LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : Building To Scale

09-19-2002, 05:33 AM
I need some advice building to scale as opposed t just opening modeler, loading in the background images and start modeling away

If the model represents something sixty feet long, then build it to that scale. This might not be such a problem when making still images but if you are planning an animation it would be nice if the two or more characters loaded into layout with the correct porpotions to one another. You could scale then indicidualy for each shot but that would take alot of time

So, my question is , how do you setup modeler properly before modeling starts

What settings would you choose if you were going to model king kong and then model the girl

09-19-2002, 06:44 AM
From my experience i can say that is better to build in "real" size especially for characters - IK work better with "normal" objects.
As for settings - before u start to model something keep an eye on lower left corner of interface - here u can see that size of greed u use, next use zoom in/out to get smaller or bigger grid.

09-19-2002, 06:59 AM
What numbers should the units options be set to in this case ...

- SI, metric, eng

- depending on above, what should the default unit be

- and what should grid units be set to

What would be a good grid size to work with for this situation

09-19-2002, 07:53 AM
If you are going to build a character who is 1.7m tall and 50cm wide, then start by making a box to those dimensions.

Press a to autosize the windows.

Now load in your background images into the correct windows and use the sliders and number controls in the Background options to make them the right size.

That's just one way.

You can do it without the box as well (it just sometimes helps some people).

The other way, is scan/make your reference drawing. Then crop it to the edges so there is almost no white border around it.

Scale it down to 512 pixels high and whatever the sides become if you keep the proportions.

Load that into LW as a backdrop and set the height to be however tall your character needs to be in meters.

The sides should automatically match up. Then you can start building with everything the correct sizes (or at least real close).

Hope it's useful.

09-19-2002, 08:19 AM
SI and Metric is the same...
If u in America u will find metric system useless, if u not use Metric...
I usually use 1 meter as a default unit.
So i f i going to model human - him high is something around 1.6 - 1.9 or even 2 meters. In this case my grid is 10 mm.
If i need to build some 9 floor building - my grid unit is 1 meter.
But Kiser grid unit will change his size on zoom, so if started your building with 1m grid to add details make zoom and grid will jump to something smaller or bigger.

09-19-2002, 08:55 AM
I build everything to scale. That way I got a huge databse f models that all work together...
I use the metric system, but I am fro Europe and am used to it. It is very beautifull in LW that one can change between those systems and LW will recalculate the measurements, one can even mix the systems in the nummeric input fields.
The way Yiorgz suggests is agood way to start for te basic proportions and scale.

09-19-2002, 01:05 PM
I'm very bad about building to scale....I always just open modeler and start building....I get my hand slapped alot for that....but the way I see can always scale it up or down :hmm:

09-19-2002, 01:55 PM
i'm trying to educate myself in metric stuff, since supposed ly we'll all be using it in 10 years. besides which, base 10 is cool!:thumbsup:

but ya make the box like Yiorgz said, but automatic sizing is more convenient than trying to manually adjust your images ;)

09-19-2002, 02:00 PM
I did have to work to scale when I was in games and just worked on the fact that the main character was 2 meters tall and built everything based on that...

09-19-2002, 02:09 PM
i live in the US and use the SI system in LW. in LW, Metric has centimeters, SI doesn't, that's the only difference. base 10 is easier to calculate in your head ;)

but what measurement system you use and what default unit you use are dependant on separate things. usually you'll use whatever measurement system you're comfortable with. other times, if you're building an object while using schematics or designs as a reference, those will usually use measurements and you'll want to use whatever measurement system in which those are presented. as far as default unit, i change it depending on what size object i'm dealing with. examples: if i'm modeling a building, it would be meters, if i'm building space scenery, probably kilometers, and if i'm building a toy or other small object, i'd use millimeters. these are just examples. in your own situation, just think about how big your desired object is first and go from there.

09-19-2002, 03:38 PM
The one thing I have seen that does NOT behave with "to scale" things is SASLITE... that comes with LW7 - SAS does some really strange things with grass when you try to cover a 100m x 100m field of grass (regardless if it is one polygon or 10x10 or 100x100 grid of polygons).

If anyone is interested. It's more just a warning to - expect wierdness..

:) you can see I probably have a sore spot for this one .. hehehe..

It's funny, I tried more experiments since then. Do this if you're keen...

Fur up a creature or mesh of your liking.
Parent it to a NULL (so the NULL is the parent I mean).
Set up your camera at frame 1 with the object taking full view.
Now at frame 2 resize the NULL (not the object) to 100 times bigger
Reposition the camera at frame 2 so the object almost fills the view again (ie move camera back - LOTS)
Now render frames 1 and 2 - notice the FUR is not playing nice...

So imagine if you want to make a movie "Attack of the Giant Bunnies from Hell" and you had a scene where the Bunny grows to huge size... You couldn't do it with this setup... you would resort to lots of other stuff... but you know .. if I build everything else to scale, I would like everything to work together nicer.

It would be real nice to say "I want a 100m x 100m field of grass, 10cm high" - and the input boxes correspond to real world figures. After all we are real world people who think in real world terms ... ok so that's a little narrow minded eh.. (just slapped myself for that one)

Cheers :)

09-20-2002, 03:08 AM
I hate to do this but I need some help. I have tried but just can not center the image so when I perform the initial lathe I get a closed surface where the head is

So, I would really apreciate it if someone can set this up and post the backdrop file or the numbers for the settings, please

Attached is the image ... the creature is 60 feet in length and about fifteen feet to the top of the back. I am building this only with this side view

I tried to set this up with a three on top / one on bottom [ this being the right view ] but I think two on top and one on bottom would be ok too

Can someone please help me out here. I really want to continue this

09-20-2002, 04:34 AM
I have a tutorial that was given to me by a LW user that walks you thru modeling the same Dino in you pic.....I think it's scheduled for Monday's Tutorial.....Not sure if you can wait that long but it's a really good modeling tutorial and seems to be perfect timing....

09-20-2002, 04:36 AM
and the tutorial shows how to texture it as well....

09-20-2002, 05:03 AM
There are many ways to do this. Lathe, I would say is not one of the best.

1. Have a look at box modelling
2. Don't need to be so exact with the center point then

Use this conversion chart or... just type 60ft into the width box of LW.. it will convert it to correct metric equiv

And also .. have a look at how I cropped your image.. I know now that if I set the width to be 60ft , there's more chance that the creature will be 60ft

I've made a zip with a modified version of your image and the box object. In my opinion, a much better way to build the dinosaur. Lathe just seems like overkill (and you could end up with too many vertices to adjust).

09-20-2002, 05:05 AM
hehehe... geez Proton... I was replying to this post and you got in before me... Ahh well.. The more the merrier :)

09-20-2002, 05:17 AM
you gotta be fast around here....we have a great community that keeps growing......

09-20-2002, 06:11 AM
Great William, sounds cool

I sure wish though someone go over actually properly setting up this image as the backdrop though. This is an important part of the modeling process which I need to learn and I learn by example not by repeatedly doing something wrong

Yiorgz, thanks for all the help

09-20-2002, 07:45 PM
I decided to give it a shot myself and I think its coming along ok

I do wish I had a top view or at least one more view image to work with though

09-21-2002, 03:58 AM
When you lathe, you don't have to lathe around the zero point all the time.

Once you've finished your dinosaur, you will most likely use REST_ON_GROUND to get the feet touching the ground.

You might find some more pictures of dino here.

09-21-2002, 04:13 AM
Another cool site

09-21-2002, 06:09 AM
Building to scale is quite easy.

I usually import the reference, build the model and ajust the size later.

That way you don't have to fiddle with getting the reference image the right size.

09-21-2002, 07:33 AM
Hi guys,

I've whipped up a little tutorial on this backdrop image concept. Hopefully it adds enough detail for you to work out how to go from there.

Keep at it. :wip:

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