I modelled a bridge using Blender and I want to show the scales in rendered pictures. Can Blender do this?
Thank you.

I want to show the scales LIKE WHAT AUTOCAD DO.

Maybe for those who are not familiar with autocad (the vast vast majority of users on this forum), you could show exactly what you want.

I don’t get what you mean

I support you !
I tried MANY TIMES to roll that subject back&forth but…with mediocre results.
Majority here modell ‘impressionwise’ not ‘CADwise’ however concerning Blender capabilities Id be always insisting on extending/adding some tools known from eg.Autocad - you can find their description i many posts of mine.
Maybe we could create a list CAD enhacements to Blender ?
Completely different thing is wheather it would be anyone willing to incorporate=code the things into Blender’s source or as an Python extension… What do You think about it ?

Actually my bridge is drawn to scale and the rotations are of exact values. I just want to put the dimensions or the scale (width, length and height) to the bridge, but I don’t know how.

AFAIK : precision dimensioning and WCS/UCS are hatred things here…:wink:

The default cube, for example, can I SHOW ( just beside the cube) the height, width and length for the cube?

Again, seeing an example of what Autocad does would be helpful. Have you already tried going into Edit Mode and enabling the ‘n’ Panel > Mesh Display > Edge Length ? It only shows selected Edges. If you wanted to save the selection of edges, you could store a Vertex Group (though this is not perfectly equivalent, as it will select any edge between any pair of verts).

But yeah, let’s see some screenshots so we can talk about a more complete solution.


I looked at some screenshot from autocad, and is this what you mean :

The Edges length rking mentionned can work, but they will be in Blender units.
You can then change what a Blender unit is here :

By example if you want 1 blender unit to be equal to 3.5 meters , you would set the button from None to Metric and change the scale from 1.000 to 3.5 , so the cube would display its edge being 7 meters (as it’s 2 Blender Units long)

But the problem is that if you want to keep those numbers in the rendering, it will not display in the render.
In such case, you would then obtain this kind of result only by modelling for the arrows and lines and using the Add -> Text to enter the numbers.

But obviously rather time consuming

Totally off-topic (I apologize to the OP for this), but “Can Blender do this?” remembers me of the “Will it Blend?” catchphrase!

Actually, to get the idea what real world values are we talking while modelling, i had to use crutch, like camera stick close to some objects curve, then adjusting Clipping with Limits on. Nice bright yellow line, precise pointer up to which place grab, scale or whatever.

And you can set it follow any direction in 3d space just by using numbers, if needed… Neat. But that’s a Camera, gentleman! Not the ruler, like in well known “G” product…

Can you bring up edge lengths for a Bounding Box btw?

Try to figure fast what real world values are, when after messy rendering outcome somebody shouts: " Check your dimensions!".
Then again, object’s scale?
Say, shortcut, while howering mouse over, shows that for an object in a menu like box, length for an edge?

Oh, and btw things like precision modelling and WCS and UCS are perfectly doable now - create plane, rotate on axis by precise numbers, make new Transform orientation and use that to enter more precise numbers…Calculate them on command line, enjoy precision.

Well, don’t shoot me there…

There was a script able to do just the thing you were asking, but it was for Blender 2.49 and lower. I don’t think that it has been ported to 2.5 and up. I believe it was called Caliper.

A response about making this for the 2.5 cycle and up from the developer of Caliper…

“I do plan to make a Blender 2.5 version, but for that we need “event listening”, and this has not been added yet. So… for now I’m waiting. I just hope Campbell (cause he’ll be the one to do it), gets around to it.”

Perhaps if this has been done, then someone who needs it can inquire of…

Dolf J. Veenvliet
[email protected]

To see where he is at with it or if there are plans to work on it at all.

Actually the longer discussion goes-the more obvious is these features are not working how they should/could…

AFAIK : precision dimensioning and WCS/UCS are hatred things here…:wink:

No I believe that what is more probably frowned upon are those who have a background in CAD and consequently believe they have a more credible idea of what Blender should or shouldn’t be.

WCS/UCS are needed in modelling and were implemented a long time ago.

As for precision dimensioning… you’ve got to do it yourself. About the only creative thing Blender will do for you is Monkey Heads. Aside from that, decide what you want. Decide how your going to do it. Then develop a workflow that makes it happen.

Possibly, if you simply need the rendering capability of Blender for your object, you can composite the object rendered in Blender onto your dimensions rendered in AutoCAD… Whaa??? AutoCAD doesn’t render 3D dimensions? Maybe you’re complaining to the wrong forum.

For those who are not familiar with how AutoCAD deals with dimensions it uses something called dimstyles. An entire book could be written on dimstyles. Every drafting discipline has it’s own unique style of dimensioning and those styles vary from organization to organization. Mechanical modelers are not going to be happy with architectural style dimensions, and architects are not going to be happy with civil engineering dimensions. And of course dimension styles rely on having a system of text styles… It goes on.

For instance, some probably looked at that screen shot by Sanctuary, of the edge length display, and thought. “Yeah, if I could just render that.” You didn’t notice the line runs right through the text, did you? Nobody’s gonna be happy with that. And the dimension line offset from the text is just a part of the whole dimstyle thing. And should the text align to the line, the object, the world, or the camera? Autodesk has been doing this since it started, and still the AutoCAD forums are full of people complaining that dimstyles won’t do what they want.

Anybody who thinks it would be simple to including dimensioning that people wouldn’t just complain about, doesn’t know people, or CAD, or CAD people very well.

What’s the fix? Model a dimension with text, lines, arrowheads or ticks as you want. Copy it around to wherever you want. Stretch them to fit and edit the text.

I did this in about 10 minutes and it was the first time. Once I got it down to a science it would be much quicker.


Some will say that dimensions such as these would be totally unacceptable, yet that only goes to prove my original points.