Dealing with Scale

This derivation of the Vitruvian Man by Leonar...
This derivation of the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo Da Vinci depicts nine historical units of measurement: the Yard, the Span, the Cubit, the Flemish Ell, the English Ell, the French Ell, the Fathom, the Hand , and the Foot. Da Vinci drew the Vitruvian man to scale, so the units depicted here are displayed with their proper historical ratios. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part of what we are going to do this week is to be sure we understand measurement and scale. This will help when we are looking at fractal dimension.

For some inspiration, we have

Tools for working with measurement and scaling:

  • This calculator will let you scale up or scale down. It works with conversions of the form, e.g. 2:3. The “scale down” converter will allow you to take real life measurements and convert them to measurements in drawings. The “scale up” converter will do the opposite — let you go from a drawing to real life. If you know, for instance, that you need a 3/4 scale, then you can enter this as 3:4. Then if you are going from the larger version to the smaller use the “scale up” (or use scale down if going from smaller to larger).
  • SpectraRuler is an iPhone app that lets you do measurements of height and width, even of objects you cannot reach.
  • The Human Proportion Calculator can help you find accurate proportions for drawings of a variety of body measurements. You can enter age, gender, and type of units you want to use.
  • I’ll post more as I find them!



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