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import shp file instead of drawing surfaces to improve the quality of the 3D model


we can improve the quality of the 3D model by drawing surfaces in the point cloud…but when we want to flattening the walls of all buildings in a city, It’s very time consuming and almost impossible to draw all surfaces of all building in the city.

My question (or suggestion) is this:

Is it possible to insert all buildings and walls automatically by importing a .shp  file that has three-dimensional geometry of the city’s buildings?in fact, this .shp file acts instead of many surfaces to be drawn.This .shp file is based on pre-existing drawings maps and has the same geo-referenced coordinates as the point cloud.
The goal is to provide accurate and high-quality three-dimensional model with planar surfaces without holes.

1 Like

Hi mehran ghaffary, 

Interesting use case. At the moment, I don’t think it is possible to import surfaces for 3D Textured Mesh improvement in the software. As you said, you would have to create them directly in the software and then you can export them if necessary (in .shp, .dxf, .dgn and .kml). I will move this post to our Product feedback topic, so that other people can express their need for such a workflow as well. 

Thank you for answering
I hope that in the near future this utility will be added to your software to be able to greatly improve the quality of three-dimensional models in wide areas.

I’m looking forward to this …


Indeed being able to import a dwg would be nice as it could be used as base surface. Indeed for now it is only possible to snap the vertices to the 3D model when computing volumes. Although very often one would like to adapt the Z value of the vertices (either manually point per point or by importing a dwg or equivalent). 

Indeed this is a typical use case :

I’d like to be able to measure the stockpile but therefore I need to place a vertice at the base of the retaining wall which is not possible as it is obstructed by the stockpile itself:


Looking forward to this. 


Milan Reniers


@Milan Reniers: I think your use case is different from the one in the initial post (which is about that).

I also think I’ve got a solution for your issue, that should allow you to have the base surface on the ground: 

Let us know if that works for you. If not, please create a new post for this specific issue. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Pierangelo Rothenbühler,

Not really as I’d like to decide for every point the z value. (as for now it’s always attached on the z value of the point cloud unless I take one z value for all the points). 


True, that in this case the Z value is the same for all points. It’s the same if the “Custom Altitude” is used. This would assume that the ground below the stockpile is flat, which is not necessarily true. However, it should give a better estimate than with the points of the base surface on the top of the pile. I saw that you created a new post for that, so we can discuss there. :slight_smile:

Hi there,

Is this feature added to the newest version? I mean adding .shp instead of drawing buildings

Hi Siamak, 

No, it was not added so far. The latest changes of the new versions are documented in the releases notes: 

Hi Pierangelo

I also have a situation where I need to import a shp file into pix4d…I have a customer who created polylines and surfaces in his copy of p4d which have to serve as markers for me in my workflow on my copy of p4d. It would be extremely convenient if I was able to use only the shp or dxf data he exported., or do you have another solution for this situation?



Hi Marius, 

I am not sure I understand the context of what you do well enough to answer you. Could you explain your and your customer’s workflows? Please also describe what you are trying to achieve in the end. This additional information will help me understand the “why” behind your application, which will help me see how we could address this. 

Thank you!




I was just looking for a way how to import a shape file with buildings and found this article. Hopefully the functionality comes soon. I guess for most of the customers who only capture images over small areas this is not important. But I would imagine that PIX4D will be used more and more by customers who do their own orthophotos of large build up areas. For example in my case I work for the city government and between else we are using Pix4D solution to update our photomaps.

Currently I was thinking about different approach how to solve this issue, but I guess it is not possible either. Please correct me if I am wrong. 

The idea was to export the Point Cloud in my case to ArcGIS, where I would use the building footprints to remove the 3D points from the buildings. Then I could create DSM from the new 3D model based on the edited points and copy the DSM to the PIX4D project folder. And as last step I would rebuild the orthomosaic.

So the question is, can I run the step 3 without it deleting DSM in the project folder and recreating only orthomosaic using the custom DSM?


Hi Martin, 

Why don’t you use the point cloud classification in Pix4D to create a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) (i.e. remove buildings)? 

Have a look at this article:

Otherwise, if you want to do the entire process to export to ArcGIS and import again, you could generate the DSM based on your edited point cloud as described here:

Looking forward to hearing from you.