View Full Version : what size should a human model be in the Maya?

02 February 2005, 02:49 PM
Hi All,

I was wondering...what size should a human model be in the Maya workspace? how many units or whatever?

I've seen various demo files and they seem to be very different in scale inside Cid Newman compared to others.

I would think that its an important question to ask oneself BEFORE modelling? No se!
I gather its better to use a certain size both for joints & texturing (default size 1.0 and all)


- Somhairle

02 February 2005, 03:51 PM
Flippant answer: The same scale as everything else.

Slightly better answer: Maya default units are by default in centimeters, but that can be
changed in the Settings/Preferences dialogs.

True answer: For the most part, it doesn't matter. It does matter when doing certain kinds of simulations, and can be quite difficult to get things to work right when your scale is different from cenitmeters, but if you're not doing sims, you're probably ok at whatever scale suits you.

The size of joints and such in the interface is also changable, as are texture scales and so on. So it really doesn't matter for those reason.

02 February 2005, 04:02 PM
if you plan to export/import your character to a game engine or to Motionbuilder, i recommend using the real size (human = 180 cm) to go the safe route. Also, i wouldnt change maya units, there were issues with dynamic simulations.

02 February 2005, 03:20 PM
i would also suggest to use "real sizes" if you are going to do renderings.(not an engine export or sthg alike)
this is important for having the correct settings for camera focus, depth of fiel etc.

02 February 2005, 06:53 PM
we use 1:10, I would suggest this or 1:1, both have issues....
to large can give you problems with focus (and clipping planes, if you dont know about them) and too small can give you problems with wraps and geometry influence objects...

if you are using dynamics, or cloth then you need to take that into account...


02 February 2005, 11:35 PM
Thanks John,

I knew there must have been a "ratio" as some professional models I've seen were HUGE in the viewport.

Its good to know as I havn't heard about the issue at all (2d classical animator > 3D self trained). I must drop by these forums more now I have internet at home.

thanks again to everyone....

- Somhairle

02 February 2005, 05:52 AM
Hi guys,

I changed the units to "Feet" as it seems thats what they use in ILM, weta, etc.

but the cameras and lights are WAY small (?) also the grid in persp is partiatly showing and disapears totally when zooming out.

so the question guys is where are the settings to fix these guys????


- Somhairle

02 February 2005, 02:38 PM
To make your cameras and lights and such larger, just scale them, same as anything else. AFAIK, it shouldn't affect how they work at all.

To change the clipping plane, go into the attribute editor for the camera that's giving you problems and change the near/far clipping plane option. I often set the near plane to something very small, with the large being something as close to the size of the scene as possible, so that even if I'm at one end, I can see the other. For dense scenes, this probably would need to be adjusted, but it hasn't bit me so far. ;)

02 February 2005, 01:53 AM
sporadic: I find scaling increases the brightness of area lights. is there a way around this scaling to set a "Default" scene that creates the objects in a more or less normal size?

What scene unit size do you guys use professionaly in maya? (My personal work is 90% character based) I want to get into good routines from the get-go.

thanks all,

- somhairle

02 February 2005, 02:14 PM
I haven't experienced that problem, but I don't often use area lights, at least, not so far. I have found that light falloffs sometimes need to be tweaked, but since I scale my lights before I set their intensities, this isn't much of a problem for me.

But I'm not much of a lighting guy. My lighting of personal stuff would probably be considered pretty crude by many's standards, but it works for me.

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