I got a fairly quick response from the Support team, and uploaded the files requested, although my case is still being investigated by the looks of it.
I’m no IT guy, although I had a quick look at what was going on to make sure it wasn’t something caused by my PC. If you’re IT savvy and really stuck, I managed to unpack a bit of how it appears to work, purely out of desperate need to obtain some report attributes, and I can see bits of where it’s failing although I’m not sure of the cause.
From what I can gather, selecting ‘Export’ in Pix4DMatic appears to generate the quality report in parts in HTML and then calls an external program wkhtmltopdf.exe (which formats & converts the report to PDF).
If you just need a few critical items out of the report that isn’t visible within Pix4DMatic, it appears to temporarily:
- Generate a Report Header in HTML
- Generate a Report Footer in HTML
- Generate a CSS file (defines the formatting of the HTML page layout)
- Generates a HTML File with the report content itself.
- Runs an open source program called wkhtmltopdf to merge the header, footer and report into a clean formatted PDF file.
For my scenario, wkhtmltopdf runs quite slow and appears to generate buffer overflows, retries and then fails to complete a PDF report, hence the problem I experienced.
These files are temporarily created in
Of which it attempts to cleans up these temporary files after, except if the export failed; doesn’t always manage to do so properly.
My Temp directory was full of raw report HTML files that were from incomplete PDF generation. So if you need to check a few things in the quality report that wasn’t in the application, look for a file in that temp directory created around the time you chose to Export.
The file appears to be prefixed with ‘wk-temp-’ and is a html file, so you can open it in Edge, Chrome, etc.
I’d probably try and diagnose further to see if there is some other software on my PC causing the issue, although given this is very expensive software I’ve paid quite alot for, for it to only fail, I’m kinda not too interested in fixing myself and probably wouldn’t be able to if the problem lies within Pix4DMatic initiating it anyhow.
Edit: One thing I did notice is that Pix4Dmapper also uses the same technique for PDF generation (albeit a slightly older version) and it also doesn’t generate the PDF (although I hadn’t noticed until now as all the info is in the application). So that’s kinda interesting. However, the difference with Pix4DMapper is I can replicate the PDF creation that it used by running the exact same command argument that it generated to produce the PDF. It just takes a while longer (very slow for 6 pages) and then completes. So I’m guessing something is causing wkhtmltopdf.exe to run very slow but it does work, just Pix4D applications don’t wait for it to complete if running slow. No idea why it does run slow.
However, I would be happy to help if they need someone to assist with reproducing the error and testing fixes; given it might not be that easy to find again. Except for your PC and mine so far which appear to consistently produce this error