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Quadcopter Rotates In flight

During multiple flight missions, it appeared as though the quad (Phantom 4), is rotating while on a mapping line.  Seeing the camera positions in the rayCloud seems to confirm this spiraling, rotating, 360’s, whatever you’d like to call it.  When looking at the quality report, depending on the terrain, it looks as though this (distorted?) data may lead to some overlapping loss.

See the left and right side of the attached images where there seems to be a circular pattern.


Hi Ruwan,

Did you use our mobile app, Pix4Dcapture to fly?
Do you see any reasons for the spiral pattern to happen?

A priori, it does not seem like the orientation of the pictures is the reason why some images are not calibrated (red dots). It would rather be due to the area itself that is difficult to map. Sand have little visual content due to large uniform areas. Therefore, it is recommended:

  • To increase the overlap, at least 85% frontal overlap and at least 70% side overlap.
  • Set the exposure settings accordingly to get as much contrast as possible in each image.

The Quality Report (…\Project_name\1_initial\report\Project_name_report.pdf) generated at the end of step 1 can help analyzing the results and solving problem.You can refer to this article to analyze your results:

Let us know if you need more assistance.


Hello Pix4D,

I used the mobile app.

Reasons I think for the spiral:

  • This site has a somewhat of a variation in elevation +50m
  • The spiraling may occur near the highest points of the AOI, but looking again, that seems to be inconsistent.
  • DJI-Pix4D interface problem

Front and side overlap was set to 90%.  From my understanding, Pix4D takes control of the camera settings no matter what I set in DJI Go app.  Please correct me if I’m wrong, and please advise on how to modify camera settings.  The only other way I’m thinking is using a batch process software of some kind after the fact.

I do appreciate the quality report, it’s helped me in many areas in getting a better product.  The spiraling may not even matter as the overlap graphics from the report show decent overlap for most of the AOI, but seeing the spiraling makes me question what’s going on.  

Hi Ruwan,

Could it be that you flew several grid missions with Pix4Dcapture Android in this area?
Could it be that for each flight the face option of the drone heading was set to face?

On Android for the simple grid mission, the camera can be adjusted to face the center of the grid throughout the flight. All pictures are shot with the drone heading the center of the grid. Note that it only makes a difference if the camera is not nadir, meaning the camera angle is not 90° (vertical).

You could use that option if you, for instance, need to capture information from facades of objects in the area you want to map. Ideally your main point of interest should be in the middle of the grid. It could be a good alternative to circular missions that are not available for DJI drones. We would then suggest to fly low close to the target and to adjust the camera tilt from the settings.

This setting can be accessed from: Home screen > Grid Mission > Settings > Face.


I am having the same problem with our M100 X3 sensor.  We are flying a mapping mission on a golf course.  The rotation will start at a random point.  I will pause the mission, then resume.  The mission uploads and the UAV resumes mission.  5 mins later rotation returns.  I pause and then resume.  The rotation returns again.  After the 5th time, I aborted the mission.

iPad Pro,  All software up to date.  It seams like a software bug.




Have a look at my answer on this thread. It seems to be related to a known issue with a few configurations using the iOS version of Pix4Dcapture. You can have also a look at this thread.