Overview

3D Scan Settings will persist between scans and flights. 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_icon.png

GPS will be required for scans higher than 65 ft (20 m). 

3D Capture and 2D Capture scan modes

Stop Vehicle at Photo

By default, the drone will fly through image capture points without stopping to enable a smooth and efficient flight. Skydio 2 will automatically set the optimal speed to capture photos based on your height and lighting conditions. 

    • 2 m distance = 0.28 m/s photo speed
    • 4 m distance = 0.56 m/s photo speed
    • 8 m distance = 1.12 m/s photo speed

Stop Vehicle at Photo - stops Skydio 2 before capturing a photo at each capture point.

    • enabling this setting significantly increases scan time and batteries required

Overlap Percentage - enables overlap between photos along a path

    • default overlap is 80% for complex scenes

Sidelap Percentage - sidelap between two adjacent flight paths

    • default sidelap is 70% for complex scenes 

3D Capture Settings

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.

GSD at various fixed Distance to Surface

Distance to Surface (ft)

Distance to Surface (m)

Skydio 2 GSD (mm)

5

1.5

0.632

8

2.4

1.011

12

3.7

1.558

15

4.6

1.938

20

6.1

2.568

25

7.6

3.851

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. The X and Y slices follow and resemble a cross hatch pattern.

scan_passes.png

Skydio recommends leaving all three slices enabled. You have the option to independently toggle each of the scan slices as needed. If all three slices are disabled, the drone will enter Manual Capture mode.

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Toggle on only the Z scan pass for faster scans around structures that do not need to be viewed from above.


Suggested 3D Capture Settings

Default settings are optimized for 3D reconstruction. 

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

Example GSD Settings

Industry

Use Case

Asset to Scan

Artifacts to Detect

Precision Requirement (GSD)

Construction

Progress assessments, inventory management (volumetrics), site survey

Equipment inspections

Asset damage, misalignment vs. tolerance across subcontractors

Up to 1 centimeter

Transportation

Bridge inspection

Bridges, roads, railroad tracks

Cracks and delamination in concrete, bolts, nuts, connection points in weight-bearing areas

Sub-millimeter to 5 mm

Utilities

Actionable transmission and distribution data

Power plants, transmission lines, oil pipelines

Rust and loose/missing retaining hardware

Up to 0.5 centimeter 

 

Use Case Example: Key Requirements for Bridge Inspection

Distance to Surface

Set to achieve 1-2 centimeter precision (GSD)

Overlap/Sidelap

80% / 80% overlap/sidelap of all angles, particularly the underside of the bridge

 

Use Case Example: Key Requirements for Transmission & Distribution Inspection

Distance to Surface

Set to achieve up to 0.5 cm precision (GSD)

Overlap/Sidelap

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

 

2D Capture Settings

Height 

The most important setting for 2D Captures! A lower altitude means more photos and higher resolution, but an increased total scan time. The Height corresponds directly to Ground Sample Distance (GSD).

GSD at various fixed Heights

Height (ft)

Height (m)

Skydio 2 GSD (mm)

5

1.5

0.632

8

2.4

1.011

12

3.7

1.558

15

4.6

1.938

20

6.1

2.568

30

9.1

3.851

40

12.2

5.135

50

15.2

6.419

75

22.86

9.629

100

30.5

12.838

Cross Hatch

Capture oblique images by enabling the Cross Hatch setting. When enabled, Skydio 2 will capture in a rotating lawnmower pattern. This increases the number of photos but provides better oblique imagery for reconstruction. Instead of capturing top-down (nadir), the camera gimbal angle is adjustable to capture images at an angle for more detailed reconstruction. 

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

Perimeter

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

    • adjust the Gimbal Angle slider to your desired camera angle

Suggested 2D Capture Settings

Default settings are optimized for 2D orthomosaic generation in 2D Capture. 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 GSD Settings

Industry

Use Case

Asset to Scan

Artifacts to Detect

Precision Requirement (GSD)

Construction

Progress assessments, site survey

Construction sites, equipment inspections

Asset damage, misalignment vs. tolerance across subcontractors

Up to 1 centimeter

First responder

Collision scene reconstruction

Crime or accident scenes

Crumple damage, skid marks, weapons, broken glass

~1 millimeter

Transportation

Road grading and survey

Bridges, roads, railroad tracks

Cracks and delamination in concrete, bolts, nuts, connection points in weight-bearing areas

Sub-millimeter to 5mm

Utilities

Long linear inspection for wildfire risk/wildfire monitoring

Forest inspections

Ignition sequence, origin cause

Up to 0.5 centimeter

(Primarily photos, not models)

 

Use Case Example: Key Requirements for Crime and Accident Scene Reconstruction

Height

Set to achieve ~1 mm precision (GSD)

Overlap/Sidelap

80%/80% Overlap/Sidelap with full and comprehensive photo coverage

Explore More

Explore related articles for additional information

Accessing 3D Scan Data

Visual Geofencing in 3D Scan

If you have questions or need additional support—feel free to reach out! Skydio Support

 

 

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