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Shrinking Chart

By DanShive
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What can I say; people in my comics are going to be smaller than normal at times (particularly Amanda), and getting proportions correct can be tricky. I will likely make more charts with different heights relative to heads just so I have handy references so I don't have to bother with all the math at least when dealing relative to other people.

I'm not sure how easily the math can be applied to clothing sizes. I'd need to look at charts and stuff to be truly accurate if going by what size clothing one is wearing... which I suppose is why artist's are big on using character head sizes as frames of reference. I know painters tend to use their thumbs to figure out proportions (hence the cliche image of a painter giving the thumbs up with his arm outstretched).
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© 2006 - 2020 DanShive
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anonymous's avatar
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kargaroc586's avatar
it's basically saying that when you shrink, you perceive that you don't get smaller, but everything around you gets bigger. makes sense.
Lolita-Sky's avatar
I absolutely love you for this. thanks SO much for explaining this. I am HORRIBLE at math but when you explain it like this it makes it seem so much more easier to understand. Thanks!^^
StrangeComet's avatar
Excellent! I've been wondering how to handle shrinking for some of my art, and you, genius that you are, haver made it at least 95.899% easier! ^ ^ (the rest is clothes)
picklejuice13's avatar
Good.

Another interesting aspect of growing and shrinking is more subtle. Physics change for bodies that are proportionally smaller.

I've studied it a little and the simplest way of describing it is: time is different at smaller levels.

The smaller you are, the faster your brain goes in comparison to people bigger than you. But at the same time, your physical bodies speed up much more than your brains do.

This is because while our nerves contract in a proportion to x, the physical world contracts in proportion to x^3. If you become 1/2 as small, you are X2 as fast, but your new shrunken physical world is X8 as fast.

Consequently, the force of a punch at the size of an ant does little to no damage, as you percieve it. You think your fist is moving at the same speed, but the fist itself is moving relatively slow. When it hits, the resulting force is much smaller.

That's why little things don't get hurt when thrown.

... um... not that I encourage people to throw little people around or anything... ^.^

Gravity is also different: because gravity is 1 directional, it is goverened by X while the mass is governemed by X^3. When you punch someone really hard, you still exert a force on them. You send them flying much more often than you hurt them. You're like little supermen!

That's why insects pinch each other rather than punch. A pinch isn't something that will go awry - you grab the other guy, and squeeze. That's also why insects have more chemical weapons than big animals.

Also, that's why kids get cold quicker: their world is cooling them down quicker than we percieve. That's why mice have such huge coats of fur (relative to their size).

And this concludes Dr. Pickle's rant about trivia no one cares about. Good night, ladies!
kargaroc586's avatar
you described the square-cube law
picklejuice13's avatar
But, has anyone applied the square-cube law to the perception of time?
kargaroc586's avatar
time... it makes our heads explode.

well, there have been no reports of people perceiving time faster (or slower) to any significant degree, i think.
i see no reason why it should happen.
picklejuice13's avatar
Well, that's only because we don't have anyone who's been physically shrunk before.

The only real-world equivalent would be children... and they certainly have better reaction time than adults, and tend to view us as slow and ponderous...
kargaroc586's avatar
they still seem to view clocks at 1 second per second
picklejuice13's avatar
Really? How do they measure that?

Anyway, we're supposed to be talking about supernatural shrinking - where a person's brain is supernatually shrunk to a smaller size, yet still retain its full thinking power. Couldn't it be possible that, in that circumstance, that the physical geometry could affect the speed at which a brain processes information? All the synapses would be closer together than in a larger sized brain...
kargaroc586's avatar
it's that it's synapses are shrunk too. less thinking power is caused by less synapses. but what if the synapses are just smaller? they still work.

them being closer together may make it a little faster, but the speed of light is fast, so fast we can just assume it is infinity. in fact, it IS infinity in your own frame of reference.
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vidthekid's avatar
You know, if it were me, I'd pick my steps exponentially. Because when a person grows or shrinks, I'd expect their growth rate to be proportional to their current size. That way, it takes the same amount of time to grow to 1000% of your size as to shrink to 10%. This especially makes sense when one is considered the reverse of the other. Also, when one's growth rate is exponential, it would be technically impossible to determine whether one is shrinking, or everything else getting bigger, by paying attention to how fast sizes change.

Although this analysis of the growth rate doesn't really dictate exponential steps in a chart of this type, it might be helpful if you ever do a panel-by-panel slow-motion shrinking person. If not, I just prefer it because it's less arbitrary and more symmetrical, by my own mathematical aesthetics. Anyway, the percentages I'd choose would probably look like this:
100/100
82/122
67/149
55/182
45/223
37/272
30.1/330
24.7/410
20.2/500
16.5/610
13.5/740
11.1/900
9.1/1100
7.4/1350
6.1/1640
5.0/2010

Each step is a change of either -18% or +22%, which are actually opposites.



By the way, as a nudist, I think it's kind of silly to be worrying about clothes falling off during the shrinking process. But, then again, nudists think it's silly to wear clothes for non-utilitarian reasons in the first place, so, carry on.
Freelance-57's avatar
Whhooaaa...You've got a lot math involved up there, an impressive amount...And that's pretty cool.

...Maybe you also have a bit of time on your hands...
RocMegamanX's avatar
I'm not really looking to shrink anybody, but I will use this for like perspective.
AARST's avatar
This may really come in handy! Nice!
PickleWeasel's avatar
Very cool. Yay for planning ahead! Good artist. *pats*

~sara
Ready-Made's avatar
That makes a scary amount of sense. I think I may have become a bit smarter now... Thanks, Shive!
HungryCats's avatar
Wow, this is actually a really useful reference... maybe you should put it in the tutorials section... I've seen anywhere from 7 1/2 to 9 heads for an average person's height. Do you use the same figure for both male and female bodies?
BigNutter's avatar
Why Am I reminded of Tedd after reading this? Could it do with this [link] ?
Drayco587's avatar
This would be far more handy if I actually could draw my characters at different sizes without resorting to chibification. >.>
DanShive's avatar
I look forward to making uber-versions of this that have five, six, seven and eight head models on the side. There'd be a seperate shrink chart for each head size, but it would be handy to have a quick reference for comparing someone who is seven heads tall shrunk down to 70% relative to someone who is six heads tall.

I could technically just have one chart with an eight head model and just have guides to simulate people who are proportionately smaller, but the goal are guides that are quick and easy to use, and seperate guides for seperate proportions will be easier to use quickly.
vampiress-kat's avatar
I am going to steal this and use it when drawing. :worship:
MOOMANiBE's avatar
Dear lord, dan. Are you planning on having an entire shrunken cast or what? O_O
Jake-R's avatar
Don't give us false hope... but please do keep giving him ideas like that!

Freaky Festivities Part(y) 2: 'Honey I shrunk everybody!'
anonymous's avatar
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