(iOS) Pix4Dcapture - Manual

(iOS) Pix4Dcapture Manual

 

(iOS) Pix4Dcapture Manual
 
_ Important:
For the sake of clarity, the following acronyms are used to refer to the different supported drones.
  • DJI Inspire 1 and Inspire 1 Pro (I1).
  • DJI Matrice 100 (M100).
  • DJI Phantom 2 Vision (P2V).
  • DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ (P2V+).
  • DJI Phantom 3 Advanced (P3A).
  • DJI Phantom 3 Professional (P3P).
  • DJI Phantom 3 Standard (P3S).
  • DJI Phantom 4 (P4).
  • Parrot Bebop 2 (B2).
Other acronyms:
  • DJI refers to all DJI drones.
  • P2V(+) refers to both P2V and P2V+.
 
Login
 
_ Access: The Login screen is displayed the first time the app is opened or when no Pix4D user account is currently activated in the app.

A Pix4D user account is needed to use Pix4Dcapture. Logging in requires Internet connection. It can be skipped up to five times so that the app can be temporarily used without login. The Login screen has several items.

Two links:

  • Sign up: Creates a Pix4D user account for news users.
  • Skip (#): Skips the login up to five times. The remaining number of times the login can be skipped is indicated in brackets.

Two fields:

  • Email: Email address (also called username) of the Pix4D user account.
  • Password: Password of the Pix4D user account.

One button:

  • Log in: Logs in to start using the app.

 

Sign-up
 
_ Access: In the Login screen, tap Sign up.

The Sign-up screen allows to create a Pix4D user account. It has several items.

One link:

  • Log in: Goes back to the Login screen.

Five fields:

  • First name: First name of the user.
  • Last name: Last name of the user.
  • Email: Email address (also called username) of the new Pix4D user account.
  • Password: Password of the Pix4D user account.
  • Country: Country where the app is used.

Two buttons:

  • Cancel: Cancels the sign-up.
  • Sign up: Creates a Pix4D user account.



Home
 
_ Access: The Home screen is displayed when the app is started and the user is logged in. The Home screen can be accessed from:
  • The general Settings, the Mission Manager or the Tutorial/Help by tapping Home on the menu bar.
  • The Map view of any mission by tapping  on the toolbar. The Home screen cannot be accessed during a mission.

The Home screen has the following flight plans. Scroll left or right to select one:

  • Grid Mission.
  • Double Grid Mission.
  • Circular Mission.
  • Free Flight Mission.

_ Important: Not all types of mission are available for all supported drones. For more information about the different missions and supported drones, or how to choose the type of mission: 209960726.

The Home screen also has the following items:

  • Mission Manager: Opens the list of completed missions with transfer options for post-flight processing.
  • Tutorial/Help: Gives direct access to the online documentation and support.
  • : Opens the list of general Settings.
  • : Opens the Login screen.
  • : Logs the current Pix4D user account out.

 

Settings

Several options allow to personalize the app and the missions. There are several menus where flight settings can be edited.

_ Access:
  • General: In the Home screen, tap Settings .
  • Grid Mission: In the Home screen, select Grid Mission and tap Settings .
  • Double Grid Mission: In the Home screen, select Double Grid Mission and tap Settings .
  • Circular Mission: No options available.
  • Free Flight Mission: In the Home screen, select Free Flight Mission and tap Settings .

The following settings can be changed.

_ Important:
  • Not all settings are available depending on the type of mission and the drone.
  • There are two menus of settings in the mission options, Normal and Advanced. Some settings can only be found in the Advanced menu.
 
Category Option Description Drone(s)
General  Choose your drone Selects the drone to fly. All
Except P2V(+)
 Metric / Imperial units Selects between Meters (default) or Feet. All
 Sync automatically Defines whether the mission is synchronized right after the flight, Yes (default), or manually by the user later, No. For more information: 204057579. All
 Upload resolution Defines the resolution of the images to upload and process on the cloud, Full (default) or Half. For more information: 204010419.
All
 Flying in China Improves the geolocation of images if flying in China only, Yes, otherwise it should not be activated, No (default). To use with caution. All
Version Displays the app version and the build number between parentheses. All
Grid Mission  Angle of the camera Defines the orientation of the camera from a range between 0° (horizontal) and 90° (vertical). For more information: 204010419. DJI
Except P2V(+)
 Overlap Defines the front overlap from a range between 70% and 90%. For more information about how to choose the overlap: 202557459. For more information about the side overlap: 204010419. All
 Picture trigger mode Selects between Safe mode or Fast mode (default). For more information: 204010419. DJI
Except P2V(+)
 Drone speed
Defines the drone's speed from a range between Slow and Fast (default). Only applies to Fast mode. For more information: 204010419. DJI
 White balance Selects between Auto (default), Sunny or Cloudy. DJI
 Ignore homepoint Selects between No (default) or Yes to start the mission even if the homepoint is further than 150 meters from the grid's center.
DJI
 Look at grid's center Defines whether the drone should be oriented towards the center of the grid when taking pictures, Yes (default) or not, No.
B2
Double Grid Mission  Angle of the camera Defines the orientation of the camera from a range between 45° and 80°. For more information: 204010419. DJI
Except P2V(+)
 Overlap Defines the front overlap from a range between 70% and 90%. For more information about how to choose the overlap: 202557459. For more information about the side overlap: 204010419. DJI
Except P2V(+)
 Drone speed
Defines the drone's speed from a range between Slow and Fast (default). Only applies to Fast mode. DJI
Except P2V(+)
 White balance Selects between Auto (default), Sunny or Cloudy. DJI
Except P2V(+)
 Ignore homepoint Selects between No (default) or Yes to start the mission even if the homepoint is further than 150 meters from the grid's center.
DJI
Except P2V(+)
Circular Mission No options available.
B2
Free Flight Mission  White balance Selects between Auto (default), Sunny or Cloudy. DJI

 

Upload resolution

It is recommended to upload the images to Pix4Dcloud after the mission in full resolution. This guarantees optimized results in terms of calibration and visual quality. The Half resolution:

  • Uploads half resolution images with lower .jpg compression quality.
  • Reduces the image size from 5 MB to 1 MB making the upload time five times faster.

_ Note: If half sized images have been uploaded the project name is of the form *_half.

 

Angle of the camera

In the default Fast mode, the drone translates. If the camera angle is not vertical, it means the oblique images are all oriented in the same direction. However in the Safe mode, the drone is allowed to rotate when following the flight track.

 

Overlap

The side overlap is computed such that the side distance between two images is twice the front distance meaning the distance between two images on the same flight line. The side overlap is adjusted with the number of lines so that it is close to the defined overlap value.

 

Picture trigger mode

The Safe mode and Fast mode differ as follows:

  • Safe mode: The drone stops to take every picture which significantly increases the flight time. However, the waypoints where to trigger the shutter of the camera are defined and uploaded to the drone before starting the mission. This means the drone can fly the mission without requiring a connection with the app.
  • Fast mode: The app has to send a signal message when the shutter should be triggered. This mode does not require to stop in order to take a picture but the connection with the drone should be maintained without interruption. In addition, the Fast mode does not allow to change the orientation of the camera while flying this is why all images have the same orientation since the drone translates.

 

Drone speed

The app computes the maximum speed the drone can have for a given overlap and flight altitude. The Fast speed corresponds to 100% of the maximum speed meaning that the speed ranges between 2 and 8 m/s. Reducing the speed might help to avoid capturing blurry images. Five types of speed can be selected:

  • Slow: 60% of the maximum speed.
  • Slow+: 70% of the maximum speed.
  • Normal: 80% of the maximum speed.
  • Normal+: 90% of the maximum speed.
  • Fast: Maximum speed.

 

Map view
 
_ Access: In the Home screen, select a type of mission. The Map view can also be accessed by tapping  on the toolbar of any missions.

The Map view is the main view of a mission. it is possible to set a roadmap (default) or a satellite background. The Map view has the following functions:

  1. Before a mission: Set the characteristics of the flight (location, size, image trigger, properties, etc.).
  2. During a mission: Display the homepoint, location of the drone, flight track, position of the images, flight telemetry, etc.

 

All Missions

Regardless of the type of mission, the following features and buttons are available in the Map view:

  •  Displays the device's position, meaning the position of the user. This shows up only if the location services of the device are activated.
  •  Shows the homepoint which corresponds to the location where the drone is turned on. At the end of the flight when doing a Grid Mission, Double Grid Mission or Circular Mission, the drone lands automatically at the homepoint.
  • Shows the position and orientation of the drone. The green lights correspond to the back of the drone and the red lights to the front. The green line displays the flight track of the drone.
  •  Shows the locations where the images are captured.
  •  Centers the Map view on the device's position.
  • Sets a roadmap background.
  •  Sets a satellite background.

 

Grid Mission, Double Grid Mission and Circular Mission

The following features and buttons are available in the Map view if an autopilot mission is selected, either Grid Mission, Double Grid Mission or Circular Mission:

  •  Allows to change the flight altitude by sliding the values.
    (DJI) The altitude can be set between 10 and 150 m or 40 and 490 ft. The default value is 50 m or 160 ft.
    (B2) The altitude can be set between 10 and 150 m or 40 and 490 ft. The default value is 30 m or 40 ft.
  •  Shows the last waypoint of the mission. When the drone reaches this point, it comes back to the homepoint and lands automatically.
  •  Moves the flight to the current location of the Map view.
  •  Starts the autopilot mission. It will guide the user through safety checks before the drone takes off.
  •  The drone aborts the mission and comes back to the homepoint for landing. The images that have already been taken are synchronized with the device.

An important feature of the Map view for autopilot missions is the ability to personalize the mission with the appropriate flight plan.

  •  Displays the position and orientation of the flight. The default size is 100 m x 100 m or 328 ft x 328 ft.
  •  Displays the size and estimated time of the flight.

The options to edit the flight are the following:

  • Move: Tap the middle of the flight and drag it.
  • Rotate: Tap one of the arrows on the border of the flight and slide to make it rotate.
  • Resize: Tap one of the green bullets in order to increase or decrease the flight.

The flight plan can have different colors:

  • Green: The size is optimal to fly the mission with a fully charged battery.
  • Yellow: There are two possible warning pop-ups:
     FLIGHT TIME: The size might be too large to fly the mission with a fully charged battery.
     HIGH: The altitude might be too high regarding the maximum authorized altitude to fly a drone.
  • Orange: There are three possible warning pop-ups:
     FLIGHT TIME: The size is too large to be able to fly the whole mission with a fully charged battery.
     TOO FEW IMAGES: The size is too small to give optimal results after processing.
     HIGH: (B2) The altitude is too high to ensure sufficient connectivity.

_ Important:
Regarding the maximum area that can be covered in one single mission, the factors for estimating the flight time that defines the color is most cases are:
  • (Grid Mission, Double Grid Mission) Altitude or overlap: The higher the less overlap required, meaning fewer lines in the grid and vice versa.
  • Size: The larger the size the longer the flight track.
The app assumes the battery is fully charged at the beginning of the mission. However, it does not take into account the battery that is necessary to reach the first waypoint of the flight and to fly back from the last waypoint.

 

Free Flight Mission

The following features and buttons are available in the Map view if the Free Flight Mission is selected:

  • Allows to set the horizontal and vertical distances between two images by sliding the values. The camera shutter will be automatically triggered according these intervals. The horizontal and vertical distances can be set between 1 and 20 m or 3 and 60 ft.
  •  Starts the manual mission. It will guide the user through safety checks before the drone can take off.
  • Pauses the image acquisition when flying.
  • Resumes the image acquisition when flying.
  • Stops the image acquisition and ends the Free Flight Mission. The .p4d project file is created and the images are synchronized with the device.

 

Camera view
 
_ Access: In the Home screen, select a type of mission and tap  on the toolbar.

The Camera view displays what the drone's camera is currently viewing if the drone is connected and a black screen otherwise. The Camera view has the following functions during a mission: Video feed, flight telemetry, camera orientation, etc.

_ Note:
  • The Camera view has different features depending on the drone.
  • Both the drone and the controller (if any) have to be turned on and connected to the device in order for the video feed to be operational.
  • Each time a picture is taken, the screen blinks black.

 

DJI drones

The Camera view allows to get a live streaming of the camera view on the device's screen at any time. 

 

Bebop 2

Without a controller, it is possible to control B2 in the Camera view using the two joysticks displayed on the screen.

The Camera view also has the following buttons:

  •  Autonomously takes off the drone even during a Free Flight Mission. After takeoff, the drone hovers.
  •  Autonomously lands the drone even during a Free Flight Mission. The drone will go back to the homepoint.
  •  Stops the propellers of the drone. When using a controller, pressing L1 and R1 buttons at the same time will also stop the propellers. On the Skycontroller there is an emergency button having the same effect.
     
    _ Warning: Tapping this button makes the drone fall instantaneously where it is currently flying.

 

Flight telemetry
 
_ Access: In the Home screen, select a type of mission. In the Map view or Camera view, tap the tab on the right with the battery status icon .

The status displays the telemetry of the drone. It is available each time the device is connected to the drone otherwise the status N/A is displayed.

The following information is displayed:

  • Selected drone.
  • Connection status: Connected or Disconnected.
  •  Status of the drone's battery.
  •  Status of the controller's battery.
  •  Number of satellites available for positioning.
  •  Status of the drone's SD card: Ready, No SD card, SD card full, Unformatted, Has error, Is valid, Read only, Not verified, Unknown error.
     
    _ Note:
    B2 does not have a SD card but only an internal memory. The SD card status remains the same as for the other drones however, only the relevant states apply.
     
  • Speed: Ground speed of the drone in [m/s].
  • Alt: Altitude above ground level of the drone in [m]. Zero corresponds to the altitude at which the drone was turned on.
  • ... m away: Ground distance between the homepoint and the drone in [m].

 

Starting the mission
 
_ Access: In Home screen, select a type of mission. In the Map view, tap  or .

After tapping Start, a wizard appears with several consecutive pop-ups:

  1. Instructions.
  2. Drone connection.
  3. Drone takeoff checklist.

Instructions

The warning pop-up displays safety instructions that are specific to each drone. Pay attention to getting over manual control and to the takeoff and landing area of the drone. Please carefully read the safety instructions before continuing.

The warning pop-up has three buttons:

  • Cancel: Cancels the mission.
  • Next: Goes to the next pop-up of the wizard.
  • (Free Flight Mission) More information: Opens the online help. For more information: 204261889.

 

Drone connection

The connection pop-up displays a summary of the flight characteristics and the connection status with the drone that can be:

  • Please connect to drone: The app is not connected to the drone.
  • Connected to drone: The app is connected to the drone.

The connection pop-up has three buttons:

  • Cancel: Cancels the mission.
  • Next: Goes to the next pop-up of the wizard. The button is enabled only if the app is successfully connected to the drone.
  • (P2V, P2V+, P3S, B2) Wi-Fi Settings: Opens the Wi-Fi settings of the device.

 

Drone takeoff checklist

The takeoff pop-up displays a checklist that has to be validated before the drone can take off. Each item of the checklist can have one of the following status:

  •  Item is validated.
  •  Item is currently being checked.
  •  Item check failed. It is possible to tap the icon to get more information.

The takeoff pop-up has the following checks:

Check Description Mission(s) Drone(s)
 Connection to drone
Verifies that the app is connected to the drone via Wi-Fi or USB cable linked to the controller. All All
 Battery level Verifies that the battery level of the drone, controller (if applicable) and range extender (if applicable) is at least 20%. All All
 Drone GPS
Verifies that the drone is connected to at least 6 GPS satellites to take off. All All
 Mission upload Verifies that the drone is connected to the app and the mission details are successfully transferred to the drone. Grid, Double Grid, Circular All
 Drone-grid distance Verifies that the distance between the current position of the drone and the center of the grid is less than 250 m. It is possible to bypass this safety if the drone is manually taken off and moved closer to the grid. Grid, Double Grid, Circular All
 Home point Verifies that the distance between the homepoint (where the drone was turned on) and the center of the grid is less than 150 m. This safety can be discarded in the Settings. Grid, Double Grid DJI
 ... switch
Verifies that the switch is in the correct position to allow autopilot. The switch has different positions depending on the drone: FAP/P.A.F. (I1, P3), S1 (P2V, P2V+, P3S) and ASP/P.S.A. (P4). Grid, Double Grid
DJI
 Ground station
Verifies that the drone is connected to the app. Grid
P2V, P2V+
 Calibration Verifies that the drone is calibrated. Grid, Circular B2
 Firmware version Verifies that the latest drone's firmware version is installed. Grid, Circular B2

For more information about how to solve a check that fails: 204765035.

The takeoff pop-up also has two buttons:

  • Cancel: Cancels the mission.
  • Starts: Starts the mission. Apart from Free Flight Mission, this makes the drone take off and go to the first waypoint to start taking pictures.

 

Mission Manager
 
_ Access: In the Home screen, select Mission Manager.

The Mission Manager screen displays the different missions that have been flown with the device and allows to convert them to 3D models and maps.


The Mission Manager toolbar has two buttons:

  • Back: Goes back to the Home screen.
  • Select: Allows to select multiple missions and to delete them.

For each mission, an icon displays the status of the mission:

Mission not yet synchronized Mission error / No .p4d file
Mission not yet uploaded Mission successfully uploaded
The mission was flown but the captured images are only saved on the drone's memory and need to be transferred to the device. For more information: 204057579. An attempt was made in transferring the images from the drone's memory and generating the .p4d file but something went wrong. For more information: 204886335. The captured images were copied to the device and the .p4d file was successfully created on the device. For more information: 204057579. The mission was transferred to Pix4Dcloud meaning both the images and the .p4d were successfully uploaded. For more information: 208278623.


From the Mission Manager screen, it is possible to access the details of a mission by selecting it. After the synchronization is done, it is possible to scroll the captured images to visualize them.


The Mission view toolbar has two buttons:

  •  Allows to share the .p4d project file of the mission through email.
  •  Allows to display flight information.

 

Tutorial/Help

The Help screen has the following items:

  • Getting Started: Opens the online Getting Started.
  • Manual: Opens the online Manual.
  • App Overview: Plays the app overview animation.
  • Support: Sends all logs by email directly from the device.

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