Importing Drone Scans (Drone Deploy)

Importing Drone Scans (Drone Deploy)

In this tutorial, you will learn how to bring 3D drone scans into cmBuilder.


Export an OBJ file

1. Open Drone Deploy and access the Explore tab.

2. Select the date of the 3D scan you would like to export.

3. Click Export and then 3D Model on the left side sheet.

4. Select OBJ for the File Type.

5. Click on Export and you will receive an email with a link for download and it will also show up under Existing Exports.

6. Export the downloaded file to a local folder. It will contain an MTL, an OBJ, and several JPG files.





Converting to FBX

You will need to use other software to convert the OBJ file into an FBX file with the embedded textures. In this tutorial, we will cover two options: Recap Photo (Recommended) and Blender.

Using Recap Photo

  1. This is the recommended workflow if you have a license to Autodesk Recap Photo, as you can edit the meshes quickly and clean up what is to be imported.
  2. Follow the instructions in this video shared by Ben Stocker, a cmBuilder user - 🔗

Using Blender

1. Download and install Blender, a free 3D modeling software. Open Blender and click on General:

2. Select the default items on the screen and delete them:

3. Click on File > Import > Wavefront (.obj) and select the OBJ file you downloaded from Drone Deploy (note: the loading indication for the Blender is a black square in your cursor). The imported model will show up rotated and gray by default.

Make sure to keep the MTL and JPG files in the same folder as the OBJ model as Blender needs them to map the textures correctly.

4. Here are the instructions to adjust:

  • Click on the Material Preview button to turn on the textures
  • Select the imported model from the list
  • Set the X Rotation to 0°


5. Click on File > Export > FBX (.fbx) and set up the Path Mode to Copy and click on the Embed Textures button.


6. Import the FBX model in cmBuilder using the instructions on this page: 1.1 Import 3D Models

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