Friday, January 25, 2013

The Tallest Avatar Shape

I've often cited 8'10"/270cm as the tallest SL avatars can be.

That is the male mesh wearing a shoe clothing layer for the additional height that provides.

However, I was recently taking a closer look at that in an attempt to create an as proportionate as possible giant avatar. Using more accurate prim measurements, rather than the scripted rulers I usually use for cursory looks, I found the maximum height of the SL avatar is actually 8'8"/263cm.

Without the shoe layer height, the male avatar mesh maxes out at 8'3"/251cm.

As for how successful I was in creating a proportionate giant?

Avatars this size are more common than male avatars shorter than the yellow NBA figure in the middle.
The male avatar is far better for this than the female, as, without the shoe layer height, he can at least have his arms proportionately long when maxed out. Unfortunately this means you cannot make the arms longer than would be proportionate for an adult human of normal stature, most giants are depicted as either being gangly or having emphasized upper bodies, both of which require longer than average arms to achieve.

The avatar also had a short torso, even maxed out at 100 the torso was nearly half a foot too short for his body. This wouldn't have been so bad if the arms could be equally long respective to the legs to achieve that lanky, gangly look, like the giants of Skyrim.

Another odd thing, but maxing out the head size does allow for the giant to be almost exactly 8 heads tall, so there's really no excuse for all the pin-headed avatars.

 Still, it's not something I'd feel comfortable slapping the "Vitruvian Shapes" moniker on and it really highlights the limitations of the appearance editor that while you can make a shape over eight and a half feet tall, you can't give it the proportions of a figure that tall.


  1. I'm actually curious if you could add the "NBA player" to the Vitruvian shapes thing. I've been trying to make my human avatar a proportionate 7" tall myself (6'11 actually according to your height meter), and I think I've succeeded quite alright.

    I am however definitely not as good a shape designer as you are, and would love to see your go at it.

  2. I can give it a shot, but I suspect even at 7' tall I'll run into the same problem of not being able to get the arms long enough to achieve that lanky, basketball player look.

    I'll post the results to a new blog post when I can get to it.

  3. Actually, it's worse than you imagine. Giants aren't really correctly proportioned to begin with. You have that nasty cube/square law going on. Take a person and double all their dimensions. Then check out what their new volume is compared to their old volume. Hmm. At twice the size, they have 8 times the volume (and hence weight). But look at their leg cross section. Opps, only 4 times the cross section. And since strength is proportional to cross section, they're only 4 times as strong. Or 1/2 as strong proportionally as they were at the original size.

    To put it another way, assume you have a man who weighs 200 lbs and is strong enough to lift and carry 200 lbs. That means his total strength is 400 lbs (his own body plus the 200 lb load). Double him all around. So he now weighs 1600 lbs. And his total strength is 1600 lbs. So he's still capable of walking. But don't try to get him to carry anything.