Manual - PIX4Dcapture Pro

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Manual
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Settings

This guide is intended to explain all the functionalities and settings available in PIX4Dcapture Pro. 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:

   

Sign-up

A 15-day trial can be started in several locations of PIX4Dcapture Pro:

  • In account details of general settings. 
  • In the login window.
  • On plan creation or when opening the plan list.

In order to start a trial:

  1. Complete the sign-up form.

sign-up.png

  1. Review and accept the Terms Of Service, and Software EULA.
  2. Review and accept the Privacy Policy.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Review the Privacy Settings.
  5. Click Save.

When the sign-up is completed, click the Activate account button in the email sent to the selected email address and start using Pix4D products.

 

Login/Logout

PIX4Dcapture Pro can be discovered in demo mode without being logged in. Several actions, such as connecting to the drone, accessing the map view and flight view, can be performed.

The Login button is displayed after launching the app for the first time or after a previous log-out. It can be found in several locations:

  • In the top bar of the Dashboard
  • In account details of general settings
  • When creating a new plan or opening the plan list

In order to log in:
1. Enter the email and password of the Pix4D user account.
2. Click Login.

Important: it is mandatory to be logged into the app in order to enter the plan list and plan creation views or to fly missions. An internet connection is required to do so. Logout can be performed from the  account details of the general settings upon confirmation.

Dashboard

The Dashboard is displayed after launching the app or after exiting the map or flight views by pressing on the PIX4Dcapture Pro icon at the left corner of the top bar.

Screenshot_2023-04-17_at_10.59.47.png

 

From the Dashboard, several actions are possible:

  • Log in.
  • Access the general settings by tapping on unnamed.png or Group_1953.png.
  • Select a supported drone and camera model and review its connectivity status.
  • Access the Map View with further access to flight views, plan creation, plan list, etc.
  • Create a New Plan (plan creation).
  • Access the existing Plans (plan list).

General Settings

Tap on unnamed.png if you are not logged in, or Group_1953.png if you are logged in (it shows the user's initials), to access the general settings. Those settings can be modified whenever the drone is not performing a mission. For more information: General Settings - PIX4Dcapture Pro.

Map view

The Map view is enlarged by default and shows a basemap as a spatial reference. To customize this view, go to the Interface settings. For more information: General Settings - PIX4Dcapture Pro.

Tablet_-_Map_view.png

Note: The basemap is only displayed when an internet connection is available. The street and satellites tiles can nevertheless be downloaded for offline usage on the field. For more information: Is an Internet connection needed? - PIX4Dcapture Pro.

Possible actions that can be performed from the map view are:

  • Interact with the map (move, rotate, zoom, switch styles, etc.).
  • Create a New Plan (plan creation).
  • Access the existing Plans (plan list).

Several buttons and indicators might be visible in the Map view:

  • homepoint.png Home point location.
  • drone_0.75.png Drone location.
  • cece.jpg Device location (blue radius = GPS positioning accuracy).
  • poi.png Point of interest location (displayed with POI-related mission types).
  • North.jpg North direction. Tap the icon to align the current orientation of the map with the North. 
  • Scale.jpg Map scale.
  • map_switch_to_satellite.jpg Switch from streets to satellite base map.
  • map_switch_to_streets.jpg Switch from satellite to street base map. 
  • eded.jpg  Reset a generic mission to its default shape and location (in mission view)
  • xexxe.jpg Center the map view on the mission location (in mission view).
  • Screenshot_2023-04-17_131744.jpg Center the map view on all the missions of a plan (in mission list).
  • ecce.jpg Center the map view on the device position (permission is required). 
  • Screenshot_2023-04-17_132755.jpg Center the map view on the drone position (if the drone is connected). 
  • dccrrc.jpg Trigger a return to home action. 
  • Screenshot_2023-04-17_133601.jpg Open the flight view (drone video feed).
  • Screenshot_2023-04-17_134329.jpg Open the new plan creation window.
  • Screenshot_2023-04-17_134356.jpg Open the plan list.

 

Status bar

The PIX4Dcapture Pro logo on the left corner of the top bar allows exiting the map or flight views to go back to the dashboard view (only when the drone is landed).

The drone and camera connectivity status and the datalink quality indicator are also displayed at the top bar between the remote controller and the drone. Values can be:

  • Connected (green color). Within the Connected status, different datalink quality types can be detected so that signal loss can be prevented when the connection is getting weaker.
  • Not connected (red color). If the drone is not connected. If the connection is lost, the drone will behave as specified in the Safety and Security settings.

The flight mode shows in which mode the drone is flying. The possible statuses are:

  • TAKING-OFF: the drone is taking off from the ground.
  • MANUAL FLIGHT: the drone is piloted manually with the remote controller sticks.
  • GOING TO MISSION: the drone is heading to the mission.
  • IN MISSION: the drone is performing the mission.
  • GOING TO LAND: the drone is heading to the home point.
  • LANDING: the drone is descending to the home point.
  • LANDED: the drone is landed on the ground.

When an RTK-compatible drone model is selected, a dialog header is displayed in the top bar. The color of the header is different based on the status of the RTK functionalities:

  • Gray: No RTK account connected; RTK positioning functionality disabled.
  • Blue: No RTK account connected; RTK positioning functionality enabled.
  • Green: RTK account connected; RTK positioning functionality enabled.

The top bar displays important telemetry items to monitor the status of the drone and remote controller: 

drone_battery.png Status of the drone's battery level:

  • Status is Ok (green) when the value is ≥30%.
  • Status is Warning (orange) when the value is between 29% and the minimum drone battery level set in the safety and security settings.
  • Status is Critical (red) when the value is smaller than the minimum drone battery level set in the safety and security settings.

controller_battery.png Status of the remote controller's battery level:

  • Status is Ok (green) when the value is ≥30%.
  • Status is Warning (orange) when the value is between 29% and 20%.
  • Status is critical (red) when the value is <20%.

memory_card-outline.png Status of the drone storage capacity (SD card or internal memory):

  • Status is Ok (green) if the value is >3GB.
  • Status is Warning (orange) if the value is between 3 and 1GB.
  • Status is Critical (red) if value is <1GB.

satellite.png Number of satellites available for positioning:

  • Status is Ok (green) if the value is ≥10.
  • Status is Warning (orange) if the value is between 10 and 6.
  • Status is Critical (red) if the value is <6.
Important: If one of the above critical conditions occurs when starting or resuming a mission, a check will prevent the mission from being started or resumed and the user will be informed by a notification.
Note: other telemetry items described in Telemetry (Manual - PIX4Dcapture Pro) and displayed in the map or flight views on tablets are also displayed in the top bar on mobile devices.

Telemetry

The telemetry bar monitors some important characteristics of the flight.

drone_speed.png Ground speed of the drone.
distance_from_homepoint.png Ground distance between the home point and the drone.
altitude.png Height relative to the take-off point.
Drone_to_point_of_interest_distance.png Drone to point of interest distance (displayed with POI-related mission types).
Camera_azimuth_indicator.png Camera azimuth indicator (displayed with asset types).
camera_angle.png Camera angle. It shows the orientation of the camera:
  • If camera angle = 0°, it means that the camera is looking forward.
  • If camera angle = -90°, it means that the camera is looking nadir.
Note: Those telemetry items are displayed in the map or flight views on tablets and in the top bar on mobile devices.

Return To Home

Tap dccrrc.jpg to make your drone return to the home point. The PIX4Dcapture Pro return to home button is only available when the drone is in the air and not performing a mission (manual flight or mission paused). The RTH value can be set as explained in General Settings - PIX4Dcapture Pro.

After the Return to home button is pressed:

Flight view

The Flight view can be opened by tapping on Screenshot_2023-04-17_133601.jpg from the map view and it shows the real-time video feedback from the drone. It is only visible if the drone is connected.  

Tablet_-_Flight_view.png

The video feedback is useful to follow and get visual information from the flight. It provides information on the quality of the images and reflects the camera settings that are being applied (exposure value, white balance).

Camera white balance (WB) and exposure value (EV) can be customized in the flight view (enlarged mode only) when the drone is not performing a mission (manual flight or mission paused).  

Plan creation

Tap on  add_mission.png to create a new plan by selecting a single asset or generic mission type. 

A plan containing a Cell tower asset.Screenshot-_Plan_creation_ASSET.PNG

A plan containing a Grid mission.Screenshot-_Plan_creation_GENERIC.PNG

Tap Cancel to leave the plan creation window or Next to enter the mission list.

Mission types

Several mission types can be selected from the plan creation window. For more information: Mission types - PIX4Dcapture Pro.

Plan list

The plans are listed on the right panel and they are ordered by creation date with some high level information. The plans locations can be visualized in the map view and are categorized by a folder (if the plan contains generic missions) or by an asset icon.

A plan containing generic missions can be duplicated or deleted from the list. It can have several statuses such as Planning, In progress, or Completed. A plan containing asset missions can be deleted from the list. It can have several statuses, such as Incomplete or Completed

A new plan can be created by tapping on New plan.

Plans containing generic missions can be downloaded from the PIX4Dcloud Mission Planner tool by tapping on Import plans for PIX4Dcloud valid license holders. For more information: Getting started - Mission Planner.

Tablet_-_Plan_list.png

Mission list

The plan's missions are listed on the right panel with some high-level information.

Plan containing generic missions

The missions are ordered by creation date. Each mission contains its own status (Planning, In progress, Completed) and the number of files (image or video) that was captured during the execution. A mission can be duplicated or deleted from the list.

Mission list of a plan with generic missions.

Tablet_-_Mission_list.png

Add a new mission by tapping on New mission. Tap on Offline maps to download street and satellite tiles for offline usage and to enable the terrain awareness setting for grid missions. For more information: Download offline maps - PIX4Dcapture Pro. 

Plan containing asset missions

The asset mission types are divided into predefined categories depending on their purpose:  “3D model” or “Visual Inspection”.

Add a new mission by selecting a mission type and tapping on Next. An asset mission list also includes the option to reset the point of interest references (lowest point, highest point, and center references). 

Each mission type contains its own execution counter and status. It also shows the total number of files (image or video) that were captured during the executions organized by mission type.

Mission list of a plan with asset missions. (e.g. Transmission tower)

Tablet_-_TT-Planning.png

 

Once the asset type plan is fully executed on-site and eventually closed, it will be marked as Completed, and it is not possible to continue working on it later on.

However, the plan will always be accessible if there is the need to come back and see the detailed results on the map for each different mission that was executed. Asset missions will now be listed individually as Completed or Incomplete showing the number of files (image or video) per executed mission.

Mission list of a completed plan with asset missions. (e.g. Transmission tower).

Tablet_-_TT-Completed.png

 

Mission view

The mission view is displayed when selecting a new mission or entering an existing one. The mission information and settings are displayed in the right panel, while the flight plan is visible in the map view. For more information: Mission types - PIX4Dcapture Pro.

A generic mission can be saved to be flown later on by pressing on Save_button.png next to the Start mission button.

 

Tablet-_Mission_view_-_GRID.png

Start, pause, resume or exit a mission

When a mission is ready to be flown, tap Start mission for the mission checklist to be displayed. If all the checks are passing, tap Fly mission.

The drone exits the manual mode and starts performing the mission. When a mission is in progress, it can be paused:

  • Tap pause.png to pause the mission (Other ways of interrupting a mission are described in  How to interrupt a mission - PIX4Dcapture Pro. After the mission is paused, the drone hovers, and the manual mode is entered. The mission settings right panel is automatically expanded.

When a mission is paused, it can be resumed, or exited:

  • In order to resume a paused mission, tap on Resume mission for the mission checklist to be displayed. If all the checks are passing, tap Fly mission. The drone exits the manual mode and resumes the mission to the last reached location.
  • A generic mission can be exited at any time to be resumed later on. Tap on the back arrow left of the mission title or on the cross in the top right corner from the mission settings. When an asset mission has been exited, it is not possible to get back to it afterward. 
Important:
Cylinder and Single vertical mission: when resuming the mission, the drone will first vertically ascend to a safety altitude that is higher than the structure height, and, only after that, it will move to the first waypoint that was not captured. The structure height is defined during mission planning.
Orbit mission: A warning popup is displayed at the mission resume. The drone will first ascend/descend directly to a height equal to the last reached waypoint, then fly towards it. To avoid collision risks, be sure there are no obstacles on the flight route.
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