Large Areas?

I’ve been wanting to do a larger modeling project then I have, namely something more like a room or a city or something. The problem is, what level of scale do I do this on? If I were to make a city, and I wanted to film characters walking around it, I’d have to make the city really big so the camera would fit down in it. But basically, I’m kinda asking, how do I get my camera size to fit the screen?

If I wanted two images of a city, one from above and one on the street, how would I configure my camera so the buildings don’t look HUGE from the street level shot?

Or if I wanted to say, model a house with a bunch of rooms, what level would I do it on? Would I have to set the camera to free roam to get around?

Basically, if I started up blender with the basic cube sitting there, and I wanted to film inside of that cube, how would I do it? The camera is way too big and clunky to get inside the cube, and I wouldn’t be able to zoom in far enough to model things on that level?

The grid is very small, should I stay within it’s confines? Or is there a way to expand it?

How do I balance between this stuff?

by default you are with scale of 1
then make unit a meter which will give 1 meter
and that is a good scale for realist models

for camera normaly for nice clean render stick with the 30 degress angle
which is the default anyway!

but not easy to take render inside a small cube
in a case like that you may have to scale up your cube larger so that camera can fit inside!

happy bl

That wasn’t really very helpful…

Assuming I want to make a giant city, with all the buildings having insides and rooms, what level would I do it on? Or would it be better to use another save file entirely?

You would combine the city in one file while the assets were in their own files. Also spreading things to scene layers (M to move) helps to isolate objects you are working on, as does local view (numpad /).

Explain a bit more please…the assets?

I could spread things into other layers, hadn’t thought of that, thanks…

But If I wanted my camera to go down into the city and follow a character, wouldn’t the city have to be really big to scale with the camera? To be able to film into a building, wouldn’t it have to be really big so the camera could fit?

Normally you would not build all that stuff into a single scene and shoot it all from the same giant city. Your computer would break under all those polygons. Instead you would plan everything out and build just what you need for different shots. You can shoot things separately and composite them together as well, so you can have your character in a scene that just has the room he’s in, then composite that with another shot of the camera moving over the outside of the building and through the window, for instance.

well you wouldnt create a whole city to film a street. filming is all about illusion. film what can be seen. make it big where it need to be big and small where it needs to be massive…

see the front of a building can be made, just as the front of a building, a texture on a plane with some indents where windows and doors are. all tall and imposing in the camera.
whereas a city can be textured cubes ,small enough to fit into the grid but from the camera perspective look really big… but a long, way, away

Linked objects


No, camera size doesn’t matter. Camera clipping, focal length, resolution and such do.

Here the camera has been scaled but it’s just for viewing it smaller in the viewport, it doesn’t affect rendering. The “city” is on a plane primitive that is 2x2 blender units. But yeah, you wouldn’t do a whole city in one file, just a very small portion of it, which would also be separated into files, depending on the shot.


This is a lot more helpful, thanks.

Ah, this is what I was looking for. I can scale down the camera if I wanted, for example, to film inside of a really tiny building?

no, you would scale down the camera size so it fits in the building, as ja12 says it doesnt affect the rendersize, you need to adjust focal length and clipping etc in the camera settings

So if for some reason I decided to make an entire city, with rooms in the buildings, and my computer was amazing enough to handle all that…all I’d need to do to get the inside shots and the wide city shots would be to tweak the camera settings?

So this is all hypothetical? :confused:

I suggest you think about how an actual film cinematographer and director would plan to shoot their film and simulate it in your modeling.

For example camera and film size does not change with different scale sets. An astronaut photographing the Earth uses a medium focal length lens; back on Earth she uses the same camera and lens to shoot in her house.
So in our completely hypothetical computer you could just zoom one thousand miles out and use the same camera. But under normal conditions, i.e. the camera is x Blender units away from the subject where x is a number in a small working range, you have to scale the subject down to make it appear far away. Note that scaling the camera up does not have this effect because the camera’s scale is just for your convenience in finding it.

In addition (and you are perhaps going to say, “Well, that’s no help at all,” having a scene with elements in it close to both the minimum and maximum rang of Blender’s scale will cause problems when adjusting details and modeling because of rounding errors. Blender only allows you to zoom in and out so far, even on the best computer.

haha. Do you have a Cray in your back pocket? No? Well, then your computer is not amazing enough to model a whole city full of buildings with interiors to all the buildings. Or even a small town. Or a village. A hamlet, maybe. There are a lot of architecture visualization projects in finished projects and the gallery, which show good blender artists pushing the boundaries of what their machines can do. Exterior plus complete interior are pretty much limited to single family dwellings. Those amazing exterior renders are hollow on the inside.

Anyway, you seem to be interested in exploring Blender’s capabilities as movie making software. If that’s the case, you will have to learn about the movie maker’s art, which is sets, backdrops, props and storyboards. Storyboards come first, though, because the prime directive is: don’t bother with what you won’t see. Sketching out a storyboard will let you know what you plan to see, therefore, what you need to model.

The camera itself is the object dot at the base of the camera looking thingy you see in the viewport. You can scale the camera looking thingy up or down, but the location of the actual camera is the location of that dot. If the dot is inside your cube, the camera is inside the cube. Whether it shows you anything or not depends on the camera settings, not the scale of the camera thingy.

This is more helpful then some of the previous posts and getting closer to what I wanted…but not quite.

What if I model my giant city, and have ONE building that’s modeled on the inside. If I wanted to do a sweeping camera movement from the inside of the building, out the door, and up up up into the sky…could I do that with one camera size?

Perhaps what I’m really looking for is an explanation of how professionals do what they do. If modeling a giant city inside and out is impossible for any realistic purposes, then what I guess I want to know is what tricks do they use for this?

Obviously I’m assuming that wide city shots are all buildings with no insides and that you would only model the stuff that would be seen. But what other techniques are used? Any videos anyone can point me too?

But I’m still rather puzzled about the limitations of this. Is it just blender that’s the problem? Because I’ve seen some video games, even some older ones, that have a massive area of land or buildings and stuff that is pretty high quality.

This is becoming quite absurd…

What you want then? Are you sure you asked the right question, or are you just not reading and trying to understand what people tell you?

Already answered with so many words. How many more you need? Yes, one camera size.

You could watch making of videos of different movies and what you will find is that making movies is all about cheating, with CG elements or not.
Shots with real models are done by putting high detail models in front of the camera and just imitations of the models when they are in the background. Sea floor riddled with human skulls for example (terminator 3): there would be a handful of detailed skull models in the foreground, cheap approximations of those in the middleground, and ping pong balls in the background.
They use a lot of greenscreening: there are only the actors and some props while rest of the shot is done in CG. Large views are matte paintings.

The same tricks apply for 3D scenes. Level of detail changes. (2D) Backdrops are used.
http://www.blenderguru.com/videos/introduction-to-smoke-simulation/

No, software has a big effect on what you can do, but the absolute limit is your hardware.
Games are low quality. A lot of detail is done with just textures that gives an illusion of uneven surface, lights/shadows, reflections are also precalculated whenever possible. Actual models have low polygon count.
Game engines adjust the level of detail based on what the view distance is. Exactly the same principle as it is with movies and animation.

This is a lot more helpful. I originally assumed that you would make everything in high detail, and use it regardless of the distance. This was a big problem I encountered when I was thinking about modeling a building or a city, but now that I realize it’s more of a cheating idea there’s no need to crawl inside my models to add detail when they’re far would.

Thank you for all the clarification.

It is pretty rare, even in live action, to see a camera follow someone through a door into a building. Usually you’d see a shot of the character walking up to the door, grabbing the handle, pulling it open… transition to the next shot from inside the building, maybe showing the character walking in the door, but most likely already well inside and interacting with something or someone inside the room.

And this is not because it’s a particularly difficult shot to do. But it’s boring. The film maker wants us to know the character is going into the building, but once that idea is communicated by the shot showing him opening the door, the film maker jumps to the next plot point: what the character does once he’s inside. Wasting the audiences time by making them watch characters walk down streets, go through doors, walk down hallways to get somewhere… boring!

Same thing for fly arounds. One shot shows the plane in the distance, flying over a canyon. Transition to a close up where the plane starts to dive. Transition to a medium shot where the plane is already deep in the canyon flying along. We don’t actually SEE the plane move from the set over the canyon to the canyon set, but we get faked into thinking we did by the close up of the plane going into its dive.

So we see a huge canyon in the first shot, but it’s very low poly since we are at a distance, and the details are simply painted on. When we are inside the canyon in the third shot, the canyon walls are more detailed, but only the ones we see while flying past them. We get the impression, though, that the whole huge canyon we saw in the first shot has the same level of detail we see when we are in it, because we think we are looking at the same canyon, when there are actually two separate sets, a low poly and a high poly.

Ah, this is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I naturally assumed that it was done otherwise. You’ve hit my question spot on. I’ll take this into account in my next projects.