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Scaling your scene

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#1 greenzone   Members   


Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:24 PM

How does one set up the scale of a first person game in opengl? like in the programing of my scene in opengl I don't really have a scale setup. I pretty much from the beginning i just set the scale according to the models I bring in. for example if the model looks super small when i bring it in i just move the camera closer or if the model is large i just move the camera further away. What is a good rule of thumb when thinking about scale in the game. Like should i think of like 1 unit as a foot when I am building my models in 3dsMax? Like does it mater weather or not my 10 polygon model is gigantic or super small as long as its 10 polygons as far as opengl processing is conserned. should i build like level and characters all to the right scale with respect to each other in 3dsMax then import those to my program and adjust the camera or over all scale there? any thoughts would be a great help.  thanks



#2 L. Spiro   Members   


Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:47 PM


Pick a scale and stick with it.  It doesn’t matter what it is.

1 unit = 1 inch.

1 unit = 1 foot.

1 unit = 1 meter.

1 unit = 1 centimeter.


Whatever.  Make all of your models in Maya/3ds Max using the same scale.  In-game scaling should only be used to randomize the sizes of trees and various other objects and to represent objects that are actually growing or shrinking.  There is no reason to scale an object into a size it should have already been.



L. Spiro

Edited by L. Spiro, 10 April 2013 - 04:38 AM.

#3 AllEightUp   Moderators   


Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:39 PM

L. is correct but I do have a suggestion.  Stick to metric units, inch/foot/yard/mile are just insanely annoying when going between DCC and game engine.  At a job a while back I got the GM to buy 20 'meter' sticks (yard sticks, just a touch longer) and gave one to every artist so they would quit thinking in "English" units.  I phased out all references to inches, feet etc and everyone was very happy after the transition period.


Nothing is worse than an engine with some 'odd' concept of distance.  I worked on an engine which used "deca-feet" as it's concept of 1.  So every 10 units means one foot.  Ok, so the acceleration of gravity if 32 feet per second per second, hmm, translate that to game units then meters per second in the Havok physics engine and back.  It caused more damned bugs than I care to remember.  Using the wrong conversion at different points was a continual nightmare.

Edited by AllEightUp, 09 April 2013 - 11:41 PM.

#4 EarthBanana   GDNet+   


Posted 10 April 2013 - 04:50 AM

one thing that might make a difference when it comes to scaling things is the texture used on the mesh - if you always use high-res textures then you will probably be fine but if you use a small texture (say 64 by 64) on some mesh it can get ugly if you scale that mesh larger in game


but that's kind of a "thanks cap" point

#5 Khatharr   Members   


Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:32 AM

1 unit = 1 nanometer


Advertise it as "the biggest game ever". happy.png


Better yet, 1 unit = 1 mile. Tell the project manager it will make the distro smaller because the models will take up less space. biggrin.png

Edited by Khatharr, 10 April 2013 - 05:35 AM.

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