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Using other game art as a model to start?

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Hello graphics forumn. This is my first post here and am a little skeptical of the answers i may get. Let me say that i am creating a tilebased game demo which is basically gonna be a senior project for graduation. The view is going to be "isometric". I put it in quotes since its striving for that look without using the standard isometic tiles and graphics of that type of game. Anyways i kind of have a couple of questions so here i go: 1) Lets take an example of a dirt graphic used from something like ultima online. Its probably not too hard to create on my own but i do have some sames i am presently using in my demo. I got the graphics not from the game itself but from jpegs of screenshots(not that that matters much). Of course this isnt very nice of me to use it in my demo. So what if i changed the texture a little and maybe changed the hue(??) to make it a more lite brown color. --->So, at what point, if there is one in your mind, would this new "tile graphic" not be considered the rights of the owners/creaters? 2) Lets say i am playing a 3d game and take a bunch of screen shots of a player walking in some direction to use for bitmap animation of a character, instead of trying to draw the different sequences of walking on my own. Of course i assume this is not allowed. But what if i cant draw 16 different frames of animation on my own and i use this as a MODEL for my character. For example i take the 16 screenshots of some 3d model player. If i change the way that model bitmap looks..say change it from a player model from the game wearing pants and shirt to an ELF wearing armor. ---> Do you think that this model, if converted to a bimap, then converted to a different looking species, is still considered the rights of the owner? Both questions are very similar. I understand that using others artwork without permission is bad, but if you change it and create something new from it..is it still theirs...its almost like i use them as models i guess. Anyways, what you think?

aka John M. Never give up. Never surrender!

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This is just my opinion, don''t take it too seriously.

As for your first question: I think that changing the bitmap around voids any copyrights that may be on it but if you ask me, changing the color''s of somone else''s art and calling it your own is just plain cheap.

I like your next idea MUCH better. If it was a direct screenshot I would say no but using the model pics as a sort of template for your own is a good idea. Here''s an idea... Make (or find) a really basic "maniquin" type model and take screenshots of it in lots of different positions, then do your art over it. This way you can get the proportions and such right and not be influenced by the existing model. Just a thought.

-----------------------------

Blue*Omega

(Insert Witty Quote Here)

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You can NOT modifiy a pieceof art and calling it your own.

That is stealing.

You can get your inspiration from other''s works though (ideas are never copyrigthed)

What you could do, though, since I guess youre making this game for "educational purpose" (your own education, that is), is use other people work, NOT change them, but give them ALL the credits concerning art.

But never, never call it yur own, no matter how much you modify it...

My opinion anyway, for what its worth...

** Persnnaly, I''d be glad if someone would take my art (yea right) but he/she would have to ASK ME PERMISSION first. Email. It takes 2 minutes. I wouldnt like to see my art on other peoples game or website orwhatever without seeing my name anywhere... Well you get the point anyway...

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You guys have posted fairly..and thats cool.
I do have a couple of added comments to make to my post:

I dont disagree that its a "cheap" thing to convert just the color of a graphic, and I would like to add that i wouldnt consider this as my artwork(meaning i wouldnt say oh i made this dirt or grass tile all by myself..im not that cheap).

As for mentioning the art, and using it directly, thats one thing ive considered. I would totally give full recognition to the artist and his work if it was an independant artist i could talk to directly!!!

But since im afraid that its not such a good idea since this is a big gamming company. What would i say, "umm, im doing a demo and would like to use your graphics in mine." They''ll laugh at me and say if we see your stuff out there we''ll sue you....unless you wanna spend thousands to release the artists permissions for you.

As for the 3d game models: i originaly had stick-figure drawings on paper. My plan was to transfer each of these drawings into the 16 frames of animation PER 8 DIRECTIONS. Then once each stick-figure is drawn to a frame, convert it to a more 3d solid looking figure. I estimated this tedious process to take about 3 weeks with my schedule. The process of extracting the frames from a 3d model in a game will cut my time down to a week. Ive saved and deleted over 400 screenshots these past 4 days alone getting the 16 frames per direction..i just resize them, take out the background, and place them into frames...still tedious but ive jumped a bunch of steps in this process and i now have a correctly moving sprite. If you want to do this for fun, you can convert some of your favorite 3d games into 2d games like a tilebased version of sorts.

aka John M.
Never give up. Never surrender!


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Guest Anonymous Poster
Using someone else''s work without permission is copyright infringement, but one of the provisions of copyright is fair use, which includes educational use. So you could copy the graphics in order to learn about drawing or animation and it would probably be ok.

Using them in your game is a bit grey, esp if you intend to put it up for download. At the very least you need to give full credit.

I would discuss it with my academic advisor / teacher and get their opinion. You should also write the game company - the worst that could happen is they say no.

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You might wanna try to get poser... it might come very helpful (and there are LOTS of royalty-free props all over the internet)

I''ve seen poser 3 FULL free in some 3d magazines.... just try to get one...

this would save you maybe 2 weeks, maybe more

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What I do is download zsnes and look for a rom that has the same view or animations that I may need. I then take screen shots wf what I need like say I need frames of a person running I then run right in the game and keep pressing the screen shot button. I then take what I need from the pics and stick them all on one bitmaps and print them out I study the way that they animate it and then I take my sprite and draw and color him/her as if it would look in the game. I then use photoshop and cut, past, and rotate, the body parts that move and make frames that look like the ones I printed but with my character. The stances are not copyrighted just the art.

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quote:

. Email. It takes 2 minutes.



HAHA!!!
"Dear ''Enter favorite game''s company here'',
I really like you game ''enter favorite game'', especially the artwork, in fact, I''m making a similar game. And I was just kinda, sorta, thinkin'' of maybe, if you didn''t mind too much, using your artwork in my game, I''ll give you full credit of course, but I suck at graphics and it''s much easier for me to just take yours, I would really appreciate it, and maybe even send you a check if I make some money.
Sincerely,
''Your name here''"

Ok, you never know, they may let you use it. I''m not making fun of your response Biere et punk, just having some fun with it.



"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams."
- Willy Wonka

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Your second idea (using screenshots of models) is quite good, and shows that you have some sort of creative abilities.
Hence you wouldnt have any excuses for using idea 1. Taking someone else''s work, changing the hue a bit, modifying some pixels, AND THEN CALL IT YOUR OWN, is awfully lame. It''s probably the most common thing lamers do. If you dont believe me, go and browse some skinning sites for quakelike, and see how this kind of people are treated.
Giving recognition would certainly be a good idea. Even if you make modifications.
But in this case, I''d rather go and use the damn original thing. You are doing this for a project, and there is a certain tendency to consider it as OK. Especially if your focus is coding, not art.

For your second idea, I''d actually suggest that you use a model viewer. You could then have total freedom to create sprites based on models. You would have all freedom to make your screenshots frame per frame... And there are tons and tons of models out there with artists that will probably delighted at the idea you liked their work enough to use it in a clever and original way...

But in the end, the choice is yours.
Just dont be tempted by the dark side, dont become Yet Another Llama.

youpla :-P

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Oh and by the way GalaxyQuest, you do not necessarly need to draw the 16 frames for all 8 directions. 2 directions should be enough, especially for a demo game (or maybe 4). Use photoshop or any other paint program to rotate the sprite in the other 6 (or maybe 4) direction (it depends of the point of vied of your camera, of course)

And again, if this is a "demo" game, 10 frames for a walk cycle should be enough to make smooth animation.... just play the same frame twice or whatever technique you prefer according to your code...

Biere et punk

Oh, and Bitblt, i agree that this sounds kind of stupid to email a BIG game company but hey, you never know! But what I was talking about was more single small artist... If the game is for a school project I dont think you need to get the graphics from the same artists as the big game company, there are lots of talented artists on the web that would probably be glad to help you out with sprites & arts if you give them credits. Those people wont laugh at your email. (Of course, this probably won''t be the same quality...) Just wanted to clarify my point...

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Using any part of a copywritten image, altered or otherwise, with out the (written) permition of the owner is illegal (in Australia and probobly in US as well). And any image you draw is covered by copywright, you do not need to put a little ''c'' in the corner or anything. All art you do, ever, is covered un till 50 years after your death. (in Australia) (unless you sell the copyright)

BUT,

All of that depends on you getting caught

As Mr Cup always says,
''''I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me.''''

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Thought I''d chime in here...
I think retro-enginering is a very important skill.
The Idea is then to go and make your own based on what you
learned. If you don''t then you''ll never acheive true knowing,
in which case you''ll never understand what really goes into art
(game or otherwise)
On the other hand if you''ve only got a week and need to get the
hell finished with school. By all means get it done.

PS. HEY all whats this about modeling and rotating???
I''m out here in a cave doing all my 2D sprites one pixel at a
time? Can someboody point me to where I could find out about
this?????????????????????????????????????????????????

----------------------------------------------------------------
Then Bedivere spake--
For bold in heart and act and word was he,
Whenever slander breathed against the King

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Well if anyones still reading (good for you). I believe almost all art is partly copied from somewhere, half of being an artist is incorporating other artists work into your own. That actually constitutes 1/4 of my A-level. So if you ask me modifying art and calling it your own is what art is about (partly). For example many people use djgpp and allegro and create excellent programs which they call their own although you dont expect them to have built the compiler and graphics library. In the same way as people that modify art and call it their own. In fact one of the runners up for thr Turner prize (in the U.K/big art competition) simply copied others great works of art and put a twist on them.

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Well, first i would like to say that once i actually started a little bit of "game" programming i can say i matured immensely in many ways. Not only is my appreciation for the work that goes into game programming been raised, but also a real appreciation for the artists and how talented they are.

And im glad i started this thread.. the replies have been honest and fair(no real cheap shots taken), so thanks. Its given me a little more perspective on things and i really do want to try to create "original" stuff on my own even though school and other things are really cramping my style. Given time and money constraints, im gonna check out the learning curve on some of these "free" modelers out here like anim8tor and blender and read any threads about them later. I will also give more effort into creating "original" ground tiles for my demo as well..cross my fingers.

To biere to punk:
Yeah, i knew about the tricks to save time creating new images by mirroring and such already processed figures. Ill actually do that for one of my more "general" figures. The current model im using holds a shield on one side and i went ahead and took screenshots of all 8 directions. But thanks anyways.

To lupine:
For sprites and using models, say for an isometric figure that walks in the basic 8 directions, you can use the "mirror" control in paintshop pro/photoshop. Im assuming this is what you are asking about.. in my case i would create the images for n,ne,e,se, and s. I can then mirror NE to get NW and mirror E to get West, and mirror SE to get SW. So i save myself from doing 3 extra sets of frames..which is over a third of the job...and if that character has a lot of actions and can be mirrored...its a huge savings in time. Well, i guess if you knew this maybe someone who didnt will now know.

aka John M.
Never give up. Never surrender!


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as far as i know, the copy right laws dont come into play as long as 10% of the object in question is noticably different. this was a few years ago so i may be wrong now, that is just fine. but this does not mean that you should copy any art from anyone else. I would see nothing wrong with useing somthing as an inspiration though as I have done this on occasion. sometimes you need an idea from somthing. this is all well and good as long as you take the time to do it yourself therafter.

I am not text, I am not organized pixels, I am not killed by turning off your monitor, I am not isolated by turning off your computer. I just am.

Conshape Electronic Arts


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quote:

I'm out here in a cave doing all my 2D sprites one pixel at a
time? Can someboody point me to where I could find out about
this?????????????????????????????????????????????????



24.70.255.173/tutorial/default.htm, try it out, it's pretty good.



"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams."
- Willy Wonka

Edited by - BitBlt on January 20, 2001 5:35:07 PM

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for ammusement. ill show you some tiles i made for a game running in 210 color and 320x200 resolution.


I am not text, I am not organized pixels, I am not killed by turning off your monitor, I am not isolated by turning off your computer. I just am.

Conshape Electronic Arts


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That''s pretty good, actually. Curious, are you using RPGMaker to create a game or just making tiles on their own? If you''re not already using it and just want to have some fun, I''d recommend playing with RPGMaker some. You can import your tilesets and make your own game. Of course, if you''re interested in making a commercial grade game with those kind of graphics, GameBoy Advance is probably a good move. It''s back to the SNES with GBA!

Charles

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no, i used paint for those as i was working in the ohrrpgce(official hamsterrepublic rpg cunstruction engine. i had a 210 color pallete and 320x200 resollution to piss with. not good. then again, my signature sprite was meant to be the sprite style for a game to made in the sprite game engine. this engine supports 16bit color and 600x500 resollution.

I am not text, I am not organized pixels, I am not killed by turning off your monitor, I am not isolated by turning off your computer. I just am.

Conshape Electronic Arts


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another example of crappy sprite drawing


I am not text, I am not organized pixels, I am not killed by turning off your monitor, I am not isolated by turning off your computer. I just am.

Conshape Electronic Arts




Edited by - Fantasy Edge on January 25, 2001 9:08:25 PM

Edited by - Fantasy Edge on January 25, 2001 9:09:52 PM

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