Agisoft Metashape introduces functionality for obtaining optimal sets of camera positions based on rough model and creating mission plans using these optimal sets. This functionality may be used as well for analyzing excessive image sets to understand which images are useful and which are redundant.  

To create Plan Mission

1. Make an overhead flight over the region of interest to capture a basic imagery set. To capture vertical and concave surfaces better, you may use a 3D-photogrammetry survey preset in your drone app instead of taking only nadir photos. 

2. Import photos to Metashape and align them, then build mesh - a rough model of the object from the sparse cloud.

Build Mesh dialog box:

Important! The chunk should be georeferenced by the camera locations or marker points, if you wish to create the flight plan for a drone/UAV!

3. Specify "home point" for the drone close to the expected take-off point. This can be done by placing a Point shape on the rough model (use toolbar instrument to draw point shapes in the Model View) and assigning label "home" to it (Properties dialog available from the selected shape context menu).

Properties window:

4. Open Tools Menu → Plan Mission dialog.


  • Complete current survey: analyse current camera overlap and generate missing viewpoints for regions with poor coverage.
  • Focus on selection: to consider only selected triangles of the model as target for reconstruction. In any case all available triangles will be used for obstacle avoidance.

Survey parameters:

  • Camera model: to select camera model.
  • Capture distance: distance in meters which is preferred for taking photos from, measured from the surface of a rough model. In case some parts of the surface are not observable by cameras from the specified distance, more distant cameras will be used for those parts. For an unscaled model this option is disabled and the closest cameras will be given a higher priority. 
  • Image overlap: specify level of overlap.
  • Max images: specifies the number of the cameras in the optimal set to be selected.

Obstacle avoidance:

  • Safety distance: Distance from the object which is restricted for putting waypoints in or planning path through. Focus on selection parameter is ignored here - all parts of the object available in the rough model are considered.
  • Min altitude: relative altitude to home point (in meters) which is restricted for putting waypoints in or planning path through.

Flight plan properties: 

  • Min waypoint spacing: minimal distance between consecutive waypoints. The default value is set to 0.5 meters according to DJI drones firmware.
  • Max waypoints per flight: maximal possible number of waypoints per KML file. If flight plan has more waypoints than specified value, it will be split into chunks. The default value is set to 99 according to DJI drones firmware. 

5. Click OK button. 


To export the created mission right click on the Roundtrip instances in the chunk's contents of the Workspace pane and select Export Camera Track option from the context menu, then specify the path to the exported file.

6. Import saved files to drone app that supports KML flight plans with gimbal orientation.