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I'm asking how to use a given measurement to create a custom scale that I can use to accurately measure the rest.

I have a vector file that looks like:

Car Wireframe

I wish to measure parts of the car, to build a 3D model.

How can I use the single measurement provided to measure the rest?

Which of the Adobe CS5 programs can I use for this, and what tool should I use?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can do this with Photoshop using the Ruler Tool and a Custom Measurement Scale.

Using your provided image as an example, do the following:

  1. Activate the Ruler Tool (you may have to click and hold the eyedropper tool)
  2. Check the Use Measurement Scale tickbox on the top toolbar
  3. Measure the width of the provided scale (541 pixels)
  4. Go to AnalysisSet Measurement ScaleCustom...
  5. Enter the known values and hit OK

custom measurement scale

The ruler measurements will now use your custom scale. For instance, it looks like the tires are 752mm tall

tire height

To revert back to pixel measurements, you can untick "Use Measurement Scale"

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@Dominic I wish the same feature was available in AI, but I don't know of any way to do so (although I'd love to be proven wrong). Perhaps with a script? Lucky for you that you'll need to bring them into PS anyway, so it doesn't matter in your case! – JohnB Sep 2 '13 at 0:14

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