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JingleWorm

Best ways to make measurements inworld for your creations? (Or know dimensions)

12 posts in this topic

1. Best way to measure things inworld to get an idea of how big you want to make yours. (Ex: furniture, houses, walls, tables, etc)

2. Best way to learn dimensions for different house styles, furniture, and objects for blender and inworld?

 

Do these work well for measuring things inworld?

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/measuring-tape/2113889

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Laser-Tape-Measure/404972

 

All suggestions are appreciated. Thank you!

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I usually take RL measurments of the item I want to make and then multiply by 1.2

 

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Since much mesh can easily be resized (furniture and even houses can be stretched to get larger or smaller in most cases) this isn't really a big issue. You can resize after you upload OR you can change the dimensions in the uploader window. 

 

That being said, a very easy way to get a close scale to what you want in world would be to build a simple sizing model out of prims and then save that out to a collada file using the viewer (not sure if the Linden viewer lets you do that yet but most 3rd party viewers have that option). Then use that rough file for SIZING (not recommending rebuilding from the prim model :D) and then delete it. This is especially good for stairs or something that needs to fit.

 

So far as size goes, some designers make their furniture really large (presumably they have a 9 foot tall avatar LOL) and others more real life size. If you are marketing your product, I suggest that you sell it as mod so that folks can resize to their needs. Long ago there was a lot of no mod furniture and if it was too big (or too small) folks just didn't buy it. I certainly understand. If you want to keep it no mod you could add a resizer script.   

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I think Chic Aeon covered it pretty well but I wanted to expand on a couple of points.

First, the measurements you see in your object editor are metric. When you rez a prim and see that it has 0.500 for all three dimensions, that tells you  that it is 0.500 metres, or 50 centimetres. This gives us a universal scale equivalent to the real world, which is super useful.

But then you run into the SL problem: A lot of people entirely ignore scale.You end up with a 9' tall avatar insisting he is 6' then yelling at a 5'5" woman that she is "too short". You get chairs, buildings and vehicles all built to inconsistent scales as people "best guess" what they think "looks right" compared to their own avatar, when they have no idea how big or small their own avatar is. This is made worse by the fact that the appearance editor in the official viewer gives you an incorrect measurement for your avatar height. (This is fixed in most TPVs, I really have no idea why LL hasn't fixed it.)

 So, when you try to sell content in SL you are marketing to two groups of people.

  1. People looking for content that is to scale.
  2. People who have no idea what their scale is but it tends to skew large.

The first group is easy. Furniture, vehicles, etcetera should all be 1=1 scale using the measurements in SL. Buildings are a little trickier because you need to accommodate the SL third person camera, and by how much depends on whether people are using the default SL camera or one of the popular improved camera placement settings floating around SL forums and blogs. (Again, some third party viewers include improved camera presets while LL hasn't and no one can figure out why.) Typically, you want to avoid rooms smaller than 10x10m and you'll want ceilings to be around 3m at least.

The second group is more difficult because there's no consistent sense of scale to go by. You have avatars who are anywhere between 6'5" and 9' tall who all think that they're "average height" But almost all of them are using the default SL camera which means you'll want rooms to be around 20x20m with a ceiling height of at least 5m. Essentially double the size the first group is looking for.

 I agree with Chic's conclusion that it's best to leave content modifiable and let people resize it to their needs, but in addition to that, when I was still actively creating content to sell in SL I would always include two copies of a building. A scale version and an oversized version. So right out of the box customers would have an option at least close to what they're looking for in terms of scale, which they could adjust from there.

Edited by Penny Patton

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Just thinking on this again with some additional comments. 

There is "to scale" and then there is "what the average avatar can move around in easily" :D.  Now and then I walk into a house that even I run into walls inside (I am six feet tall, so not giant by SL terms).  So be sure and TEST your house -- preferably with someone fairly tall.

Giant doorways work well but look pretty ridiculous when someone six foot stands next to them. So in some cases the best choice might be to go with a more open plan where doors could be eliminated as much as possible. This might just be a thing that bothers me (the giant doors :D), but something to think about.

More importantly, lots of folks advocate changing your viewing settings so that movement works better and you don't need as much interior buffer space. That might be a fine idea for the average person, but for a builder I think it would be a BIG mistake -- hence I have never done it. 

If YOU fix your own viewing so that your building works well, that has no relation to what the average avatar will find when they try to enter and walk around. So think hard before making changes. The best method I think is to make a building useful to the largest proportion of folks that you can. Tinies will of course be looking for tiny houses, and folks that are nine feet tall? Well  that was their choice - LOL and an unrealistic one really.

I just looked it up and Google tells me : "The tallest man in medical history for whom there is irrefutable evidence is Robert Pershing Wadlow (USA) (born 6:30 a.m. at Alton, Illinois, USA on 22 February 1918), who when last measured on 27 June 1940, was found to be 2.72 m (8 ft 11.1 in) tall."

So there apparently never has been a 9 foot tall person ^^.

 

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Posted (edited)

I compromise by scaling about ten percent bigger than RL. It is not ideal, and I have started putting a warning on marketplace listings to try the demo before buying, as things in SL are not one size fits all. For furniture the animations are in invisible prims so they can adjust them pretty easily. It's not an ideal solution but with some keeping the default camera position, I can only do so much. 

I agree that doors are the biggest problem -- actually doorknobs. You can have a huge door but the knob should not be at eye level. 

 

Edited by Pamela Galli

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On 3/19/2017 at 11:14 AM, Chic Aeon said:

Just thinking on this again with some additional comments. 

There is "to scale" and then there is "what the average avatar can move around in easily" :D.  Now and then I walk into a house that even I run into walls inside (I am six feet tall, so not giant by SL terms).  So be sure and TEST your house -- preferably with someone fairly tall.

This is definitely true and I tried to touch on that in my last post.

If you're building for yourself the question is just what works best for you and the experience you want to create?

  • If you're designing for VR or any first person experience, then anything other than 1=1 scale will look off. Scale becomes a lot more apparent when seen through your avatar's eyes, so to speak.
  • If you adjusted your own camera then building with that adjusted camera in mind will save you a lot of space and Land Impact, but might make things more cramped for visitors not using an adjusted camera.
  • If you're building to sell, or for a public venue like a club or RP sim, then you have to keep in mind that most customers will have large avatars and SL's default camera settings. Which is why I recommend including two versions of any structure you intend to sell, so your customer has options.

And yes, even with an adjusted camera placement and a smaller avatar, you're not going to want to do 1=1 scale for third person, you need to accommodate the camera. You can get pretty close to 1=1 scale but you will want slightly taller ceilings and avoid tiny rooms like bathrooms and walk-in closets. As I said in my last post, 10x10x3m is about as small as you want to go.

On 3/19/2017 at 0:22 PM, Pamela Galli said:

I agree that doors are the biggest problem -- actually doorknobs. You can have a huge door but the knob should not be at eye level. 

Agreed! And I think this highlights something else.

Accommodating the camera does NOT mean simply scaling everything up. If all you do is scale everything up for the camera then doorknobs will be eye level even on 7' tall avatars, windows will be too high for avatars to see out of. Furniture will make even giant avatars look like toddlers.

To suit the camera you have to remember it is primarily the environment that you are adjusting, and even then it's mostly the height of the ceilings and avoiding tiny rooms. You still want to keep other elements, such as doorknobs, windows and furnishings, more in scale with the avatar itself.

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Speaking of the camera, though, why is this still a problem?

SL's camera placement made sense in 2002 when SL first started accepting residents. Back then even videogame developers were still trying to figure out third person camera placement. Back then LL had no idea what they wanted SL to become and their developers had no videogame experience to inform their design decisions. They were a small startup.

By 2004 videogames had nailed the camera placement issue for third person games and SL had become more or less what it is today.

Adjusting the camera is super easy. It takes only a couple of minutes, changing numbers in two debug windows. At any point LL could have added some improved camera presets to the basic interface, and either changed the default settings all at once, or slowly, over time, if they were really worried about their customers reaction to the change. (A fear I totally understand. The SL userbase lost their collective minds in outrage over the introduction of Windlight, which is crazy when you realize that no one in SL today would want to go back to SL's old, pre-windlight, atmospheric shaders.)

 I know, LL's development process is unfathomable to mere mortals like myself, but I'm surprised Firestorm hasn't pushed improved camera placement. Even as an optional preset.

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40 minutes ago, Penny Patton said:

Speaking of the camera, though, why is this still a problem?

 I know, LL's development process is unfathomable to mere mortals like myself, but I'm surprised Firestorm hasn't pushed improved camera placement. Even as an optional preset.

Simple, because not everybody agrees that Over-the-shoulder-walk-into-doorframes or Back-of-head-fills-40%-of-screen camera modes ARE any kind of improvement.

I have a camera reposition hud that i can add if i enter a "campaign for cramped immersion" zone where everythings been designed for mouselook, but thats an emergency fix for bad builds i might have to visit
 

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While we could debate the merits and drawbacks of individual settings, most people would agree that a lower camera perspective is an improvement. That's why lower, more "over the shoulder" sort of camera placement is so popular in videogames and have been since at least 2004. The style of camera placement SL emulates has been almost entirely phased out except in games like Diablo and certain MMOs where seeing a birdseye view of a battlefield is preferred for the action. In fact, if LL really wanted to improve on the camera they could make it so your perspective even changes depending on how close or far you scroll the camera from your avatar, just like many videogames, such as Skyrim, do. From a more centred view when zoomed out, to a more "over the shoulder" perspective when zoomed in close.

But even a simple preset change can help immensely.

58d16a4bce244_not40percent.thumb.png.ae9accdeb2e5190829c50f1908901bb8.png

There's my camera placement. The back of my avatar's head isn't taking up 40% of my screen and I've never had any issues walking into doorframes.

The problems you describe usually seem to occur with people leaping from the default camera preset to something closer to the RE4 or Dead Space "over the shoulder" camera and not realizing they can zoom out with the mouse scroll wheel. That can be addressed in a couple of ways. 

  • First, by changing the camera in increments, over an extended period of time, so people slowly adapt. SL is over 15 years old and I don't believe LL has any plans to shutter it in the near term, so they can take this approach.
  • Second, by defaulting to a more moderate distance from the avatar. A change I made to my own recommended camera presets last year. People who do want their camera closer to their avatar are also typically more likely to be comfortable adjusting the camera distance with the mouse wheel.

Most importantly, we have to remember that years ago LL added in the feature of "camera presets". LL or Firestorm don't need to change the default presets if they're really that concerned. They can include improved settings as a separate preset. If they did want to make the leap, they could retain the old default camera placement as a "classic" preset. Which I would encourage.

Edited by Penny Patton

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While it's true that changing your camera position takes a matter of seconds in the Debug Settings -- I do it frequently myself -- I run across a lot of SL residents who have no clue about how to do that or any incentive to learn.  It's not a matter of being tech illiterate, although there are plenty of those too, but one of personal motivation.  There are tinkerers like us and there are non-tinkerers who expect the world to be ready to use, off the shelf.  I'm not making a value judgment about either group.  It's just one of the many factors I keep in mind as I design things.  Some people appreciate having HUDs and dialogs with lots of buttons for controlling special features, but other people find those options annoying or confusing. The compromise is often to offer the plain vanilla version as the default, a compressed selection of preset packages that you can choose with the click of a single button, and a relatively hidden set of menus for people who like playing with the bells and whistles.  What's missing in the case of camera positioning is that middle level of preset packages.  We're offered the default or the whole enchilada.

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Exactly. LL did give us that "middle level" but nerfed it out of the gate. Bring up your camera panel from the toolbar and one of the tabs is a selection of various camera presets.

From there you can choose

  • the default camera presets we all know and love/loathe
  • "front view" which is exactly what it says and is useful exclusively to people who don't know how to alt+cam and no one else
  • a "top view" which is, again, exactly what it says but useful to no one
  • a "group view" which is essentially a side view and also useless

What LL should have done, and should still do, is include a bunch of variations of the default view. Giving people the option of the classic camera placement, something lower and closer, and maybe a few inbetweens. Some TPVs have done this. Black Dragon comes to mind.

LL should have also given us the ability to create and share camera placement presets, and access these presets via scripts. So many useful things LL could have done to add polish to the user experience.

new camera.jpg

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