Proper PDF Creation for Overlays


What is the preferred workflow for creating a PDF to be overlayed in the DroneDeploy web UI? I have tried both the native CAD DWG to PDF and Bluebeam PDF options and it seems that the rendering is either not happening or has gotten worse. It appears that the vector is not being used or is not carrying over… I think thickening the linework would help, but at some point this makes the content muddled and ineffective. Note the difference between overlays done in DroneDeploy and Bluebeam.

…and P.S., we still need 3-Point alignment. :thinking:

HI @MichaelL - Have you verified that the PDF is in PNG or Vector format? Feel free to message into our support channels for more custom help.


Thanks for this, but I helped develop this process and it has been left stagnant for a while without addressing many issues. AutoCAD DWG to PDF is about as industry standard and vector as it gets. I assume the Bluebeam connector is the same, but do not know what else they might have filtering.

I really hope other users can post examples of their DroneDeploy vector linework overlays and share tips if they are working as they should be.

Will pass this on to the team which owns the feature. Thanks Michael.

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Excellent! We appreciate it.

Mine have looked pretty good. I normally switch the color if I have multicolored layers. I use DWG to PDF and our plotstyle turns almost everything to black anyway. I had a problem where all my overlays dissapeared and then I went to present about how overlays are great…and they were gone. The support team got them back, after initially claiming I never had one uploaded because they were “not in any backup” so after I sent links to each map where I had sent to the client, they got found.

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That looks very good and you obviously have thicker lineweights which I thought might help. I will have to try and bump them up a little to see. I will also try changing the color, but we have to have the industry color mapping. One more thing is that I notice your text is awesome. Ours has been terrible. It either is not fully rendering or their software can’t deal with different font types. We also had an issue where text that had AECC properties would resolve to blank boxes. Is there anything that you can think of in your plot settings that might affect text?

Not that I can think of. It’s pretty basic mtext type stuff. Our CAD files don’t really have all the additional properites unless it’s in the civil3d design files. These are mostly geometry plans or grading plans, that sort of thing. I have about 10 projects with an overlay and have never seen your issue! That would drive me crazy. We have a standard in house plot style, but I cant imagine it is anything more advanced than what you would use.

Got it. I think the thing I am doing is turning off Plot Lineweights… This sets everything to thin lines which the system obviously can’t handle. I just can’t understand why they don’t look any different than when you first load them before full rendering completes.

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This one is not nearly as good. It was from a 3rd party for the CAD file.

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Yep, so you can see what I am facing with the curb and the sidewalk. I guess to some point i’ll just have to accept it as a limitation of the system. The overlays that we need are probably better served in Bluebeam or GIS software due to their layering anyway.

Yea the only reason I really use these overlays is for clients. If it’s me I’m just going to insert the image in CAD or GIS. This will be fine from the client perspective but obviously isn’t what you’d think it could be.

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Still having this issue where DroneDeploy will not render a native 0 lineweight. Having lineweights visible in CAD is not feasible when you are looking at allot of layers or XREF’d files so most people use the default 0 lineweight. In order to get decent overlay quality in DroneDeploy you have to have at least a 0.25 lineweight, but in the model view everything starts to meld together. Especially contours.