Stolen Property

Greetings blender artists members

It’s been a while since I’ve written any thread entries, but sadly this one will be written with a saddened and enraged heart. I feel that I should inform everyone of what has happened as it could effect my modding as well as my 3D design in the future.

After going to the rAge Expo yesterday, 10/05/2012, when I got back home I was absolutely broken. I was left to a nightmare filled with pain and hate. While I was up in Johannesburg today, 4 thieves broke into my house, and stole countless valuable items from me. My external harddrive, my dual screens, my keyboard, my sound system, and most of all, my dreams.

My external hard drive had 13 years’ work stored on it of my 3D design career, it kills me. They’ve managed to steal both my screens, my keyboard, a lifetime’s work, my dreams and most of all, my dignity, due to the fact that these thieves did not stop at my computer. Getting back all the data I lost is easy, the games, the apps the pictures, the mods (at least most of it) but getting back the 3D designs (blender models, game projects etc) the memories of making every single design, the graphic design work, the time sacrifices to make everything, would be impossible to replace. Currently I’m in a state where I feel like giving up. Having 13 years’ work being stolen from me with no explanation to why it happened. Everything that made me what I’m today was on that drive, now it is nothing.

Just feel I needed to let everyone know, for if you see any of my work on some dodgy site on the internet, that you’d please let me know, so that I can hopefully stop who ever did this.

Kind regards

Ettienne (Xelus)

What can you do? have you asked the police yet? maybe they can do something about it. ermm so you live in south africa, is it common for houses to get robbed just like that, without them getting caught?

i hope life becomes easy for you.

maybe try learning some programming and remember to be realistic and not think over the top.

EDIT: ive gone through your gallery and channel, i can feel the pain in your heart:yes::mad: i hope you get better and fins a solution to all of this as soon as possible

The cold truth, yes, the majority of the time thieves like these get away, because the majority of the time, our police is part of it. Can’t really claim anything from the insurance as the items I had was “non-standard” parts. Quite a stupid excuse, but alas right now I can’t really do anything about it.

All I can do is to try and rebuild what I once had, and maybe try harder to better my work.

Thank you for the support, I can still hardly believe that something like this happened, let alone try to explain it.

Kind regards

I realize this will hardly cheer you up, but for crying out loud, why did you think it was a good idea to keep your most important work on a single external hard drive that you keep on your premises?

Always have an offsite backup. Get yourself an internet file locker, or an ftp server. Or if you feel that’s insecure, ask a trusted friend to set up a vpn between you so you can act as backups for each others’ work. If you feel that’s also out of the question for some reason, burn CDs and drop them off at your parents’ house whenever you visit. For best results do all of the above. Never, ever keep your stuff in a single location. It didn’t even necessarily have to take thieves for you to lose your work, the hard drive could have simply broken down, or your cat might have knocked it over and dropped it, or your 12-year old nephew might have thought it an especially good place to keep his stuff and erased all of yours.

I do hope you start making backups once you get back on your feet.

Very sorry to hear this, Xelus. That really is a theft.
However, and not minimize this loss, if it’s any consolation (and I’m sure it really isn’t) you’re not the first to lose years of hard creative work and learning.

The singer of the classic rock band, The Doors, used to write all of his poetry in a single notebook. It was filled with years and years of his poetry. Most of the greatest songs from the early years of that band came out of that notebook.
Then, one day, Jim Morrison realized that he could not find his notebook anywhere. He looked everywhere, called everyone he knew. He never found it, and he was pretty broken up about it for a long time.

But, a few years later, he was talking to a reporter and mentioned this event.
He said that losing that notebook was, in retrospect, a turning point for his creative career.
He said: “In a way it turned out to be a learning experience that I grew from. If I had never lost that notebook, I might never have been able to write anything new. I didn’t have the past to fall back on. I had to invent new ways of doing things.”

No artist creates to have a pile of old things to look back at. Instead, it is the new that is desired, the unexplored territory.
You might end up making some new things soon that far surpass everything that was taken from you.
I think a good place to start might be to channel all the hate and anguish you’re feeling right now, the very words you used and more besides I’m sure you didn’t feel comfortable writing, into a NEW project.
The things I’ve done in the past that I’m most proud of came from exactly the same periods of despair, pain, loss, anger and hate that you’re feeling now.
It hurts now. But use that as a tool.

Thank you, this means a lot to me, at the end of it all I suppose there is a reason for why this happened, maybe I might not understand that now, but further down the line I might. Maybe doing what you suggested could be a good idea. Starting a new might be a good thing, even though what I lost was pretty much my history, it might be better to re-write a new history for myself.

Thank you for the kind and inspirational words. What doesn’t kill us could only make us stronger I suppose. This could likely be a new challenge to test my creative skill and most likely push it to the next level, which is good. Hard to think of the positive, but alas, all I can do is to rebuild it, prove it and improve it. I’ve learned a lot from everyone here on the BA forums.

And I’m hoping that I’ll still be able to learn even more from everyone here. Hope is the only thing that keeps me going at the moment, hoping for what now, not sure, trying to hold on to at least “something”. On the other hand, I’ve been saying it a lot lately to myself, they might have the models, they might have the images, they might copy whatever of it, but at the end, I still have the hands and mind that made everything they’re copying and using.

To be honest, the few models I have left I’m considering in releasing as a free learning resource, as I don’t want anyone else to sit in the situation I’m right now. I want to be able to help others as they’ve helped me over the years.

Thank you for the support, I know I’m not the best with Blender and that I still have much to learn, but in all honesty, the work that was stolen was part of my life, 3D design will always be a part of my life, blender made its impact on me, and will be here to stay. So thanks to everyone here on the BA forums for all the help you guys have been willing to give.

Kind Regards

The majority of the models that was on that drive is on my computer, I did make backups, but so far these guys have damaged one of my internal drives trying to take it out of my case, so currently I’m sitting with my backups but they are on a damaged drive because these guys clearly didn’t have enough brain cells to know how to properly take a pc apart.

The models that were on that drive was old models, my PC has the latest updated version of most of the models, but that still doesn’t change the fact that they caused 30 grand’s worth of damage and stole something they barely understand what the value of it is and what is as they will most likely sell it for next to nothing.

At the end of the day, you can make as many backups as you like it won’t matter in the long run, because if they want it, they’ll take it. Yes I do agree with on making backups, thats why I had it on my internal drive as well, but they were busy trying to take my rig as well, but I suppose they did not have enough time to do so.

I make at least 3 backups of everything I have, 2 of which were stolen, and the last backup is now damaged due their incompetence with technology.

My sympathy, Ettienne.

They stole some Art. Don’t let them steal the artist.

I’ve also lost the bulk of years of work through not backing up properly at one point. Good advice above on this above (although I’m sure you’ve been reeling on the should and might haves). I found a great solution at

Aside from this, you are obviously a talented artist. People like you are hired for their collective potential of what they might do next. Be nice if your data returns, though good luck whether or not that happens.

Thank you for the confidence boost, well currently I’m trying to get the lost data back, hopefully it would recover most of the data, better than nothing.

Exactly, don’t forget they didn’t steal your brain, your brain is the best hard drive out there.
But this is still the saddest thing I’ve read tonight.

search for a “Hard drive recovery services” or “Hard disk recovery service”, maybe they can restore some of your data. It’s not cheap, but there are good chances, that they can help you.
They remove the single platters and try to read them with special tools.

lol was about to say that, so yes try to find someone who is specialized in this field and can possible recover the data. All of your best work is on the deviantart page isnt it? i mean people can still see what you made.

Look into truecrypt and dropbox. I can send you an invite to dropbox so you can get more space for free, just pm me.

Probably going off topic, though how much (in the way of total space) offline and reliable backup options are there before running into huge fees? Even the bandwidth can total Gigabytes.

Dropbox starts you with 2 gigs, but you can get up to 16 gigs free by inviting people (both get 500 MB extra). I think you can get 100 gigs for $9.99/month.

Thanks for all the support from you guys, it really means a lot, I know I’m not a “legend” around here and I still have plenty to learn from everyone here, I just thought it would be best to let you guys know, for if you see my work on a site that isn’t legit and credit is being stripped from me for the work I’ve done.

The only real thing I’m concerned about was the fact that they stole a lifetime’s work, everything else they took can be replaced, on top of that, I like releasing things for free, and whoever took the drive sells my work thats on it will kill me if they do that. I have been considering to release a few of my models to the community for learning as well as feedback on how I could improve upon them, guess for the time being this will have to wait until I can make something new.

Once again, thanks to everyone here for the help and support, at the end of it all, you guys motivate me to keep on blending.

Kind regards