area?)
  • What is its maximum flight time?

Knowing that first, you will have to establish the flight plan of your drone via the platform https://www.dronedeploy.com/ as Denis did.

This internet interface will then allow him to download the 3D model obtained by the aerial photographs of his drone. Thanks to the 4K camera of the Mavic Air, Denis obtained a 3D model of his land with an incomparable level of precision (in very high resolution)!

Before you try this tutorial, you should be aware of the regulations on drones, here is a non-exhaustive list of what the French law says:

  • Do not fly over anyone, propellers are dangerous.
  • 150m of maximum height (it is the law), Denis flies at 35m of height to scan his land.
  • We anticipate the weather, fly your drone with a clear sky and always at night.
  • Keep your drone always in sight!
  • Respect the image and privacy of your neighbors. And do not fly over “sensitive” sites
  • If your drone weighs more than 800 grams, you will need a permit to take off!

Use drone photos to create a 3D model with dronedeploy 3d

Here is how to make a great Dronedeploy 3d model in Sketchup :

  • Choose THE time to fly: One of the most important steps in using your drone to make a 3D model is to choose a good time to fly. In addition to avoiding strong winds or rain, it is also important to choose a time when the lighting is good to facilitate your shots (if possible in full-hd)
  • Capture nadir images: start by capturing nadir images, i.e. photos taken from above looking down, using the free flight app DroneDeploy3d (iOS or Android). All he has to do is mark the area he wants to fly over on a base map, and the app generates a flight plan. After a safety check, the drone automatically takes off, flies along the automated flight path capturing images, and then lands (we’re talking about autonomous drones that don’t need a human to pilot them and to film various aerial views in real time)
  • If you are making a 3D model of a relatively flat area, an aerial flight may be enough to get a good model. However, if you are modeling a structure or rock formation with steep, vertical, or concave sides, aerial images will not provide a good view of the sides of the structure. For this reason, it is recommended that you make two additional orbital flights around the structure to capture oblique images to improve the quality of your model
  • Process the imagery to generate your 3D model : Once the flight is complete, upload it to DroneDeploy 3d by exporting the DroneDeploy 3d model as an OBJ file.
    From there you can develop your Dronedeploy 3d model in Sketchup.

In the second part of the tutorial, Denis will finally model the pool!