AuthorTopic: honor over dollars  (Read 22599 times)

Offline LoTekK

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Re: honor over dollars

Reply #10 on: December 17, 2009, 04:13:23 am
Aside from the moral quagmire of theft (because it /is/ theft), there's the obvious potential legal wranglings. It simply isn't worth it. Rip someone's art for one paid job, you might get away with it assuming the game never sees the light of day. You might get away with it a second time, maybe a third, but you'll eventually get called out, and then what? Your name gets dragged through the mud, you potentially deal with infringement lawsuits, etc. Even if you don't get caught, there's that looming fear hanging over your head. It's simply not worth it.

In short, Helm's right. Just practise horses (or more generally, quadrupeds). Even if you don't get /this/ job, you're expanding your artistic vocabulary, and that's never a bad thing.

Offline WM

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Re: honor over dollars

Reply #11 on: December 17, 2009, 04:20:19 am
...
It'd be interesting to hear what the pros think about ripping rather than hobbyists.
...

Something along the lines of "Stop stealing our sprites you crazy kids!"  >:(

Offline TheOne

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Re: honor over dollars

Reply #12 on: December 17, 2009, 06:51:20 am
Aside from the moral quagmire of theft (because it /is/ theft), there's the obvious potential legal wranglings. It simply isn't worth it. Rip someone's art for one paid job, you might get away with it assuming the game never sees the light of day. You might get away with it a second time, maybe a third, but you'll eventually get called out, and then what? Your name gets dragged through the mud, you potentially deal with infringement lawsuits, etc. Even if you don't get caught, there's that looming fear hanging over your head. It's simply not worth it.

In short, Helm's right. Just practise horses (or more generally, quadrupeds). Even if you don't get /this/ job, you're expanding your artistic vocabulary, and that's never a bad thing.

Sure there is copyright (and NDAs that make you liable, not the company you work for) but tetsuya suggested ripping and editing sprites so only an experienced artist familiar with those previous games could tell.  

http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=8557.msg98365#msg98365

Did the artist there get his name dragged in the mud? Was there a lawsuit? Maybe there is a long history of ripping and editing:

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=11862

Realistically borrowing from several sources is going to be quicker than learning all the fundamentals. It might be something pros don't have to do, but I'd be interested to know if they otherwise are forced to compromise their 'honor' due to time/budget constraints. Of course the hobbyists say never rip, just spend another 10 years meticulously practicing before trying a paid project.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 06:53:37 am by TheOne »

Offline NaCl

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Re: honor over dollars

Reply #13 on: December 17, 2009, 07:08:50 am
Your mindset seems to be that ripping is a viable method, and the only reason not to do it is because of morality. This I totally disagree with, if you Frankenstein a bunch of other sprites together it is sure to look like crap, and even if it doesn't then how close will it look to what you wanted? Unless you are trying to make a directly derivative work, it will not look like what you want. And if you want to make a directly derivative work, what's the point?

Anyway, if you can't draw a horse, and want to resort to ripping, then I don't think you have any business trying to get a professional job. It's not really as though you have to practice each different type of object before you can draw it, there is a fundamental skillset that will allow you to draw any 3D object, with reference for the specifics of course. A professional artist has built up these fundamentals so that he can draw whatever he needs to, and doesn't fall apart if asked to draw something he never has before, like a horse.

One more thing, your idea of a pixel purist differs from mine, and from all the opinions I've seen. It should be taken for granted that a pixel artist doesn't "rip" someones work and try to pass it off as their own. Ripping is something entirely apart from pixel art, because pixel art is creating art, ripping is not. A pixel purist to me has more to do with care put into the pixel techniques like AA, working with a limited palette, etc...

Offline LoTekK

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Re: honor over dollars

Reply #14 on: December 17, 2009, 07:31:23 am
Did the artist there get his name dragged in the mud? Was there a lawsuit? Maybe there is a long history of ripping and editing:

Granted, rips/paintovers, etc, may not be noticed by the general public, but they do get noticed, especially if you're talking about a particular style/artist. At some point, though, yes, the line gets a bit fuzzy as to what is theft and what is not.

Quote
Realistically borrowing from several sources is going to be quicker than learning all the fundamentals. It might be something pros don't have to do, but I'd be interested to know if they otherwise are forced to compromise their 'honor' due to time/budget constraints. Of course the hobbyists say never rip, just spend another 10 years meticulously practicing before trying a paid project.

Honor doesn't really play into it. Influences are going to come from all over the place, some more intentional than others, and ultimately as a professional, you use whatever tools are at hand to complete a job. That said, if you're going to be editing the hell out of a sprite, why not save yourself the trouble of reworking something and just use reference instead? If you're going to rework a sprite to a different style, for example, I can all but guarantee it's going to be less hassle to start it from scratch using something else as reference. And now I shall re-quote the important parts of your statement:

Quote
the hobbyists say never rip, just spend another 10 years meticulously practicing [but] learning all the fundamentals...might be something pros don't have to do

Can you see how backwards that statement is?

Offline Dusty

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Re: honor over dollars

Reply #15 on: December 17, 2009, 07:42:53 am
Speaking from a pixel artist standpoint OR from a hiring standpoint, I wouldn't want someone ripping their way to completion, even if it means I get no sprites in the end. If someone releases a game commercially and eventually they get called out for copyright infringement(as you put it, 'experienced artist with familiarity with the games comes along'), who do you think takes the hit? From a legal standpoint, I'm pretty sure it's not the artist. Beyond the legal aspect, people are paying you because they believe you are making graphics. If they wanted ripped graphics, they'd do it themselves, or pay someone a lot less. I doubt you're giving them what they wanted, even if they're not aware. It's very deceitful.

If you're taking on jobs you can't finish, whether it's because you're not experienced enough, you don't have the time, you have too many obligations... maybe the better option would be to step back and reconsider things and either improve or stop taking on jobs you can't handle. I'm sure there are many pros here who do not rip, regardless of how overworked they may get.

To put it simply, would you ever want someone you're paying to half-ass it?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 07:52:27 am by Dusty »

Offline Jakten

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Re: honor over dollars

Reply #16 on: December 17, 2009, 08:04:05 am
I would never take on a job I know I can't do but when something comes up that is hard for me to render I view it as a chance to learn. I go straight to references and do a bunch of sketches until I think I understand it enough to make a serious version of it. I think it would be silly for someone to pass up the chance to learn and get paid for it.

Offline TheOne

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Re: honor over dollars

Reply #17 on: December 17, 2009, 08:11:54 am
@Lotekk - tetsuya used term 'honour', im not sure what other words to use, ethics, artistic integrity etc. I didn't mean to post that backwards statement I edited it. edit: wait, did u quote my sentences out of order and then claim that it doesn't make sense - that's not fair.

@Nacl tetsuya didn't specify if he was just going to draw a still one, but drawing an animated, realistic horse isn't easy. I don't think that should rule someone out of getting a professional job, but then I'm not a pro, so wait to see what they say. I think ideally tetsuya should show his art to a professional pixeller who is about to retire to get an unbiased opinion of what the business is like and what skills are necessary.

Hey NaCl i bet u could make a frankenstein sprite look good if u really wanted to.

edit:

@jakten, that's what i was interested to hear. you get paid even though there's gaps in your knowledge. but u don't resort to ripping becuase references are better. if u were asked to animate a galloping horse, would you rotoscope that lithograph or would u borrow leg positions from the shinobi sprite?

i better stop derailing this thread that is all.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 08:36:09 am by TheOne »

Offline Elk

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Re: honor over dollars

Reply #18 on: December 17, 2009, 10:07:29 am
I hate people who rip or steal artwork, especially if it's yourself that is the victim (it sucks to be a fanboy (if you know me then you know why I'm saying that)
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Offline Ai

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Re: honor over dollars

Reply #19 on: December 17, 2009, 10:30:18 am
Aside from the moral quagmire of theft (because it /is/ theft),

That's debatable. The whole 'intangibility' and negligible-cost reproduction of all things digital illustrates the dubious ground the concept of 'intellectual property' is built on.

What it really would be, is fraud (in this case, misrepresentation of who the author of the art is).
That's not 100% sound either; although it's certainly more sound than describing it as theft.

Quote
In short, Helm's right. Just practise horses (or more generally, quadrupeds). Even if you don't get /this/ job, you're expanding your artistic vocabulary, and that's never a bad thing.
What I find strange is the notion that ripping and editing horse sprites will actually be less work than simply learning to draw horses right. The only kind of psyche for which that could be true is either a) a very short-sighted one, or b) one that doesn't understand how to learn effectively.
The fact that an artist who doesn't know how to draw horses will not reliably recognize what is a good depiction of a horse adds on to this to make the question look quite absurd really. AFAICS ripping will only give you needless pain, whether you are ever caught or not. (frankensteins always look weird. It's just a question of 'just how weird?')

It's worth mentioning that I notice the emphasis on 'pixel art' in the original post; there's no particular value in limiting oneself to pixel art, in fact I'd call it a disvalue to do so. The point of pixelling is to do pixely things (ie. leverage the unique advantages of pixel art), which you can't do until you know just what you are depicting. Otherwise you're just punting bits of information that you do not understand around meaninglessly.  If you don't understand the basic construction (and kinetics if applicable) of something, don't pixel it!


tl;dr version : active deception == FAIL, for 99% of circumstances (and your situation is not so special as to fall into the remaining 1%). Just learn to learn.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.