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massmusic
05-15-2010, 11:56 AM
Ever since 9/11, I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to get technical specifications on things such as buildings, commuter trains, marques or even road signs for world accurate modeling. So far I’ve been faking it and adjusting grids and cameras to accommodate, but now I really need to know the precise dimensions of a stop light (as well as other public things). After I give proper introduction and tell them what I am doing and why I need the data, I am passed along from one city department to another or just told “we don’t have that information”. Dangerous it is to take photos of certain structures anymore let alone going out with a measuring device.

Does anyone know of a “cookbook” (kind of like the refractive index reference) containing information such as this? How do you guys get your technical specifications to real world objects? I understand modeling to scale is not always the best approach.... for an Earth mesh, but we know the circumference of the Earth so that we can model to fractions of the read deal. I’ve gotten away with faking it thus far, but for shots that were very (underlined four times) short. This shots has some serious eye dwell and the test comps just look as fake as they are.

danielkaiser
05-15-2010, 12:13 PM
Have you tried Google. using "dimensions of a stop light" as a search term I came up with this.

http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009/pdf_index.htm

It's all about how you ask the question, if you don't get the answer you want, try rephrasing.

All this stuff is part of building codes you should have no problems finding them.

Captain Obvious
05-15-2010, 12:22 PM
Surely you could go straight to the manufacturer? Just say you're interested in purchasing stuff, but need to know exact dimensions. Or just ask nicely.

massmusic
05-16-2010, 08:25 PM
DanielK--That manual looks promissing for the traffic stuff, thanks.
CaptainO-- I can see it now..."I'm looking to purchase a commuter rail car and suspension bridge, but I need to know the dimensions...Please?" Thanks anyway.

Captain Obvious
05-16-2010, 08:30 PM
I was thinking for the road signs and such.

Titus
05-16-2010, 08:39 PM
Yep, Google and Wolfram Alpha are your friends.

I've measured some objetcs using video and camera tracking software.

BigHache
05-16-2010, 08:43 PM
I was thinking for the road signs and such.

I like massmusic's approach, I think he's onto something. :D

Thanks from me too for the manual link Daniel, that's something I can use as well.

Lamont
05-17-2010, 09:31 PM
I just called and asked. Things like trains and vehicles will be hard if not impossible if they are not paying you for the work. Buildings are all public record, some require that you go in person to view the blueprints, some will be off limits, but even those can be viewed sometimes, just not all the systems (sewer/electrical). Bridges are no-no from my experiences, BUT I've called companies who designed things and they sent me line art, probably something used for promotions and such. Also, I've had someone who said they could not send the blueprints, email me the line art, and let me call and ask questions.

I've gotten blueprints of stadiums and buildings, cad files minus electrical of various equipment. And all I had to do was call.

But in the case where I did not get the information, fudge it, find a similar item or just make it close. Like I said, if THEY are not paying you or providing critical info, just do the best you can.