I would like to know what would be considered the best practice when creating assets for animated movies (i.e. I don't need to integrate my models into any live-action plates)

When using Blender, I switch it to the Metric units as it makes it easier for me to measure things. My question is, let's say I am modelling a character that should be about 1.6m tall, should I model that character as 1.6m or is it better to scale it down a little bit (maybe 1m=10cm)?

I tried both methods, but I feel both give some issues, and I am not sure what is usually done when working on big projects?

When I model to real-world scale, the scene size gets really big really fast, and navigating it seems to be a bit harder. But modelling scaled down versions means I have to make sure I don't forget the conversion, and it also makes it a bit more difficult to control the small models as I have to zoom in a lot to see them or go to their local view and lose their relationships to other models in the scene.

What do you think?

  • $\begingroup$ Remember that for example Rigid Bodies aren't working as expected in small scale, also I've found today that Bevel (in Edit Mode and Modifier) won't work with really small objects. It's probably dependent on what you will be doing with your movie (particles, forces, physics etc.) but I would go with real world scales. $\endgroup$
    – cgslav
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ This is sort of what I am leaning towards.. It is easier and faster.. I just wasn't sure, because I had a feeling that it made the navigation a bit more difficult. Maybe, it is because I am not used to it. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ use real world units, period. You can adjust the viewport clipping and such, to take care of the harder navigation. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 11:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, David.. This is what I was considering, so I will stick to it.. I think I probably need to keep doing it for a while and I will get used to the navigation.. Probably, I am just used to the navigation when modelling to smaller scale because this is what I have been doing since I started using Blender. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


I would say: stick to real world scale. At the end, in very very small scale there will be rounding errors when placing vertices.

And for your navigation difficulties in large scale: In Preferences > Interface, check Auto Depth and Zoom To Mouse Position - this really helps. And when editing an object, place it in an empty layer and switch off all others, this also improves pan and view functionality.

Update for Blender 2.82: These settings are now to be found by clicking Edit > Preferences > Navigation.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much, Grimm. I had Auto Depth enabled already, but not Zoom to Mouse Position. I will stick to the real world scale for now and see how it goes for me. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ In Blender 2.82.7 I found it under Preferences -> Navigation $\endgroup$
    – Bastian
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 10:57
  • $\begingroup$ @FrenchFry Thanks, I updated my answer. $\endgroup$
    – Grimm
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 12:09

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