TIN - PIX4Dsurvey


Pix4Dsurvey distant outlier filter icon

Outlier Filter

Pix4Dsurvey terrain filter feature icon

Terrain filter

Pix4Dsurvey grid of points feature icon

Grid of points

Pix4Dsurvey TIN feature icon


PIX4Dsurvey contour lines icon.png

Contour lines

The TIN (Triangular Irregular Network) is a seamless set of triangles representing a surface. In PIX4Dsurvey, the TIN usage is primarily intended to model the ground, from points and breaklines.

  • Click Process Pix4Dsurvey process icon or,
  • on the Menu bar, click Process > TIN or,
  • on the Content panel, click TIN > Pix4Dsurvey processes button.png.

Input grid of points

The primary input for the TIN generation are points generated with the Grid of Points process. For more information and settings, please see the Grid of points article.

To select the Input grid of points:

  • In Processes - TIN, select the generated grid of points in the drop-down menu.

Tip: It is possible to select more than one grid of points. This is particularly helpful in case it is needed to have different TIN resolutions in different areas.

Process TIN PIX4Dsurvey.jpg

Generate a TIN from the Processes menu.

TIN generation algorithms

It is possible to generate the TIN by choosing two algorithms:

  • Quick: Triangulates all the grid points together, even on edges, resulting in a convex border fitting holes on the grid's edges.

TIN Quick PIX4Dsurvey.jpg

TIN generation using the Quick algorithm.

  • Smart edges: Involves extra post-processing by trying to build a border that fits more closely the shape of the grid points (a concave shape), and remove all the TIN triangles that are outside of this border.

TIN Smart Edges PIX4Dsurvey.jpg

TIN generation using the Smart edges algorithm.

Use terrain layers as breaklines

  • Use terrain layers as breaklines (Enabled - default): This feature allows the use of polyline, polygon, and marker object types as breaklines if the vector layer is defined as a terrain layer. All layers with the tag Terrain are used.  

To define a layer as a Terrain layer:

  • In the Content - Layers, right-click on the layer. 
  • Click Mark as Terrain layer.

Alternatively, it is possible to

  • Open the Layer Properties by clicking on the gear button.
  • Toggle the Terrain Layer switch.

Terrain Layer TIN PIX4Dsurvey.jpg

Toggle on the Terrain layer option (on the left side bar) and enable the Use terrain layers as breaklines option when using breaklines as a constraint for the TIN generation.

Example: The vectorized curb in the parking lot can be used as a breakline for the TIN generation:

Pix4Dsurvey TIN point cloud.jpg

Dense point cloud with the bottom of the curb vectorized (green line).

Pix4Dsurvey TIN no breakline.jpg

TIN generated only from the grid of points. The curb is not used as a breakline.

Pix4Dsurvey TIN breakline.jpg

TIN generated from the grid of points and the curb as a breakline.

Video: Treat different parts of your site according to their level of detail and create a final TIN from multiple grids. You can usebreaklines to refine your TIN and get accurate and relevant information. Get full flexibility on the data you need and generate the perfect TIN!


The generated TIN can be exported in LandXML format or in raster GeoTIFF format (.tif) using the following methods:

  • [1]  In the Content - TIN panel, click Export or
  • [2]  On the top right, click the export icon export.jpg or
  • [3]  From the menu bar, click File - Export.

Export TIN PIX4Dsurvey.jpg

Export options for the generated TIN in a project.

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Article feedback (for troubleshooting, post here instead)


  • Carlos Dowell

    Is the TIN surface process included in the Trial version?

  • Avatar
    Blaž (Pix4D)

    Hi Carlos, 

    Using a trial license will give you access to all functionalities of Pix4Dsurvey. To start a Pix4Dsurvey trial, click Start trial on the home screen and you are ready to go. 


  • Keith Pellerin

    I don't see any of the TIN functionality described on this page in the program.  It does not appear to be available in the Trial Version.

  • Avatar
    Blaž (Pix4D)

    Hi Keith, 

    The TIN is also available when using the trial version of Pix4Dsurvey. Could you confirm that you use the latest version available here?


    Edited by Blaž (Pix4D)
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