Cut – Fill – Volume – How are the values calculated?

With Pointscene you can use your Volume Report tool to calculate cut, fill and volume values from your data. If data is captured with a drone and you use DroneDeploy, Pix4D or Agisoft to process to data you will most likely get the DSM / DTM (surface model) raster layer at the same time. Surface models can be generated from point clouds too (Pointscene supports converting point clouds, send us an email at

Pointscene uses raster data (.tiff / DSM / DTM) files to calculate and compare volumes
(in the near future we will use point clouds and .landXML)

Shaded relief visualization of a Digital Surface Model (DSM), that includes all objects and surfaces. Digital Terrain Model (DTM) on the other hand would have only the ground surface.


The surface model is used to calculate volumes compared to some kind of reference surface. This can be a value, like 10 meters from the sea level, or it can be the triangled plane of the corner points of the area of interest. Or it can even be another surface model. Let’s open this even more:

Say that you have 2 datasets from different times. One is from June 2019 with an unfinished work site and then November 2019 with a completed sports yard.


In June 2019, at the time, there were piles of soil around the yard. All soil is needed, as taking it away costs money, and buying too much soil cost money. So we need to know how much soil we need to even out the yard at a solid level.

Here in the picture below, we have a pile, that is going to be used for the yard. We need to know what is the volume.



By selecting the area, we get the volume report page. We are using the June 2019 Digital Surface Model (DSM). To calculate the volume we need a reference layer. In this case we want a flat bottom, at the lowest point of the pile. This is “plane” and plane high is automatically set to the minimum z-value. This way we get a value, Cut = 16m³. So if we remove the pile at the lowest level we will have 16 m³ of soil.


Other options would be to use triangulation and