Beginner Question about Size and Scale of Models

Subtropic PixelSubtropic Pixel Posts: 1,950
edited December 1969 in Hexagon Discussion

My topic question here is how to size things while modelling so that they are somewhat close to what I would expect so that further scaling in DAZ Studio or Cararra would be minor or zero. I don't expect an easy answer to this, just some guidance on how to move forward with Hexagon. I'll probably ask the same question in the Cararra forum in about a hundred years when I'm ready to start working in Carrara! :red:

Anyway, here are some areas within this topic:

Example 1: Props to be held by figures/characters: I would like a pencil (or axe, if she's in a bad mood that day) to fit in Victoria's hand and be size-appropriate without too much fuss.

Example 2: I make a storefront or housefront. I would like Michael to walk through the door without bumping his head on the header, and I would like Freak to not have to crab sideways to get in the door in his normal "person-sized" persona. I would expect that if I've enlarged Freak into "Hulk" proportions, then he would not fit in the doorway. And that's okay, because Hulk does not use doorways, he makes his own! But for "normal sized people", I would like to learn how to do this so that my buildings won't need a lot of rework.

Example 3: I make some furniture such as a bed, couch, or chair. How can I model this to standard sizes? For example, a 6-foot long couch that appears to be about that long in a DAZ Studio or Cararra scene?

Example 4: I make something to "exact scale". For example, a carpenter's square or ruler. When Gia is woodworking in her garage, I would like the markings on the ruler to appear correct with other items in the scene. For example, a 1/4" drill bit should appear correctly if it were laying on her workbench next to the ruler. Gia's pinky finger probably should not measure 6 inches (15 cm) if seen next to the ruler, but a United States $100 bill should (because US paper currency is indeed 6 inches long).

Can anybody guide me to a starting point for further study?

Comments

  • Patrick TynerPatrick Tyner Posts: 617
    edited December 1969

    I would love to see what the pros answer, I am trying to dive into this myself and from what I have seen on the clothing tutorials, you would import a model such as Michael or Victoria as reference to make your clothes around. It would seem natural that if you were making an object that they would interact with you could do the same thing.

  • Subtropic PixelSubtropic Pixel Posts: 1,950
    edited December 1969

    Yes, I saw one Dreamlight tutorial where they built a house in Hexagon pretty much with no regard to the scale except that they made the doors and windows to match their reference photographs for those items. Then they imported it into DS. But the photographs were whatever size the JPG/BMP files were on disk, not set to any particular measurements. There was some comment about resizing the door in DS to match the height and width of the Michael or Victoria figure (I forget which), but it was all somewhat slushy (which I think is true for most people designing props or buildings).

    This is certainly doable. But I want to go one step further and actually build items to scale within Hexagon (if that is possible/feasible). This would come in handy for buildings, vehicles, and props used for multiple purposes and in multiple scene types, and may be a time-saver in the long run because major adjustments wouldn't be needed in DS (or Poser, etc.).

    Likewise, when I get to the point where I want to make my own characters, I would like to set their height and body measurements to those I know in real life:

    The average height of people in some countries is 5'10". In others, it might be 5'6", or 5'1". I know that Superman's height is between 6' and 6'5" and The Hulk is 7' to 8' tall. Working to a scaled rule would help me be on target right from the design phase. With Google or Wikipedia I can easily figure out how tall a horse of a given breed might be, or how long a Dachsund might measure.

    Maybe what I want to do is feasible, maybe it is not.

  • patience55patience55 Posts: 6,989
    edited December 2013

    With the grid planes all showing in Hexagon, anything that is created inside said grid will appear in the loading area of D/S.

    From D/S export out an .obj of M4 or whichever using the Poser settings. Import into Hexagon using the 1m setting. Export out later is simply the reverse, export out using the 1m setting and in D/S import in the .obj using the Poser settings.

    About hand held props, etc. Make them to scale exactly as you want them to be BUT BEFORE exporting out the item, ZERO the position. [0.0.0]. When imported into D/S it will be through the floor at ground zero. This is good. MUCH easier to reposition. Then carry on however to make the prop.

    n.b. In Hexagon be sure that all the Shading Domains have their own materials assigned. Doesn't matter what, just different. And remove from the material list ALL the others. [quickest way is to export out the .obj - close/open Hexagon, re-import and export it back out]
    Then in D/S you'll have all the materials listed for the shading domains. Possibly an extra one too 'cause you know ... so far, exporting that poor .obj out of D/S and then importing it right back in, clears up that issue and then it's safe to proceed.

    Any items intended to be as clothing, those must be located on the dress dummy exactly where you want them to be upon importing into D/S. [i.e. NOT on the floor]

    .....

    edit to add: Yes one can be somewhat accurate in sizing models. There are/were some grid/measuring tapes over at sharecg.com. Don't have the links handy atm.

    Post edited by patience55 on
  • Subtropic PixelSubtropic Pixel Posts: 1,950
    edited December 1969

    Thanks. Followup questions:

    You say everything in the Hexagon grid will appear in the loading area of DS. But what about really big objects, such as stadium-sized buildings?

    I am currently working on a model of a farming dome. Yeah, this has been done gajillions of times, and probably I already have one that I purchased from DAZ or a PA...but I like this shape and want to do this as a general learning exercise anyway.

    Imagine USS Enterprise (starship) saucer section but with a glass and steel/titanium dome overhead and living quarters in the tapered section on the bottom. The whole construction could rest in (or on) a planet surface, or could be elevated by a spire.

    My concept for this object is a bulging disc with a diameter of about four football fields (133 meters) and a height of about 2/3 of that diameter. Sections of the top would have moving panels to allow light to simulate day and night of any time of year on Earth (or another planet). The panels could double as solar panels so that on a very hot planet, they could be closed during the hottest part of the day, yet still generate power for the station. At the very top, I would have an observation "crows' nest" for planets with wide and beautiful vistas, or as a lookout for early warning on planets with hostile environments!

    See, I already know how big I want to make it. But it's so big, how do I design it within Hexagon while also keeping it within DS loading area AND of a size appropriate for my space-farmers Michael, Victoria, and their daughters Josie, Josie, and Aiko?

    Thank you again for your help. I will re-read your post to see if your answer could be adapted to this large-construction idea.

    Farming_Dome_Concept.jpg
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  • AscaniaAscania Posts: 893
    edited December 1969

    Hexagon and DS both work on a centimetre scale (ignoring the bridge that messes up the scale between those two).

    Just work to scale.

  • patience55patience55 Posts: 6,989
    edited December 1969

    Thanks. Followup questions:

    You say everything in the Hexagon grid will appear in the loading area of DS. But what about really big objects, such as stadium-sized buildings?

    I am currently working on a model of a farming dome. Yeah, this has been done gajillions of times, and probably I already have one that I purchased from DAZ or a PA...but I like this shape and want to do this as a general learning exercise anyway.

    Imagine USS Enterprise (starship) saucer section but with a glass and steel/titanium dome overhead and living quarters in the tapered section on the bottom. The whole construction could rest in (or on) a planet surface, or could be elevated by a spire.

    My concept for this object is a bulging disc with a diameter of about four football fields (133 meters) and a height of about 2/3 of that diameter. Sections of the top would have moving panels to allow light to simulate day and night of any time of year on Earth (or another planet). The panels could double as solar panels so that on a very hot planet, they could be closed during the hottest part of the day, yet still generate power for the station. At the very top, I would have an observation "crows' nest" for planets with wide and beautiful vistas, or as a lookout for early warning on planets with hostile environments!

    See, I already know how big I want to make it. But it's so big, how do I design it within Hexagon while also keeping it within DS loading area AND of a size appropriate for my space-farmers Michael, Victoria, and their daughters Josie, Josie, and Aiko?

    Thank you again for your help. I will re-read your post to see if your answer could be adapted to this large-construction idea.

    That's a large project for sure. Okay, there are a few ways to approach said, and as I have to coax Hexagon to complete anything of that size in nature, I'm not the expert ...

    All in all, please yourself first because there's no way to please "everybody" for how to manage this.
    You could certainly try to model it full scale BUT and that's a big BUT, Hexagon will most likely have a memory seizure attack and not be able to handle the task. It's an old 32 bit proggie and even with L.A.A. [large address aware], still has limits.

    What I did to get a sickbay set done was make as precise as I could get it "eye balling it" for M4 with just one wall and doors. Ditched M4 [to get back some memory space] and make a quick draft of all the walls, positions for the beds, tables, etc based on a "floorplan" which was on the floor grid. Then took careful note as to how much to zoom the whole thing up in size to match with the correctly sized wall and doors. And repositioned all the sickbay so that one wall would be about the centre where M4 would load in D/S.

    Save the project files in increments a LOT.

    I make my sets 'tiny' ... whole thing [or most of it] 'on the grid', but not through the floor.
    One part at a time, save out .obj files of finished parts and then delete the draft sections no longer required.
    When most [or all] of the set is ready, then I import all the pieces into Hexagon, resize it up the required amount ... be sure to check that little box that says to keep the ratio ... and export out the monster ;-)

    Then open D/S and import in the monster ... and look closely for any black face normals, any weird looking anomalies, etc ... and fix any found in Hexagon, booting out another .obj to test again in D/S.

    If/when all that looks good, close/reopen Hexagon [to really clear the memory] and import in the good .obj file ... and uvmap it. Unfold that which is unfoldable ... and yes, this takes awhile. Save the project. Apply Shading Domains. Giving each one its own mat.

    Export out the occasional .obj to test in D/S ...

    Eventually it's done ... and for such a set one can go either with the idea of props or making a figure. I tend to choose figure because then one can 'hide' what one doesn't want in the scene. Whatever you do with that long list of .obj groups on the scene tab, do NOT merge them on export. You will lose all those precious uvmaps.


    In D/S, for a figure, one imports it into the Figure/skeleton set-up, legacy is fine ... usually changing the default bone direction to the 3rd one down on the list ... then clicking 'create' ... then export out as a .cr2 file ... Your Stadium :-) [with the joint editor then one can make some adjustments, then export out another .cr2]

    For starships, yeah I've seen some huge beauts out there ... forget it. I model those "small", as in filling the grid area not overwhelming the screen, and people can resize them bigger or smaller as they please. After all, most starships are going to be seen "off in space" so keeping them smaller works fine for me. Close ups involve 'rooms' and windows ... no point in having 98% of the ship there but not seen.

  • Subtropic PixelSubtropic Pixel Posts: 1,950
    edited December 1969

    Thank you so much for taking the time and making the effort. Wow, you have a whole workflow there! I will need to re-read your two posts many times to digest it all.

    But as I was reading your second post, it dawned on me that I may have to do some of my own "Hollywood trickery".

    For example, "Full-sized-but-reduced-sets" when a character is involved, and use of scaled miniatures combined with distance, perspective, lighting, and depth-of-field tomfoolery when doing scenic pics or sequences that have no need for specific scale.

    Even the best such as Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic, Dreamworks, and the various TV film studios have and still employ these techniques. There were multiple versions of "The General Lee" or "Knight Rider" cars, the USS Enterprise starship, Airwolf and Blue Thunder, and so on. Some were models, others were partial models, and yet even more were just paintings!

    Lots to think about.

  • patience55patience55 Posts: 6,989
    edited December 1969

    Thank you so much for taking the time and making the effort. Wow, you have a whole workflow there! I will need to re-read your two posts many times to digest it all.

    But as I was reading your second post, it dawned on me that I may have to do some of my own "Hollywood trickery".

    For example, "Full-sized-but-reduced-sets" when a character is involved, and use of scaled miniatures combined with distance, perspective, lighting, and depth-of-field tomfoolery when doing scenic pics or sequences that have no need for specific scale.

    Even the best such as Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic, Dreamworks, and the various TV film studios have and still employ these techniques. There were multiple versions of "The General Lee" or "Knight Rider" cars, the USS Enterprise starship, Airwolf and Blue Thunder, and so on. Some were models, others were partial models, and yet even more were just paintings!

    Lots to think about.

    Yes, there's a lot to learn and always more to learn too :-)
    Most of the set I've reupped before Christmas is here if you want to see of it.

    The main problem with having props load off centre is that repositioning them to be elsewhere is trickery too. So for setting up an entire set, once everything is in place it's also a good idea to save a scene file for one's self.

  • SloshSlosh Posts: 2,387
    edited December 2013

    Example 1: Props to be held by figures/characters: I would like a pencil (or axe, if she's in a bad mood that day) to fit in Victoria's hand and be size-appropriate without too much fuss.

    Example 2: I make a storefront or housefront. I would like Michael to walk through the door without bumping his head on the header, and I would like Freak to not have to crab sideways to get in the door in his normal "person-sized" persona. I would expect that if I've enlarged Freak into "Hulk" proportions, then he would not fit in the doorway. And that's okay, because Hulk does not use doorways, he makes his own! But for "normal sized people", I would like to learn how to do this so that my buildings won't need a lot of rework.

    Example 3: I make some furniture such as a bed, couch, or chair. How can I model this to standard sizes? For example, a 6-foot long couch that appears to be about that long in a DAZ Studio or Cararra scene?

    Example 4: I make something to "exact scale". For example, a carpenter's square or ruler. When Gia is woodworking in her garage, I would like the markings on the ruler to appear correct with other items in the scene. For example, a 1/4" drill bit should appear correctly if it were laying on her workbench next to the ruler. Gia's pinky finger probably should not measure 6 inches (15 cm) if seen next to the ruler, but a United States $100 bill should (because US paper currency is indeed 6 inches long).

    Can anybody guide me to a starting point for further study?

    This should help a little... it is a measuring wall, in either inches or meters, to show you how tall figures are in DAZ Studio. You could start by measuring Michael or whomever on this wall, then set your units in your modeling program to inches or meters and then your doors, etc. will be in the correct scale when modeled. I use Maya, and I set the units to feet and model my buildings accordingly. When imported to DS, I set the import scale to 100% and they fit my models. If you can't change your modeling scale, look at the import settings and choose one that matches the units you modeled in. For example, someone mentioned that Hex models in cm. That is equal to one DS unit, so it would be a 100% import. However, if you have chosen to let the 1 cm = 1 inch, then you would choose something like the Cararra setting, where 1 unit (DAZ unit, = to 1 cm) is equal to 1 inch.

    Sorry, forgot to add link to the measuring wall: Measuring Wall

    importing.png
    537 x 537 - 52K
    Post edited by Slosh on
  • Subtropic PixelSubtropic Pixel Posts: 1,950
    edited December 1969

    Wow, thank you for that link!

    But I think I may make my own set of rulers for working inside Hexagon and DAZ Studio (and eventually Cararra too). Maybe in small/medium/large formats that could be usable for measuring characters, animals, props, and buildings meeting any standard (earth-dimension) or non-standard (Wookie or Jack's giant) measurements.

    And...maybe a set of rulers for conversion purposes. For example, if I am designing a large ship and need to make it 1/8th scale to keep from blowing out Hexagon's memory limitations. Or 1/32 scale. Or any scale, for that matter.

    Of course, it's also possible that I may have already outgrown Hexagon2, seeing as it is only a 32-bit program and now we have HD meshes coming out every couple weeks. I outgrew Bryce just a couple short months ago for precisely the same reason of outdatedness, so this would be no surprise. This would be a shame, and points ever more to the need for DAZ to bring all of its products up to the current times with 64 bit addressability.

    I probably should look at Cararra's modelling capabilities, and I will review others too...so much more research and thought is needed on this...

  • CoolBreezeCoolBreeze Posts: 207
    edited January 2014

    Thanks for making this thread Subtropic Pixel!

    I too gripe about the scaling - units of measurement in Hexagon. I too am new to Hexagon and trying to learn it (even though i had it for a year or two now.

    In comparison, sofar I still find myself using Carrara's modeler a lot more frequently for speed and convenience:
    A.) You can set the units of real-world measurement in Carrara's scene setup tab (i love working in inches)
    B.) You can switch the units of measurement easily in Carrara
    C.) You can Model and Live Edit in the assembly room, where your Michael and Victoria figures are in view
    D.) Carrara is way more forgiving and way less crash prone than Hexagon

    That being said, while i'm still learning Hexagon, Carrara just doesn't have some of the tools Hexagon has that makes certain tasks easier.

    Ok, this does make sense - just going by for example 1 unit = 1 inch for Hexagon. I just learned something new today. Thanks Slosh and Ascania! Up until now I've just been importing M4 obj and making items approximately to size, often moving M4 around alot.

    However in Hexagon, there's still going to be some manual converting as well as possibly long string of numbers and decimal points if say you want / need an object to measure in about 50+ meters in any particular direction.

    1 meter = 39.3701 inches (ok i googled a online converter, i don't have a physical conversion calc handy, maybe looking for a smartphone conversion app might be ideal here). If I need something that's going to be possibly 75.5 meters long, i have to jump out and google a converter to find out, and in this case it comes up as 75.5 meters = 2972.441 inches.

    In Carrara, i just exit the Live Edit mode from the Assembly Room, and simply click the dropdown box in the Scene Properties tab (which i have ready viewable) from Inches to Meters. Jump back into Live Edit mode and make and set the objects i want in meters, do any other work in meters and jump back out for a moment to set the units back to inches.

    By the same token, for ultra precision of alignment, often I'll switch from inches to millimeters. But then again, Carrara doesn't have a snap-to points mode, unless i've overlooked something.

    I too would like to see Hexagon updated, and brought into 64bit format.

    Post edited by CoolBreeze on
  • AscaniaAscania Posts: 893
    edited December 1969

    And that's why we love the metric system. Want to model to the 1 metre scale instead of the 1 cm one? Don't worry, the numbers are all the same, you just give it two extra zeroes behind the one when setting the scale on export. Or you're modeling something smaller and you used a mm scale? Still the same numbers, you just need to put the zero on the other side of the one (and add the decimal point to show you mean it).

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