Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: A question of scale

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ireth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    In a meadow full of flowers and plotbunnies.
    Posts
    11,713
    Portfolio Entries
    3
    Reputation
    8281

    A question of scale

    Not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but math is a real-world subject, so maybe? ^^;

    I'm working on a story that involves several giants (of the Norse variety), but the main character is a dark-elf. He's a little over 5 feet tall (maybe 5 foot 3, tops), and the giants in my story average out at about 20 feet tall. Right now one of the giants is just about to meet the MC for the first time, and I want to get a more visual sense of how they could interact given their sizes and proportions. Would the giant be able to pick up the MC with one hand, for instance? I've tried visualizing it with myself (5'4"-ish) and a humanoid plushie (the biggest I have is about 13" tall), but the proportions of a plushie are different than a real person.

  2. #2
    Moderator skip.knox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    3,337
    Portfolio Entries
    4
    Reputation
    9645
    Look at your hand. How big is it in relation to your body height? Ratios vary, but let's say a hand length (not width) is about one-tenth of body height. As for width, my hand is a little over two inches wide. If I were only five foot, probably two inches would be about right. So the ratio would be 2:60 inches. Twenty feet clocks in at 240 inches, so make their hands about eight inches wide.

    Not wide enough for the elf to stand, except maybe on one foot. BTW, artists and sculptors know about this sort of thing. Search on "body proportions reference" and you'll get a bunch of useful stuff.
    Skip's Writing Tip of the Day: write.
    Visit Altearth
    Altearth Tales: Goblins at the Gates | Mad House | The Carrotfinger Man | The Roadmaster

  3. Thanks Ireth thanked for this post
  4. #3
    Senior Member Ireth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    In a meadow full of flowers and plotbunnies.
    Posts
    11,713
    Portfolio Entries
    3
    Reputation
    8281
    Quote Originally Posted by skip.knox View Post
    Look at your hand. How big is it in relation to your body height? Ratios vary, but let's say a hand length (not width) is about one-tenth of body height. As for width, my hand is a little over two inches wide. If I were only five foot, probably two inches would be about right. So the ratio would be 2:60 inches. Twenty feet clocks in at 240 inches, so make their hands about eight inches wide.

    Not wide enough for the elf to stand, except maybe on one foot. BTW, artists and sculptors know about this sort of thing. Search on "body proportions reference" and you'll get a bunch of useful stuff.
    Thanks bunches, Skip! I was envisioning the giant wrapping her hand(s) around the MC's waist to pick him up (probably should've been more specific before, sorry!). Would that be more feasible?

  5. #4
    Senior Member psychotick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,591
    Reputation
    2967
    Hi,

    So your elf is one quarter the height of a giant? Roughly knee height surely. So a six month old baby would be about that height if s/he could stand straight, though thinner. What could you do with a baby of that size?

    Cheers, Greg.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Ireth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    In a meadow full of flowers and plotbunnies.
    Posts
    11,713
    Portfolio Entries
    3
    Reputation
    8281
    Quote Originally Posted by psychotick View Post
    Hi,

    So your elf is one quarter the height of a giant? Roughly knee height surely. So a six month old baby would be about that height if s/he could stand straight, though thinner. What could you do with a baby of that size?

    Cheers, Greg.
    I don't know. I haven't been around a baby that size in years. XD

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by psychotick View Post
    Hi,

    So your elf is one quarter the height of a giant? Roughly knee height surely. So a six month old baby would be about that height if s/he could stand straight, though thinner. What could you do with a baby of that size?

    Cheers, Greg.
    Babies have completely different proportions to adults.

  8. Thanks Ireth thanked for this post
  9. #7
    Moderator skip.knox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    3,337
    Portfolio Entries
    4
    Reputation
    9645
    Figure someone with a 30" waist, just to stick with round (*ahem*) numbers. The giant hand would need to be somewhere more than half that figure (*ahem*!), so let's just say 20" long. If hand length is approximately one-tenth body height (long hands), then your giant would need to be 200" tall. Since 20' is 240" I'd say you clear that.

    I'm sure you already realize you only need to be in the ball park. No one (well, there will always be that *one* reader) will get down to actual proportions, and anyway giants are built different, right?

    Here's another thing you can do for your imagination. Find something that is twenty feet tall. A single story house, for example, is in that neighborhood. (I really need to stop) You can then mentally cast the form of a giant up against that, then imagine yourself standing before it. Maybe thirty feet tall would feel more convincing, but maybe twenty would be just right.
    Skip's Writing Tip of the Day: write.
    Visit Altearth
    Altearth Tales: Goblins at the Gates | Mad House | The Carrotfinger Man | The Roadmaster

  10. Thanks Ireth thanked for this post
  11. #8
    Moderator Sheilawisz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    The Northern Lights
    Posts
    3,086
    Reputation
    5233
    Hello Ireth.

    It would be helpful to know if both characters involved have the same body proportions. Now, sorry but I am going to go all Metric here: Let's say that your small character is 1.6 meter tall (approx. 5'3'') and the giant is 6 meters tall or approx. 20 feet. That means that the MC's height is 0.267 the height of the giant.

    If we apply that number to your own height of 1.63 meter (5'4''), and you were the Giant, then the MC would be 44 centimeters tall.

    That would make it impossible for you to grab the MC with a single hand. You would be able to kill him with a single kick, though... another possible interaction would be to lift him by grabbing the back of his clothing, or even to stomp fatally on him if you raise your leg high enough.

    If the giant is sitting on the ground and slouching, they would be able to have a face to face conversation. It would be a very frightening situation for your MC, that's for sure!
    Imagination fills my Soul with Magic. - Sheila Wisz Ellayn.

  12. Thanks Ireth thanked for this post
  13. #9
    Senior Member Michael K. Eidson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    The Deep Web
    Posts
    497
    Reputation
    1519
    For questions like this, I like to fire up DAZ Studio and get a visual.



    Credit and a bit of info about the image, on my site: Twenty vs. Four Fives ? A Question of Scale ? @Eposic ? The Troll Mystic
    "The truth doesn't matter, only the lies."

    https://www.mkeidson.com/

  14. Thanks Ireth thanked for this post
  15. #10
    Moderator skip.knox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    3,337
    Portfolio Entries
    4
    Reputation
    9645
    Wonderful image. Does the troll's hand really stretch from his knee to the ground? That's what it looks like to me.

    And that's part of the thing here. Are a giant's proportions the same as human proportions. Which is another way of saying you can probably get away with making the hand disproportionately large to achieve the effect you want.
    Skip's Writing Tip of the Day: write.
    Visit Altearth
    Altearth Tales: Goblins at the Gates | Mad House | The Carrotfinger Man | The Roadmaster

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Fish - Scale Armor
    By trentonian7 in forum World Building
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 4-22-16, 5:21 PM
  2. Scale and scope
    By Chilari in forum Writing Questions
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 12-27-12, 7:39 PM
  3. Scale, metaphysics and cosmology.
    By Anders Ämting in forum World Building
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 7-10-12, 5:16 AM
  4. Local vs. Epic Scale
    By Centerfield97 in forum Writing Questions
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 2-1-12, 3:20 PM
  5. Travel and Scale
    By Devor in forum Research
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 12-7-11, 6:05 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

A question of scale   A question of scale   A question of scale