(Android and iOS) How to process Images without the .p4d file generated by the app

If the images have been acquired with Pix4Dcapture and for any reasons it is not possible to use the Pix4D project file (.p4d file), generated at the end of the mission by the app, the user can still process the images by creating a project from scratch and import them.

Information: It is usually recommended to process the images using the .p4d file generated by the app if it is available. This is the default workflow. However, processing with or without the .p4d file makes not difference at all in terms of results and quality of the reconstruction with Pix4D Desktop for most of the drones. For more information: 202560819.
Important: (Solo) The .p4d file generated at the end of the mission contains the image coordinates that are used to process in Pix4Dmapper but the app does not write in the image EXIF directly. To process the images with geolocation but without using the .p4d file, a free third-party software like the 3DR Mission Planner is required to manually geotag the images. For more information: http://ardupilot.org/planner/docs/mission-planner-overview.html.

To process the images from the drone:

1. Copy the images from the drone to the computer, there are several options:

1.1. (DJI, Solo) Take the SD card of the camera, insert it in an adapter and plug it into your computer.
1.2. (DJI, Solo) Connect the drone to the computer through a USB cable. Make sure the drone is switched on.
1.3 (B2) Connect the drone to the computer through a USB cable or using Wi-Fi. Make sure the drone is switched on. B2 has an internal memory but no SD card.

2. Start Pix4Dmapper.
3. On the Menu bar, click Project > New Project...
4. The New Project wizard opens. If needed, a more detailed procedure can be found here: 202557369. Otherwise, follow the steps below.
5. In Name: Type a name for the project.
6. (optional) In Create in: Click Browse. On the pop-up Select Project Location, navigate to the folder where the project and results will be stored and click Select Folder.
7. Click Next.
8. In the window Select Images, click Add Directories... and browse for the folder containing the images. Click Choose.
9. Click Next.
10. In the window Image Properties, click Next.
11. In the window Select Output Coordinate System, click Next.
12. In the window Processing Options Template, select the appropriate template either 3D Maps or 3D Models.
13. Click Finish to end the wizard.
14. On the Menu bar, click View > Processing. The Processing bar opens on the bottom of the main window.
15. Ensure that 1. Initial Processing is selected and that 2. Point cloud and Mesh and 3. DSM, Orthomosaic and Index are unselected.

Warning: (P2V, P2V+) The image geolocation contained in the EXIF is not correct and the altitude is not measured. Planar coordinates are truncated which requires to discard them for processing:

15.1. On the menu bar click Project > Image Properties Editor...
15.2. In the Image Properties Editor, under section Geolocation and Orientation, click Clear. This will remove the image geolocation written by DJI and that is not precise enough to be processed with Pix4Dmapper.
15.3. Click OK.

Then start step 1. Initial Processing.

16. Click Start.
17. Analyze the results and further process. For more information: 202557339.

Note: There are three options to georeference a project with images captured with P2V(+):
  • Use measured Ground Control Points (GCPs) for high accuracy: 202558699.
  • Use Scale and Orientation constraints. It does not geolocalize the model but it helps the reconstruction and provide relative accuracy (enough for measurements): 205360375 and 205360385.
  • Use coordinates of points taken from a Web Map Server (WMS): 202560149. They substitute GCPs but the accuracy is not as good.
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