@LBJ, I’m sorry for my part in the complete derailment of your thread. As a regular and the privileges that come with it, I try to hold myself to a higher standard. I come here to give back to this community, not to get caught up in pointless arguments.
Neat. I tampered with steganography some time ago for completely different reasons, but I guess I could use your system that’s much easier…
How does that hold up to things like the image being resized or compressed? Would you say this is as good as or worse than professional solutions?
I think you are taking what beerbaron is saying the wrong way. He is only arguing with the notion that people will get bullied for not sharing a blendfile while making a case for why a cut down file will help people get their issues solved. On this forum they don’t bully people for not sharing their work. They just ask for a blend, then move on if one isn’t posted.
How much time did you spend on it? It comes down to
your time on it + expenses during producing + expectations + buyer's willingness + exchange rates
I sold many models/assets over the years and I do not worry about it. Worrying about it and trying to come up with protection solutions is an uphill battle, same with the software protections, you will end up punishing your customers/buyers.
You will also end up wasting your time with testing solutions. Your best bet is to attach a license.
If this is one to one commerce you can also try making the other side sign a contract, but that seems over zealous for a model.
…well… this is a pretty interesting discussion here, one must say.
For everyone that wants to pirate digital-assets, reading this topic gives them some pretty good ideas on what tricks you use…
BUT it also just keeps confirming one thing , that there is no way on earth you can prevent it… there is simply no system in place to protect your assets… other than selling them exclusively or make them to order.
That’s why I ask them to strip things down to the bare minimum required for any issue to remain there. Maybe even just a few faces of the object in question. They don’t often follow these instructions. That being said, the models are usually very generic and uninteresting to most of us.
But I have to say, when especially newbies don’t share something to examine, I usually ignore them. Reason being that especially newbies may have hit some key combo doing some obscure changes that you can’t simply see or guess from a image or screenshot. There has also been a couple of cases where they did share something and figuring it out was out of my league.
I’ve also gotten files that are too heavy for my equipment to handle. And files that include payware assets.
So, basically. If you’re art is not getting stolen yet, than it’s not good enough, you’re not good enough. And if your art is so good that it’s constantly being stolen, then you probably already don’t care. You enjoy creation.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t protect your art, just that don’t make big deal out of the protection.
This doesn’t apply to case where your only aim is to sell more “product” (hate that word)
My 2 cents
I would say that this is really not the way to look at this issue in the domain of CG. CG artwork can be copied million times as perfect clones, stealing in this context does not apply here with the traditional meaning.
Also you might have the world shattering artwork that you released as a small image but the actual 3d/CG original artwork is locked inside many encrypyted containers. So basically noone can steal it, does that mean that it is bad artwork? No it is just that they cant get to it. Stealability as a measurement of good artwork does not apply well in my view.
I ask for files because it’s faster to check a bunch of different things that could be wrong for any given problem instead of going back and forth over several hours or days.
The idea that I’d want to get my hands on a noob’s crappy WIP is frankly ludicrous.
As for protecting your images, the only way is not to post them (a practice I make extensive use of ). You may add watermarks and such, but there is nobody who will enforce copyright on your behalf as it is not a criminal ofence in any jurisdiction that I know of, and courts are not usually worth it unless the violator is a reasonably sized corporation. Even then, you may lose, and then you’re out of pocket to pay your lawyer and maybe theirs if you’re unlucky.
If you are in the business of CG then you’re going to “mind your P’s and Q’s” both with regard to your own products and with anything and everything that you buy. And these are the businessmen who have the power to make your business become profitable. No one else matters.
A friend of mine once kept his prized 12-string guitar in a cardboard case secured by the flimsiest lock imaginable. It was, as he said, “to keep the honest people out.” I never forgot those words.
For more than 23 years now(!) I’ve sold a software product that has the flimsiest software-key mechanism imaginable – which is only important because it exists. (Many government agencies, for example, cannot buy anything that can be obtained for free … and I sold a copy to every borough in the City of London.) I’m perfectly aware that “hacked” mostly-early copies of my product exist, and I’ve even found valid license-codes posted online. But I did nothing, because it didn’t affect sales, and because it was most important to me that legitimate owners of my product could install it without fuss, wherever and however they felt that they needed to. (They already know what the license agreement and the web-site say about that subject.) I never, ever want(ed) to inconvenience my customers, nor to give the slightest impression that I did not trust them.
Focus your entire attention on creating the very best models imaginable, and, when a key client asks you to make a change, strive quickly to do it. “Be a part of their team.” You will never, ever know how the word gets around – and, you’ll be much too busy to think about it much.
This is how business actually works: it is a human(!) relationship, profitable to both parties, each having their own (of course…) demanding customers to serve.
Word-Of-Mouth is a powerful vetting system, and I’m glad to see someone mention that. In a few decades of working with hardware I’ve found that word of mouth is one of the best systems to vet products and people, and yeah…we kinda see that with reviews and such but those tend to be kinda suspect at times.
But yeah, if I see someone looking for a service and I know a provider who I would trust my reputation with, I’ll be sure to drop their name. And there is nothing worse for a business then someone asking a casual question about them to a past customer and said customer “being diplomatic”
I do a fair bit of helping on this forum… I do sometimes ask for a .blend , often when the actual comment is not clear. I actually prefer working from screenshots, but screenshots don’t always contain the information you’re after. Sometimes you get help topics that are “why blendr not rendr X(” and you have to say “err … screenshot or a .blend…?” and remind yourself that Blender can be hard for beginners and English may not be their first language. What I’m saying is asking for a .blend file is often the only way you can help people.
Just looked at the polyport website… I may be missing something but… one short vague paragraph in features, and nothing in news, nothing that actually explains what it does. They do have photos of the entire team but… am I the only one getting “This is a scam” vibes?