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RL:SL Size Ratios - What are Your Building Methods?

Tatiana Dokuchic
@tatiana-dokuchic
one month ago
1,752 posts

I've continually fascinated with RL:SL size/building ratios.  When I started building in SL it was the bane of my existence and though I've developed my own style over the years I would love to discuss this with other SL builders especially those of us here that are attempting to re-create historical builds.

Please share your thoughts & experiences here :)

An excellent resource for using 1:1 ratios can be found at The Digital Pasture which is written my Penny Patton whom I like to think of as the patron saint of smaller scale building.  Among other things, she talks about camera settings, Reducing the Cost of Land by Scaling Down and A Matter of Scale.




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Proprietress of Tatiana's Tea Room ~ Co-owner of the Duché de Coeur ~ Webmistress of this site

updated by @tatiana-dokuchic: 16 Apr 2019 07:57:11AM
Tatiana Dokuchic
@tatiana-dokuchic
one month ago
1,752 posts

I came to SL armed with floor & elevation plans for some of my favourite buildings.  I knew it would be difficult developing my building skills but what I hadn't counted on is described in Getting Better Camera Placement in the SL Viewer:

Camera placement is important. In the videogame industry this is common wisdom. Game developers spent decades experimenting, improving and pretty much perfecting the art of camera placement in 3D videogames.

Unfortunately, the SL camera does not take advantage of any of that experience. As a result, the camera sits way over your avatar’s head, angled down. Not very immersive or engaging. More like you’re watching a character from afar rather than interacting with the world through them.

This has also affected how we build. It’s common knowledge that avatars are generally oversized, often close to 7 or 8′ tall, some pushing almost 9′. And yet, the environments we build and explore are larger still, often fully double scale compared to real life. 5m high ceilings instead of the more typical 2.59, 20x20m rooms instead of 10x10m or 5x5m rooms. We need to build so much larger to compensate for SL’s camera.

Some will point out that you need to compensate for any third person view. This is correct, however with a proper 3rd person view you’d only really be affected by a room as small as about 2x3m, like a bathroom or walk in closet. You’d easily be able to navigate a 5x5m apartment with a typical 2.59m high ceiling. 

Common building ratios at the time were 1:2 which took care of the camera problem.  Unfortunately it just wasn't that simple (nothing ever is) as avatar size ratios were something like 1:1.5 so even the giant people looked like children when surrounded by the huge buildings.

What to do as a builder?

I figured I had a choice between being perfectly accurate in my building proportions or creating builds that were actually functional.  For some reason I'm really claustrophobic in small SL rooms so I will choose functionality over accuracy every time.  No use me building something that I don't enjoy spending time in.

When I eventually found out about improving camera placement and the push to a 1:1 ratio I truly wished that I could adopt it.  If I was working on grand palaces like Versailles I definitely would.  My problem remains that I work on smaller structures like The Boudoir of The Queen's Hamlet.  Even with the Petit Trianon the average room size is relatively small so the 1:1 ratio doesn't work for me :(

I basically cheat the proportions of all of these builds and try to make both the look & feel as best as I can get them.  Horizontally I tend to go with a 1:2 ratio and vertically I go with a 1:1.5 ratio for the room interiors.  This allows most of my builds to feel roomy but not oversized for an avatar.  It also means that the horizontal to vertical proportions are off and the buildings will look squat unless I cheat the vertical exterior proportions to bring them closer together.

It's a lot of finagling, building the way I do, but I haven't found a better method so I'm most interested in the ideas from others.  There's always room for improvement!




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Proprietress of Tatiana's Tea Room ~ Co-owner of the Duché de Coeur ~ Webmistress of this site
Abbondio Rezzonico
@abbondio-rezzonico
one month ago
23 posts

I think we've been building since around the same time, Tatiana - the days when 10x10 was a maximum size and sculpties were the latest fad; not to mention  'nano prims', those were mindblowing! I did complete sims at the time.

Never had so much trouble with sizing. I took up building in a metric mathematical way, trying to stick to 1:1. For the rest I tweaked along with that pesky camery. That camera is indeed killing me in small rooms, i always end up in the chimney, wall or ceiling. But with general sizing, I think not too much about it. Detail dimensions per prim, however, that's almost OCD; right next to alignment. I still get agitated when I see badly aligned buildings, or with shoddy measuring.
Apart from loving the mesh age for its higher detail at lower cost, it did end the joys of designing buildings for me. I know there's many ways of hybrid methods and tools, but I just don't have that patience  for learning as I once had in the beginning. You know the very beginning when 10x10 was a maximum and we had crashes every 5 minutes... - oh well, at least they solved one issue.




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Abbondio Rezzonico
Banker, Merchant & Vintner
@ Rocca Sorrentina
wiseboyqc
@louis-francis-de-beauharnois
one month ago
29 posts

This is a very interesting topic Tat :)

I'm 110% with you about the camera issue, I no longer use the default camera setting in SL as I hate to walk like 3rd person The Sims view ;) So I change it so it look a bit more like RL when you walk look forward without an owl view angle and you can see both floor and ceiling at once. Tough, for slacing I may be too lazy but I don't use a calculated scale, I try to stick to 1:1 ratio but only with my own View I don't math the thing... I sized my Av to be around 6 feet wich is... very tall for me but acceptable then I begin with the size of the rooms and place the walls, as long as standing next to a wall and windows can match a RL picture I consider it ok in scaing, if the wall is 3 times my AV... I have a problem...  I agree with you that small rooms can be a bother but I still do some as it's usefull. When doing historical plans and a room is way to small to be functionnal I merge it with another room. Should you go visit my home Chateau de Champs-sur-marne, it is based on RL picture and plans so you can see what I mean with tweaking and scaling, link is in my PICKS profile.

Tough I understand not everyone will tweak their camera settings or vieangle I see there is a good trending on scaling down building all around SL and that might be related to the LI of Mesh as you pointed out but also, you can place so much more on your same land size if you scale it right then using oversized buildings. For exemple it is the third time I do this castle and the latest one seems to have more space inside but is in fact half to 2/3 the size of the previous one and I can still have a salon with 10 peoples without feeling sqeezed :)

Pamus Bing
@pamus-bing
one month ago
9 posts

I try to build for the standard height Avatar. My room sizes are done so the camera can move around without going through the walls Windowsills are place at the same position to my Avatar at they are to me RL. I have built underground tunnels, so the camera will follow I have had to make them oversized. In the real world the roof would need a lot more support for a structure of that size. I find with SL building is a total compromise, between what looks acceptable, what is correct building methods in the real world and prim saving.

When Visiting places, I do not stay very long if I have to constantly zoom my camera in and out, or in the worse cases resort to mouse look. Places like Taverns that have dances, I build the floor oversized, so people can get in the place. In reality Taverns are a lot smaller than mine.

Size wise I build using mostly even numbers, makes it easier for sub dividing things like walls, balance plus overall visual effect is the way I tend to build

I will confess I only have built on Sims never on small plots,

Tiamat Windstorm von Hirvi
@tiamat-windstorm-von-hirvi
one month ago
349 posts

So few SL communities pay attention to "standard" SL avatar sizes that I sometimes wish SL would just recalibrate to compensate...making those of us who've made ourselves close to seven feet tall in order not to be looking at everyone else's knees 5'6 as originally intended! On the other hand, that would waste a good deal of careful calibration carried out by the painstaking minority who have paid attention to the official scaling when creating complex and highly detailed builds.

I would be interested in SL's response to a request to change the default camera angle, which I agree is dreadful and a contributor to all the double-height doors and triple-height ceilings. 




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Antiquity Hedgewitch
Pamus Bing
@pamus-bing
one month ago
9 posts

Now Tia mentions camera angle, that reminds me I followed some information to put the camera in a more natural position. Now this was really good Until I sat down my camera was so low, I had to reset it to the position of a horses eye following me. Having just measured my self I am 6 ft 5 in. Which is shorter than many. Anything I have bought furniture wise I have always fitted on, that includes vehicles.

Another point on building, do any of you reset settings so people with lower powered PCs can see all the detail. I will confess my SL is set to Ultra and LOD to 4. It is only recently when using the Mesh Generator, I have started looking at builds with a lower LOD. I have yet to master Blender

Tatiana Dokuchic
@tatiana-dokuchic
one month ago
1,752 posts

I think we've been building since around the same time, Tatiana - the days when 10x10 was a maximum size

Yes!  Those were the days!  I actually miss the enthusiasm I had back then for building.

Detail dimensions per prim, however, that's almost OCD; right next to alignment. I still get agitated when I see badly aligned buildings, or with shoddy measuring.

I'm right there with you, Abbondio, though I'm trying hard to be more relaxed about such things.  It's detrimental because I tend to get stuck in the weeds and so it takes me forever (or never) to complete things.

Apart from loving the mesh age for its higher detail at lower cost, it did end the joys of designing buildings for me.

I have a love/hate relationship with mesh myself.  Unfortunately I'm too impatient to learn how to mesh really well myself so Blender makes my head hurt.  I've done one totally mesh build and can't say that I enjoyed it all that much or that it looked better than any of my other builds.

Honestly I think prims work really well for walls, floors etc. so I have modified my building style to use both prims and mesh.  Now I have lovely detailed windows, doors. etc. (which I buy full perm) combined with prim surfaces that are easy to put together & texture.  It's put the joy back in building for me :)

My frustration with buy mesh objects include not being able to find exactly what I'm looking for and the fact that 90% of the AO's come as 1024x1024 textures.  I end up spending a considerable amount of time reducing texture sizes for optimization.

do any of you reset settings so people with lower powered PCs can see all the detail.

I've thought about it but I don't, Pamus  I'm going crazy enough with all my other concerns so I just can't add this to the list.

Tough, for slacing I may be too lazy but I don't use a calculated scale,

Thank goodness for that, Louis!  You're making me feel a whole lot better.  I really like the trick of merging smaller rooms to give more space.  I'm also liking the fact that we're all getting a bit smaller over the years.  Goodness knows what I started out as but I'm now just over 6'.  Still big, I know, but not huge like I started :)




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Proprietress of Tatiana's Tea Room ~ Co-owner of the Duché de Coeur ~ Webmistress of this site
Tiamat Windstorm von Hirvi
@tiamat-windstorm-von-hirvi
4 weeks ago
349 posts

When I'm in my 5'3 shape, my feet tend to dangle away above floors when sitting in most chairs. Hence my general adherence to about 6'8, though this places some non-edit prim skirts above my ankles (shocking.)




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Antiquity Hedgewitch