Partial Panorama Creator Instructions BETA!!!


This application will convert views (defined by placemarks) from Google Earth Pro into a Litchi mission CSV file containing the instructions to generate a partial panorama centered on those Google Earth Pro views.

  1. Create one or more views using Google Earth Pro
    1. Navigate to a location where the view is centered on the desired panorama.
    2. Select the "Placemark" icon to create a placemark and display the "New Placemark" dialog. Do not move this placemark.
    3. Optionally, provide this placemark view with a name.
    4. Select "OK" to save this view.
    5. If a mission that will create more than one partial panorama is desired:
      1. Create a folder in Google Earth Pro.
      2. Optionally, give the folder a name.
      3. Save two or more placemarks into this folder.
    6. Right-click on the Placemark (or Folder) and save it as a KMZ or KML file.
  2. In page one of Partial Panorama Creator:
    1. Select the drone type that will be used to fly the mission. Each drone has a different field of view (FOV). This value is necessary in order to determine the number of photos required.
    2. Litchi is able to store and execute up to 15 camera actions per waypoint. DJI Fly is not able to do the same. If it will be desired to convert this partial panorama mission to a DJI Fly mission, select the "Enable DJI Fly Compatibility" checkbox. This will create more waypoints, but will make the mission flyable with DJI Fly.
    3. By default, the partial panorama will ignore the camera tilt (gimbal pitch) as seen in Google Earth Pro and center the partial panorama vertically on the horizon (gimbal pitch = 0). If it is desired to center the partial panorama vertically on the Google Earth Pro placemark view, select the "Use Pitch From Placemark" checkbox.
    4. Select the desired horizontal field of view. 180 degrees is a good starting point.
    5. Select the desired vertical field of view. 90 degrees is a good starting point.
    6. Select the desired horizontal and vertical image overlaps.
    7. Select the KMZ/KML file containing the placemarks from Google Earth Pro.
    8. Select the "Generate Partial Panorama Waypoint Mission for Litchi" button.
  3. In page two of Partial Panorama Creator:
    1. Review the parameters and calculations.
    2. The Google Earth Pro placemark view(s) will determine the waypoint location and heights required to capture the photos. Review these locations and heights to make sure they do not place the drone at either a dangerous or illegal location.
    3. Based on the type of drone and the minimum overlaps requested, both the headings and gimbal pitch angles will be computed to capture the partial panorama component photos. The actual overlaps (which are generally greater than the minimums requested) will be computed. Review these headings and angles.
    4. Download the Litchi csv file.
  4. Optionally, download the kml preview file for Google Earth Pro. This will allow one to preview each of the partial panorama component photo views in Google Earth Pro.
  5. In Litchi's Mission Hub:
    1. Use the Missions menu to import the csv file created by Partial Panorama Creator.
    2. The imported mission will have a cluster of "dummy" waypoints around each photo-capture waypoint as shown in the image below.

      The component photos must be captured within the following constraints:
      • A maximum of 15 camera actions can be defined at each waypoint.
      • The "Tilt Camera" camera action does not accept positive pitch angles.
      • Sequential waypoints must be separated by at least 0.6 meters.
      As a result, there will be several "dummy" waypoints around each photo-capture waypoint location.
    3. IMPORTANT: Configure the following mission parameters:
      • Mission Settings: Heading Mode: Custom (WD)
      • Mission Settings: Path Mode: Straight Lines
      • Mission Settings: Cruising Speed: ~10mph (16km/h)
      • Litchi App Settings: Gimbal Extension (+30°): On (NOTE: This setting defaults to "Off" every time you start the Litchi app with some drones.)
    4. Go capture some partial panorama photos!
  6. Manually stich the photos together to create a partial panorama.
    • There are many stiching programs available.
    • I have used Autopano Giga with success.
Partial Panorama Example

This application will read "Placemarks" from a Google Earth Pro KML/KMZ file and convert them into a Litchi CSV file containing the waypoints and camera actions that are necessary to capture the individual photos that will comprise one or more partial panoramas.

Once the center of each partial panorama view is created in Google Earth Pro, the specifications of those partial panoramas, such as the horizontal and vertical fields of view, can be defined here in this application.

Things to consider when creating partial panorama placemarks in Google Earth Pro:

  • The required drone height to capture each panorama is determined by the view shown in Google Earth Pro. It is easy to create a view that would position the drone at a height that would violate height restrictions. Check the resulting mission carefully before flying.
  • The horizontal center of the panorama is determined by the view shown in Google Earth Pro. The center of the view shown in Google Earth Pro will become the center of the final partial panorama.
  • By default, the vertical center of the panorama will be centered on the horizon. However, the vertical center of the panorama can optionally be defined by the view shown in Google Earth Pro by selecting a checkbox below.
Enable DJI Fly Compatibility:
Use Pitch From Placemark:
Panorama Horizontal FOV:
Panorama Vertical FOV:
Minimum Horizontal overlap:
Minimum Vertical overlap:
GEP KMZ/KML File Upload:
Litchi Utilities dot Com
by Wes Barris