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In the event that the weighted companion cube does speak, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard its advice.November 9, 2007 2:31 PM   Subscribe

How to figure out the dimensions of the Weighted Companion Cube?

I have some time on my hands, and I feel like building something. So, I want to build a life sized Weighted Companion Cube. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble drawing up the plans. I need help with how to determine how large I should make it and whether there is an easier way that counting pixels to figure out specific dimensions. I would greatly appreciate any ways you might have to save me some time.

Bonus points if you have an opinion of what to make it out of. I'd like to keep it hollow.
Oh, and do I win some sort of award for most ridiculous question of all time?
posted by Ctrl_Alt_ep to grab bag (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

If you have photoshop:

Take a screenshot of Chell standing next to it (you can see yourself through a portal), and then use the ruler tool in photoshop (it's an alternative to the eyedropper).

It will count the pixels for you. Decide how tall you think Chell is, divide by her height in pixels, multiply that by the cube's height in pixels, and you will probably get about 1m on a side.
posted by aubilenon at 2:40 PM on November 9, 2007

You can estimate our Hero's height being an average female. You can fire off two portals in a corner, so you can see her next to the cube. Use the ratio of her to the cube, then apply the same ratio to a normal sized lady (5'3"?) to your new toy.

Also, you should make it heavy, like immovably so. I think it may be fun to make it out of a very light weight rubber, so it bounces!
posted by bensherman at 2:42 PM on November 9, 2007

I don't know about it's relative size to a person, but Ian over at Three Panel Soul ripped the model straight out of the game to make a papercraft pattern for his halloween costume so the internal proportions will be correct.
posted by juv3nal at 3:17 PM on November 9, 2007

You know, if it's not important to you to make it exactly life-sized, you could just scale it to something around the house so your cube could serve a secondary function. Like a Weighted Companion End Table or a Weighted Companion Kleenex Box Cover. Both of which I would totally use every day. Or tiny Weighted Companion Dice that you can play Yahtzee with!

Okay, I'm stopping now before I get carried away with mental images of a Weighted Companion Dinette Set and matching Weighted Companion Tupperware.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:33 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

If you can hack Portal/HL2 so as to spawn Portal objects in Half-Life 2 levels, you can find the dimensions. I have no idea how to do this, but I'm pretty sure it can be done similarly to the widely-described hack that lets you play with Portals in Half-life 2.

There's a map in the "Water Hazard" chapter that contains a height-chart on the wall, marked in meters. I think it's in the Combine garage near the bottomless chest of grenades.

Spawn the cube in the room and push it up against the wall. Eyeball the height. Presto! Accurate dimensions.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:39 PM on November 9, 2007

I really just wanna be part of the best VALVe Week ever, but I'll post my alternate method of determining it's height.

I stacked some of the cubes 4 high and dropped a turret from the foot of the 4th cube. It took 0.71s to fall (I used a watch!). Since Valve prides itself on realistic physics:

height = h = Number of cubes * height of one cube

h = ½gt2 = 4.9 * (.71 s)2 = 2.47m = height of 4 cubes

2.47 / 4 = .62 m tall/wide/deep per cube

My answer deserves best because I used Science.
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:39 PM on November 9, 2007 [9 favorites]

Sweet. I found a couple of ways to figure out the height of the cube with respect to Chell's height. My values range from 70 to 90 cm, with my least error tests giving values around 75 cm. Again this is using Chell's height as 160 cm, so that may be a huge source of error.
posted by Ctrl_Alt_ep at 11:44 AM on November 10, 2007

My husband and I recently made a hollow one out of foam rubber, slightly larger than the dimensions cowbelle describes, and its creation was like the Apocalypse Now of arts & crafts.

In short, if you use foam rubber, then for the love of all that is holy, don't spray-paint it. And don't use any kind of adhesives that weren't designed for foam.
posted by zebra3 at 8:21 AM on November 12, 2007

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