(Android) Pix4Dcapture - Manual and Settings

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Manual
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Settings

This guide is explaining the steps to go through to fly properly a mission using Pix4Dcapture. It is recommended to read it carefully to be familiar with the application and to have the best experience using it.

The manual is divided into the following categories:

   

Login/Sign up screen

This screen will appear the first time Pix4Dcapture is opened or if the user is not logged in.

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1:  Tap LOG IN and enter the Email and Password associated with the Pix4D account to access the Home screen
2: Tap SIGN UP FOR FREE and Follow the steps to create a Pix4D account if not existing before using Pix4Dcapture.
 

Home screen

Home Screen will be displayed after having logged in or if the user is already logged in. Note that on Android, depending on your drone, you should always start from the application Ctrl+DJI, Ctrl+Parrot, Ctrl+Parrot 2, Ctrl+Yuneec.

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From the Home screen, several actions are possible. Before selecting one mission, we recommend going through the General settings.

1: Tap SETTINGS to access the General Settings. For more information: (Android) General settings.
2: Tap LOGOUT and return to the Login/Sign up screen.
3, 4, 5, 6, 7: Tap to select between Polygon, Grid, Double Grid, Circular, Free Flight missions.
8: Tap to access the Project List. For more information: (Android) How to use the Project List.
9: Tap to access the Tutorial/Help. It gives direct access to animations, online documentation, and troubleshooting articles.

 
Important notes:
  • Missions should be chosen depending on the project to be achieved. For more information: which type of mission to choose. This article also describes for which drone those missions are available.
  • Free Flight missions are semi-automatic and differ from the others. It will not be described in this manual. For more information: how to prepare and start a Free Flight mission.
  • For multi-battery missions, in order to optimize the flight, we recommend to deactivate automatic synchronization with the mobile device and doing it at the end of the whole mission.

Flight plan and settings

Once the type of mission is selected, it is possible to plan an automated flight and image acquisition. A description of the main items/buttons that are used to plan a flight is done below:

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Defining the grid 

12: Drag bullets to adjust the size and shape of the flight plan grid.
14: Tap the cross arrow to move the flight plan grid to the desired location.
16: Tap the curved arrows to rotate the flight plan grid.
17: Center the map view on the mobile device GPS position.
18: Center the map view on the grid
19: Switch display between map or satellite view. By default, it will be map view.
21: Reset the Grid to its default 100mx100m size  to the current location.

Flight settings 

5: Access the Settings. Depending on the type of mission flown, important parameters can be adjusted like the overlap or the tilting angle of the camera. More information about the settings that can be adjusted for each different mission: Mission settings.
9: Ground Sampling Distance (GSD). It is updated automatically while changing the flight settings.
11: Scroll the scale to select the flight height from 10 to 150m. It can be higher if the advanced mode is enabled in the General Settings.
20: Displays the grid size and estimated flight time for the flight plan. It is updated automatically while changing the flight settings.
22: Save the current project.

Displayed items 

2: Tap on the buttons to switch between map view or camera view to get the drone video feed.
3: Status of the mission. Different statuses exist and are updated during the mission. (more details in next section)
4: Drone selected.
5: Drone connection icon. If green the drone is properly connected to Pix4Dcapture. If grey, the connection with the drone is not existing.
7: Drone battery percentage. Tap on this button to display the drone telemetry. (more details about telemetry in next section). If not connected to the drone N/A is displayed.
8: Shows start/end point. When the drone reaches the endpoint, it comes back to the home point and lands.
10: Shows the position and orientation of the drone. The green arms are in the back of the drone and the red arms in the front.
13: Shows the Homepoint, this point is set the first time when the application gets enough satellite to get the GPS position of the drone. Note that, the drone will land automatically at the Homepoint when the mission is finished.
15: Solid line stands for the flight lines and the dotted line stand for transition line. The numbers of flight lines will depend on the flight plan settings so as the drone camera used.

Menu navigation 

1: Tap to Go back to the Home screen.
23: Tap START to go through the takeoff checklist before taking off.

 
Important notes:

Takeoff checklist

Once START has been tapped, a window will show up summing up the flight plan established and if the drone is connected.
It is possible to go back to the flight plan and settings by tapping CANCEL or going to the takeoff checklist if tapping NEXT.

Several parameters will be checked by Pix4Dcapture before the user will be able to takeoff and fly the mission:

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The above checklist is for a DJI drone. It will be slightly different using a Parrot or Yuneec drone.
To start the mission press and hold the associated button for 3 seconds. Drone motors will start and the drone will reach the flight height selected before heading to the first waypoint.

 
Important note: If an item is not validated properly, if possible, tap on the item that failed to have more information or read the instructions on troubleshooting Pix4Dcapture or takeoff checks fail to solve the issue.

 

Mission execution and telemetry (Polygon, Grid, Double Grid, Circular)

Once started, the mission and image acquisition is fully automated. If an unexpected behavior happens, it is possible to interrupt the mission anytime. For more information: How to interrupt a mission.

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Action buttons 

1: Tap to switch between map view or camera view to get the drone video feed. The camera view will be full screen.
7: Tap ABORT to interrupt the ongoing mission. The drone will hover, waiting for the next user action.
Two options are suggested after having tapped ABORT:
- Tap GO HOME to land the drone
- Tap START to continue the mission after having gone through the takeoff checklist.

Drone and mission status 

2: Mission status. It can be Landed, hovering, landing, going to missions, in mission, taking off.
3: Path flew by the drone represented by a green line.
4: A camera icon is added along the flight path each time a picture is acquired.
6: Current drone position and orientation.

Telemetry 

5: Telemetry can be displayed or hidden when tapping on the drone battery icon.

Six parameters are displayed during the flight:
: Current battery of the remote control battery.
: Number of GPS satellites available. At least 6 satellites are required to take off.
: Status of the SD card. It can be Ready, No SD card, SD card full, SD card unformatted, Has error, Unknown SD card error, N/A: status of the SD card is unknown.
Speed: Current ground speed of the drone.
Altitude: Current altitude of the drone. 0 corresponds to the altitude at which the drone was started and got enough GPS signal for the first time.
m away: Current distance between the Homepoint and the drone.

 
Important notes:
  • The image acquisition is based on a timelapse which is set depending on the mission settings. It is then normal that images accumulated at the end of the flight lines where the drone is turning and slowing down to get to the next one.
  • When the mission is aborted, images will be synchronized if the associated setting is activated. In Grid mission, a new grid with the remainder of your project will be created. in Polygon, Double Grid, and Circular, a new grid with similar size is created beside the first mission.

 

Synchronize, check the results, upload to the cloud

By default, the pictures will be automatically synchronized with the mobile device at the end of the flight or when tapping ABORT during a mission.

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1: Tap the button to go back to the Project List.
2: Tap the button to download the images from the drone to the mobile device. 
3: Tap the button to upload the images to Pix4D Cloud.
4: Scroll right/left to review the images acquired and tap on any images to check the quality of the acquisition.

 
Important notes:
  • To download the images, you need to be connected to the drone with Pix4Dcapture.
  • It is not mandatory to download the images from the drone to the mobile device. In some cases, to optimize the workflow and save the drone battery, it is possible to initiate the process later on or to get them from the drone SD card. For more information: How to synchronize and upload the mission to the cloud.
  • To upload images to the Cloud, an internet connection so as a valid Pix4D license is needed. For more information: Cloud upload permission.

 

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