Stop Motion Animation Forum Archive











Posted by marshalldylan10, on 2004-03-06 00:12:07


Could somebody please explain to me more about scales. Like 6:1, exactly what doest that mean? I understand its the size, but what I don't understand is how it's measured, please help.

Posted by trikfx, on 2004-03-06 00:35:45

Hello, It is a ratio/proportion equation. If a person is six feet tall and you want a puppet of them in 1/6th scale, the puppet would be 1 foot tall. Another example; say the height you want your puppet to be is 9 inches. Full scale is again six feet tall, or 72 inches. 72/9=8 which means that this puppet would be 1/8 scale. Now, to get sets and props in the same scale, you measure the real dimensions and divide by 8. For example; my desk's top is 60 inches by 30 inches. 60/8=7.5 and 30/8 =3.75. The top is two inches thick, so; 2/8=.25 So, my desk top, 1/8th scale, would be 7.5"(seven and a half inches) by 3.75"(three and three quarter inches) by .25" thick (one quarter inch thick) I hope that helps. Trikfx

Posted by Strider, on 2004-03-06 01:07:09

Another way to think of it is as a fraction. 1:6 is the same as 1/6th. So a puppet made at a ratio of 1:6 (one to six) is one sixth the size of the original.

Posted by Eric Scott, on 2004-03-06 09:08:01

This may help to give you an idea of how tall you want your puppet to be in any given scale. Sort of a cheat sheet. I'm a visual kinda guy. :7

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-03-09 22:49:43

Yet another way to look at it: If you lay 24 model cars in 1/24th scale end to end, the row will be as long as a real car. Some scales like 1:6, 1:12, 1:24 probably came into use because of the ratio of inches to feet. 1:12 scale is convenient because there are 12 inches in a foot, so an inch equals a foot. With 1:6, 2 inches = 1 foot. I use metric measurements, so I find it easier to use scales like 1:5 or 1:10, but the fact that models are readily available in those 1:6, 1:12, and 1:24 scales forced me to change. 11 1/2 inch Barbie type dolls are 1:12, sort of. She's tall and very thin, and her feet and hands are too small, closer to 1/8th scale. But you can buy some furniture and stuff that works if you give it a good paint job.

Posted by jim danforth, on 2004-03-10 21:21:41

NICK: Is Australia on the metric system, or is that just your preference? I like 1/5 scale because it's such an easy conversion in both systems (but the puppets can be a little large sometimes). Jim

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-03-11 01:31:49

Australia and New Zealand went metric in the late 1960's, probably around the same time Great Britain did. They also changed their currency from L S D to dollars, with the dollar being 10 shillings or half a pound. And they changed to Celsius. Metric scale rules are readily available with 1:1, 1:5, 1:10, 1:20, 1:50, 1:100, and 1:200 on them, and millimetres are pretty easy to convert anyway. I still think of human height in inches, but everything else is easier for me in metric. There are anomolies though, if you buy some machine screws at the hardware store they are usually 1/8", 5/16th " etc. The same stores sell metric tap and die sets! I strarted at 1:5, and my mini brick size is still 1:5, but when I found I could get 1:6 motorcycles (very detailed props to make from scratch with the exposed mechanicals) I made my Morris and VW cars in 1:6. Also, I could fit 1:6 into my vacuum former, but 1:5 was a little too big. I used vacforms as disposable moulds for the fibreglassing, to save on silicone rubber costs, so that decided it.

Posted by jim danforth, on 2004-03-11 09:13:35

NICK H: Thanks for the info. One comment: I was in England until June 17, 1970 and they haden't yet gone metric(althogh it was looming large on the horizon). Sometime toward the end of 1969 or the beginning of 1970, the ten-shilling note was replaced by the 50 New Pence coin, but up to the time I left England, the basic L S D system was still in use. (I'm sure everyone was waiting with baited breath for this vital historical information.) Jim

Posted by goriddle, on 2004-04-04 19:04:51

the dragon i sculpted is about 7" tall and 15" from nose to tail. He doesn't have any scales though. I think I will give him warts instead.

Posted by MaximMG08, on 2004-07-05 13:57:31

This really ought to scare ya. There's a concept called scale color, which goes that at a distance, colors are more diffused and look lighter than at close up. So it's best to mix colors with a little white depending on a formula (which I don't have, sorry). Or you could just say screw it and hope people wont notice - which they wont.

Posted by Nick H, on 2004-07-05 18:23:58

I haven't heard it called scale colour, I know it as Aerial Perspective. It mimics the effect of atmosphere. In live miniature shots a little smoke will do it. I use it, either in paint colours or by adding a little blueish soft fill light on the "distant" landscape, but I go with what looks good. I don't mess around with no formula!

Posted by MaximMG08, on 2004-07-06 20:15:57

Yup, that's it exactly. It's more a concern for people doing static models and dioramas.