Pipeline Detailed Inspection - What's the best methodology


Hi guys, I’m having some troubles creating a good quality 3D scan of a pipeline using my P34K and I’m hoping someone can assist with some troubleshooting for me please.

I understand that I could just fly a nadir mission and it would probably give some ok results, but for this I’m really wanting a detailed model showing the sides and underside supporting structure etc.

I flew a 200m length of a water pipeline, first run was scanning it at a low oblique angle (as I wanted to capture the footings and as much of the underside as I could), then I scanned back to my original start point but this time nadir from above, then lastly I did the side (oblique) scan of the other side. My thinking was that this should give me the best results as I was close (around 10m from the pipeline) and I was getting coverage of all angles.

Initially I ran the images through the ‘structure’ template on DD and the results were poor and patchy. Then I ran the same images through the ‘terrain’ template and it was less patchy but the accuracy of the form was terrible.

I’m wondering if my methodology was sound, but it was just that I did not have sufficient overlap on my imagery for the resulting model to be good. Or is there a another way that I should conduct my mission in order to get better results. Does anyone have any ideas they can share please?

I’ve uploaded some pics below, the first two are using the ‘structure’ template, the second two are using the ‘terrain’ template. My flight ID is: eb8bea2b26_THEAEROSCOOPENPIPELINE

Thanks in advance.



Your overlaps are probably not sufficient to allow good stitching.
I would fly over it with a autonomous grid pattern getting three to four rows of images using DD.
Then I would fly along each side sideways using the DJI app looking down about 45 - 60 degrees (no sky in the images) to get better 3D features of the sides and underneath. You might want to do the side shots at two altitudes.
It needs the overhead shots to have reference features to align and stitch the side shots with so don’t fly extremely close.


Hey @TheAeroScout, if it helps, once you get your 3D model to look slightly better, you can try doing the actual inspection in Scopito (find it in the app market in DD). We are here to help :slight_smile: