View Full Version : Building Houses - a few questions.
02-15-2008, 07:15 PM
I'll keep this simple. I am creating a few houses that will go into villages, I have photo reference for a few however would rather have some more incite on how to build them. I am creating them for Unreal levels so I wanted door dimensions and window dimensions to match up with players heights in relationship to real world ratios. Players will not go inside buildings, this is simply for outside appearance only. So here are my questions hopefully somebody can help me out there.
How would one figure out how tall a building should be if it has several stories to it? Take for instance a 2 story building.
Is there an exact way to figure out the dimensions of things like doors and windows without going around with a measuring tape?
Does anyone have a good website on any of this?
My final question is how is it done in the industry, is it all off reference and using the known height of certain objects to measure items in perspective? Or is it all guess work and what seems to look good and feel correct?
Thank you all for reading this and posting your answers.
02-15-2008, 07:33 PM
Oghar it's all about your eye for proportion. But in the case of an Unreal level, if you plan on having the players jump around on the roofs and balconies of these houses, you'd be blocking out a collision model for the level first and playtesting. Then the dimensions of your buildings would come from that- how well the level plays.
Download the reference models from UDN for scale comparison of props. But really, a lot of the proportions in-game aren't realistic...and you'll probably end up tweaking the scale factor in th
02-16-2008, 04:03 AM
I'm going to say Snowfly's approach is a very good one, but I will also mix in a bit.
Ok the height of a building can be played with, there are a lot of factors and depends on what the building is for, this would dive too deep into architectural principles to really explain but as rule of thumb:
take the story height (space needed to live + floor and ceiling)
and multiply by the amount of stories, do watch for the start and top of a building and adjust for that. Also keep in mind your ceiling might actually be one and the same as the floor on the next level.
YES! Off course there is something like that, how do you think architects do that? There are book's like Neufert
Search for it on google, I've heard you can get by one quite easily.
I think it's done using a mix of a trained eye, proportionally form wise and to have a feeling for the dimensions of spaces used by humans and as Snow says the gameplay testing, where form follow gameplay rules.
02-16-2008, 06:59 AM
A blank canvas is big... really big and its easy to screw up your scale. Since you really didn't say what program(s) you're using it makes it hard to be specific about setting up scale... I'm going to guess you are a student and you're learning Maya? Or are you going to build everything in UnrealEd?
At work we use max for just about everything and we are all set to the standard US system so 1ft = 1ft. Customize > Unit Setup. Personally it drives me a little batty with the way it handles typed in values but it keeps everyone on the same scale so it eliminates a much bigger issue.
A quick way to get a sense of scale is to create a measuring stick for me I create a box that is height 6ft, width 1ft, length 1ft. I set the height segments to 6 so at every foot I get a segment. I also place a camera at about 5.9 and link it to the stick so I can check what the player will see from their height by placing the stick and switching the viewport to the camera.
You can also create a 6ft biped.
I saved my 6ft stick/camera into my default max start file so it loads every time I start a new file. You can also export your measuring stick and see how big it is in a simple test scene.
You can also get a sense of scale by checking out some of the props used in the game. If you find a doorway prop that will give you a great idea how tall a story should be and how wide hallways will need to be.
Unreal might be like source and use a standard unit set up. In Source you can use standard units which matches the editor perfectly on a 1:1 ratio. A player is 72 units high and roughly 32 units wide. A typical story on a building is 128-256 units high. Depending on the type of building it ranges widely.
02-16-2008, 04:46 PM
Hey thanks everyone for the responses, this is all very helpful. All these are awesome. Yes I am a student and am learning Maya & Max, however I tend to use Max a little bit more. I graduate in less than a year and am working on my portfolio. This project is hopefully going to go into my portfolio, hence my questions haha. As for the units, UnrealEd 2004 uses I believe 16 units = 1 ft roughly. I also think that its a 1/1 ratio to Max's default units. I'll take a look at that book, and try out that measuring stick idea.
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