The Planes feature has been designed to improve mesh generation for man-made environments, including interior and urban scenes where planar surfaces are common. When added to a project, the surface of the mesh will be constrained to the associated Plane.
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There are two methods for creating a Plane. Automatic generation, or Manually drawing a plane.
PIX4Dmatic can automatically detect a planar surface and generate a plane during processing. To enable this feature, check the Planes box in the Processing options.
PIX4Dmatic Processing options.
It is advised to assess the position of the automatically generated Planes before creating the mesh. If the Plane is not correctly positioned, the mesh will not be properly reconstructed. The vertices of the Planes can manually be adjusted to precisely represent the surface. To begin editing a Plane, turn on the dense point cloud, and click on a Plane to begin editing. The vertices will become visible and can be snapped to the point cloud.
Editing a Plane in PIX4Dmatic.
PIX4Dmatic allows for the manual creation of Planes. To create these features, ensure that a point cloud is visible, click on Tools, and select Plane. Alternatively, the keyboard shortcut P can activate the tool. Once activated, vertices will snap to the point cloud, MTPs, or ITPs. Left-click to add vertices. Right-click to add the final vertex and complete the Plane.
It is possible to delete a Plane. Right-click on the plane and select Delete polygon.
Deleting a Plane.
The Plane normals is a line that is perpendicular to the plane. It indicates the direction or what would be considered the outer surface of the plane. The Plane normals can be turned on by going to the 3D viewer settings, and toggling on the Plane normals. Magenta arrows display the Plane normals, as viewed in the image below.
Plane normals in the 3D viewer.
Correctly setting the direction of the Plane normals provides for a better mesh reconstruction and viewing experience. Ensuring that the normals of a plane point to the direction of the cameras used to capture that surface is imperative. To flip the Plane normals, right-click on the plane and select Flip normal.
When creating and editing Planes for interior scenes, it is recommended to use the Backface culling feature in the 3D viewer settings. When enabled, this feature allows for a backward transparency of the Planes. The Plane will be opaque when viewed from the front. However, it will be transparent when viewed from behind. This allows for an obstructed view of interior scenes.
Backface transparency option.
View of Planes from behind without Backface culling.
View of Planes from behind with Backface culling.