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Spark and what software for photogrammetry?

MortenVR

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Hi all. Newbie to the forum and droneflight here.

I am considering buying a Spark to use as "proof on concept" to my colleagues. I work with archaeology and 3d photogrammetry in Denmark. We currently have Agisoft Metascan to make 3d photogrammetry. But I am trying to convince my colleagues that we (the museum) should invest in a drone to record larger surfaces.
As I am personally buying the drone with my own money, the price of the spark is acceptable.

The problem is the capture software or App. As I understand it, Pix4d only works with free flight and not planned flights/missions in grids.
So my question is: Are there alternative to pix4d? (Dronedeploy apparently do not support the spark)

Thank you
 

pmshop

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For mapping, you are going to want to go with a higher model for more flight time.
I recommend the Phantom 4 or Mavic 2 series.
There are other DJI Apps for mapping that can only be used with the higher models.
 

MortenVR

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I was afraid that would be the answer. But I personally cannot neither the phantom 4 series nor the mavic 2 models. So I guess that will have to wait a while.

I am not expecting perfect results with the spark, but just to prove that it can be done. Then the museum can buy a mavic 2 Pro.
 

pmshop

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I was afraid that would be the answer. But I personally cannot neither the phantom 4 series nor the mavic 2 models. So I guess that will have to wait a while.

I am not expecting perfect results with the spark, but just to prove that it can be done. Then the museum can buy a mavic 2 Pro.
I understand
In that case, just show raw footage for fair results to sell the concept and the need for a better drone.
 

Multikoe

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I am trying to understand (out of interest): you use Agisoft Metascan, which is software to create 3D models based on 2D images. Buying a Spark would only make sense to replace your current source of images (which is?). Why would you want to do that? Are the images you use now too expensive?
If you are looking at replacing the whole system (software plus hardware), then the main challenge will be finding software that not only can create 3D objects from 2D images, but is also able to determine dimensions based on reference points. I suspect that this software is not cheap either.

I may sound a bit harsh, but I'm really interested in the story behind your question. I am interested in general by photogrammatic applications :)
 
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MortenVR

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I am trying to understand (out of interest): you use Agisoft Metascan, which is software to create 3D models based on 2D images. Buying a Spark would only make sense to replace your current source of images (which is?). Why would you want to do that? Are the images you use now too expensive?
If you are looking at replacing the whole system (software plus hardware), then the main challenge will be finding software that not only can create 3D objects from 2D images, but is also able to determine dimensions based on reference points. I suspect that this software is not cheap either.

I may sound a bit harsh, but I'm really interested in the story behind your question. I am interested in general by photogrammatic applications :)
You dont sound harsh at all, no worries.

As an example, some of my colleagues are excavating the remnants of a late stoneage/early bronzeage burial mound. As a part of the documentation several surfaces has been recorded via 3D photogrammetry each consisting of 1200-1500 pictures taken with a Nikon dslr camera.
These photos are run through Agisoft combined with ground control points resultant in a very accurate model (usually with a deviation of lede than 1,5 centimeters).
By using a drone instead of a dslr, some of the finer details will be lost (but on this scale that would not matter much) but the amount of pictures would be greatly reduced. We would still be using Agisoft.
By reducing the amount of pictures, we would also reduce the time spent with Agisoft and the amount of data we need to store ( each picture is about 10 MB, so several layers of take up a lot of space)

The museum is “owned” by the municipality, and economy is always an issue. So to convince my colleagues and those who pay our salary, that an investment of not only a proper drone, but also training an certification is needed, I considered to buy a spark and by using that, i could prove my point.
English is not my first, nor second language, so please ignore the errors.
 
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webvan

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You could also look at the Parrot Anafi as Pix4D is able to control it to fly grids or circles automatically.
 

Multikoe

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You dont sound harsh at all, no worries.

As an example, some of my colleagues are excavating the remnants of a late stoneage/early bronzeage burial mound. As a part of the documentation several surfaces has been recorded via 3D photogrammetry each consisting of 1200-1500 pictures taken with a Nikon dslr camera.
These photos are run through Agisoft combined with ground control points resultant in a very accurate model (usually with a deviation of lede than 1,5 centimeters).
By using a drone instead of a dslr, some of the finer details will be lost (but on this scale that would not matter much) but the amount of pictures would be greatly reduced. We would still be using Agisoft.
By reducing the amount of pictures, we would also reduce the time spent with Agisoft and the amount of data we need to store ( each picture is about 10 MB, so several layers of take up a lot of space)

The museum is “owned” by the municipality, and economy is always an issue. So to convince my colleagues and those who pay our salary, that an investment of not only a proper drone, but also training an certification is needed, I considered to buy a spark and by using that, i could prove my point.
English is not my first, nor second language, so please ignore the errors.
Ah, interesting! I don't know why the amount of images needed would be less with a drone, but I could imagine using a drone would have other benifits as well: it could take high-up pictures of the dig-site which would otherwise only be available as output from Agisoft.
Another issue that might come up is that the Spark camera suffers from distortion which is not a problem for general use. It can be partially corrected (Lightroom does a decent job), but for your purpose, the distortion might be a problem.
I am Dutch and English is my second language. Your english is way better!
 

MortenVR

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Ah, interesting! I don't know why the amount of images needed would be less with a drone, but I could imagine using a drone would have other benifits as well: it could take high-up pictures of the dig-site which would otherwise only be available as output from Agisoft.
Another issue that might come up is that the Spark camera suffers from distortion which is not a problem for general use. It can be partially corrected (Lightroom does a decent job), but for your purpose, the distortion might be a problem.
I am Dutch and English is my second language. Your english is way better!
You are correct, regarding height and overview. I reckon that by taking picture with a drone, we can cover a larger area in each frame, thereby reducing the amount of pictures needed to cover a surface. Agisoft has corrections for the distortion caused by the lens of the drone.
as an example of our results with Agisoft, you can look here (movr (@movr)) these are som of the models I have produced.
 

Multikoe

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You are correct, regarding height and overview. I reckon that by taking picture with a drone, we can cover a larger area in each frame, thereby reducing the amount of pictures needed to cover a surface. Agisoft has corrections for the distortion caused by the lens of the drone.
as an example of our results with Agisoft, you can look here (movr (@movr)) these are som of the models I have produced.
Very cool stuff! I have been thinking about doing something like that myself just for fun, but I haven't found the time (and the software) to do this.
For your projects, you might want to consider using "Tripod" mode on the Spark: it allows for very slow, but very controllable and stable flights at low height.
Darn it, I wish I could participate!
 
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ajkm

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The Spark only has a -85° tilt, which makes it less accurate for mapping uses in my experience (where a -90° a better option). As for software, mapsmadeeasy.com, Pix4DCapture, Meshlab, WebOMD, MapPilot, Opendronemaps are all worth considering. MME has an interesting price structure and it’s perfectly possible to work with it for free.
 

webvan

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Does any of them have flight automation like Pix4D does with the Anafi ?
 

ajkm

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Have a look at MapPilot. There is also the beta of Dronelink that will be useful in this area.
 

webvan

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Thanks but MapPilot doesn't appear to support the Spark and Dronelink looks more like Litchi than an app that will automatically program and have the drone fly a grid like Pix4d ?
 

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