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CAVE Project Scale and World Coordinates

This document will cover the default project scale and world coordinates we work to at CAVE.

Project Scale

Before working on any asset, you should ensure that you are working to the correct project scale. This will ensure that your assets along with the assets of your colleagues are built and sized consistently for the project, and as assets are pushed down the pipeline, there are no issues with scale. By default, our CAVE working scale is:

1 Maya unit = 1cm

For example, if you are modelling a digi-double for George Clooney, who according to the internet is around 5ft 10 (180cm), then your model in Maya should also be 180 units tall.

In Maya, you can check the Working Units by going Windows > Settings/Preferences > Preferences. And then under the Settings catergory, you should find Working Units. This should be set to Linear: centimeter.

Make sure to check that other applications that deal with scale are also using the same working unit.

For some projects, this may not be the best working scale. For example, let’s say you are working on a CG remake of The Secret World of Arriety, and for this project, the majority of the shots are to be rendered as if filmed with macro lenses. For this project, it may be best to have 1 Maya unit = 1mm. Or let’s say that you are working on Godzilla V Kong, where you are dealing with skyscraper sized assets. For such a project, it may be best that 1 Maya unit = 10cm.

Before assets are created, such considerations need to be taken into account but unless told otherwise by your supervisor (and do check the project documentation), stick to 1 Maya unit = 1cm.

World Coordinates System

By default, we work with the following settings for our World Coordinate System:

Up axis: Y

Some projects may be suited with Z as the Up axis and if this is the case, you will find a notification under the project documentation.

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