Starter 3D question about 1:1 scale and textures

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  09 September 2012
Smile Starter 3D question about 1:1 scale and textures

I'm going to start modeling this weekend and I am wondering. If I create 3D models should I do my work at 1:1 scale so the work is future proof should I ever need a high res model? Or will my 3d world start grinding to a halt because of super high quality textures and models.

Thanks ahead,
Line
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  09 September 2012
You should work in 1:1. It gets confusing when you grab a model of a chair and it's 2" or 75' tall. Also, physically based lighting requires real world units to behave correctly.

Your fears turn out to be unfounded. Geometry is geometry. Each vertex needs to store 3 numbers for its location and it doesn't matter (not quite technically true) if those numbers are big or small. Textures are pictures of the real world and unless you plan on using 1 pixel = 1 planck length the idea of "textures in 1:1" is sort of meaningless - How big is a pixel?

So go ahead, build your models to real world sizes and make your textures as detailed as they need to be too look good when used. You should be just fine.

As an aside, a texture doesn't need to be any bigger than it will appear in the final render. I'd bet a dollar Nyquist would warn us to make the final texture 2x bigger than it will appear. If you want to future proof you can make it "as big as you want to" or "big enough to be generally useful" but I'd stay away from making them "hero quality" if the model itself isn't particularly heroic. "Look at the pores in my displacement map for this walnut bench at the back of the train station."
 
  09 September 2012
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