Quick Start Guide - PIX4Dmatic

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This article is a quick start guide on how to use PIX4Dmatic for the first time. In particular, this page will show how to get from an image dataset captured by a drone or PIX4Dcatch RTK to the creation of accurate 2D and 3D maps and models.  

Setting up a project

The first step in PIX4Dmatic is setting up the project, defining the required parameters, and adding the necessary data before moving on to processing.

Log in

Create new project

For more information: Create a project - PIX4Dmatic

Import Tie points (GCPs and CPs)

Adding and marking Tie points (Ground control points (GCPs) and Checkpoints (CPs)) in a project is optional but it's a method to maintain and verify the absolute accuracy of a project. 

For more information on Tie points:  Tie points - PIX4Dmatic

For more information on how to mark Tie points:  Mark Tie points - PIX4Dmatic

Coordinate Reference System

After importing the images and the Tie points, the Coordinate Reference System (CRS) must be set. PIX4Dmatic allows setting the CRS of the Images, the GCPs, and the Project. 

Image coordinate reference system

GCPs coordinate reference system

Project coordinate reference system

The project Coordinate Reference System is derived from the GCPs coordinate system. No GCPs are required to change the coordinate system in a PIX4Dmatic project.

 

Processing options

After setting up the project, the next step is processing it. From Calibrating the images to generating a Digital Surface Model (DSM) or an Orthomosaic, PIX4Dmatic has plenty of different options in each of the processing steps to choose from, depending on the project's needs. PIX4Dmatic comes with three different preset processing templates:

PIX4Dmatic_templates.png

Processing templates in PIX4Dmatic.

For Custom: By changing any of the processing options at any step during processing, PIX4Dmatic will automatically change the processing template to Custom.

Calibration

Calibration_PIX4Dmatic.png

PIX4Dmatic Calibration step in PIX4Dmatic.

Calibration is the first step in processing a dataset and lays the foundation for the following steps. Default settings are provided and are generally the best place to start.

For more information: Calibration - PIX4Dmatic

For PIX4Dcatch projects: How to process PIX4Dcatch datasets - PIX4Dmatic

Dense point cloud

Dense_point_cloud_PIX4Dmatic.png

Dense point cloud in PIX4Dmatic.

A dense point cloud is a series of dots spread across a volume of 3D space that represents the area of interest. The Dense point cloud step is a 3D representation of reality and it's the basis of the other 2D and 3D representations of reality that can be produced in PIX4Dmatic.

For more information:  Dense point cloud - PIX4Dmatic

Planes

Planes_PIX4Dmatic.png

Planes in PIX4Dmatic.

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.

For more information:  Planes - PIX4Dmatic

Mesh

Mesh_PIX4Dmatic.png

Mesh in PIX4Dmatic.

The Mesh step is generated directly from the dense point cloud and is not necessary for every project. It is not required to generate a mesh to be able to generate the Digital Surface Model and the Orthomosaic.

For more information:  Mesh - PIX4Dmatic

DSM

DSM_PIX4Dmatic.png

DSM in PIX4Dmatic.

A Digital Surface Model (DSM) is a 2D representation of the elevation of everything in the area of
interest, both natural and artificial. The DSM step is required to generate the orthomosaic, so any
changes to the processing settings of the DSM will also impact the orthomosaic. The DSM step defines the Resolution, enables the Surface smoothing, and enables Interpolation for the Digital Surface Model (DSM) creation.

For more information:  DSM - PIX4Dmatic

Orthomosaic

Orthomosaic_PIX4Dmatic.png

Orthomosaic in PIX4Dmatic.

An Orthomosaic is a highly detailed and realistic 2D representation of reality generated by combining individual images. The Orthomosaic step is generated directly from the Digital Surface Model (DSM), so any errors or gaps in the DSM will also be present in the orthomosaic.

For more information:  Orthomosaic - PIX4Dmatic

Outputs

Exports-PIX4Dmatic.png

Export window in PIX4Dmatic.

Once processing is complete, the Exports window in PIX4Dmatic provides the selection of the following outputs: 

  • Quality Report 
  • Dense point cloud
  • Point cloud from mesh
  • Mesh
  • Digital Surface Model (DSM)
  • Orthomosaic

Locate the export folder

To access the outputs, click on File and then Open project folder. The exported outputs are in the Exports folder. 

For more information: Outputs - PIX4Dmatic

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