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Skydio2: 3D modeling without a flight App.

LaunchedPix

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Recently I've been experimenting using my Skydio2 to capture images to create 3D models without using a mapping flight app.

While there have been several threads asking about the availability of mapping flight Apps for the Skydio2, I haven't seen a thread that mentions what one can do without a such an App.

My most recent approach to capture images for a model involved simply flying automated orbits while in tracking mode while I walked through a park. I reconstructed a model and the technique worked pretty well. Although I was in every photo, I didn't see myself in the reconstructed model.

Please keep in mind that this type of 3D mapping (and I use that term loosely regarding this technique) isn't going to result in professional quality 3D models. It is however a cool way to capture your environment.

This approach takes advantage of the autonomy of the Skydio2 and allows you to "3D Map" with a moment's notice on the spot without an internet connection. Basically launch the Skydio2, let it lock onto you, set it to a higher altitude and put it in orbit mode. Then let it do the work while you explore the world.

Here is a video on YouTube illustrating how images were captured while a walked through the park and the results from reconstructing a model with Agisoft Metashape.

https://youtu.be/d1LEfMXBzhM

I've also flown orbits while I was stationary to model me in my surroundings and flown manual mapping missions using the controller. Some videos showing this are on Instagram via. LaunchedPix.

Hopefully, in time, more flight mapping App options will be created for the Skydio2. For now I'm just having fun exploring additional ways to get the most out of my Skydio2.
 
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FliesDrones

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Huh, this is probably the coolest thing ever... what's your photogrammetry program of choice here?
 

LaunchedPix

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Thanks. I've been using Agisoft Metashape (standard edition) to process the images into dense point clouds and 3D meshed textured models. Lately I've been processing photos from my Skydio2 and ground perspective photos taken with an Insta360 One R 1 inch camera. I take those from vantage points where the drone can't fly well such as in the forest where there are lots of small branches. Metashape can process the images from both cameras together. The price to own Metashape, the ability to use my graphics card GPU and the ability to process up to about 1000 images at a time with my computer equipped with 16GB of RAM were all factors in choosing this software. I hear Reality Capture PPI is another good choice for processing, but I haven't personally been able to get it to work well for me yet. There are multiple other software options available both to run on your PC and to process data in the cloud.
 

FliesDrones

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(Rhymes with Darn), now I'm tempted. I live in Florida and there's a lot of good place where making a 3D Scan could be worthwhile.

I have an AMD powered rig, plenty of RAM, just looking at the price and thinking of how to best use it.
 
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FliesDrones

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@LaunchedPix, okay, so I'm clear....

I want orbits around myself walking around or do I do orbits on a point in place (not sure if the consumer Skydio 2 app can do that)?

Edit: okay, i think it worked.
 
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LaunchedPix

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To my understanding, the Skydio2 can orbit only people and cars unless you pay extra for the Enterprise software. I did orbits around myself while walking. For me I found that placing the Skydio2 higher and out a ways worked well to capture images while I walked fairly slowly. I have also orbited myself while standing still. I captured a video during that flight and then extracted frames for processing. The vortex skill capture might also work well for capturing images for photogrammetic processing too though I haven't tried it for that yet. I have more examples of images & reconstructions on Instagram (@LaunchedPix) if your interested. If you try one of these methods, please let me know how it goes for you.
 

FliesDrones

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@LaunchedPix Yeah, I tried it (orbits around myself walking around college campus), my issue is I did really close range low altitude orbits but my results are impressive for a first try.

I'm gonna put this whole thing to text and maybe submit it as an ACM article, do you have any issues with this? (don't wanna steal your thunder)
 

LaunchedPix

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I'm glad to hear you have had some success with it. I encourage you to write it up and I would be happy to talk more off-line. If you do, a mention would be nice or I would be happy to talk about writing/co-authoring it. I have an advanced computer science degree and have authored papers before.
 

FliesDrones

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> I encourage you to write it up and I would be happy to talk more off-line. If you do, a mention would be nice or I would be happy to talk about writing/co-authoring it. I have an advanced computer science degree and have authored papers before.

Yeah, let's go. M.S Cybersecurity and Information Assurance / B.S Computer Science here... let's just outline the process for IEEE Computer as "Beginner strategies for drone-based photogrammetry"... we'll just go through the software/hardware process and submit it as an article.

Edit: I have sent you a private message with my email address.
 

Roger Wilco

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@LaunchedPix: There is a very good free mapping flight app available for the Skydio2. DroneDeploy's app for 2D and 3D modeling missions is available for the Skydio2. Although all the features of DroneDeploy, including server processing of your images into an orthomosaic are available during the 15-day free trial period, you can still keep using their app to plan and fly 3D missions after the trial period is over. Using the DD app to plan and fly the mission, you can then upload the images from the Skydio2's microSD card and process the imagery offline on your PC using Metashape.

Info: How to Create Orthomosaic Maps Using DroneDeploy - dronegenuity
 
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FliesDrones

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@LaunchedPix: There is a very good free mapping flight app available for the Skydio2. DroneDeploy's app for 2D and 3D modeling missions is available for the Skydio2. Although all the features of DroneDeploy, including server processing of your images into an orthomosaic are available during the 15-day free trial period, you can still keep using their app to plan and fly 3D missions after the trial period is over. Using the DD app to plan and fly the mission, you can then upload the images from the Skydio2's microSD card and process the imagery offline on your PC using Metashape.

Info: How to Create Orthomosaic Maps Using DroneDeploy - dronegenuity
I can't seem to connect since the "Connect to Drone" is grayed out. I wonder if I am just an idiot.

Do you have an idiot-proof guide to doing this? Got my mapping plan ready.
 

LaunchedPix

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I can't seem to connect since the "Connect to Drone" is grayed out. I wonder if I am just an idiot.

Do you have an idiot-proof guide to doing this? Got my mapping plan ready.
Sorry @FliesDrones that I'm replying after so many days. Have you had success with the DroneDeploy app in the interim?

I may have overstated the quality of the DD app with the "very good" description. I've flown maybe 20-25 mapping missions using it. The mapping results can be quite good, but I've had some issues while flying the missions.

My first mission attempt sounds similar to yours as I couldn't connect to the drone with DD running on a borrowed iPhone connected to my controller. Perhaps the Skydio App on the Android phone in my pocket connected and caused the trouble? Maybe I had the Skydio App also running in the background on the iPhone? On a second mission I made sure WiFi was off on my Android phone and had success with the DD mission flown with the iPhone/Controller.

Two main issues I've had with DD are: (1) multiple times the app has crashed/closed during the flight. The mission continued, but it's a bit frightening. (2) Most times, post flight, I've seen that I have the DD captured images plus images that seem to be captured using an interval timer. While it's nice to have extra images, it's takes a bit of work to sort through them before starting photogrammetry processing.

Sorry I don't have an idiot-proof guide to flying with DD. I've just got what I've learned from trial and error.
 

FliesDrones

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Sorry @FliesDrones that I'm replying after so many days. Have you had success with the DroneDeploy app in the interim?

I may have overstated the quality of the DD app with the "very good" description. I've flown maybe 20-25 mapping missions using it. The mapping results can be quite good, but I've had some issues while flying the missions.

My first mission attempt sounds similar to yours as I couldn't connect to the drone with DD running on a borrowed iPhone connected to my controller. Perhaps the Skydio App on the Android phone in my pocket connected and caused the trouble? Maybe I had the Skydio App also running in the background on the iPhone? On a second mission I made sure WiFi was off on my Android phone and had success with the DD mission flown with the iPhone/Controller.

Two main issues I've had with DD are: (1) multiple times the app has crashed/closed during the flight. The mission continued, but it's a bit frightening. (2) Most times, post flight, I've seen that I have the DD captured images plus images that seem to be captured using an interval timer. While it's nice to have extra images, it's takes a bit of work to sort through them before starting photogrammetry processing.

Sorry I don't have an idiot-proof guide to flying with DD. I've just got what I've learned from trial and error.
I figured it out after going back and forth to support.

Beacon is "not supported officially" but works great.
The other issue is that I'm an android guy, borrowed an iPhone from a friend, worked great.
 

JoeydDetroit

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Recently I've been experimenting using my Skydio2 to capture images to create 3D models without using a mapping flight app.

While there have been several threads asking about the availability of mapping flight Apps for the Skydio2, I haven't seen a thread that mentions what one can do without a such an App.

My most recent approach to capture images for a model involved simply flying automated orbits while in tracking mode while I walked through a park. I reconstructed a model and the technique worked pretty well. Although I was in every photo, I didn't see myself in the reconstructed model.

Please keep in mind that this type of 3D mapping (and I use that term loosely regarding this technique) isn't going to result in professional quality 3D models. It is however a cool way to capture your environment.

This approach takes advantage of the autonomy of the Skydio2 and allows you to "3D Map" with a moment's notice on the spot without an internet connection. Basically launch the Skydio2, let it lock onto you, set it to a higher altitude and put it in orbit mode. Then let it do the work while you explore the world.

Here is a video on YouTube illustrating how images were captured while a walked through the park and the results from reconstructing a model with Agisoft Metashape.

https://youtu.be/d1LEfMXBzhM

I've also flown orbits while I was stationary to model me in my surroundings and flown manual mapping missions using the controller. Some videos showing this are on Instagram via. LaunchedPix.

Hopefully, in time, more flight mapping App options will be created for the Skydio2. For now I'm just having fun exploring additional ways to get the most out of my Skydio2.
The military version X2 has a 3d mapping ability as a built in standard feature they show it in a really cool video promoting the product. You have to request to see it using a corporate email account in order to see it though. you can't use yahoo or hotmail or gmail
 
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LaunchedPix

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Recently I've been doing more 3D modeling using my Skydio2 and a hand held camera (Insta360 One R 1 inch).

I've uploaded a six minute video to show the model at high resolution. It's on YouTube at: Skydio2 & Ista360 Model on YouTube

vlcsnap-2021-08-21-13h41m10s442_small.jpg

The Skydio2 photos were captured both using DroneDeploy and by manually flying with the controller. The Insta360 photos were taken while walking around. I used Agisoft Metashape running on a desktop PC for both the photogrammetry and the video rendering of the 3D model. Though I don't have the Skydio Enterprise software, I was still able to create a pretty cool model (at least I think so).

Please note I'm not affiliated with Skydio or any of the other product vendors mentioned throughout the video. I also don't get any direct or indirect revenue from it. I'm just contributing what I've learned to do over the past few months (I've learned so much from others on YouTube) and connect more with the community.
 

JoeydDetroit

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Recently I've been doing more 3D modeling using my Skydio2 and a hand held camera (Insta360 One R 1 inch).

I've uploaded a six minute video to show the model at high resolution. It's on YouTube at: Skydio2 & Ista360 Model on YouTube

View attachment 433

The Skydio2 photos were captured both using DroneDeploy and by manually flying with the controller. The Insta360 photos were taken while walking around. I used Agisoft Metashape running on a desktop PC for both the photogrammetry and the video rendering of the 3D model. Though I don't have the Skydio Enterprise software, I was still able to create a pretty cool model (at least I think so).

Please note I'm not affiliated with Skydio or any of the other product vendors mentioned throughout the video. I also don't get any direct or indirect revenue from it. I'm just contributing what I've learned to do over the past few months (I've learned so much from others on YouTube) and connect more with the community.
Mike Heath Did you ever work for Detroit EMS?
 

Saladshooter

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Fantastic work.... I can't imagine the amount of time invested in your project. The trees have got to be one of the biggest challenges..... buildings would seem to be an easier task.
 

LaunchedPix

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Fantastic work.... I can't imagine the amount of time invested in your project. The trees have got to be one of the biggest challenges..... buildings would seem to be an easier task.
Thank you very much. It is time consuming, but with each project (I'm just doing this for fun to learn more about it.) I get better and faster. Your right about the trees being a big challenge. They require one to shoot a lot more photos because they hide portions of the environment from many viewing angles. I personally like flying the Skydio2 to capture the images because I have more confidence flying closer to the trees with the controller. Adding the hand held camera photos helps improve the model too. While I could use the Skydio2 for those pictures, it's hard to capture them with the drone due to having only three S2 batteries. Glad you like the work and thanks for your comment.
 

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