Getting started

New 3D maps processing pipeline - PIX4Dcloud

Description

Starting on Thursday, December 7, 2023, PIX4Dcloud and PIX4Dcloud Advanced use, by default, a new processing pipeline when selecting the 3D maps processing option.

It has some advantages and some changes with respect to the legacy pipeline that is based on PIX4Dmapper.

Please find an example of a project processed (*) with the new pipeline in the demo section here.

(*) Project provided by W+H AG and Wingtra AG.

Advantages
Changes
Better coordinate system Support
No compatibility with PIX4Dmapper
Faster processing
New quality report
Process larger projects
No AutoGCP PDF report is generated
Better point cloud and 3D textured mesh
Note: The projects processed with the new pipeline cannot be opened in PIX4Dmapper.
Important: This new pipeline is not optimized for:
- Oblique images -> Select 3D models instead.
- Images with low texture (e.g., vegetation) -> Select 3D maps and the legacy pipeline or 2D orthomosaic instead.
Note: The new pipeline is only available when selecting 3D maps. The other processing options will continue using the legacy pipeline.

Advantages

  • Better coordinate system support -> The new pipeline supports vertical systems and geoids.
  • Faster processing -> Our internal tests showed that the new pipeline is faster, especially when processing projects with AutoGCP.
  • Process larger projects -> The new pipeline supports larger projects; for example, a project with 3951 42.2-megapixel images was successfully processed during our internal tests.
  • Better point cloud and 3D textured mesh -> Our internal tests demonstrated that the new pipeline produces a more complete point cloud and sharper 3D textured mesh results.
Tip: With the improvements in the coordinate system support, PIX4Dcloud can now provide the most accurate results with an RTK drone and the right horizontal system, vertical system, and geoid (or geoid height).

Changes

  • No compatibility with PIX4Dmapper -> When using the new pipeline, the projects cannot be downloaded and then opened with PIX4Dmapper.
  • New quality report -> The PDF Quality Report generated after the processing is not the same as the one generated with the legacy pipeline. Find a quality report example in this project provided by W+H AG and Wingtra AG.
  • No AutoGCP report is generated -> An AutoGCP report will not be generated when using the new pipeline.

How to use the new pipeline

The new pipeline is selected by default with the 3D maps processing option.

To use the 3D maps legacy pipeline, which is based on PIX4Dmapper, select the PIX4Dmapper compatibility checkbox.

image-20231127-124945 (1).png

Note: Projects processed with the new pipeline cannot be opened in PIX4Dmapper unless the checkbox PIX4Dmapper compatibility is checked.

Comparison between the new 3D maps pipeline and the legacy pipeline

2D results (orthomosaic and DSM)

The orthomosaic and DSM are generally sharper than those produced by the existing legacy 3D maps pipeline, but our internal tests show that, in general terms, the 2D results are more or less equivalent.

3D results (point cloud and 3D textured mesh)

Our internal tests also showed that the point cloud is typically equivalent to the one produced by the legacy 3D maps pipeline. However, the new 3D maps pipeline also offers improvements in the following cases:

  • Some difficult-to-reconstruct areas contain more points (e.g., building facades, cables, and other thin structures)
  • Flat areas with relatively little texture contain more points (e.g., roads)

With regards to the 3D textured mesh, the new pipeline shows some improvements in the visualization in the browser in the following cases:

  • Sharper texture
  • In urban areas, the 3D textured mesh is more realistic
  • Some complex structures are modeled better (e.g., towers)
  • Texts and road markings (e.g., signposts, road lines, and railroad tracks)