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Two-Parter: Placeholders and Artists


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#1 JPFortner   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 07:39 AM

I apologize if this is the wrong forum for this, but it seemed appropriate.

My question has two parts:

1) Can any image be used as a placeholder? I am developing a card game and would eventually like to put it on Kickstarter, but neither I nor my coworker are artists. I understand that I can use traditional placeholders (or just black images), but I was wondering what the hard and fast rule is for a placeholder image. What constitutes a placeholder? Can I use any image for demoing and prototyping as long as I (obviously) don't use it for production or profit? Or do I have to stick with generic images?

2) When we actually start looking for artists to illustrate equipment, lanscapes, creatures, etc, how should we go about it? I had originally intended to run a contest on DeviantArt and see what kind of talent surfaces, but I don't know what artists are generally attracted to, much less where to go to find them. Where are some good places to start looking? What are some good ways to attract artists? What is the likely going rate for 2-3 square inches of art? Additionally, when should we practically concern ourselves with looking for actual art?

I know that there's a lot of questions here, but I've picked up a few of them while I've been trolling the internet for answers. If anyone can link me to acceptable answers or answer any of these questions themselves, I'd be very appreciative.

Also, let me know if I can clarify any of these questions.

Sponsor:

#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8641

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:41 AM

I apologize if this is the wrong forum for this, but it seemed appropriate.


I disagreed, so I moved it to Visual Arts.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 JPFortner   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:58 AM


I apologize if this is the wrong forum for this, but it seemed appropriate.


I disagreed, so I moved it to Visual Arts.


Thank you. :)

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8641

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:00 AM

Your question #1 involves a legal question. You must not use any art that belongs to other parties, when those other parties have not explicitly placed the art in the public domain or offered it for use freely without restriction. If you want to obtain clarity on this matter, start a new discussion in the Business/Law forum.

And upon closer examination, your question #2 incorporates business questions as well (payment, hiring). So the mod of this forum might decide that the whole thread more properly belongs in Business/Law rather than Visual Arts. (In any case, it certainly isn't a Game Design question.)

You can recruit artists using the Classifieds.

When you have multiple questions of different categories, best to post individual questions, separately, in the appropriate forums.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#5 JPFortner   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:37 AM

Well, I generally asked #2 because we're evidently new to the business aspect of what we do. I was hoping to receive some tips and methods on the whens and hows of acquiring art or artists. I wanted a general overview of the big picture rather than simply, "Go to the classifieds." Likely as not, I won't use the classifieds unless I know more about some of the ins and outs. I would likely just make a colossal mockery of the whole thing, and I doubt that's what anyone wants.

I originally chose Game Design because the heart of my question was about the game design process as a whole rather than just where to hire and what to pay them. It's not a hard-and-fast question, again because I have too little knowledge to benefit from a hard-and-fast answer. I need broad insight.

I'll wait for any further answers someone might have for me.

#6 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2661

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 11:18 AM

This is a relatively new project but you may find it serves to answer some of your questions as well opening up possibilities to you as your game develops

http://lpc.opengameart.org/

#7 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8641

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:38 PM

1. Well, I generally asked #2 because we're evidently new to the business aspect of what we do. I was hoping to receive some tips and methods on the whens and hows of acquiring art or artists.
2. I originally chose Game Design because the heart of my question was about the game design process as a whole rather than just where to hire and what to pay them. ... I need broad insight.


1. Determine what the art needs are for your project. If you want to acquire art without hiring an artist, do a search for art. If you want to hire an artist, do a search for artists. The Classifieds would be one place to find artists. Another would be Gamasutra.

2. I looked again, and I don't see any game design question anywhere above.

I'm convinced now that this is a Business question, so I'm moving this again (this time to Business).
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#8 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2661

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 02:09 PM

Excellent, I get to address the very simple and easily understood laws of copyright (I really do need to know the emoticon for sarcasm).

Welcometo Gamedev and hopefully we can help you solve your many many questions. One piece of advice - Don't take what Tom Sloper is saying to you to heart. Each forum is specialised to a degree and what you will find is that you may not obtain all the answers you need in one forum. Specifically legal/business questions are more likely to find an answer in this forum, whereas questions about Art tend to belong Visual Arts etc. You may note the top of each forum list is divided into Technical, Creative and Business. When Tom is moving you around what he is endeavouring to do is locate you in the best forum for which you could obtain most of your answers (not an easy task given the range of them tbh). Where he advises the idea of splitting up questions so that they can be matched with appropriate forums, he is giving that advice in order to enable you the best access to the right people. You will find that most people in gamedev tend to inhabit their own corners of the forums and wander rarely though there are some who do so.

First of all -- Whilst there are general rules of thumb for copyright -- there are also many differences in copyright between differing countries. The first piece of advice is - consult a lawyer appropriately qualified to provide you insight into your country's specific differences. If you are unable to afford a lawyer, I might suggest checking with Art councils, legal aid etc for people who can give you insight -- these usually tend to be free with their advice and somewhat knowledgable of local conditions.

Second of all - because copyright is such a pain in the proverbial "donkey" -- it is often much simpler to say something more specific for example "I want to use the Mona Lisa picture as a visual - Can I do this?" Specific questions like that are a lot easier to obtain answers for (most of the time).

Okay Artworks (I shall refer to all visual mediums by this term rather than individualising except where appropriate) that have entered the Public domain are no longer copyrighted, BUT and this is where the fun starts. If for example you wanted to use the visual of an artwork owned by a museum you might run into problems. Many museums and similar bodies assert an argued right that they have rights to images taken of their "owned" public domain artworks. This has never really been established conclusively to anyone's happiness but one general rule of thumb does extend from this, a photograph taken of the artwork itself with no alterations made whatsoever appears to be sufficiently protected legally.

Normally a copyright on artwork will exist for the life of the artist responsible plus 70 years, therefore you may consider that any artwork where the artist died on/before (looks at date) 13th April 1942 as being in the Public Domain. I wish that was true :(. The exception to this is "estates" - said artist dies but the estate holder may be granted an extended copyright. For example:

The court ended up ruling, by a 7-to-2 vote in 2003 in Eldred v. Ashcroft, that extensions for works still under copyright are allowed.
This month, the court agreed to hear a case on the question Justices Breyer and Souter anticipated, one that will test whether there is indeed a constitutional line Congress may not cross when it comes to the public domain.
The new case asks whether Congress acted constitutionally in 1994 by restoring copyrights in foreign works that had belonged to the public, including films by Alfred Hitchcock and Federico Fellini, books by C. S. Lewis and Virginia Woolf, symphonies by Prokofiev and Stravinsky and paintings by Picasso, including “Guernica.”


Lions, tigers and bears! Oh, my! You might be saying at this point and you wouldn't be too far from the truth.

Works that have entered the public domain that have been absolved of their copyrights by the owner (and here it can get contentious the owner and artist who made it can be different people and has at times caused legal cases to crop up when said artist says you can't do that to my copyright!). The other issue that also becomes concerning is the growth of plagiarism on the internet. Many artworks have been attributed as having been created by an artist different to the actual artist. So there is the potential minefield of downloading a public domain graphic that turns out to have been a plagiarised copyrighted graphic. The truth be told though given the sheer plethora of free art on the net - you may never ever know who if anyone holds copyright or whether it is public domain.

So much for public domain works.

Okay onto Artworks still under copyright - you will need to obtain the permission of holder of the copyright in order to use it without legal sanctions.Simple as that. I am not going to go into issues of fair use etc and all that because tbh I don't think it extends into what you were asking about.

Some basic advice -- It is cheap, effective and utterly free to make your own artwork as placeholders. If you want feedback on how the artwork looks or how it could be improved -- then by all means throw it into the Visual Arts forum for advice and feedback. You might however give basic consideration to scouting a local talent in your area and bribe them with gifts and flowers etc to do a set of pictures for you that aren't difficult and take no time and convince them to let you have copyright.......Make a contract if you do that.

So any image that is in public domain you can use - WITH EXCEPTIONS!.

Any image still copyrighted you can also use - IF YOU HAVE GAINED PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER!

I hope that this post has not depressed you and I truly do hope that it helps you understand somewhat about this morass of legal spaghetti.

#9 kdog77   Members   -  Reputation: 229

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:32 PM

1. I have seen placeholders in pitch books and story-boards for internal meetings at publishers, but I have not seen anyone using them on public sites like Kickstarter because everyone will know you are a wannabe and not a real developer. Go get the art you want to use (legally) from established artists or develop some original concept art before advertising/displaying your game to the public. Otherwise it might be misleading representation of what you intend to create or piss off other copyright holders.

2. Use Linkedin.com to find experienced artists.

Good luck!
Kevin Reilly
Email: kevin.reilly.law@gmail.com
Twitter: kreilly77




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