View Full Version : Photosourcing ethics
06-15-2006, 09:57 AM
What are the generally accepted ethics on using images from the internet in photosourced textures in the games industry?
I would never steal from a concept or texture, but I'm not sure what people's attitudes are towards sourcing off of internet photos that may not be public domain.
06-15-2006, 10:39 AM
Personally, I feel that if you change it enough to the point that someone could not see it as being taken from the said photo, then you're okay.
But if you need to do a face texture, and you just copy and past a photo of someones face on your texture and then just adjust the UV map to fit the face, then I would say that's stealing.
06-15-2006, 11:08 AM
I feel pretty much the same way.
For easy stuff, I usally prefer to take my own photos, but in some cases it is simply impossible.
06-15-2006, 02:11 PM
depends...i worked on a basketball game once....and of course used straight up photos...
but i think i know what you mean. to be honest...sometimes cutting and pasting all kinds of photosourced stuff together is an art in it's own right....and really fun. so i personally don't mind using photo bits in that way. you always end up painting or stamping or using whatever tools to make it look better anyways. but having said that...i think Neo_God sums it up nicely
06-15-2006, 02:45 PM
I think it varies a lot with the subject matter personally. Finding a hi-res photograph of some beautiful baroque trim is only going to get worse if I try to change it myself, so I'll just stretch to a rectangle, crop and go. Of course, those situations are sadly rare...
fritz: I think Ninjas is talking about copyright issues, not aesthetic.
I've used stuff I've found for personal work on occasion, but I always heavily paint into photos.
Personally however, I would not take the risk of using anything I found on the internet in a commercial videogame.
Professionally you shouldn't be sourcing anything that is NOT royalty free. The company you work for should either already have a library of royalty free images to source from, or be willing to buy you some libraries that are royalty free.
Casually, I think it's open season on the internet and you've got a cyber Shotgun full of image killing bullets. You're not making money off of anything you do for your portfolio or do for fun so it doesn't matter which images you're using.
There are, of course, images out there that can only be obtained by purchasing - so if you're caught using them but you haven't paid for them than there might be a problem.
06-16-2006, 01:50 AM
I think, or actually, I was told, there is actually a percentage of change, where an image is sufficiently changed from the original. I cant remember how much, and it seems quite retarded that something like that can be mesured at all. But If you look at other art forms, even music, bits and peices of existing work are modified and used without giving any credit.
so after looking it up there is no set percentage or anything, but there is a "doctrine of de minimis" which is not very well described in what it limits and what it allows. It basically protects people from using small insignificant parts of copyrighted works.
06-16-2006, 03:26 AM
In my experience the ethics differ from person to person and from company to company. Personally if I need to use a photo I'll make sure the end result is different enough from the original - so I can't (or can barely) see any resemblance with the photo. Usually this can be done by re-painting parts; combining with other textures; layering; sensitive filtering, etc.
I read once in an art magazine that there is a certain percentage, which dictates when your work is too close to the original and thus considered a copyright violation.
06-16-2006, 06:36 AM
It seems like I shouldn't have worried since my textures are heavily edited, but I went ahead and got permission from the photographer anyway.
I thought it was still standard practice to use whatever photos you can if it makes the end result better, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to get blacklisted or something.
Thanks guys. I really appreciate your experience/advice on this!
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.