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TJ09

2017-02-14 - Valentine's Day!

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Ohhhhhhhhh boy! Bottom of page 26, explanation by TJ! Sure explains an awful lot... I wouldn't have trusted Tazzay anyways, given they never had releases on Tale of Dragons because they were caught tracing there.

 

It sucks this happened, but I like the replacements, they sure look good for a rush job and it's nice to finally have some closure as to why this happened. I think TJ handled it maturely.

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Thanks for posting, TJ! smile.gif

 

Personally, I'm still of the opinion that horse/deer look like those photos/sprites a LOT and I can't see why it would be an issue with these particular dragons*, but it's nice to see the evidence behind the decision. It's always good to hear/see both sides. smile.gif

 

*were similar concerns ever voiced about horses, hellhorses, etc?

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Thank you for the explanation (and evidence), TJ.

 

After reading both artists' accounts and yours, as an artist myself, I can understand why you did what you did. It's one thing to reference, but these do look like blatant tracings in my book.

 

It's just unfortunate that this event boiled down to this.

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I still don’t understand why we couldn’t have gotten complete replacements? Even if it would have taken longer. I do see similarities between the original sprites and the images posted, but what is essentially being said is that the artists’ concept was good enough to be used but not their art. And our talented mystery spriter made new sprites that were clearly intended to RESEMBLE the originals, so in essence we’ve now got a copy of a copy. How is that better?

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Well, as promised, they are clearly comfortable sharing what they believe happened, so here we go.

 

The sprites violated the artist agreement from the very beginning because the original sketch was available on DA. This was discovered by someone else and reported to me after the release had already started.

 

Specifically, the text reads:

 

 

Because the sketch was available, and because there is a history of Tazzay tracing (they have had incidents on other sites, and apparently had a concept removed from the DC forums in 2013 after its sketch was implicated as being partially traced, something I wasn't aware of at the time the dragons were submitted), I asked edwardelricfreak to provide their references for the sketch.

 

After examining the references and several other easily-discovered images (such as those found in Tazzay's and edwardelricfreak's favorites), a number of concerning similarities were found. These similarities extend beyond simple "pose resemblences" into what appears to be direct copying/tracing:

 

https://galio.technoized.com/image.png (left leg almost exactly matches an image by an artist that created a well-known anatomy reference, and there is a visible difference in the lining right where it matches).

https://galio.technoized.com/image2.png (the right leg on the adult almost exactly matches one of the references used).

https://i.imgur.com/Ef1BPa9.png (pose for the S2 is almost identical to a stock photo found easily via google).

 

Combined with the historical context, the number of similarities was enough for me to decide the risk of these sprites being plagiarized was too great. The course of action set forth in the artist agreement is clear regarding the matter—the sprites cannot simply be edited, because the risk of the new sprites being plagiarized (or other parts being traced without my knowledge simply because the source images hadn't been located). To quote the relevant section (emphasis mine):

 

 

 

And per the removal process (again, emphasis mine):

 

 

 

Given that the dragon was already out there, the agreement says I can't just completely pull it; replacements must be made. As I mentioned earlier, I notified Tazzay and edwardelricfreak of this the night before my dragons became adults, and received a response from Tazzay shortly after (I should also note that, as I said before, I had contacted edwardelricfreak numerous times on the matter, including providing the same evidence images linked above; Tazzay PMed me in response to one of these PMs, so they must have known what was going on as well).

 

The whole situation is unfortunate, and has resulted in a lot of churn due to sprites that were already in the wild being replaced only days after their release. Had there been a way for me to avoid this whole mess, I certainly would have taken it; however, the artist agreement is pretty explicit on how this was to be handled.

Boi. This is some poop. I mean I understand the need for secrecy now, you were letting them save face. What a crummy situation.

 

Thanks for protecting the cave from the risk of using plagiarized stuff. As an artist, the integrity of the art on site matters to me.

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Looking at TJ's part of the story, and the images posted with similarities... I just don't really see it. I mean, the back legs are similar, but that's an incredibly generic pose that doesn't seem difficult to replicate at all. Sure, the thing about the sketch being displayed on DeviantArt is new, but it sounds like the main issue was with the posing, and that just seems silly to me. Of course, what's done is done, and it's still impressive that a new sprite was made over the span of two days, but it really just doesn't seem like pulling the original was necessary.

 

That's of course, just my opinion, and I'm not particularly well-versed in art.

It's certainly more noticeable on the sketch than on the sprite; "similar rearing pose" doesn't explain why the sketch lines up almost exactly, however. I don't have particularly good examples of a situation done right, but perhaps someone else can provide an example of "here's a case where a sketch used a reference properly" so you can see the difference.

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All this over a stock photo of a horse? I thought the accusations of tracing were about another sprite or artwork, not a reference photo. How absolutely ridiculous. Can we not reference anything now?

 

I genuinely thought this was art theft. It clearly isn't.

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*snip*

 

These similarities extend beyond simple "pose resemblences" into what appears to be direct copying/tracing:

 

https://galio.technoized.com/image.png (left leg almost exactly matches an image by an artist that created a well-known anatomy reference, and there is a visible difference in the lining right where it matches).

https://galio.technoized.com/image2.png (the right leg on the adult almost exactly matches one of the references used).

https://i.imgur.com/Ef1BPa9.png (pose for the S2 is almost identical to a stock photo found easily via google).

 

*snip*

The fact that they weren't supposed to have the sketch out there, I understand. And the second stage does in fact have that same pose.

 

But for the adult stage, really? Every single equine, cervine, canine, feline, etc. leg looks exactly the same. A thigh, a hock, and a pastern. The other leg doesn't even match up. The leg isn't the same size. The pastern is much longer, and the hoof doesn't even end in the same spot.

 

For the first one, the similarities are more striking, but not really. The left leg (our right) doesn't match up at all, really. The right (our left) leg isn't even the same proportion?

 

 

You can say what you want, but you can edit any photo of a horse standing on its hind legs and lay another photo over it of art someone did of a horse rearing, etc. You can edit them to all look like they've been sketched. It just takes the right photograph.

 

That reason is ridiculous, although I understand playing it safe, I think that's way, way too safe.

 

If anything, the second stage should've been the one that was pulled and re-worked, for its similarities to the pose of the deer... even though you can't copyright poses, but, whatever.

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Ohhhhhhhhh boy! Bottom of page 26, explanation by TJ! Sure explains an awful lot... I wouldn't have trusted Tazzay anyways, given they never had releases on Tale of Dragons because they were caught tracing there.

 

It sucks this happened, but I like the replacements, they sure look good for a rush job and it's nice to finally have some closure as to why this happened. I think TJ handled it maturely.

A little unfair IMO. People are allowed to make mistakes and then learn from them.

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The fact that they weren't supposed to have the sketch out there, I understand. And the second stage does in fact have that same pose.

 

But for the adult stage, really? Every single equine, cervine, canine, feline, etc. leg looks exactly the same. A thigh, a hock, and a pastern. The other leg doesn't even match up. The leg isn't the same size. The pastern is much longer, and the hoof doesn't even end in the same spot.

 

For the first one, the similarities are more striking, but not really. The left leg (our right) doesn't match up at all, really. The right (our left) leg isn't even the same proportion?

 

 

You can say what you want, but you can edit any photo of a horse standing on its hind legs and lay another photo over it of art someone did of a horse rearing, etc. You can edit them to all look like they've been sketched. It just takes the right photograph.

 

That reason is ridiculous, although I understand playing it safe, I think that's way, way too safe.

 

If anything, the second stage should've been the one that was pulled and re-worked, for its similarities to the pose of the deer... even though you can't copyright poses, but, whatever.

Maybe we could overlay something? To demonstrate how it does or does not line up?

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Now that I know about this whole ordeal, I feel sorry for EEF. But, there could be a ray of hope and they could get in contact with this anonymous spriter and help them touch it up.

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If the Deviant art thing is a problem, there are only two options. Either removing the sketch is sufficient, and it needs to be removed, or it isn't sufficient, and that should be reason enough for removing the original sprites.

 

As for those pictures. You've got to be kidding me with the "similarities" between them. If this is "tracing", then I'm surprised there are any dragons left in the concept forum.

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thanks for the explanation TJ, it's one thing to reference and make sure what you have is anatomically correct, but it's completely something else to outright trace...

 

Though this particular case does still strike me as a bit odd. The poses picked out here are common - one's even part of a movement cycle.

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Maybe we could overlay something? To demonstrate how it does or does not line up?

There's a slight overlay for the taurus leg and the horse, but they don't seem to match up (at least to me).

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Maybe we could overlay something? To demonstrate how it does or does not line up?

I guess my challenge to you would be to find a picture of a horse rearing someone drew, and spend a minute looking up "horse rearing" on google.

 

You'll surely find at least one if not multiple that look like the artist traced in the lower legs, and perhaps even in the lower/upper legs both.

 

Every leg looks the same. Most mammals have the same basic set up - and heck, even birds have the same bones in their legs, just a bit edited.

 

The fact that the second photograph is only one leg that they specifically put in place to make it look traced is my biggest pet peeve here? The other leg doesn't match up at all.

 

 

Again, I can see playing safe with the second stage, but my god.

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A little unfair IMO. People are allowed to make mistakes and then learn from them.

Yeah, but after tracing on ToD and getting caught, Tazzay went and got caught for tracing in Dragon Requests. Evidently, they only learned to fudge things around to hide it better.

 

And if even JUST the s2 is traced, you can't trust that they won't submit other traced or copied sprites to the cave in the future...

Edited by TheCompleteAnimorph

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I still don’t understand why we couldn’t have gotten complete replacements? Even if it would have taken longer. I do see similarities between the original sprites and the images posted, but what is essentially being said is that the artists’ concept was good enough to be used but not their art. And our talented mystery spriter made new sprites that were clearly intended to RESEMBLE the originals, so in essence we’ve now got a copy of a copy. How is that better?

I think there would have been two options to handle this.

 

First would be to replace the entire dragon with the runner up from the valentines submissions.

 

Second would be what happened: a quick replacement, trying to keep the essence of the original.

 

 

It probably happened the way it did because people were already exclaiming that they were exited for a purple Valentines dragon. Replacing purple with purple would theoretically have had less of a backlash than having something completely different. And chances are the pre-made replacements would have not been purple, and so the artists would have had to have given permission for their pink (or whatever) dragon to be recolored.

 

TJ also made it clear why we didn't have a fog. The artist agreement required there to be a replacement sprite set before the old ones could be pulled. Replacing the images with a placeholder is not a replacement set.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing, TJ. That explains a lot.

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I sorta get the resemblance for the back legs a little tiny bit for the adult sprite when you compare both pictures. With one picture, it looks like one leg is similar, and with the other it looks like the other leg is similar. With that said though the poses and position for both legs when they connect to the main body doesn't match, and unless you Photoshop both back legs together from both pictures it's hard to spot... It looks like pictures were definitely looked at for reference, but I kinda doubt they were sketched over top of both pictures, especially since you'd have to overlay two separate images over top of each other and at that point they might as well did the upper body the same way if they're going through that much effort, and the upper body doesn't match anything. As for the stage 1 sprite it... honestly it kinda looks more like a dog walking than it does the picture.

 

I'm very sorry, I know I'm a novice and everything but... it doesn't really look similar enough to each of them to really be plagiarized, even with the sketch, which probably shouldn't have been up.

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Honestly, despite some frustration, this was me when I came into the thread yesterday:

 

user posted image

 

I will still keep/love my feather butts, despite it all. Thank you spriters. :]

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Yeah, but after tracing on ToD and getting caught, Tazzay went and got caught for tracing in Dragon Requests. Evidently, they only learned to fudge things around to hide it better.

 

And if even JUST the s2 is traced, you can't trust that they won't submit other traced or copied sprites to the cave in the future...

Perhaps so, and if it was something recognisable and unique from another sprite/sketch I could understand being harsh about it but as others have said these are very generic poses for rearing(S3)/walking(S2) horses/deer. unsure.gif In this particular situation I would give Benefit of the Doubt myself.

Edited by Aurae

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What people must understand is, tracing is heavily frowned upon and doesn't make you learn that much for the way of improvement. Come up with your own poses and styles and be inspired by others, not copying or tracing. Images off google and DA are not public domain (unless explicitly stated) and tracing other people's work or photos is explicitly copyright infringement because the licensing of said images might not allow derivative works. It does not fall under fair use this way. Fair use is redistributing the unaltered source material for educational purposes and not just something you can take off and trace/etc. By all means, use images to study in private, but posting them is not allowed unless you own the drawings or they are released for public domain.

 

To use anyone's art that isn't public domain you need to purchase a license or ask permission. Taking images from google doesn't make them free to use.

 

 

You have to realize tracing other people's art (and photos), and heavily referencing poses is art theft (even if "you can't copyright a pose" because while you can't, it's in poor taste to copy someone else exactly instead of being inspired or coming up with stuff on your own since you DO own a brain (at least I'd hope)). I should also mention: the issue isn't "poses". It's the fact that they traced pictures that were not free to use.

 

It does not make it okay in the slightest. Artists put a lot of hard work into their craft and for others to blatantly trace and rip off from others is extremely low and downright deplorable. People who have skills and talents should do their own things, not steal from others. The artists had every right to feel the way they feel because art theft isn't a nice thing to happen to you.

 

I've had my art commissions that I purchased with my own money be copied, traced, and heavily referenced and it hurts because these are all pieces made for me and for no one else's use but my own. Just like these dragons are made FOR ALL OF YOU TO ENJOY OUT OF THE SPARE TIME OF THESE ARTISTS, they have the same feelings of violation of their hard work.

 

So please look at it from an artists' perspective and see that you're undermining their feelings just because you can't "see" what they're feeling upset about.

 

Educate yourself about art theft. Art theft isn't just tracing or referencing. Images can be stolen, altered, sold, reprinted. That's just the start of it.

 

Ignorance isn't an excuse.

Edited by Devyn Star

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I say this as an artist who has seen SO. MANY. stock manga poses and the like where you can see the same damn pose used by many artists but its still different because of what the artist DID with them, and the different characters too and still clearly distinctively different from each other. You have less similarity to that photo than many pictures I've seen have to each other. smile.gif So don't worry about it, is what I'm gonna say.

 

This is a qoute from my mocking wyvern project. It's still incomplete, but some one had used the same exact drawing and redid it to where it would fit the design for the male. However, when someone pointed it out, I pulled it for fear of copyrighting it and replaced it. I later told people about it and that is what Sapphire had to say. She also said that she wouldn't have recognised the dragon otherwise had I not pointed it out

Edited by Raptor of Dragons

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I would totally understand it if something was clearly ripped from another sprite or drawing. But these are stock photos of a generic pose!

 

And if the spriters are to be believed this dragon has been submitted before. This should've been noticed then if it's such a huge and obvious issue. The sketch being up was wrong but that seems like an easy oversight. This seems so drastic over something so little.

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Yeah, but after tracing on ToD and getting caught, Tazzay went and got caught for tracing in Dragon Requests. Evidently, they only learned to fudge things around to hide it better.

Look, I get that you have some beef with me, but could you maybe stop? Yes, I did trace in the past to learn about anatomy. I don't anymore, because I learned and apologised for it. Please stop.

 

By extent, i'll put this here since someone decided to link eef's and my journals (please dont do that, actually)

 

The basis of it was that someone thought we had traced the legs of our sprite, and well...

 

Proceeded to go on a witch-hunt to try and find anything that resembles the legs of our dragon. Going so far as to look 5 pages into eef's deviantart favourites and picking out a piece that she favourited 6 years ago, that vaguely has legs like our dragon. Even if the pose we had was just a standard rearing pose, common for deer-like creatures. I watched eef draw the sketch, the most she did was use a reference for how the legs should be angled.

 

But shame that it had only been pointed out after our dragon got released. By the way things played out, it seems that someone got salty about us getting a holiday release, and immediately tried to smear our names in the dirt. By the way - the dragons have been submitted every year for the past 3 years. Funny how the issue was only brought up after the release, and not the three years before, huh?

 

I'm sorry everything played out like this, I never expected things to blow up like this because of some bloody legs.

 

As a final note - Funny how TJ removed our sprites because our dragon's legs resembles that of any rearing animal, but these sprites exist on the site already -

 

user posted image - exact same pose

 

user posted image - Legs almost identical, only flipped

 

But we had our sprites removed because the legs looked like that or any rearing animal, and therefor was 'traced'. Go onto the wiki and look at all the dragons, I assure you'll find similarities with a handful of dragons that, by TJ's words, are 'traced', but he hasn't said a peep about it.

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