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Christhiana

Build scale

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I've been trying to figure to what scale to build items for second life. Since proportions are a little out of whack in SL, RL measurements don't translate well to SL builds. When looking at objects made by others I've come to the conclusion that building to RL scale and then scale things up to about 120% should get me a good average size for SL. How do you other creator go about this?

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The most obvious is to scale buildings and stuff so it fit avatars.
That's what I do

I know that normal size for avatars is not well defined but it is the best there is and you must know what size you are building for

:smileysurprised::):smileyvery-happy:

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120 % is a good value IMO. Personally I scaled my vehicles to about 123 % which makes them not too big, but still can fit tall avatars inside as well. I came to this number by comparing my Real Life size which is 180 cm, with my avatar size, which is 225 cm. This would be 125 % of my RL size. So I went with 123 % as a compromise, to be a little more on the smaller side.

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Tricky this - who is your market, what is your genre, what do you want to make?

For any full stuff I did in the past I asked whoever wanted and built to that. For me personally I scale to whatever I might be when I wish to use it (anywhere from my base approx 1m95 to my rl 1 m.something smaller =^^= to if I am in full erm ship size). For all else (and its mostly not absolute size dependant) I make it mod. Customer can tweak as they wish.

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That's the same way I thought. I took an average of 1.80 from RL and compared that to my own avi (2.19m) and rounded it off to 120% :)

At the moment I'm building a small modern home so my target audience could be almost anyone. And ofcourse I want to accomodate as many customers as possible. I think a house should always be moddable so that won't be a problem for future customers. But still I like to get as close to a good average as possible. I know I have to have some things out of scale to fit as much avi's as possible like doors and ceiling height, but I try to compensate by getting the smaller details to a realistic scale (such as the doorknobs, mailbox, the stairs, etc.). 

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One other thing you have to take into account are the two distinct ways in which people move around in SL. A person who uses the camera set back behind them does require extra celing space above and spare space behind them so the camera doesn't clash with walls and other prims, but a person in mouselook all the time does not have this need, and so for them a build closer to actual scale is useable. I am not a mouselook lover at all, but after working closely with a friend for several years who is, I have learned to appreciate the more realistic feel you can get from smaller spaces, and so have modified my camera settings a bit.

 

Just like real life, the sense of space or lack of it around your avatar creates the mood and feel of the building, and has a subtle but distinct effect on the mood of those inside it. A pub (inn, taven) should be snug and cosy, there should be a sense of being really close to the people around you and this works best if they themselves are also tucked up tight into the room. By contrast, a theatre or a dance hall or opera house needs to give the impression of being much larger than the person, and so this is where hieght and extra space around each avatar is important.

 

Avatar sizing is the biggest problem, of course, and you cannot control this. My suggestion here is to build for yourself, and let others of a similar hieght enjoy your builds. Those who are a metre taller that you are either going to have to rescale themselves, or find a different build. If you try building for the tallest avatar likely to visit, you can end up with a building that a typical user finds far too large.

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You have some really good point there!

 

I always assumed that most people view SL with the camera behind their avi (don't we all want to see the result of time and money we spend on our avatar! ;) ). I'll take your advice to build to my own avatar scale and let that be my target audience. I guess I have to make a choice anyways and building to my own size means I have a constant reference around.

 

I agree it's easier to build larger type buildings because you can keep the scale more constant over the whole build. I tried to find the lowest ceiling height that would still work with the default camera position and ended up having 4.05m ceiling height which isn't to bad in my opninion.

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Interestingly there was another thread started on a similar topic at about the same time as this one:

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/General-Discussion-Forum/Why-do-some-houses-suffer-from-gigantism/m-p/2870654#M198257

Candie Apple once made a "Builder's Tape Measure", a nice little gadget that morphs into recommended sizes for various building parts. You can find it in you Library folder. (Ryan Linden later updated it, adding more measurments but for some reason the one LL gives away is still the old one.)

The scale indicated by the tape measure is somewhere between125 and 150% of "realistic" size and it seems most buildings in SL are within that range. It's not ideal but it's a good compromice - big enough for those who for one reason or another still use the default camera position but still small enough the poor avatar doesn't look like a small lost mouse inside the building.

 

(Edit: adding a reply to Christhiana)


Christhiana wrote:

I always assumed that most people view SL with the camera behind their avi (don't we all want to see the result of time and money we spend on our avatar!
;)
).

Yes but 3 m (that's about 9') away is a bit too much. I think SL's camera position was based on old two-dimensional computer games where you viewed the scene from far above. Modern computer games use a camera position much closer to the avatar.

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Ow haha, I didn't even notice that other post, reading now... :)

150% seems a little over the top to me, but I will definetly have a look at that building scale as well as Penny Patton's camera tutorial! I must admit

 

I still use the default camera posistion myself so I see my build the same way as a lot of customers would. Even though I think you're right about the standard viewing angle being unpractical and really distorting the view, I would still like to accomodate the customer that still has his camera angle on default (which I imagine would still be the larger group).

 

The size my build is at atm is still doable from the default viewing angle, albeit feeling a little cozy but looks quite realistic from the mouselook. I think that'll be the result I will be aiming for. For this build a +/- 120% scale seems to work best but I can imagine that may vary with each build depending on the layout.

 

Thank you all for your input on this matter!

 

And I think you're right about the camera angle being based on those older fake 3d games where you viewed the level from above in orthospective.

 

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Just make sure your items can be scaled back down to realistic numbers...

Don't hide a prim with a side at 0.01 way in there somewhere that prevents down scaling.

And make it mod - so people who are not giants can size it back down.

 


Christhiana wrote:

I always assumed that most people view SL with the camera behind their avi (don't we all want to see the result of time and money we spend on our avatar!
;)
).

I spend most of my time using the front camera. :P

 

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I got a negative review this week because someone bought one of my mesh living room sets, scaled to fit my 6ft avatar, and she was apparently much larger. So the stuff did not fit, and although you can adjust the animations, there are limits to the range of avatars I can accomodate. I keep my furniture and homes rezzed so people can see how they fit, but they dont all do that -- and then think it is a defect that an 8 ft tall avatar does not fit very well. 

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Good point! I have one floor set at .0001 because it's just a plane but get's a boundingbox of .1. I'll make it into a box then....

I was already planning on making the house mod. What fun is a house you can't alter to your liking. I will probably seperatly sell a UV/AO map kit for the texture modders as well :)

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That really sucks about the MP reviews. If you as a customer decide against checking out a product inworld while it's availabke then don't complain if it doesn't meet your expectations. But you'll always get some customers like that. You know what they say, the customer is always right :/

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Pamela Galli wrote:

I got a negative review this week because someone bought one of my mesh living room sets, scaled to fit my 6ft avatar, and she was apparently much larger. So the stuff did not fit, and although you can adjust the animations, there are limits to the range of avatars I can accomodate. I keep my furniture and homes rezzed so people can see how they fit, but they dont all do that -- and then think it is a defect that an 8 ft tall avatar does not fit very well. 

I've only given a negative review for the size of something once.

In that case it was mod furniture that rezzed no-mod props (a kitchen set). So despite resizing everything - there was a prop for the sink water I could not fit because it was scaled so huge, that it would always pop through the sink on more than one side no matter what position I tried for it.

In this case the item was sold with a 'mod' listing - so I noted that flaw in a crtically worded review that praised much of the remaining design.

As a smaller avatar (my avatar's height is realistic, she's about my RL height) - I am used to having to mod everything I buy or feel a little bit of Alice in Wonderland when I don't.

I'm personally very picky about the scale of things - and realized that this means the burden is on me.

 

If I were to downrate everything that didn't fit me - there'd be hundred of products with negative reviews from me.

But... instead I just buy mod furniture - and recognize that everything is sized to fit the avatar shape the builder tested it with - and that is not likely to have been my shape...

And I will only downrate if the actual permissions of something are not as advertised. In my example - the builder sent me a new copy with many of the no-mod items fixed to mod (the sink water never got resolved, but I let it go and just got a different brand of kitchen). Actually its two examples - this has happened twice - the first builder fixed most of the issue and then vanished from the conversation. The second builder fixed all of the issue, fixed a few things I hadn't complained about, sent me a custom built version for just my size, and has since become my favorite furniture shop.

 

I recommend responding to that review in some manner, especially if the item you sold was mod. Because if you sold them something mod... their review was not fair. And I at least, read comments that are responses to reviews because they often highlight flaws in the reviews (though recently one warned me away from a merchant because while the review was unfair... the response was psychotic...).

 

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I came up with a simialr number, but by a different method.

I measured how high the seats are for my RL furniture using a tape measure, then measured the height of simialar furniture in SL, buy rezzing cubes, and ajdusting to match the height of various piece.  The ratio of average seat height in SL to average seat height in RL was observed to be ~ 1.2.

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