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GypsiesSoul

Why is the Height scale so confusing and messy?

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Posted (edited)
On 6/23/2020 at 11:04 PM, GypsiesSoul said:

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

 

So, every few years people come in the forums and ask the same question.....

 

Edited by Tarina Sewell

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Whirly Fizzle said:

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. 

@Whirly Fizzle I should probably post this on a feature request with firestorm however (wont do it for LL viewer as 99% of the time they say no to feature requests), what are the chances of getting a feature in the options section under 'view' in Firestorm (and I suppose any other TPV) of some preset camera angles that can be cycled through rather than having the default higher angle and then having to edit it through the complicated debug settings.

As a sim builder etc, I think such a feature would help alleviate a lot of the height issues in buildings as more often than not, like others have mentioned including yourself, the camera is one of the major causes for the higher ceilings and buildings which have a negative effect on avatar height.

Edited by Drayke Newall

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50 Game Camera Mistakes, from Game Developers' Conference 2014.

See especially #5, #6, #7, #8, #10, #13, #26, #28...

This is complex and subtle, but it's been studied. The SL viewers could be a bit smarter about this.

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1 hour ago, animats said:

50 Game Camera Mistakes, from Game Developers' Conference 2014.

See especially #5, #6, #7, #8, #10, #13, #26, #28...

This is complex and subtle, but it's been studied. The SL viewers could be a bit smarter about this.

Would be nice but, never going to happen. That's why I think a more simpler solution that would be easy to implement would be the preset camera angles that someone can choose under options like I asked Whirly about. But having these it would at least offer a little more flexibility to the camera for all users without having to edit 5 different camera debug settings.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Drayke Newall said:

some preset camera angles that can be cycled through

This already exists. See the three little buttons on the top-left of the camera controls?
There are three presets. Front-to-back, over-the-shoulder, and the default.

6431d57d9e.png

Also, you can control your default camera position by holding Ctrl (height) or Shift (angle) and scrolling your mouse while your camera is "resting" (press Esc so it's not focused on anything). Any changes you make this way will stick until you relog. You also adjust the default camera distance without going into debug settings.

2175411022.png

Defaults can only do so much. With SL being as customizable as it is, no default will work for a lot of people. If you're tall, you get ass-cam. If you're small, you won't even see yourself. (Sometimes I wonder if SL kids just wander around without realizing they could fix their camera...) If you're non-human, all bets are off. The most generally-applicable solution is to have the camera far away with a wide field of view, which is what we have in SL.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

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38 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

This already exists. See the three little buttons on the top-left of the camera controls?
There are three presets. Front-to-back, over-the-shoulder, and the default.

Entirely not what I was talking about. Firstly, the default presets are useless and keep the same camera angle up high when you click them, unless you use the little arrow controls to adjust further which is time consuming. The front one also has an issue where it is based on your ao or other settings and in some cases will see you still seeing the back of your avatar despite using the front camera.

38 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Also, you can control your default camera position by holding Ctrl (height) or Shift (angle) and scrolling your mouse while your camera is "resting" (press Esc so it's not focused on anything). Any changes you make this way will stick until you relog. You also adjust the default camera distance without going into debug settings.

This point is all well and good unless you are new and want other options not just angle which literally just changes to a more butt shot over a head shot and the fact that you have to do it all over again every login is just as useless

38 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Defaults can only do so much. With SL being as customizable as it is, no default will work for a lot of people. If you're tall, you get ass-cam. If you're small, you won't even see yourself. (Sometimes I wonder if SL kids just wander around without realizing they could fix their camera...) If you're non-human, all bets are off. The most generally-applicable solution is to have the camera far away with a wide field of view, which is what we have in SL.

I am talking about other presets not default like for instance a preset for a tall avie, small avie, short avie - all based on a more uniform and standard camera position that doesn't have the camera hitting the ceiling and one that is remembered across logins. One that may be far over the right or left shoulder of the person etc.

The only way to do what I am talking about and making sure it saves is through the debug menu of which is complicated for any person new or otherwise. Any comment such as 'Sometimes I wonder if SL kids just wander around without realizing they could fix their camera' that you say, is just nonsense as if your response is you can change it using your scroll wheel (which most people know about) but have to do it each relog then I don't blame them for complaining. Saying like you do that the generally-acceptable solution is a far away wide view camera is also debatable as most don't know there are debug settings to make it better and help with improving the camera so that it also improves the optimisation of builds. As such you get comments just like in this thread about either the camera passing through walls or bouncing on the ceiling.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Drayke Newall said:

Firstly, the default presets are useless...

You nailed the point I was making.

1 hour ago, Drayke Newall said:

I am talking about other presets not default like for instance a preset for a tall avie, small avie, short avie - all based on a more uniform and standard camera position that doesn't have the camera hitting the ceiling and one that is remembered across logins. One that may be far over the right or left shoulder of the person etc.

I understand what your suggestion is. It has some merit but how many presets were you planning on? How high is "tall?" How high is "small?" Do we have 3, 4, 5 presets or more? What's the UI for that gonna look like? And if none of those work (or need further adjusting), then what? I would definitely rather see the debug settings implemented in regular preferences along with the current options.

1 hour ago, Drayke Newall said:

...your response is you can change it using your scroll wheel (which most people know about)...

I would be actually shocked if it turned out most people know about Ctrl/Shift + scroll. It's a completely obscure thing you might do by accident without even realizing that's what you did.

1 hour ago, Drayke Newall said:

Saying like you do that the generally-acceptable solution...

No, I said applicable. As in, the developers ask themselves "what's the best thing we can do that will work in most cases (that's easy to implement)?" and the answer they've come up is "just move it further back." It 'works' in most situations, short or tall, big or small, one-size-fits-all... but it's not particularly good for any of them.

I think we agree on the goal, just not how to get there.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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about the camera

the Linden viewer has had Camera Presets since about January of this year 2020

we can save different viewer camera settings by name and switch between them

menu: Me \ Camera Controls

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9 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

about the camera

the Linden viewer has had Camera Presets since about January of this year 2020

we can save different viewer camera settings by name and switch between them

menu: Me \ Camera Controls

Awesome. Haven't looked at the new viewer for a while and not sure if it has been put over to the TPV's yet.

Funnily enough when I read Wulfie's response to me about how many presets, I was going to reply that they should then just make it so you can save your own. Seems for once, LL thought outside the box, which is good to hear.

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Posted (edited)

The defaults camera views are screwed indeed and that has caused the objects and avatars in world to become larger and larger.

I read on a blog somewhere (can't remember the link as it was ages ago) that adjusting the debug setting CameraOffsetRearView so that Z is 0 was probably the fastest and easiest way for a end user to stop their most used camera from flying up in the air making everything and everyone around them smaller than they actually are.

It seems a tiny change to adjust the Z from 0.75 to 0 but it shifts your camera level to your actual eye level and boy it makes a massive difference!

Now it probably would be great if LL could just magically set all the new installs of SL to have the offset with a Z axis of 0 BUT sadly too long has passed and the world exists now for "larger than life" avatars and indeed has for 17 years!

If everyone had eye level camera defaults then the chances are avatar heights would become more true to life - however that is assuming that all of furniture, buildings, animations etc also magically adjusted to fit - they of course don't. The long and the short of it (pun intended) is we have to accept that SL height is borked and that if you try to be accurate to RL height you end up having the height of a teen because the world is scaled to those around seven foot tall.

It's not good, it's not right but it is what it is and we either have to accept that or open ourselves up to a whole world of strife.

Edited by Jon Nova

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15 hours ago, Drayke Newall said:

@Whirly Fizzle I should probably post this on a feature request with firestorm however (wont do it for LL viewer as 99% of the time they say no to feature requests), what are the chances of getting a feature in the options section under 'view' in Firestorm (and I suppose any other TPV) of some preset camera angles that can be cycled through rather than having the default higher angle and then having to edit it through the complicated debug settings.

The camera presets feature from the LL viewer will be in the next Firestorm release.
The release will be "soon" - just a few lingering EEP bugs to get fixed then it's ready.

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The Debug settings for CameraOffsetRearView (and also side and front view) are completely customizable in X, Y, and Z camera position.  I would not set Z to zero, as Jon recommended, but even so this gives you way more control over where your camera sits than any number of presets.

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The problem lies in the fact that SL is not RL and why the hell should anyone care about "height" anyways! all that matters is retaliative  scale!

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There's a million theories on why scale among avatars is so flawed. I suspect all of the theories are equally flawed, including my own.

But I do think the fact that the height slider doesn't have inches or centimeters on it really helped.

Sure even from day one any fool could have rezzed a prim, set it to their desired height, and edited their avatar to fit, then rezzed more prims and used them to... realize that the sliders cannot make a proportionally correct human unless you make a short avatar with the arm dial at 100... and gotten very annoyed... but at least tried... and... /rant...

But... people don't tend to think like that.

And they also don't tend to assume that the dials, if set to what look like perfectly reasonable values, will produce a deformed monstrosity...

So people just dialed in values... I wanna be tall, 100 sounds good. I want to be short...0 sounds good.

And folks who were not expert at 3D environments before coming into SL would have had no reason to question the 'WTFery' that is the default camera setup... so they just scaled things to be functional in a distorted nightmare...

 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

But I do think the fact that the height slider doesn't have inches or centimeters on it really helped.

But to be fair, the height slider is not the sole dictator of your avatar's height.  Other sliders factor into it too. (Like leg/hip/neck length if I recall.) And there IS a height number on the shape editor, for meters and feet.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator

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8 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

But to be fair, the height slider is not the sole dictator of your avatar's height.  Other sliders factor into it too. (Like leg/hip/neck length if I recall.) And there IS a height number on the shape editor, for meters and feet.

But there wasn't when we started - which is what I meant to say but forgot to note. The 'common default' for people got established and values on there (which are not correct anyway) came years later.

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The factors I am aware of include:

- the system measuring height to your eyes, rather than the top of your head.

- a possible inaccuracy in measurement in general.

- the default camera position being too high and angled downwards.

- a general lack of user awareness on height, body proportions, and design.

To those saying that mesh is the problem, you are 100% wrong on that. I've seen far more prim builds with 30 foot ceilings and massive doors made for the tallest giants, and far more mesh focusing on proper proportions (design and body).

The biggest offender I find is the camera. It's hard to gauge height when the camera is looking down on you, and it's hard to get proper proportions. User error aside, this is why so many people are 18 feet tall and have stumpy t-rex arms that don't reach their waist; it's a perspective issue. And with the camera sitting so high up, you kind of need buildings to have higher than normal ceilings just so you can see the room you're in.

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On 6/27/2020 at 10:39 AM, Pussycat Catnap said:

But there wasn't when we started - which is what I meant to say but forgot to note. The 'common default' for people got established and values on there (which are not correct anyway) came years later.

pretty much yes

the initial Library avatars were quite tall.  Female shapes like Irish, Default, Chic, Harajuku, etc about 200 cms on average by prim measure

as you say lots of people went to 100% on the sliders making their avatars even taller

when Linden changed the slider to metric/imperial ruler then people started to downsize.  And then when Firestorm changed its slider to show height to the top of the head (rather than to the top of the bounding box like Linden viewer) then people began to downsize even further

not everybody has downsized but lots have.  Is quite striking the differences between say 2007 when the most numbers of avatars were really tall, and now today

i have always been the same size. About 180 by prim measure. Back then I was below average height, today I am above average in height

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11 hours ago, Mollymews said:

when Linden changed the slider to metric/imperial ruler then people started to downsize.  And then when Firestorm changed its slider to show height to the top of the head (rather than to the top of the bounding box like Linden viewer) then people began to downsize even further

Yeah.

Do note though that Firestorm actually doesn't show that, exactly. But a guess. The value you can get back in SL is agent-height, which is the bounding box - and then people use varying formulas to guess the rest but these all presume the person has a few other shape dials 'at certain values'.

Years before Firestorm did that I was most known in SL for making a height meter that... did what Firestorm now does. It was a freebie I used to give out.

I stopped giving it out when I began to realize a lot of shapes that still looked 'not crazy' could exist too far from the estimates of my meter for it to be reliable. It's close, but it's off just often enough to be too flawed for my tastes.

 

Really the only way to do it is to rez a prim next to yourself.

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12 hours ago, Mollymews said:

i have always been the same size. About 180 by prim measure. Back then I was below average height, today I am above average in height

Occam's Razor would suggest that you've had a growth spurt.

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Paste of my comment I left on the OP's JIRA.

The whole height measurement issue is pretty complicated.
Also, note that Firestorm Viewer & some other TPVs report height differently than the LL viewer.

The LL Viewer height display is known to be wrong - it reports people being shorter than they actually are.
This is because the LL Viewer height display reports the height of the physics capsule of an avatar, which is computed by adding up the lengths of the relevant bones (legs, back, neck, head, etc).
The reason this is off is that the render mesh's height is not exactly equal to this sum (the head extends beyond the top of the head bone, the feet below the bottom of the foot bone, etc).

Unfortunately, it is not really possible to get a 100% 'correct' number easily. Third party viewers like Firestorm try to get it closer by adding a fixed 'fudge factor' number to the avatar's height. The problem with this approach is that it doesn't work, except for a very specific body type. The amount the LL viewer calculations are off varies based on a number of factors.
"Renumbering the whole height scale" as you suggest would just give yet another inaccurate number.

A few things worth noting:

1) The height number the LL viewer gives is basically 'what size doorway will we allow your character to walk through' instead of 'inaccurate representation of your render mesh's size of its bounding box in the z direction'.
2) Trying to measure based off the render mesh's bounding box directly wouldn't work due to attachments, animations, etc (instead of a consistent value for given shape values).
3) Under-reporting the height a bit is not all that bad, since everything in SL is scaled up (due to camera placement and other things), so reporting a 7' avatar as 6'6' makes the perception of avatars be a bit more proportional to the world (this was not intended, but not really a bad thing).
4) Any height display will definitely be fundamentally useless if the user is wearing any attachments that cause any of the relevant joints to be offset, or is playing any animations that causes a similar effect.

There is also the added problem that the scripted height checkers that people use also report different results, depending on how they are scripted.
A lot of the height checker scripts also add a "fudge factor" to llGetAgentSize to attempt to make the height reported more accurate.

One example: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/OO-Avatar-Ruler-precise-height-detector/2769845
If you test with this height checker, you will see that it gives the same results for your avatar height as Firestorm viewer.

This script reports my height as:

[OO] Avatar ruler 1.4: Whirly Fizzle, your avatar's height is 215 cm (7' 1") counting your shoes.
[OO] Avatar ruler 1.4: (It is extremely high for a human being, but can be ideal for e.g. a troll avatar.)

Firestorm shows the same height, 2.15m: http://prntscr.com/7zpugo

The LL viewers displays the "incorrect" height as 1.95m: http://prntscr.com/7zpvrq
(Old images but I'm too lazy to take new ones)

 

Other scripted height checkers give the same height as the LL viewer and some give a different reading from both Firestorm & the LL viewer.

Relevant docs:

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-19767 - Incorrect height information in appearance editor

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/LlGetAgentSize - "Due to the shape Hover setting, and mesh and animation offsets, it is
not possible to use this function to determine the rendered height of an
avatar with any degree of confidence."

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9 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Occam's Razor would suggest that you've had a growth spurt.

i like!

i sometimes wonder how different things would have been if the Linden viewer from the beginning had a imperial/metric ruler and had a bounding box that went from top of head to soles of feet

this said

i have noticed that since Firestorm did their ruler then quite a few furniture since are scaled (out-of-the-box) for more shorter avatars, allowing scale up. Rather than, as was more frequent in the past, scaled (out-the-box) for taller avatars, allowing scale down. Probably I think because these newly-made furniture creators use Firestorm as their primary viewer

 

 

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