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Scale Models...

This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    Themed Forum Index -> Imagination Forum - Theme Park Attraction Design & Imagineering
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Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Posts: 381

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:50 am    Post subject: Scale Models... Reply with quote

This semester I'm going to be waist-deep in scale scenic models (things made of paper, Illustration board, modeling paste, etc.). I've seen a few vintage scale models of various Disney attractions... and know at least one person who uses scale models for thinking through and solving problems. Does anyone know how much (if at all) scale models are used in the industry for producing attractions? What sorts of problems are best solved using a physical (rather than CAD) scale model?

Also, I'm starting to learn a lot of tips and tricks for making models (ex. how to model wood boards, curtains and other things that aren't very easy in scale...). Has anyone else run across some surprising tricks for making things look realistic in a scale model (ex. water, furniture, etc....)?

Posts: 14
(1/15/07 5:47 pm)
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New Post Re: Scale Models...
From what I've gathered, scale models are particularly useful for communicating ideas to clients. Non-designers find it very difficult to understand technical drawings, so providing a 3D version helps them visualise the designs.

Personally, I find playing with sketch scale models (rather than sketch images) can help me understand the space I'm working with and I use this method in the concept stage to inspire ideas.

Btw, I'm currently studying exhibition design and I've come across scale models being used by attractions designers and exhibitions for museums.


Posts: 170
(1/15/07 6:32 pm)
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New Post RE: Scale Models I read in one of my books (can't remember which one) that it was deemed nearly impossible to make worthwhile plans of Toontown, and so the construction relied very heavily on models.

Posts: 58
(1/16/07 1:52 pm)
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New Post models The tangible nature of models is also wonderful.

Say you're workin with a client/director and they decide they don't like something.

In a model, you can simply move it, or remove it, etc...

In a rendering you'd have to repaint or redraw, in a CAD model you'd have to delete the object or reposition it.

Also, CAD isn't particularly faithful to reality in terms of color and light. Renderings don't give a true sense of spacial relationships.

Posts: 135
(1/23/07 12:02 pm)
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New Post Scale Model... I just started digging through the Visions Fantastic website... It has a lot of ride and show video from the Disney parks. A guy named "ryetheguy" has posted a Travel Channel special about Imagineering. On that video, they seem to indicate that scale models come first, and once those have Art Director approval, a ride-through CAD is made of the attraction... They show the physical model for "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh"... and also talk about how they cut a Splash Mountain model into little cubes that they scanned into a computer. The scanned model was used to create the CAD drawings that directed a router how to bend metal rebar into the right shapes to be used on-site to construct the mountain... I had forgotten about that...

Making models may not be standard across the industry. But maybe it will continue to be common, as it is easier to see problems and get an idea of something from a scale model than it is from a computer model... ? I tend to find scale models particularly charming to work with in a way that CAD models are not...

Edited by: Holly3216 at: 1/23/07 12:10 pm
Posts: 136
(1/23/07 12:07 pm)
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New Post P.S. P.S. I also found another site ya'll might be interested in... Here's a forum called "How do they do that?" at where they talk about how different effects are done, etc.

Pretty interesting stuff...

Posts: 63
(1/31/07 6:24 pm)
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New Post Re: P.S. Holly -

Something I ran into today working on a show that might interest you. We were building a Japanese ceremonial gate/archway in Autocad and essentially had made the header section for a section and were going to be putting in a truss above it so that we could attach an overlayed decorative piece.

In autocad, though the dimensions were right, it wasn't rendering properly.

If we were simply building a white or scale model it wouldn't have been a problem. Since my senior designer prefers cyber models, we were stuck trying to find a solution to the computer being uncooperative.
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