Should I do retopo for free?

Okay, so to begin, I’m the developer of Softwrap, a “retopology” addon, and I am working on a new version, done from scratch, Its kinda done but needs to be tested and tweaked a bit more.

But believe or not, the hardest part of testing is making the models to test it on, I used to have a collection of sculpts I made, but my HDD failed, and I lost all of it.

So, I am thinking of doing retopo for other people’s models for free, so I can test my add-on properly, it will also help me not be so biased and get a better sense of what kinds of models Softwrap will encounter in the wild.

I’m just not sure if that would be a good idea because of licensing stuff, like for example if I use a basemesh of mine to retopo a model of another person, and derivative works all that confusing copyright stuff.

I think the copyright is a problem. The person receiving the Retopo mesh expects to have the rights for it, unless you license it out to them differently. You would have to make an agreement with them.

If you didn’t give out the bash mesh, but kept them for testing, them maybe.

Yeah, thats what I find confusing, I would like them to get all rights as if it was their model but then suddenly, lots of people own the rights to the same topology. Can topology even be copyrighted? I mean, the end shape will still be the same as their model.

yes, the topology, that is the model is copyrightable. Someone could claim it’s their work, based on topology.

It’s legal in USA, to modify the topology and modify the model so that it’s different, and that would make it legally unique. People still claim this as infringement. They call it a derivative work. If it’s changed enough you can claim it as yours. It of course would be different.

It makes me wonder what kind of licensing people use when distributing base meshes to solve this issue.

You might be able to get some creative commons models and use those! I’m not a legal expert and don’t know these things very well. You would probalby need a creative commons with commercial rights you can use.

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Or just ask for models to test retopo? They will see there model in the promo.

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I think that still needs some form of licensing since i’d be using their model for a promo video.

also, i would like people to get a free retopo, not just see it in a video.

Yep they have to agree that you use it in a commercial product? but you dont give out the object so it dont have to be CC0…

I dont think topology can be copyright… So one of the side has to give more than the other but i am not an expert here.

Why don’t you simply ask for a couple of beta tester? The test their own models, and you just give a couple license for free…
Moreover, it’s always better to hear from people, because they find a lots of problems you probably won’t see…
But if you are in the beginning and looking for some “reference model” which you aren’t confident doing for yourself, have a look around. For instance this site here is renowned

Buy you could use many of those models for sale here and there… if you just use them for testing…of course, for including into your product, or showing them on a video, a compliancy is needed.

I will also do that, but from my previous experiences, most people who offer to help to testing seem to be too busy most of the time and the amount of feedback I get is… lets just say a bit disappointing.

Because of that, most of the testing in my tools was still done by me in the end.

The base meshes are not an issue, I am fairly experienced doing retopo, the main issue is getting sculpts/scans,

I can only sculpt so fast, and my fast is too slow.

I just remembered there was an addon for blender some months ago. It had some good looking base meshes. That is what the addon was for, a collection of base meshes.

Since people can easily distribute base meshes like that there must be a simple solution I dont know of.

Do you know the name of the add-on, so I can have a look at how it does it?

I found those on blender market. But there must be other addons also.

Hmm, both seem to use a royalty free license, I guess I’ll do a little research on it.

Thank you!

Hmm, I’ve done a little reading on some stuff and came to the conclusion that there’s not many issues in distributing a basemesh like that, Id still “own” the copyright for the topology but give explicit permission for who gets it to do whatever they want. No one would be able to claim people stole they work based on topology because they are not the creators of such topology.

Starting about 1994 The Stanford 3D Scanning Repository has put up several hi-res scans that are now considered common 3D test models and would be generally be thought appropriate for retopo testing.

I’d say that is more for remeshers.

My tool has a much more limited scope, I need more similar models, so I dont have to create a new basemesh for every single model since that defeats the point.

The main point of softwrap is that it can transfer the topology from one model to other similarly shaped model.