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Old 5th Apr 2012, 08:38 AM   #1
Starbase1
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Default On using content I didn't make myself...

I've never been particularly comfortable in general with using models or content I didn't make myself...

Somehow the resulting images often don't feel like they are really "mine", the process feels more like flower arranging, where any beauty in the result was there before I got started.

I'm particularly thinking of using Poser and/or Daz here, which tend to be heavily based on bought content. I've used it in the past, (and am doing so now), but it often felt like "apply pose a to figure b, with props c,d, and e..."

I've never been 100% happy with this position though - I've always been happy to use other people's textures for planets, so what's the difference?

Plus, I really like it when other people take models I have uploaded, and make a great image with them. Particularly if its like nothing I could have come up with.

I have looked at learning to make my own figures, but frankly it looks like a huge effort, and I'd much rather spend my time making good models of space hardware than bad models of people. But towards the end of last year I found a site with loads of covers from classic SF magazines, and it became painfully obvious to me that they almost all had figures in them, (if you include robots and humanoid aliens anyway). My own efforts began to look really sterile in comparison.

And even my beloved realistic space scenes sometimes need a good astronaut or cosmonaut in them. So I started looking at exporting figures to LW, where I felt I had more control, (particularly with lighting, and adding the modelled bits). Bought an astronaut figure and had it rigged.

And got very interested with the free Daz software, and their huge march sale, which has given me a LOT more stuff to muck about with. I particularly like the Genesis system, which is great for the mix and match of figures. For those unfamiliar, you can blend entire figures, including non human ones, and the results are generally pretty good to my eyes. It's flexible enough that when I use blends from several figures, the result feels very much like its mine - its not at all obvious in most cases what went into the mix, unlike the 4th generation Victoria and Michael figures, where I felt the source was really obvious 9 times out of 10.

It also makes for much better value - if (for example) the morphs for body builder detail, or expressions work with ALL genesis figures rather than being tied to one, its a lot more tempting to buy.

I like very much being able to go from an idea to a finished image in an evening, rather than spending a month doing the modelling. I like that I can produce images now which I think don't immediately show the bought elements in them, and that go a bit beyond what the creators of that content had in mind.

I feel I am ready to go past the 'experiment and move on' stage, to attempting quality images which really focus on a character idea.

But it does still feel like cheating.
A bit.

So how do other people feel? I think its a bit daft of me - as I said, particularly when I love what other people do with my models.

Nick
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 09:05 AM   #2
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I think you are being too hard on yourself.

IMHO, Don't you love that preface? Anyway, I see a lot of good coming from what you are doing. You are putting characters into your art which is more than just using a canned figure. You have to adjust poses even if you use a mocap or other pose. You have to match the pose and figure to the scene.

Even if you use models others have provided you are the one doing the work, setting up the scene, etc. To my way of thinking that is no different that a rigger working with a model someone else built on a movie. They didn't build the model but they brought it to life.
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 09:09 AM   #3
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I agree. I don't think I've ever used someone elses models for a render, which makes it difficult to do RA challenges I guess. I also have liked seeing my stuff used by others. I guess some of us are content users and some are content creators and some are both.
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 09:22 AM   #4
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In a professional environment the idea of doing everything yourself isn't practical which is why you have specific people to model, to texture, to light or whatever working together to create something greater than could be achieved by an individual.

I don't think personal projects differ really, if your strength is lighting and you'd like to light someone elses models it doesn't make your lighting any less valid or important. The idea of a content 'user' vs 'creator' comes from a very modeller-oriented perspective I think, and there's a lot more to CG than just modelling.
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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I still need to find some time to use your models of late for a couple of ideas I have.

I think (as others have said) you are being to hard on yourself...

Modeling is fun, but messing with other peoples models is even more fun, and no less original work for the whole.
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 09:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meurig View Post
I don't think personal projects differ really, if your strength is lighting and you'd like to light someone elses models it doesn't make your lighting any less valid or important. The idea of a content 'user' vs 'creator' comes from a very modeller-oriented perspective I think, and there's a lot more to CG than just modelling.
That's a very helpful perspective, thanks.

Not least because I find modelling the hardest bit, but seem to spend 90% of my CGI hobby time doing it!

I really should spend more time over making finished images with my own models...
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 11:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meurig View Post
In a professional environment the idea of doing everything yourself isn't practical which is why you have specific people to model, to texture, to light or whatever working together to create something greater than could be achieved by an individual.

I don't think personal projects differ really, if your strength is lighting and you'd like to light someone elses models it doesn't make your lighting any less valid or important. The idea of a content 'user' vs 'creator' comes from a very modeller-oriented perspective I think, and there's a lot more to CG than just modelling.
I wouldn't say that 's a modeler-oriented prespective, rather a hobbyist perspective. I can do my own projects with everything I create because the projects I do are relatively minor. I like the idea of modeling and texturing, then lighting and animating, then editing the animations and encoding. I don't really want to get stuck with one aspect of the art. Pros like yourself don't have the option when it's the job - one man can't make avatar. That's not to say using other peoples stuff is in someway lesser or not valid. To each their own. Collaborative work is the best work to do - I remember that from my beginning modding days, but these days I tend to do solo work.
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 11:28 AM   #8
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well to help make you feel worse about yourself about using paid content, i stumbled accross this site that has a huge range of free stuff!
http://archive3d.net/?category=29
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 11:29 AM   #9
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i worded that rong but you know what i mean
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 07:18 PM   #10
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Yeah, I gotta go with Meurig. My specialty is lighting and compositing. I'm an "okay" modeler, I've made a few things here and there, and they get the job done, but it's not the prettiest wireframe when all's said and done. And most of my better ones are very simple designs, they only look good because of attention to detail.

But I can take someone else's model and make it look gooooood.
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Old 5th Apr 2012, 07:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustythe1 View Post
well to help make you feel worse about yourself about using paid content, i stumbled accross this site that has a huge range of free stuff!
http://archive3d.net/?category=29
Holy cow, is there ever a lot of stuff in there!

Nick, there's nothing wrong with using someone else's creation. We do it every day. Your CG model, your computer, your phone, your car, your clothes; it's all other people's work. But as Meurig said, what you do with it is no less important.
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 04:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustythe1 View Post
well to help make you feel worse about yourself about using paid content, i stumbled accross this site that has a huge range of free stuff!
http://archive3d.net/?category=29
Hey, they have a Triebflugel!

http://archive3d.net/?a=download&id=528129cc#

Seriously cool animation possibilities for all you plane nuts, like this:

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Old 6th Apr 2012, 06:10 AM   #13
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The way that I've always looked at it is that if the content creators didn't want people to use them and make animations or stills... then they wouldn't upload them. Speaking for myself. I'm a much better modeler than I am at rendering, besides its always cool to see what another person can come up with.
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 06:35 AM   #14
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I'd love to model more of my own stuff, but it's a pretty frustrating process for me, it seems. What I do in a year, guys like Tobias Richter do in a week. Lighting, Texturing, Animating, Compositing on the other hand seems kinda "relaxing" to me, and here it doesn't even bother me when other people can achieve much greater things. Weird.
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Old 6th Apr 2012, 09:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wilde View Post
I'd love to model more of my own stuff, but it's a pretty frustrating process for me, it seems. What I do in a year, guys like Tobias Richter do in a week. Lighting, Texturing, Animating, Compositing on the other hand seems kinda "relaxing" to me, and here it doesn't even bother me when other people can achieve much greater things. Weird.
I know what you mean about modelling; what takes me "a while" people show their WiPs and say, 'this took me 1 hour to do". Just makes me want to "pack up my toys" and give up

I also use DAZ and Poser. I will also DL other people's models to examine and get inspiration from to help me get motivated to model stuff. Problem is, I can see all the stuff I want to do in my mind; but putting into 3D... that's the trick.

I've used a Poser figure for a book cover, only because it was a M3 figure and morphs: http://www.amazon.com/RENEGADE-The-W...3724817&sr=8-2.

If I had to do that figure myself... I'd still be modelling it
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Old 10th Apr 2012, 12:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meurig View Post
In a professional environment the idea of doing everything yourself isn't practical which is why you have specific people to model, to texture, to light or whatever working together to create something greater than could be achieved by an individual.

I don't think personal projects differ really, if your strength is lighting and you'd like to light someone elses models it doesn't make your lighting any less valid or important. The idea of a content 'user' vs 'creator' comes from a very modeller-oriented perspective I think, and there's a lot more to CG than just modelling.
completely agree!

i personally wouldn't feel bad, after all we all have strength's in certain areas and it isn't practical to do everything yourself, i do admit that the gratification you get isn't as much as if you created it all by yourself, but you are more likely to get sick of it, and it isn't at all practical.

also that 3D website, has loads of stuff on it, bare in mind that because it is free they do have some issue's per-say, i imported this fireplace created by Jeff Manfis into Modo and it took a rough hour to clean up, UV and sort out some minor model issues. still quicker than making it yourself though right? but it still isn't perfect, so here is a quick scene with some quick textures.
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Old 10th Apr 2012, 02:10 PM   #17
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Thinking about it, I'm also a lot less interested in modelling anything that has been modelled well before, unless I really think I can take it forward a level...
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Old 11th Apr 2012, 04:23 AM   #18
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exactly my thoughts
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