Settings will persist between scans of the same capture mode and through power cycles. If you would like to restore settings back to default, select the reset button in the top right on the workflow pane during the Review or Edit Settings steps of a scan.

[note] GPS will be required for scans higher than 65 ft (20 m). [/note]

[accordion heading = "Camera Settings"]

Based on the available lighting conditions, your drone will automatically adjust photo settings to ensure it captures the best quality images. Always monitor Flight Deck for in-app alerts notifying you if there are problems with the lighting conditions.

AutoFocus (AF)
Skydio 3D Scan will default to AutoFocus when capturing images while scanning.

Manual Focus (MF) and Tap to Focus are only available during scan setup and manual capture.

CS_App3_media_icon_focus_buttons.png
VT300-Z Sensor Package Zoom
While scanning, 3D Scan always defaults to the narrow lens (zoom level of 1x). Zooming is not available in 3D Scan.

Configuring photo settings

Ensure you have configured the following photo settings, including thermal options, before starting your scan. 

Photo Settings

File Type
Choose whether you want Skydio X10 to capture JPG images only, or both JPG and DNG files.

  • JPG - Digital image format containing compressed image data.
  • DNG - RAW image format file, meaning it is not compressed and retains all original photo data. A DNG file is larger than a JPG file since it stores image data.

[note] 64MP DNG photos (Full Resolution) can only be captured when Stop for Photo is enabled. If you enable 64MP DNG capture, this will automatically toggle Stop for Photo. [/note]

Resolution
Refers to the amount of detail in your video. Measured in megapixels.

  • Full - Images are captured at the highest quality, providing more detail and clarity.
  • ¼ - Images are captured at one-fourth of the full resolution, resulting in smaller file sizes. Best for conserving storage space or transmitting images faster.

Camera Mode

Standard - Designed for typical, everyday lighting conditions. Provides a balanced, standard level of exposure, image processing, and contrast.

Low Light - Designed for environments with dim lighting, such as indoors or evening. Settings are adjusted to capture more light, reduce noise, and improve visibility.

HDR - Designed to capture environments with a wide range of brightness levels. Multiple images are captured at different exposures and then combined to create a single, balanced image.

CS_App3_media_UI_camera_settings_rounded.png

For more information on Skydio X10 camera settings, read Understanding Skydio X10 camera and video settings.

  • DNG must be enabled for each independent scan. Note that your settings will not persist.
  • When reviewing your scan images in the Media menu, only JPG images are shown. Transfer your media to access DNG or RJPG files.
[note] When Interval is enabled, your drone will continuously capture photos at the specified time until the setting is disabled or the flight ends. Only available when the scan is paused or when capturing photos manually. The fastest interval photo setting is five seconds. [/note]

Thermal Settings

Thermal Capture
Enable to capture thermal images as JPG files.

  • RJPG - When enabled, your drone will capture a Radiometric JPG which includes the radiometric data within the photo file
CS_App3_media_UI_thermal_settings_cropped_full_options_rounded_anno.png

[/accordion]

[accordion heading = "All Scan Mode Settings"]

Overlap Percentage

Overlap between photos along a path. The default overlap is 80%; high overlap is recommended for complex scenes.

Sidelap Percentage

Sidelap between two adjacent flight paths. The default sidelap is 70%; high sidelap is recommended for complex scenes.

Stop for Photo

By default, the drone will fly through image capture points without stopping for smooth and efficient flight.

  • Skydio automatically sets the best speed to capture photos based on your scan distance and lighting conditions, while ensuring your images remain crisp and clear

Toggle this setting on if you would like Skydio to stop before capturing a photo at each capture point.

  • The drone will still accelerate between capture points
  • Enabling this setting significantly increases the amount of time and batteries required to complete your scan

Maximum Speed Slider

Use the Maximum Speed slider to set the maximum speed at which Skydio will travel while exploring, scanning and when returning to the Launch Point or Rally Point.

Speed settings for 3D Capture:

  • 1.1 - 11.2 mph (0.5 - 5 m/s)
  • Default speed is 11.2 mph (5 m/s) 

Speed settings for Surface Capture or Map Capture:

  • 1.1 - 11.2 mph (0.5 - 5 m/s)
  • Default speed is 5.6 mph (2.5 m/s) 

[/accordion]

[accordion heading = "3D Capture Settings"]

Scan Passes

Organizes the capture path into three continuous slices, Z, Y, and X.

The Z slices are completed first and resemble orbits at fixed heights going around the structure. By default, the camera gimbal angle is set to 15°. Use the Z Gimbal Pitch slider to adjust the camera angle at which the drone will capture photos while orbiting. Increased gimbal pitch results in capturing less sky and more photos of the surrounding area and structure itself.

Read How to use scan slices in 3D Scan for more detailed information.

[info] The sensor package pitch represents the angle below the horizon. [/info] 

Distance to Surface

Determines how close the drone will fly to the structure or area being scanned. Smaller distance to surface (closer) means more photos taken and higher resolution, with an increased total scan time. The Distance to Surface corresponds directly to Ground Sample Distance (GSD) which defines the distance between two consecutive pixel centers on the ground. For example, a one-millimeter GSD would suggest that the distance of the two consecutive pixel centers in the photo reflects one millimeter on the ground.

Skydio X10 and VT300-Z GSD at various fixed Distance to Surface

Distance to Surface (m) Distance to Surface (ft) Full Resolution (64MP) GSD (mm) 1/4 Resolution (16MP) GSD (mm)

4

13.1

0.32

0.65

5 16.4 0.40 0.81
6 19.71 0.49 0.97
7 23.0 0.57 1.13
8 26.2 0.65 1.30
9 29.5 0.73 1.46
10 32.8 0.81 1.62
11 36.1 0.89 1.78
12 39.4 0.97 1.94
13 42.7 1.05 2.11
14 45.9 1.13 2.27
15 49.2 1.21 2.43

[/accordion]

[accordion heading = "Suggested 3D Capture Settings"]

Default settings are optimized for 3D reconstruction.

If your main objective is to create a 3D reconstruction using a third party photogrammetry software, review the table below for example settings.

Example 3D Capture Settings

Industry Use Case Artifacts to Detect Example GSD Scan Pass Overlap/Sidelap
Construction Progress monitoring and asset inspection Asset damage, misalignment, as-built vs. design  2 mm Z, Y, X 80/70
Transportation Bridge inspection  Cracks and delamination in concrete, bolts, nuts, connection points in weight bearing areas 1 mm  Z, Y, X 80/80
Utilities Distribution Transformers, conductors, insulators, static wire, pole quality/damage 1 mm Z

80/75

Telecommunications Cell tower with complex antenna array RAD Centers, connection points, access ladder conditions 1.5 mm Z, Y or X 85/80

If your objective is only to capture highly detailed imagery (without later processing), you can decrease the overlap and sidelap percentages (e.g. 30-50% overlap/sidelap) to significantly speed up scan time.

Use Case Example: Key Requirements for Transmission & Distribution Inspection

Distance to Surface

Set to achieve up to 0.5 centimeter precision (GSD)

Overlap/Sidelap

30%/30% overlap/sidelap from multiple angles of the tower infrastructure

[/accordion]

[accordion heading = "Surface and Map Capture Settings"]

Settings will persist between scans of the same capture mode and through power cycles. If you would like to restore settings back to default, select the refresh arrow in the top right on the workflow pane during the Review or Edit Settings step of a scan.

Perimeter

Scan 3D volumes by traversing the 2D perimeter at multiple heights and taking pictures inward.

  • Take place at the end of the scan, and the additional inward photos will improve reconstruction
  • This is a good setting to enable when scanning vertical structures like tall buildings or towers
  • The sensor package angle is set to 60° by default

Adjust the sensor package angle slider to your desired camera angle. The sensor package angle range for the Perimeter setting is 0-90 degrees.

Crosshatch

Capture oblique images by enabling the Crosshatch setting. When enabled, Skydio will capture in a rotating lawn mower pattern.

  • This increases the number of photos but provides better oblique imagery for reconstruction
  • Instead of capturing nadir (top-down), the camera gimbal angle is adjustable to capture images at an angle for more detailed reconstruction
  • The sensor package angle is set to 60° by default

When disabled, the drone will capture photos in a nadir lawn mower pattern.

Adjust the sensor package angle slider to your desired camera angle. The range for the Crosshatch setting is 55-85 degrees. 

[info] The sensor package pitch represents the angle below the horizon. [/info] 

Height

The most important setting for Surface Captures. Lower height means more photos taken and higher resolution, but an increased total scan time.

In a Surface Capture, the Height is relative to the Floor you set. The Height corresponds directly to Ground Sample Distance (GSD). Set the Height higher than the slider options by piloting the drone to your desired height and tapping the Set Height to Current button. 

Skydio X10 and VT300-Z GSD at various fixed Heights

Height (m) Height (ft) Full Resolution (64MP) GSD (mm) 1/4 Resolution (16MP) GSD (mm)

1.5

5

0.12

0.24

3 10 0.24 0.49
4.6 15 0.37 0.74
6.1 20 0.49 0.99
9.1 30 0.74 1.47
12.2 40 0.99 1.98
15.2 50 1.23 2.46
22.9 75 1.85 3.70
30.5 100 2.47 4.94
45.7 150 3.70 7.40
61 200 4.94 9.87

[/accordion]

[accordion heading="Suggested Surface and Map Capture Settings"]

Default settings are optimized for 2D orthomosaic generation in Surface and Map Captures. Your GSD will adjust based on your altitude settings. Higher overlap and sidelap percentages result in longer scans and a greater number of photos. You have the ability to adjust these settings before the scan begins.

If your goal is to create a high fidelity reconstruction, increase your overlap and sidelap percentages. If you do not plan to create a model of your scan, lower overlap and sidelap percentages will suffice.

Example Surface / Map Capture settings

Industry Use Case Objective Example GSD Cross Hatch / Perimeter? Overlap/Sidelap
Construction Site survey, stockpile volumetrics Site progress, volumetrics, terrain model 10 mm Cross Hatch 75/70
First responder Large collision scene reconstruction Crumple damage, skid marks, weapons, broken glass 1 mm Cross Hatch 80/75
Transportation Road grading and survey Cracks and delamination in concrete, road damage, erosion, site survey, terrain model 10 mm Default (off) 75/70

[/accordion]

Explore More

Getting Started with Skydio X10

Accessing 3D Scan Data

Visual Geofencing in 3D Scan

 

 Skydio, Inc. A0465

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