Why is the Height scale so confusing and messy?

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Hi i was wondering why there is so much difference between people's height scale?  (i dont know mean someone who wants to be short or tall, thats a personal choice)
Some inworld people were discussing how its because the SL height's measurement dont match up with RL height.

Like SL's numbering is off.

example, most humans are in the 5 feet range in RL. so that is real life "default" height.
But In SL, you create a new shape or use one of those default beginner avatars, noticed how the shape is in 6 feet range.
So that means SL intended 6 feet range to be the default height. and visually every building and items scaled to that range.

in essense
Secondlife 6.4   = Real Life 5.4
Secondlife 6.9   = Real Life 5.9
Secondlife 6.1   = Real Life 5.1

the problem is:
A person new to SL or not knowing this information. thinking they will create a SL avatar based on real life height ends up making themselves look way SHORTER.
Like i am 5.4 in real life, so i am a newbie and in game, i make my SL Avatar 5.4 (not knowing this would translates VISUALLY to RL 4.4 in game)

SO Thats why it creates so many scaling differences, because everyone using different scales.

Im wondering can Secondlife system.. can it just easily renumber their whole height scale? Make default shape SL height in 5feet range by just editing their number system (renumber). that would be easy to implement right?

Secondlife 5.4   = Real Life 5.4
Secondlife 5.9   = Real Life 5.9
Secondlife 5.1   = Real Life 5.1

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27 minutes ago, GypsiesSoul said:

and visually every building and items scaled to that range.

That's not actually true, it's much worse than that. Buildings - to the extent that they have any RL relevant proportions at all, tend to be scaled to anything from 1 1/3 to more than twice RL size, older buildings are usually made to a larger scale than more recent ones. Furniture is generally 1.25-1.5 times RL size although it differs a lot and avatars, as you say tend to be about 1.25 times RL size with the additional complication that the height you see in the shape editor of the standard viewer is the bounding box which is always a bit bigger than the visual shape.

There are several causes of this mess and I'm sure others will give you the details and their views on it.

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blame it on mesh, before mesh, bodies where more the correct height. back when sl first started the average sl height was in the rl height range.  you didnt see many amazonian women or men back then.

in fact there are some rp sims that require you to use the old original correct body height for your avatar and even have height scales setup so you can measure yourself to be the right height.

its more the fault of mesh content creators that caused the sizes to grow out of proportion. not something that sl or ll did itself.

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It's a sort of self fulfilling prophecy.

The Appearance menu measures height to eye level.  (Or it did at one point).  You can get an accurate measurement by creating a prim and stretching it to exactly your height.

So, the Appearance menu does under-report height.

Not only that, but most people in SL tend to create or buy avatars that are on the tall side, because tall people are perceived as being more attractive/popular in RL.  Because all the avatars are tall, the ones LL created for newcomers are tall, too, mostly.

But it's even worse, because of the camera.  The default camera position is behind and above your head.  If you go into a building that has accurate 8 or 9 foot ceilings, and typical RL room sizes, your camera is going to constantly be getting buried in the ceiling or wind up behind a wall.  So, buildings tend to be outsized to accommodate our camera positions.

Now that your house is too big, you have to design big furniture, or it will look out of proportion.

So...most of the people, and most of the buildings, and the furniture, are all way too big.  You can obsess about it, or just go with the flow.

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I think it started back in 2003, with someone wanting to be bigger than all the others, triggering a decades-long War of 'I Want To Be Bigger Than You', followed suit by furniture and houses in SL growing with them to keep pace, not quite different from what evolutionary biologists call https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisherian_runaway

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1 hour ago, Drakonadrgora Darkfold said:

blame it on mesh, before mesh, bodies where more the correct height. back when sl first started the average sl height was in the rl height range.  you didnt see many amazonian women or men back then.

Gigantism was a lot worse in earlier years. Just look at houses and furniture made back then. Its gigantic. Pulling the leg length slider to the maximum was a trend among many female avatars. People weren't joking about Galmazones for nothing (thin, tall female avatars covered in sparkeling jewlery) and men suffered from T-rex arms, because the arm slider could not catch up with their height.

Mesh has nothing to do with gigantism. It neither invented it, nor did it give people a push into increasing their height. The original offender is probably the default camera position in the original SL viewer. After that, you have a mixture of fashion gone wrong and a cycle of adapting to what came before.

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There have been a lot of discussions regarding this phenomenon and I think a lot of people attributed it to the default camera position that's by default very high, and I think that's why

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32 minutes ago, lucagrabacr said:

There have been a lot of discussions regarding this phenomenon and I think a lot of people attributed it to the default camera position that's by default very high, and I think that's why

That's one of the reasons obviously.

1 hour ago, Arduenn Schwartzman said:

I think it started back in 2003, with someone wanting to be bigger than all the others, triggering a decades-long War of 'I Want To Be Bigger Than You'

That's another reason obviously.

Walking speed is a third one. Try to move around in your RL home at a brisk jogging tempo and see how many bruises you can get.

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Posted (edited)

I once tried setting my avatar to my RL height of 5'7", so slightly taller than average, but nothing unusual.

I couldn't keep it up. I looked so small compared to not only everyone else, but everything else. Furniture, equipment, props, animations...everything was disproportionate and off. I may have had the RL proportions, but when nothing and nobody else had, I looked and felt wrong

I think my av is at just over 6 foot now, which seems to be the most realistic height I can have without turning my SL into Brobdingnag. Still weird, because now I'm on the short side while in RL, I'm slightly tallish.

Edited by Amina Sopwith

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Amina Sopwith said:

I once tried setting my avatar to my RL height of 5'7", so slightly taller than average, but nothing unusual.

I couldn't keep it up. I looked so small compared to not only everyone else, but everything else. Furniture, equipment, props, animations...everything was disproportionate and off. I may have had the RL proportions, but when nothing and nobody else had, I looked and felt wrong

I think my av is at just over 6 foot now, which seems to be the most realistic height I can have without turning my SL into Brobdingnag. Still weird, because now I'm on the short side while in RL, I'm slightly tallish.

Might depend where and with what kind of people you spend time at/with. If not count shoebase (or hover slider, depends how you do it), my height in SL has been 1.62m (~5.3ft I think?) for the last few years, during previous phase of "shrinking" it was 1.67m.

I do remember it felt a bit weird when I've decided to do it as my height back then was around 1.9m, and it was somewhat average/slightly below average for a female avatar, but I wasn't happy with it. A week later it all settled in and being on the shorter side compared to most people never bothered me.

Shoebase/hover for most heels add quite a bit to height, though. 6-8cm usually, even for most average heels ever, and some high heels need ~10cm to avoid sinking into the ground.

Can't say I have any issues with furniture/props/etc either. Most new (new as is ~2014+) stuff works just fine, and I prefer to not use old one. For my own place I do extra work to make it even more fitting by buying only mod furniture that I can resize, then use helper part of AV Sitter to adjust poses/animations some more. It can be time consuming at times, but not all that bad.

Either way, it's your avatar and your SL, but you really shouldn't care how others have/do it, and how you look compared to them.

-----

I'd like to add that average height in SL slowly, but surely "shrinks", at least around parts of the grid I like to spend time at. Like I already said, I was on average/below average side of height with 1.9m back in 2012 when I just started (pre mesh bodies, so no, mesh has nothing to do with it). Then after going to 1.67m I usually was among the shortest people around the places I visited, but eventually I started to see more and more people with same-ish height, sometimes even shorter. And now with 1.62m I'm rarely the shortest one around, more like average or slightly shorter than average.

And those 2.2-2.4m giants... I simply don't interact with them anymore aside of answering them if they ask/tell me something. If they want to be like that... sure, it's their choice, but it's my choice to not like their avatars, and not wanting to do anything with them.

Edited by steeljane42
typos

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In the early days of SL the trend amongst a lot of residents was to max the height slider. Very little consideration was given to correct proportion and so there were many females with short arms (still visible today in fact), and huge guys with pin heads (pre bento mesh heads got them out of that.

There was a small movement pushing for embracing a smaller scale once mesh hit (circa 2012), especially as smaller builds usually results in lower land impact. I can remember seeing clinic type buildings pop up around the grid, with 3 different scale devices to show how your av measured up, and lots of public message posters around the walls to educate people to scale down, including showing how to adjust your camera view position.

The clinics pretty soon disappeared, but a year or possibly two ago, one of the best vehicle creators in SL announced that all his future products would now be Real Scale. Even though I had been scaling down gradually over the years I took the plunge and embraced Real Scale. I love it, and where possible I will scale my buildings and furniture accordingly, adjusting the animation positions in the sit enabled ones and taking a ‘master copy’ back into inventory to save me having to do it all again on later placements of furniture.

Unfortunately, a lot of people still equate bigger with better, and its easier to go along with the herd, so it’s hard going to get change implemented across the board. If the new Linden Homes had scaled down slightly it may have helped greatly with the movement.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

The Appearance menu measures height to eye level.  (Or it did at one point).

I never knew that, but it does explain some of the weird fudging I've had to do in scripts to stand a dancer exactly on a stage, I had fudge-factors applied to fudge-factors applied to what was supposed to be the accurate avatar size...

Edited by Profaitchikenz Haiku

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Male and female height also are not the same. A male avatar that measures 1.82m and a female that measures the same, will have the male taller than the female.

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Posted (edited)

I'll amend my earlier remarks a bit.  The newer starter avatars provided by LL have more realistic heights.  I've noticed the male avatars are shorter than I am, and I'm right at about 6' 4" with my shoes off.  I haven't substantially changed my height for almost all of my SLife, so I suppose I could be considered a historical artifact.

Edited by Lindal Kidd

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OP filed a JIRA: BUG-228968 - Secondlife Avatar height scale is disjointed

I left a comment explaining the mess of avatar height measurement.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, GypsiesSoul said:

Im wondering can Secondlife system.. can it just easily renumber their whole height scale? Make default shape SL height in 5feet range by just editing their number system (renumber). that would be easy to implement right?

But if you just arbitrarily say "6.4 = 5.4" you end up with avatars whose shape claims to be 5.4, but stand a foot above any object whose height is 5.4.

You can't do that, it doesn't fix anything -- only makes things more complicated.

Default avatars being 6 feet tall doesn't mean 6 SL feet = 5 RL feet. The unit of measurement in the SL world is still constant. If your shape says you're 6 feet tall then you are that tall in the world. (Disregarding actual inaccuracies.)

The proper fix would be to just change the default shapes. Whether or not that's needed is its own argument.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

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1 hour ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Default avatars being 6 feet tall doesn't mean 6 SL feet = 5 RL feet. The unit of measurement in the SL world is still constant.

Yeah.  And we use the metric system.

(As a scientist, I find this to be a definite step forward.)

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16 hours ago, ChinRey said:

That's not actually true, it's much worse than that. Buildings - to the extent that they have any RL relevant proportions at all, tend to be scaled to anything from 1 1/3 to more than twice RL size, older buildings are usually made to a larger scale than more recent ones. Furniture is generally 1.25-1.5 times RL size although it differs a lot and avatars, as you say tend to be about 1.25 times RL size with the additional complication that the height you see in the shape editor of the standard viewer is the bounding box which is always a bit bigger than the visual shape.

There are several causes of this mess and I'm sure others will give you the details and their views on it.

I made a few buildings myself and I usually design them after RL buildings, but have to scale up so most avatars don't bash their brains out hitting a door jam.

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If we could get the camera controller fixed to reliably stay below ceilings and maintain line of sight to the avatar, some of the pressure for oversizing would go away. Game camera control is complicated. There are entire books on that. Top priority, though, is simply keeping the avatar in view. If the camera is behind a wall or above a ceiling and can't see the avatar, something is very wrong.

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1 hour ago, animats said:

If we could get the camera controller fixed to reliably stay below ceilings and maintain line of sight to the avatar, some of the pressure for oversizing would go away. Game camera control is complicated. There are entire books on that. Top priority, though, is simply keeping the avatar in view. If the camera is behind a wall or above a ceiling and can't see the avatar, something is very wrong.

That's already an option on some TPVs. That's actually default behaviour on the LL viewer and the constant camera bumping is annoying as hell.
On Firestorm: Preferences -> Move & View -> View -> Allow the camera to move without constraints through prims.
Disabling this setting & relogging will give the default LL viewer behaviour of your camera being pushed in from walls/ceilings etc.

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2 minutes ago, Whirly Fizzle said:

On Firestorm: Preferences -> Move & View -> View -> Allow the camera to move without constraints through prims.

I have always had this enabled, but hadn't thought about what it does with ceilings and walls in confined spaces.  I have it enabled so that I can cam inside things.

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Example JIRA where someone is complaining about the camera push

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20 minutes ago, Whirly Fizzle said:

Example JIRA where someone is complaining about the camera push

Is that bug not set to Public?  I can't see it.

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Hm. Can you take control of the camera with llSetCameraParams and still have the camera constrained by prims? Sitting down seems to override that. It's common to sit in a chair with its back to a wall and have the camera on the other side of the wall.

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It’s a little known fact that Phillip Linden the founder of SL was actually 7 feet 4 inches tall. He surrounded himself with developers of the same stature and they were a basketball team to be reckoned with at the local San Francisco courts. They were called “as tall as linden trees” by their opponents. Unfortunately, they developed SL avatars which skewed closer to their collective height and we’ve been living with that legacy since then.

Did you know that the genus for linden trees is Tilia?

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