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Dioramas: Buildings & Ruins
Ruined buildings and city scenes.
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Scaling from photographs?
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: October 17, 2017
KitMaker: 453 posts
Armorama: 443 posts
Posted: Friday, January 10, 2020 - 04:48 AM UTC
Hi all,

I'm sure this question has probably been asked before, so I apologise for asking it again, but...

...what is the best way to approximate the dimensions of a building or structure, e.g. overall length, height, window dimensions etc., from a photograph?

Is it simply a case of presuming that an average door is somewhere between 6'6" (1981mm) and 6'8" (2032mm) in height, and between 2'6" (762mm) and 2'8" (813mm) wide, or thereabouts, and try to determine overall dimensions from there?

Or is there a more accurate/scientific method?

How can one determine dimensions when the photograph of the building is taken from an angle?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, .

G
18Bravo
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Colorado, United States
Joined: January 20, 2005
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Posted: Friday, January 10, 2020 - 06:45 AM UTC
I posted a lengthy answer to just this question many years ago, complete with photos and supplemental limes added to show how I do it. The photos have long since been deleted but the explanation is pretty thorough. Not sure which key word you can use to find it. If you canít, Iíll try later. On a plane now and typing on a small phone isnít really my thing.
Jberardi
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Georgia, United States
Joined: July 10, 2007
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Posted: Friday, January 10, 2020 - 06:48 AM UTC
I've recently done something similar with some old photographs of churches. You can assume 7'0" to 8'0" exterior doors on more significant structures like a church for example. Err on the side of smaller for residential structures. 6'8" doors are more typical of interior doors.

If your photographs show people or vehicles, you can also use them for scale. I've assumed an average height of 5'10" for men.

Regarding angles, my geometry stinks so your guess is as good as mine. A little eyeballing will go a long way.
RobinNilsson
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: November 29, 2006
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Posted: Friday, January 10, 2020 - 11:40 AM UTC
Not much of an answer to the question as such but:
Older buildings may not always have the same height on all floors. Some were more posh than others.
Here in Stockholm there could be shops or a half cellar at the bottom, the first floor was a half floor up, the second floor could also be nice and high ceilinged, third floor slightly lower. Fourth and especially the fifth was for poorer people.
If you are looking for a generic building from a specific timeframe it might be possible to search for architecture drawings on the internet.

Are you looking for something specific?

/ Robin
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
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Posted: Friday, January 10, 2020 - 12:05 PM UTC
There will always be perspective distortion in photographs - both horizontal as well as vertical. A photo is useful as reference, but is in no way accurate for measurements. If you can, take measurements of the actual building, etc., and use the photo as a visual reference. Of course, if millimeter accuracy is not necessary, then you can use a lot of guesstimation.
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: October 17, 2017
KitMaker: 453 posts
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Posted: Monday, January 13, 2020 - 01:57 AM UTC
Hi all,

Thank you to all of those who took the time to comment, some very helpful feedback which is much appreciated.

Thanks again, and cheers, .

G
frigidweirdo
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: March 20, 2015
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Posted: Monday, January 13, 2020 - 05:14 PM UTC
I've used photoshop to figure things out. I tend to not do it these days, as I make things that aren't real. However I've also found sketchup good for designing things.

What you could do it try to put it into sketchup and see if it works dimensionally
G-man69
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: October 17, 2017
KitMaker: 453 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 11:34 PM UTC
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the recommendations, I will check out Sketchup.

Cheers, .

G