First Time Flight - Questions regarding results

I did my first flight with Drone Deploy. Used a DJI Phantom 4 Pro. Flew at 165 feet due to trees & a Tower…
Using the Free first time user Drone Deploy
Was filming some church property that included buildings, walkways, parking lot and green space. Also had tall trees interspersed throughout the property (16 acres)
The 2D map came out very clear/ good. with very little distortion.
the issue is with the 3D map.
There is a lot of distortion/ rippling with the roof lines and tree branches over some of the cars/buildings on the property.
Wondering if this problem would go away with the purchase of the App?
Any assistance, thoughts, ideas would be appreciated.

Flying at less than 200’ is not recommended unless you fly very slow with very high overlaps. Most flights are 225’-275’.
What flight pattern(s) did you use?

Michael, thanks for the quick response. I used the flight pattern that the program planned which was back and forth across the property and then an outline of the property.

From what you said about the altitudes I believe my mistake was lowering the altitude to 165 feet.

The program actually suggested an altitude of about 270 feet if I remember correctly.

Unfortunately, we are scheduled for several days of rain here so hopefully I can get out next week and fly the property again

Thanks again,


My pleasure. Try staying around 250’ plus/minus 20-25’ if possible. I don’t even like running at 270’ as that is when I start to see degradation in the clarity of the images. If you are flying smaller sites then there is nothing wrong with around 200’, but you have to make sure your overlaps are 80% or higher.

When you get a chance try the same flight at 250’ and toggle the Structure Mode on. This will fly around the perimeter of the site looking in at about 50-60 degrees. If the site is too big to get good images of the central area then you can split it into two flight halves or try the Cross-Hatch mode from this app. I am not a big fan of it as it takes longer and is not as effective when using ground control points (GCP’s) which i use allot of. I also like the Structure Mode better because I get nice oblique angle photos of the project as a byproduct.


Michael, thanks so much for that information as it gives me some ideas on how to replan my flight.

I will let you know how it goes.

Take care and fly safe,


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Getting good 3D models is part art and part science at this point. You may need to make a separate flight plan for the building using structure mode to try and get optimum results. I often fly it manually with the DJI app to get good overlapping obliques and add them to the orthogonal upload for processing.

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@Gary You must have this in notepad on your desktop, lol… You are 100% right and it varies per structure. I have found that the DroneDeploy Structure Mode is more than sufficient for most buildings accompanied by a few manual detail shots. All you have to do is get out of P-Mode at the end of the last flight plan and expand the window. It will give you a weird warning about pilot required, but that’s exactly what we are doing so it can be ignored in this instance. A tip to Structure Mode is to adjust your proximity to the building so that the center of the wall is in the middle of the image frame. It normally takes a dry run, but is easily adjusted once you understand the pitch of the gimbal.

Yep, It is what it is! You know your subject matter better than the flight algorithm. I agree with your centering the building. I got my best 3D model flying manually at two altitudes around the building.


Haha, I have been meaning to try that with Structure Mode for a month and always have to run somewhere else… :crazy_face:

Pretty much basic theory I applied. Practice, practice, practice & practice. There is no miracle if you want to be a professional drone racer or an areal videographer other than a constant practice using the right techniques.
A couple of years back I started my first droning experience using a small drone & although not originally mine, I’ve been practiced using my friends’ drones sometimes. All the drones I used as an amateur pilot to gain the hands-on experience were in the two digit margin price level & most among those were purchased by me & my friends in

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