Measuring a Mannequin

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We use posable human figures in a large number of cases, and it's important that they are scaled to the correct height. However, we don't usually know the height of every subject when we start work on a case. We use an iterative process, and sometimes learn new information about subject height after initial posing has been completed. In the past, this triggered an exercise in complex math and re-posing to be sure we are representing the height accurately. We often adjust these human figures in real time during meetings, and scaling has never been easy to do on the fly.

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labeled body parts in the Outliner

This month, we created a new workflow to make human figure modeling easier and faster. We're using SketchUp's outliner tool to organize the body parts of each human figure. This allows us to more quickly select the parts we need to move. Additionally, we placed a diamond shape inside the chest group of the human figure. The long dimension of that diamond will always be 1/10th of the standing height of the human figure. Now measuring or re-scaling is as easy as moving a decimal point, regardless of how that particular figure is posed. Once the scaling operation is complete, the diamond can easily be hidden by toggling visibility in the outliner window.


Jazzy Winston is a Visual Designer at Fat Pencil Studio