Using the Site Scan web app to combine multiple flights into a single 3D model

Now you can access, share, and process your data from any web browser. The Site Scan web app allows you to view photos from previous jobs; download orthomosaics, point clouds, and meshes; create new jobs; and download photos in an easy-to-share zip file. Each of these features unlock many new workflows, but specifically this tutorial explains how to combine multiple flights into a single model. This is useful to combine Surveys spanning multiple missions into a single orthomosaic (as long as you stay below 250 images), to combine a Scan and a Survey to generate a single point cloud of a structure and its surroundings, and to combine a Scan and an Inspect to automatically scan the majority of a building while hand-flying tricky or overhung areas.

To see a visceral example of how this works, take a look at the images below. I used the Survey function to generate the ortho below that provides site context and existing conditions.

However, the Survey tool does not capture oblique imagery necessary to generate an accurate model or point cloud of a structure.

To capture the oblique imagery, I performed a Scan and used the web app to combine the two datasets. This allows me to work with a single model that contains both specific details and general context. Follow along yourself below.

  1. Navigate over to Use your Site Scan credentials to log in.

  2. Using the navigation bar at left, click the first of the jobs that you would like to combine into a single point cloud, mesh, or orthomosaic. Click the “Download images as zip” button and save them to your computer. Repeat this step for all of the jobs you would like to combine, keeping the 250 photo limit in mind.

  3. Click “Create Job”. You will be greeted by a few fields. Name and Location are self-explanatory. Job Type optimizes the processing engine for either nadir (Survey) or oblique (Scan) imagery. If you are combining a Survey and a Scan, select Scan as job type.

    Note: Location is set by typing in address. If you are unsure of the address or outside an urban area, just approximate. This is for your record keeping and not used in the processing.

  4. Click “Create Job” at the bottom of the screen. Drag images you just downloaded into the dotted box and wait for them to upload. In this case, I wanted to combine a Scan and a Survey.

    Note: While I show how to combine a Scan and a Survey, this tool can be used for combining terrestrial imagery with aerial imagery, combining multiple Surveys, combining an Inspect with a Scan or Survey, or anything your heart desires.

  5. Refresh the page and click on your new job in the navigation bar. You should see all of your images in the slider.

    Note: If you would like to download an individual image, right-click and open in a new tab.

  6. Login to Autodesk by clicking the Autodesk logo in the upper right-hand corner. The logo will transform from grayscale to color when you are successful.

  7. Click “Process Job”, select your desired data products, and click “Generate Models”. Your finished products will be available in a few hours via the web app, the mobile app, or A360.

    Note: As a reminder, Ortho generates a georeferenced, scale orthomosaic and DEM, RCS generates an Autodesk-format point cloud, RCM generates an Autodesk ReMake-format mesh, FBX generates a generic Autodesk-format mesh, OBJ generates an open-format mesh, and LAS generates an open-format point cloud.


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