Point cloud processing in Pix4D - no ground control points

If you are new to Pix4D and don't know where to start, this post is for you. Read on to discover how easy it is to produce point clouds with Pix4D.

Step one is to launch the Pix4D application and start a new project. The first thing you are prompted to do is to add images to your project. Our latest mapping systems tag images with their coordinates, so those will be imported with the images.

Pix4d setup
Image Properties Editor with Images Loaded

When you proceed to the Image Properties Editor select Edit under Coordinate System. The known coordinate system is displayed. Most of the time the coordinates from our mapping systems are in WGS84, but this can change if you used an RTK base station with different settings. We always provide picture elevation without a geoid model, so ensure that you enter 0.0 in the advanced field for Height Above Ellipsoid as shown above. Click OK and proceed by clicking Next to the output settings screen.

Pix4D Output Settings

If you know your coordinate system, enter it here (#1). If you don't know it or have a custom coordinate system, you will use Arbitrary Coordinate System option, but this user flow will be covered in a separate post. Option #2 largely depends on your project requirements, if you are using a geoid model for your vertical coordinate system, obtain the geoid height of a point near the center of your project and enter it here. After the output settings are configured click OK and procede to Processing Options.

pix4d photogrammetry software setup
Pix4D Processing Options

The final configuration step asks you to select the type of output that you want. Depending on your needs you may want a fast result, perhaps just to check your setup and images, in this case select 3D Maps - Rapid. If you want to process the map at full resolution select the 3D Maps option. Finally select the start processing checkbox on the lower right and click Finish. Standby or take a nap while your point cloud and orthomosaic products are being generated.

Pix4D Output Products Location

After processing is complete, locate the final products, including point cloud and orthomosaic, that you will need to import into your CAD package or analysis software.

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