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3d Modelling software

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I have had a job request to provide a 3D map of an area which will be a construction site in order for them to get a volumetric analysis of materials moved during the excavation phase.

Presumably this would mean hundreds photos before and after...

So after suggestions for apps or programs which would enable this with an inspire 1.

I assume it would typically just run multiple waypoint captures in multiple directions then stitch the images together... but I imagine also it needs to be able to provide accurate scaling.
A quick Google brings up DroneDeploy, which is a subs service, not too bad for individual cost - 99 per month, but business cost is 299/mth- any other solutions? Or is this really my go to.

Can start a trial and see...but after some input first...
 
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Use Drone Deploy to capture (free) then use Maps Made Easy. You can pay for the stitching on each job. No monthly fees.
 
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To answer your question, my business partner uses Pix4D. Beware that you will need a powerful computer to "render" your projects. That said...

Just a heads up...

You have to be very careful what you call a "map." There are standards in place that will NOT be met by using photo metadata geotags. Drone photo metadata is NOT nearly accurate enough for architectural grade photogrammetry. Before taking on such a job, make sure everyone is on the same page regarding accuracy and GSD (Ground Sample Distance). You should make yourself VERY clear that these will NOT be architectural-grade "maps." I honestly wouldn't even use the word "map" in your proposal, or you could find yourself in a legal pickle. Just ask any local surveyor. I'm sure they'll be happy to bring you up to speed regarding your legal responsibility. Better yet, you might want to consult with the project surveyor. They can provide GCP's (Ground Control Points) that you can anchor your project to, so that your map will be accurate to within industry standard spec. But that service will NOT be free. I learned all this the hard way....<:^0

Good luck.

D
 

BDB

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I use DroneDeploy for the autonomous flight and rendering. The annual subscription is about $1000 for the level we have. It is easier to use than Pix4D, although they have made some strides there. We have found it to be pretty accurate and use it for accident reconstruction and post installation of septic systems. The measurements have been spot on using the rendered map. They say both Pix4D and DroneDeploy are accurate to within an inch if flying at low levels. Don't quote me on that though, because I vaguely remember a seminar last week where Pix4D said it was within centimeters.

I agree with Donnie though, be on the same page with the accuracy requested. With either, you will have to see what flight altitude you need to be at to be within spec.
 
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Thank you all for taking the time to add input here.
I've seen some overlap in opinions and experience, which is good. and I think what I was after. I also have a Pilot friend, who was actually my Cert 3 in Aviation Instructor, he is a Surveyor by trade and mentioned also to use Pix4D for Images, then Online with DroneDeploy for the Map Creation, and the addition of GCP's - Although I note, and maybe someone can clarify - if I use GCPs (whether PM deployed, or by myself) does that Cost more for the DroneDeploy end-result analysis? I thought I read somewhere that it was an extra paid service on top of the $1000 p/y (depending on your plan.)

I think I could easily justify the expense over a whole year, my recent registration with a Drone Job site has already netted 4 enquiries, the total potential income of them all would already cover that cost (although one job I won't do due to failing to fulfil a Safe JSA!)

For my Try-before-you-buy perspective, I have my Spark and my Inspire with me today and after work I will go map an area I have already created in DroneDeploy - will upload the images and have a look at what I can see.
I also have an area nearby which has some Tailings and ditches, so might be a good test I can do to check out the Volumetric analysis.

In terms of Legal notes - Absolutely agree. I am not a qualified quantity surveyor or builder, and I understand that short of Physically filling buckets with soil and measuring waypoints with a Tape measure None of the measurements can be taken as Gospel - this will definitely be Clearly noted in any documentation and results handed to the client.

This particular job since it is excavation still has a chance to be Far more accurate for them based on electronic image analysis rather than just Measuring sticks and string lines - so I think that is why they are choosing to do it, and there should be No subsequent use of the mapping or data for Building/Architectural but yes the claim will be along the lines of "Whilst every care is taken to deliver as accurate results as possible it should be noted that there is still a likelihood of errors being introduced into the data which we cannot account for, be they environmental or technical. This Mapping and subsequent results should be used as an Approximate guide only. These surveyed results should not in any way be considered for architectural or structural adherence..." (I'll work on it...)

@Orangebird - I like the pricing model of MME - how do the results compare with Pix or DDeploy though? DDeploy have some really neat interactive and collaborative features by the looks of it once results are available...
 
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I use drone deploy with P4 for data capture. Easy to use and you can trial for 14 days for free. In total agreement with having a disclaimer and setting expectations. Congrats on you success
 
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Haha thanks. Heaps for the cudos...no total success yet, had a few requests but not taken any of the jobs yet. 1 because I have to go through the motions of performing JSAs and quote them all first...and I think people might possibly be jumping to the next person who just says "this much I'll be there on Monday" - thats fine, I am not willing to risk my integrity and business on doing things half hearted and with potential risks!
But 2 - I am actually still in the middle of doing my ReOC assessment so I can charge for the work, haha! Can't charge a cent until that is complete.

For anyone in Aus going to go for your ReOC after getting your RePL. The RePL was nothing, I'm 3 hours in and have created a 9 page assessment for the CASA delegate, you have 3 days to complete it, then the following week a 2+ hour interview on the phone. I'm spent!
 
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Worth noting, the mechanical shutter of the P4P makes it well worth the investment for mapping.

D
 
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I have had a job request to provide a 3D map of an area which will be a construction site in order for them to get a volumetric analysis of materials moved during the excavation phase.

Presumably this would mean hundreds photos before and after...

So after suggestions for apps or programs which would enable this with an inspire 1.

I assume it would typically just run multiple waypoint captures in multiple directions then stitch the images together... but I imagine also it needs to be able to provide accurate scaling.
A quick Google brings up DroneDeploy, which is a subs service, not too bad for individual cost - 99 per month, but business cost is 299/mth- any other solutions? Or is this really my go to.

Can start a trial and see...but after some input first...
You’ve received a lot of great recommendations & shared experiences. The P4P camera is a great choice as mentioned. The Inspire 2 X4S camera is also a great choice, mechanical leaf shutter under 1/2000s providing similar output. I believe both are mechanical up to 1/2000s.

I tend to like purchasing and owning product vs monthly service... and local processing over cloud. The files are always owned & available, can modify size of scope or method to process. Some of the sites offer both cloud and local, can use both methods depending on the need. The purchase is a software asset, helpful on business deductions too. As mentioned, a negative could be local processing power and time to produce.

Basically any terrain, 3D mapping will accomplish your task to collect images and many products to examine. It’s a whole new discussion on terrain 3D programs and local vs cloud engines. Many out there to examine and several threads on sister forums.

My thoughts, might experiment with MapsMadeEasy (MME) and use their free to low cost online processing (Based on number of images and options selected). You can collect your imagines with DroneDeploy, MME, Pix4D and use MME to process any set of images. Try their onscreen measuring and volumetric tools too, useful to explore. If MME app, increase default overlaps to improve 3D and volumetrics.

After you get an idea of what you’re wanting, you can go with a online processing service as DroneDeploy or use a Photogrammetry or modeling program on cloud or local processing... or both.

I personally use Agisoft Metashape Pro (learning), very nice package, lot of resource on internet... and much focused on sUAV.

But, if or when I’ll make a new major investment on 3D modeling & mapping it’ll be SimActive Correlator3D. The SimActive company started with Satellite & Airplane with massively huge images, and moved into sUAV. My limited conversations indicates they‘re helpful and offer multiple ways to assist, online training sessions, videos, etc. You can process locally or upload to their process services... which I understand are massive.

Good luck, sounds great!

 
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Again - thanks all for suggestions:
I did a quick DroneDeploy take at a local material depot nearby with the Inspire1 with stock Zenmuse X3.
The end result was this:

I think it looks fantastic considering I just went with some quick unaltered settings. The terrain height representations are superb and I can't wait to test it some more - next will be throwing the same images into a few other processing options (such as MME and so on.)
@dougcjohn - I concur also that I prefer local processing, but I also imagine I need to be able to deliver something to the customer(s) that they themselves can manipulate - I expect most people unless into 3D modelling, surveying or architecture may not have the software themselves, so this is where the Cloud options come into play - just as I have provided the link in this reply, anyone it is sent to can go in and change a few options to see Terrain data, vegitation data, Volumetrics, etc. Does this sound like a correct assumption?
 
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Again - thanks all for suggestions:
I did a quick DroneDeploy take at a local material depot nearby with the Inspire1 with stock Zenmuse X3.
The end result was this:

I think it looks fantastic considering I just went with some quick unaltered settings. The terrain height representations are superb and I can't wait to test it some more - next will be throwing the same images into a few other processing options (such as MME and so on.)
@dougcjohn - I concur also that I prefer local processing, but I also imagine I need to be able to deliver something to the customer(s) that they themselves can manipulate - I expect most people unless into 3D modelling, surveying or architecture may not have the software themselves, so this is where the Cloud options come into play - just as I have provided the link in this reply, anyone it is sent to can go in and change a few options to see Terrain data, vegitation data, Volumetrics, etc. Does this sound like a correct assumption?
Looks great and similar to MME interface plus a few features DD has MME does not.

I’d agree, the customer benefit to see & interact with web interface and associated tools can be a benefit in certain requirements. The terrain overlay used for elevation and volumetric is popular to clients as well as the 3D model that they can tilt and rotate. Provides a quick “touch & feel” sample.

I’m not a DD user, so I’m assuming similar to MME. The image on web is low resolution version, requiring downloading to obtain the hi-res Files... and then requires local programs and skills... which construction companies readily have employed. So weather images are placed on a service site you can send a link (very quick & easy for us to provide) or you place similar on your site... these aren’t the tangible product the client requires if they desire more in-depth analytics or construction estimated volumetric. They are suitable for quick assessment of progress, which I’ve found is popular. I’m sure DD provides too, in MME you make a “Location tab” and add your series (weekly, month, day, etc) and the Client can click to add or remove progression layers. I’ve found that‘s a popular feature for All; the builder, but also the Architect and Client (Owner).

Keep in mind, the aerial images without very precise GCP, RTK setups; the volumetrics are close, but not highly accurate. For the services performed, these probably meet the requests & needs... if greater, your fees climb to match the hardware required.

I don’t own SimActive... (yet), but I believe they provide similar Web services for cloud processed or your uploads; and may even provide a free package player to provide to client for “viewing” (Guessing).

I found the vegetation overlay to be deceptive... obtaining worthwhile vegetation or crop health will simply not be obtained with an RGB camera. That requires an additional investment ($4k-12k) for multiple types of Multispectral cameras. To present overlay with vegetation health scale isn’t accurate. Regarding Ag projects, I’d utilize vertical market products and associated software.
One great example:
 
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I noticed the low Res aspect. In the 3D model there is a button in the top right of the image which starts at SD. You have to click to go to HD.
I find it is a little slow in a browser to re-render any movement, but that is expected, considering it is originally made up of 628MB of images, I will download a local 3D export and see what it looks like later today in some other software.

I did read during my upload that if I do use GCP it definitely is a separate service. But yes again if required at that level we would charge to that level to accommodate the cost...But only after I get some more advanced equipment, several hours of operation doing it, and maybe a training course specific to this type of work. Looks like there may be a good market for it... :)
 
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Interest was peeked... explored the P4P camera vs the I2 X4S. They appear based on several resources to be the same, or practically identical internally.

Which is probably why I’ve read so many Geo survey teams use the M210 with the X4S. Also probably why it’s been disregarded by I2 Owners with no apparent gain over a P4P at less than 1/2 cost.
 
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I noticed the low Res aspect. In the 3D model there is a button in the top right of the image which starts at SD. You have to click to go to HD.
I find it is a little slow in a browser to re-render any movement, but that is expected, considering it is originally made up of 628MB of images, I will download a local 3D export and see what it looks like later today in some other software.

I did read during my upload that if I do use GCP it definitely is a separate service. But yes again if required at that level we would charge to that level to accommodate the cost...But only after I get some more advanced equipment, several hours of operation doing it, and maybe a training course specific to this type of work. Looks like there may be a good market for it... :)
You have a great grasp of the process... off to a super start, especially with a I1 X3 setup... that‘s wonderful to hear.

Note on GCP, that is a component of RTK but not to be confused as similar. I have an interest in RTK, and that is a whole new level to explore. The use of GCP’s with modern software and improved GPS has lightly been advertised as synonymous to RTK at practically zero cost when it’s not. But, that said... GCP with terrain processing has become popular as another quick solution in exchange for a little less accuracy.
 

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