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3D landscape scanning

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Hi, do you know if I can mount a lidar camera in Yuneec drones to scan landscapes and create them in 3D using something like Unreal Engine?

Which combination drone + camera do you suggest? I want to do it as a hobby, so I can't spend a lot on it...but I want to have good results.

Thanks
 

DoomMeister

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I would suggest searching for information on the Intel RealSense technology through the Intel website. You may find a way to download the 3D map that the RealSense module builds of its environment.

If that can be accomplished the Typhoon H Pro w/RS or the Typhoon H Plus w/RS would suffice. Video during the flight might allow you to skin the models in realistic textures.
 
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You could do simple photogrammetry, and come up with perfectly good landscape maps, with elevational changes, without Lidar. Just fly a pattern with plenty of overlap between the images, and then an orbit or two with good oblique images. Pix4D and CapturingReality are both fairly expensive, but OpenDrone Map and AutoDesk Recap Pro are not. If you capture images with a GPS enabled camera, AutoDesk RecapPro is smart enough to use that to correctly position and scale the models it creates. If you use carefully positioned and measured GCP's you could accurately scale it even more. There's a ton of instructional videos on YouTube that illustrate how to do this. The attached images are of a 3D point cloud model created in AutoDesk RecapPro. I didn't fly the mission, but I used somebody else's images to create the model. The two views are the same model, just rotated to show the elevational changes. The model would have been better with some oblique images. There are some vehicles in the image, which captured great top down, but without the obliques the sides of the vehicles have occlusions in them. Adding a couple of orbits for the obliques at different heights would have made the model much, much better. You can import the model directly into the Unreal Engine, or Blender....or you can import it into CloudCompare, and subsample it, creating a Point Cloud.

Alternatively, you could probably cobble together a system with a Jetson with a Real Sense 415 camera that the H could lift efficiently and get some fairly good results, for much cheaper than you could get a Lidar.
 

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Steve Carr

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Much depends on the weight of the camera. I would suggest using an H Plus or H520. Both have a better lift capacity than the H. They also have larger blades and more efficient motors/ESC's. The downside: if you mount a different camera on the H Plus or H520 you won't get telemetry information. So you won't know the altitude of the aircraft.
 
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Hi, do you know if I can mount a lidar camera in Yuneec drones to scan landscapes and create them in 3D using something like Unreal Engine?

Which combination drone + camera do you suggest? I want to do it as a hobby, so I can't spend a lot on it...but I want to have good results.

Thanks
If all you are doing is terrestrial landscaping then that is a job for a terrestrial scanner. Yuneec doesn't currently have a lidar sensor and I am not sure there is one that could be retrofit that the drone could handle the load of. Photogrammetry with very close sampling distance will do very will but it depends on the render quality you need. It also takes a little bit to get use to how to fly for these purposes. I would suggest a standard nadir mission 50ft above the tallest object and then either manual obliques or an oblique crosshatch mission.
 
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Hi, do you know if I can mount a lidar camera in Yuneec drones to scan landscapes and create them in 3D using something like Unreal Engine?

Which combination drone + camera do you suggest? I want to do it as a hobby, so I can't spend a lot on it...but I want to have good results.

Thanks
If you fly the stock TH, use the CGO3+, UAV Toolbox to create "curved cable cam paths" and RealityCapture to create the mesh from photos shot with interval shooting. Results should be more than sufficient for a hobby project with a small budget. If you're flying the TH with PX4 fork, use QGroundcontrol to create missions with proper flight patterns and fly the mission. ;)

This mesh was created with a stock Typhoon and CGO3+:

verla_1.jpg


And this kind of point cloud you could expect to get with only photogrammetry and CGO3+ (not bad at all):

pointcloud.JPG
 
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If you fly the stock TH, use the CGO3+, UAV Toolbox to create "curved cable cam paths" and RealityCapture to create the mesh from photos shot with interval shooting. Results should be more than sufficient for a hobby project with a small budget. If you're flying the TH with PX4 fork, use QGroundcontrol to create missions with proper flight patterns and fly the mission. ;)

This mesh was created with a stock Typhoon and CGO3+:

verla_1.jpg


And this kind of point cloud you could expect to get with only photogrammetry and CGO3+ (not bad at all):

pointcloud.JPG
Those are looking great!
 
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Wow!! I'm impressed!!!!

Thanks all for sharing your experiences and skills, I've a bunch to understand and then learn 😅

I'll answer in each comment in case that I have some doubts.

Again, thanks a lot for your comments and suggestions!!!

You're all a great community😊
 

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