Overview

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.

CS_Note_callout-icon.jpg

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

3D Capture Settings

2D Capture Settings

All Scan Mode Settings

Photo Settings

Based on the available lighting conditions, your drone will automatically adjust photo settings to ensure it captures the best quality images. You will see in-app notifications alerting you if there are problems with the lighting conditions.

For consistency with reconstructions, Skydio recommends leaving all photo settings set to default. If needed you do have the ability to adjust the following:

  • Photo Interval*
    • Off / 1s or 2s** / 5s / 10s
  • HDR On/Off
  • JPG / JPG+DNG***
  • White Balance
  • Shutter Speed
  • Exposure

DNG must be enabled for each independent 3D Scan and your settings will NOT persist. DNG photos can only be captured when 'Stop for Photo' is enabled. If you enable DNG capture this will automatically toggle Stop for Photo.

CS_3DS_media_UI_photo_settings.png

* When Photo Interval is enabled your drone will continuously capture photos at the specified time interval until the setting is disabled or the flight ends. Available in the Manual Capture step of a 3D Capture.
** The fastest interval photo setting when capturing in raw DNG is two seconds. You may capture a photo every one second when capturing in JPG mode.

*** DNG photos are not displayed in the media tab of the Skydio Enterprise app and may be retrieved directly from the microSD card.

 

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.

overlap_sidelap.png

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
stop_for_photo_anno.png

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.

Scan_Card.png
CS_Info_callout_icon.jpg The camera gimbal pitch represents the angle below the horizon.

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 2 GSD at various fixed Distance to Surface

Distance to Surface (m)

Distance to Surface (ft)

GSD (mm)

1.5

4.92

0.63

2

6.56

0.84

2.5

8.20

1.05

3

9.84

1.26

3.5

11.48

1.47

4

13.12

1.68

4.5

14.76

1.90

5

16.40

2.11

5.5

18.04

2.32

6

19.69

2.53

Skydio X2 Color GSD at various fixed Distance to Surface

Distance to Surface (m)

Distance to Surface (ft)

GSD (mm)

1.5

4.92

0.63

2

6.56

0.84

2.5

8.20

1.05

3

9.84

1.26

3.5

11.48

1.47

4

13.12

1.68

4.5

14.76

1.90

5

16.40

2.11

5.5

18.04

2.32

6

19.69

2.53

6.5

21.33

2.74

7

22.97

2.95

7.5

24.61

3.16

8

26.25

3.37

Skydio X2 Color/Thermal GSD at various fixed Distance to Surface

Distance to Surface (m)

Distance to Surface (ft)

GSD (mm)

4

13.12

0.83

5

16.40

1.04
6 19.69 1.24
7 22.97 1.45
8 26.25 1.66
9 29.53 1.87
10 32.81 2.07
11 36.09 2.28
12 39.37 2.49
13 42.65 2.70
14 45.93 2.90
15 49.21 3.11

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.

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


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

2D 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

Adjust the Gimbal Angle slider to your desired camera angle.

perimeter.png

Cross Hatch

Capture oblique images by enabling the Cross Hatch 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 camera gimbal angle is set to 60° by default

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

cross_hatch.png
CS_Info_callout_icon.jpg The camera gimbal pitch represents the angle below the horizon.

Height

The most important setting for 2D Captures. Lower height means more photos taken and higher resolution, but an increased total scan time.

In a 2D 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 2 GSD at various fixed Distance to Surface

Height (ft) Height (m) 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

Skydio X2 Color/Thermal GSD at various fixed Distance to Surface

Height (ft) Height (m) GSD (mm)
10 3 0.632
16 4.8 1.011
24 7.4 1.558
30 9.2 1.938
40 12.2 2.568
60 18.2 3.851
80 24.4 5.135
100 30.4 6.419
150 45.72 9.629
200 61 12.838

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 2D 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


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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