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SteelGolem

is it stealing?

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[i suppose this applies to anything, but i'm posting here because it seems more relevant.] i'm looking over art and modelling forums for ideas for ship graphics for my game. i'm going to end up drawing it all myself, and hopefully i'll wind up with something that looks good. when you're drawing ideas from others' works, are you obligated to give props.. or is it expected that noone's ideas are ever original?

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all art is derivative of other art. people use other art all the time as influence for their new art. as long as you are not copying, it's just how art works. beyond art, it's how most things work. When making an FPS game you don't have to give credit to id software for more or less inventing the genre. Similarly you don't have to give credit to Monet for making an impressionist painting.

you'd only want to get permission or give credit if your art is very obviously a rip-off (i.e. looks almost exactly the same just different colors)

-me

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Drawing inspiration from others is to be expected and normally you give props to your inspirations, though it isn't legally required.

Taking someone's actual design and using it is grounds for legal trouble, however. Taking a 2D concept and turning it into a 3D model doesn't change the fact that it is somebody else's design as well, just so you know. You know Scat from Ice Age? One of my professors know the guy who made that little amusing squirrel, except when he made him he made him as a 2D piece of clip art. The guys from Blue Sky Studioes thought that by rendering the little guy in 3D, they were producing a whole new concept. They were wrong and that dude is living fat off the royalties, especially since they just turned around and released a second Ice Age film!

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Since the answer was kind of vague:

Directly copying a piece of art is copyright infringement - you need permission (pay royalties) to use it.

Drawing inspiration from a piece of art to create another is not copyright infringement.

Implimenting someone elses original character or unique object as a piece of art is copyright infringement - not of the art you based your drawing/3D model on, but of the design IP. For example making a 3D model of Mickey Mouse based on a Walt Disney drawing won't get you in trouble for breaking copyright on the drawing, it will get you in trouble for breaking the copyright on the character design.

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It likely depends on how general the ideas are that you replicate.

Copying verbatum is stealing.

A feeling for a shape to generate something similar might not be.


Putting fins on your spaceship after seeing another one with fins is
using a generic feature (which the other probably got somewhere else themself)
is not.

Its that middle one that can be hard to tell the degree.

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