Monday, August 27, 2012

Never Use 3/4" Scale. Period.

I did it once. My drawing was ripped up in front of me. Yes. I was green. Luckily I remembered the advice I was given: Never take anything personally. The Art Director was making a point, and I got it. Never ever draw sets at 3/4" scale. He taught me a valuable lesson. Here's why.

Firstly, we pull off an incredible feat by putting up these sets in record time. The speed at which our crews pull it all together are what make the mission possible. The trouble with 3/4" scale is it leaves way too much room for error. It's a trap. Too often it will get mistaken for 1/2" or 1" scale, often it get's mixed up with 3/8" scale: another no-no.

Secondly, we always want to blow the images up on the photocopier. 50% = easy and fast. So is 200%. Both 3/4 & 3/8 give difficult scales to then work from.

Thirdly, we're always adding things in our heads. Working with 3/4" and 3/8" scale makes it harder. Too hard for most. In our heads we can easily double or half things.

As a rule, I was taught to stick with scales you can double or half easily.  1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1,  and full size scale only. 3 is ok for details, but avoid 1-1/2.

Of course, this doesn't apply to metric. Who uses metric in film? I'm curious.

1 comment:

  1. I'm an aspiring production designer in the UK, we use metric. And as an ex-Pat, I find that it is way easier to do than using imperial. The standard here is 1:25 for theatre/film in particular, while architecture drawings go for 1:50. I'm finding your stories very helpful, keep them coming!