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# 3d Measurement

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I know 3d space coordinates are arbitrary when using them as measurements to real world space, but do people use some type of typical ratio (i.e. 5 units equals 1 meter)? Are things like program needs and optimisation factored into the decision?

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 Original post by EtherstarI know 3d space coordinates are arbitrary when using them as measurements to real world space, but do people use some type of typical ratio (i.e. 5 units equals 1 meter)? Are things like program needs and optimisation factored into the decision?

That's entirely up to you. The only ones who need this ratio is the artits and the programmers (maybe not in all cases), so that should just be decided somewhere in the beginning... You must remember that floats are more precise in the lower end, so therefore, in a large world, it would better either to maintain a lower ratio than 1:1 (say 0.1:1) or scale the current area (but that requires more cycles, but has to be done anyway if the game require more accuracy). I haven't seen any typical yet...

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In our games we have generally used 1 unit = 1cm. The artists built everything in centimetres and all movement was specified in cm/s. This was dictated in the past due to the problems that 3DS Max had with very small numbers, ie. the very small numbers you get in the fingers and toes when your main character is 1m high. The problems were primarily inaccuracies in bones at the tips of the arms and legs. So the decision was made to use centimetres, thus avoiding the very small numbers (everything got multiplied by 100).

In future games we are moving to 1 unit = 1m however. Maya is a lot better at dealing with the very small numbers, and our studio has made the decision to switch to Maya. Now we are going to use metres as our basic unit, so we can specify movement in m/s. That makes a programmer's head hurt a lot less than having to thinkin centimetres all of the time.

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