DJI Terra, the user-friendly mapping software from drone manufacturer DJI, has excelled in automating the image capture process necessary for creating 2D and 3D maps. While proficient in map creation, the software has been somewhat limited in its ability to refine and enhance the generated models. This limitation is poised to change with the introduction of DJI Modify.
DJI Modify is an innovative 3D model editing software intelligently crafted to seamlessly integrate with DJI Terra. In essence, it streamlines the process of repairing minor imperfections in your existing 3D models, significantly improving overall efficiency.
Understanding How DJI Modify Enhances DJI Terra’s Functionality
Think of DJI Modify as the perfect complement to DJI Terra, much like jelly pairs effortlessly with peanut butter.
DJI Terra is DJI’s advanced 3D model reconstruction software based on photogrammetry. Leveraging DJI LiDAR for 2D and 3D reconstruction using visible light data, the software processes this information to generate precise 2D or 3D models.
However, until now, the process of editing these models has been somewhat cumbersome. Many users resorted to third-party applications like Autodesk RecapPro or MapTiler for this purpose.
Enter DJI Modify, eliminating the need to step outside the DJI ecosystem for file editing.
DJI Modify enables the import and export of model files in common formats such as ply, obj, and b3dm, ensuring compatibility with DJI Terra and other third-party software.
Within DJI Modify, intelligent auto-repair features take center stage. These features facilitate various functions, including flattening, texture editing, water surface repair, removal of floating elements, and hole filling.
For quick fixes, one-click repair options are available. For more precise adjustments, users can manually make changes by selecting custom polygons, areas, or meshes.
Notably, the improvements are visible not only in high-quality models but also in low-quality ones. This allows for swift editing with minimal loading times.
Target Audience for DJI Modify
DJI Terra has gained popularity among drone users engaged in aerial surveying, modeling, and model editing, covering a diverse range of applications such as surveying, transportation, and emergency response, including firefighting.
For those already utilizing DJI Terra, the addition of DJI Modify to their software toolkit is highly recommended.
Limitations of DJI Modify: However, it’s essential to acknowledge certain drawbacks of the software. Notably, users currently need separate software to share processed model files with the cloud. Despite this inconvenience, DJI assures users that an upcoming update will enable the sharing of processed models directly to the cloud for online viewing and sharing via links, eliminating the need for additional software installations.
Moreover, DJI Modify may not be the ideal choice for individuals on a tight budget. The DJI Terra Pro Permanent license, for instance, starts at $4,400 for a one-device download. Fortunately, more economical options are available, such as the 1-year subscription version of DJI Terra Agriculture, covering three devices at just $300.
However, incorporating DJI Modify comes with an additional cost of $1,580. While this may be a reasonable investment for larger corporations leveraging drones, it could pose a challenge for small businesses or individual entrepreneurs venturing into drone mapping.
DJI Terra (with DJI Modify) vs. Alternative Drone Mapping Software
While making direct comparisons can be challenging, there are other drone mapping software options that might meet your requirements at a more affordable price point. For instance, Autodesk ReCap Pro offers an annual subscription at $380, and its $50 monthly subscription might suffice for your needs. Autodesk ReCap Pro excels in handling 3D models.
MapTiler is particularly well-suited for 2D orthomosaic maps and comes at an attractive price point. It even offers a free version, although it comes with limited features. Moreover, its flex plan designed for startups is priced at just $50 per month.
While cost can be a determining factor, many users prioritize quality. In terms of quality, DJI Terra appears to be a standout choice.
An illustrative example comes from a comparison between DJI Terra and DroneDeploy, a competitor. A user on the DroneDeploy forum shared identical images processed using both platforms. DJI Terra’s output stands out with crisper surfaces, precise edges, and higher resolution, reinforcing its reputation for delivering superior quality.
The Evolution of DJI Terra
DJI Terra made its debut in 2019, addressing the demand for a more streamlined and accessible drone mapping solution. Tailored for various industries, including public safety, construction, infrastructure, and agriculture, DJI Terra stands out by providing visualized data without necessitating extensive mapping expertise. This enables professionals in these fields to leverage the software effectively.
One notable strength of DJI Terra lies in its seamless integration with the latest DJI drones. This eliminates barriers associated with platform switching and file format conversions, facilitating the easy uploading of data. The software’s data processing times are notably efficient, owing to its user-friendly drag-and-drop workflow.
In addressing concerns about data security, a significant consideration in the drone industry, especially concerning DJI drones, DJI Terra offers a noteworthy feature. When operating in offline mode, the software does not mandate an Internet connection, provided users are comfortable forgoing the cloud-based aspect of the platform.