Best drone capture setting for 3D of model cliff below takeoff

I am trying to set up a project to create a 3D model of a cliff dropping 15M down to sea level.
The model includes a flat plateau or park without structures atop the cliff and a cliff face dropping down to the sea. S

Drondeploy does not offer a zipline flight along the cliff and below take off altitude thus i assume i should fly it all above the 0m altitude take off location and its not clear how to set this up.

would it be a better choice in this case to use

  • Terrain , structure or cross hatch

  • would it be best to try to automate the lowest possible flight altitude

  • woudl it make sense to seek a permiter further away from the cliff in order to be able to capture shots all the way up and down the cliff

  • its not clear how important it might be to indicate a tree in the photo path that might be regarded as the highest structure of about (4m). I note that minimum altitude allowed by app is 10m so it is not a danger but i believe i should be flying as low as possible in trying to capture everything at take off altitude and below?

  • its not clear how to setup the overlap and flight capture using this tool i set the flight path as low as possible which generate warnings of altitude too low

if my questions are unclear i am seeking the right project setup to fly and shoot a 3D model where the highest point of the model is the flat park i take off from and the 3D model needs to capture the cliff below this point dropping 15 m to the ocean

Thanks in advance for advice on drone-deploy capture settings for 3D model not map

Unfortunately I would have to recommend Litchi for this, but this example is a special scenario that is going to be more art than mapping. Litchi has very good terrain following and you can manipulate every characteristic of every waypoint. A disclaimer is that terrain following is according to the Google Earth SRTM and because it is 10m accurate at best the model will not capture a straight vertical cliff absolutely accurately. You’ll have to make sure to stay far enough away (at least 30m) so that the drone has time and clearance to rise. Also when doing terrain following it only changes its altitude at each way point so you will need multiple waypoints when traversing a steep incline or decline.

This may be hard to explain verbally so I will try my best. If I were doing this I would start the mission over the water moving inland so as I finish the flight and the battery gets low I limit the possibility of failure in the water.


  • Heading is perpendicular to the face of the cliff and can remain so throughout the flight
  • Gimble pitch is -50d from waypoint (wp) 1-11 to map vertically
  • Gimbal pitch goes down to -90 at wp12 and stays there through wp24 to map normally
  • AGL is set to 200ft and note the second box reporting elevation referenced from the first waypoint. The cliff is about 600ft above the water so 200ft above is about 800ft. You are not at 800ft AGL.

There are other program that do vertical scanning, but they require subscriptions and their vertical is more for buildings and like structures. I recommend that every pilot have Litchi because of its versatility and granular control of the flight. Progress pictures and Videos are amazing as well.

Hope this makes some sense!

After thinking about the flight plan a little more I think the traverses for cliff face shots need to on top of each other as closely as you can get them. The first line at the 200ft AGL (or above water level), the second line at 300ft and the third at 400ft or spread them out to whatever the max is for your region. This is the best we can do with this cliff face at 600ft so hopefully your is a little more cooperative.

Here is another example of capturing a steep incline, but only with nadir. Note how I am running parallel with the slope as the limit the rate of altitude change needed. Since the Google models are so smoothed I did not trust running perpendicular into the face for fear that the drone might not change fast enough. These flight plans seem like they are very tedious, but they are well worth it and once you do one and learn to use the line dimension provided it is not bad at all for the precision you get. Especially on repeating site flights. It took me about 20 minutes to set this one up and now I have it forever. I did learn on this one that Litchi maxes out at 99 waypoints, but no other software that I know of is going to do all of this in one flight.

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thanks for considered detailed response. it has opened up so many other questions and resolved many fundamental . I have scanned and now pore over in detail before my feedback - but wanted to give you a quick thanks