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Author Topic: Art Overlays (when does it stop being proof and start being ridiculous?)  (Read 1287 times)

Offline Rex T-Rex

Ok, what I mean is..
Person X claims that Person Y has traced their artwork.
Person Y states "I referreneced your art, yes, but did not trace it."

Person X makes an overlay claiming that the two images match up almsot perfectly.

Here's my question.. if you had to squash and stretch a lot (not jsut resize) to make the referenced work look traced... is that really proof of tracing?

When do you hit the point where you've squashed and stretched something so much that it simply looks like the original piece BECAUSE you made it look that way?

I ask because I've seen some overlays of supposedly traced work (which the accused person stated that it was referenced from the original art but NOT traced -no need to discuss ethics of referencing, that's not what this is about-), which at first glance do look like near perfect matches. then I went ahead and tried to copy the overlay... and found that the only way to make it fit was if after I made the two images roughly the same size, I then squashed and stretched the "traced" work until it roughly fit the original.
If you don't know what I mean by squash and stretch; instead of doing an exact elargement you manually move each side. Manually means that the image is no logner within it's original proportions and, therefore, out of scale. If you have to take the "traced" work out of its original scaling (EX: 50 x 50 becomes 100 x 325) to make it match up with the original work, is it really proof of anyhting other than the "traced" image being referenced from the original?

PLEASE no discussion on the ethics of referencing... That has NOTHING to do with this topic. AT ALL.
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Offline Zuko

Well.. Honestly it works either way.. I mean, I can take a picture and draw it the exact way it looks but bigger/smaller than the original, i've done it many times before and I can do it again, so its possible that it was just used as a reference and they liked the pose/whatever so much that they wanted to draw it as they saw it.

On the other hand, they could have just resized it. If its a port they could have just thrown the picture into sai or a resizing website and just traced over it to make it that size.

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Offline Rex T-Rex

Well.. Honestly it works either way.. I mean, I can take a picture and draw it the exact way it looks but bigger/smaller than the original, i've done it many times before and I can do it again, so its possible that it was just used as a reference and they liked the pose/whatever so much that they wanted to draw it as they saw it.

On the other hand, they could have just resized it. If its a port they could have just thrown the picture into sai or a resizing website and just traced over it to make it that size.

It's easy enough to "resize" my question is... if you have to take the supposed traced work out of it's own scaling to make it fit, can you really say that it "proves without a doubt" that it WAS traced?

For example, if it's a port, the port's ratio is 95x95. now.. if when I take that port and make it 200x200 (still to scale, jsut enlarged) it fits the original work almost perfectly, that makes sense. But if i have to take a 95x95 port and make it 135x215 (therefore severely distorting the scale), can it really be said the port was "absolutely for sure" traced? Of course it is possible that the tracer could have done something similar.. but you're tkaing a big risk by banking on an image that has been thrown out of it's scale. Trying to take the image back to 95x95 after that distortion will not produce the same image you started with (unless you painstakingly get it back into the ratio of AxA before taking it down to 95 x 95). nothing is impossible.... but I feel that that IS kind fo a stretch.
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Offline gaga

If you have to distort the referenced work to make it match up with the accused piece of art, you're grasping at straws and you're pretty much just looking for trouble.

So no, if you have to go through all that trouble, it's not a traced work but a genuine reference.

But if the referenced used was not free-for-use, well you're going to set yourself up for trouble one way or another.

Offline Zim

If you have to distort the referenced work to make it match up with the accused piece of art, you're grasping at straws and you're pretty much just looking for trouble.

So no, if you have to go through all that trouble, it's not a traced work but a genuine reference.


I don't necessarily agree with this, because I have, in fact, seen people who ADMITTED to tracing images that they distorted slightly to help hide the fact that they traced, so it looks more like a reference. I actually knew a girl in high school who did it this way, and got away with it for a very, very long time... even though everyone knew what she did.

It's kind of a fine line, and one that needs to be tread very carefully, because very experienced tracers will go to great lengths to hide the fact that they traced.

I will agree with Gaga though. People need to NOT reference work that isn't free-to-use. That can stir up a whole mess of trouble. There are a great number of free reference sites out there to be used. Using someone else's art for reference is just going to cause more trouble than it's worth.

Offline Rex T-Rex

I would just like to remind everyone of what I stated in my original post.

Quote
PLEASE no discussion on the ethics of referencing... That has NOTHING to do with this topic. AT ALL.


While i do appreciate your opinions on this, it is NOT what I'm here to discuss.
This is not a topic on what happens when someone references a work, this is strictly about Person A saying that Person B traced their work. (the side note of Person B saying they referenced it is to explain why the iamges look similar in the first place, not to debate whether or not person B had the right to refference the work.)

I am well aware that, if you put your mind to it, there is little you cannot do. However, if a person has NO history of tracing/stealing/scamming, can one really jump to the immediate conclusion that this person decided to distort the original image before tracing it only to then distort it again to make it the proper scaling for Frucadia portraits? (yes, this IS about portraits, although it can apply to overlays as a whole.) Nothing can be set in stone, there is always some way and someone who can break the "rules" and make people second guess their thoughts and opinions.

But as a whole... if someone has NEVER traced work before, and you have to distort their work to make it overlay decently, do you really have solid proof that they traced?

I'm not doubting overlays as a proof of tracing/referencing, they are very important in finding scammers. But I do not appreciate it when people grasp at straws and try to claim that they are in the right.

I'm wondering if perhaps there are more exact ways than one can produce an overlay to give better proof of tracing or referencing? Overlays are great, but sometimes it makes you woner if some people are just paranoid or out to get each other when they produce distorted overlays to try and prove tracing.
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Offline Spellplague

Even with resizing an image however, a reference will match up nowhere near as much as a trace simply because of how the eye sees it on a screen and what the image actually is. It's one thing to say that having to resize an image to overlay means that they didn't trace it, but if it matches up near as dammit to exactly save for say, a pixel's breadth or two, then I'd still personally consider it tracing or at the least, exceptionally heavy referencing. Neither of which are looked upon kindly unless it's a, credited and b, uses images that are specifically for stock/reference use only.
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Offline Rex T-Rex

Ethics... once again... have nothing to do with this topic. It's not like I have no idea of the typical ethics associated with artwork and as suhc this topic is not "what are the ethics of tracing/referencing".

Samh, if ti were simple resizing that showed a match up... i would have no question of tracing.
The point here is that (and I will stick wiht the portrait example) a furc portrait is 95x95 pixels, that's a ratio of 1 to 1. If you take a 95 x 95 portrait and resize it to 300 x 300 and it fits or closely fits the image it was supposedly traced from, the overlay seems perfectly fine.

I'm questioning taking a 95 x 95 port and making it 325x 415 to make it come close to fitting the supposedly traced image. Now I do not doubt that there are some dubious people out there, but I have the feeling that their numbers are lower than those whom are not. On the other hand, there are also those who can look at an image and redraw it almost perfectly.
Sure it's not something everyone can do, but I know my mother and grandfather can both do it. Neither one of them are very good at drawing normally (my grandfather is a bit better but he hasn't drawn in years), but they can look at photos or cartoons and redraw the character/image they see to look extremely similar at a basic glance (not looking for deep details or anything ti differentiate). Not that I'm saying it's ok to heavily reference and claim as your own or reference without permission or anything (and PLEASE please please please do not start going off on a topic about this), but it does show that not everything that looks similar is exactly a traced work.
If you really need to stretch and squash an image to make it appear to match up close to another image.. I'm just not entirly sure that it is always proof of tracing.
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Offline gaga

Rex, you really can't avoid the discussion of ethics with this topic of referencing.
They go hand in hand.

And this isn't the actual place to talk serious about your general topic. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty, you should have made your thread in the In-Depth section of the forums.

As you can clearly see, despite us talking about something COMPLETELY UNAVOIDABLE with this subject, none of these posts have gone off topic.

We're all being as respectful to this topic without you having whine and attempt to police and stifle future posters.

This is about as off-topic as I'm going to get.

Offline Rex T-Rex

Then it is my fault for posting in Free for all and I should have posted it in In Depth.
I accept that fault. I understand that they are "unavoidable", but honestly it is veyr possible to simply talk about whether or not an overlay is legit without adding in "Oh and referrencing without permission is wrong."
Of course there are do's and dont's of referrencing and I'm pretty sure somewhere else on this forum or under In Depth was recently talking about the ethics of referencing.

I will gladly accept this topic being moved so it can more seriously discuss the point at hand, the legitimacy of an overlay.

But I really want to avoid the ethics of tracing or referencing because they do not have to do with this particular topic. Of course they are major issues, but I'm trying to take that out of this discussion so that it does not turn into a topic about the ethics of making art. I am not trying to "whine", ut honestly it is a litle stressing when I clearly stated I did not want to discuss the ethics and people jumped right into with  with some of them including a paragraph on it. It is possible to separate the two. I'm not tryng to use this topic to say that heavy referencing is fine, it's more specifically for determing the difference between  referencing and tracing via an overlay.
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Offline Pastor

'..is that really proof of tracing?'

I think the truth really is that unless the overlay is an exact match - and unless the artist displays other works that look suspiciously like they were traced, you can never really tell.

I figured I'd throw an artist's perspective in. To be honest, I'm always terrified someone's going to find some random-ass photo with the same pose as one of my ports or something and go 'SEE YOU'RE TRACING.' Sometimes I see posts on FAZ that proclaim that the same duckface pose they have in their shitty dA stock is omg teh same as in some random port of some poor artist.

Say you had that 325x415 you were talking about. It's pretty easy to resize and crop if someone wanted to trace that way. ESPECIALLY since most portraits don't have the entire body in them, and a lot of stock resource places have almost exclusively fullbody shots.

This topic reminds me of portraits from like 2002 that were beautiful/amazing detailed ones of feral wild animals.. with a horrible background and very horrible traced lineart thrown on a layer above the original image. A lot of the time you have to use clues other than just that one image to figure out if that person is tracing if it's a huge issue for you.

inb4 ethicz

Offline Rex T-Rex

That makes sense. Although when i said "325x415" I mean taking the 95x95 port and stretching it to those demensions to make it fit the supposedly traced image (which may or may not be the full size of the traced image). I wish i could explain it with pictures.
I'll try like this:
The original image (the one that was traced) is way bigger than the portrait that was supposedly traced from it.
the portrait itself looks like it's only a tracing of the bust (let's say this image is a profile shot of a full body image of a deer).
When the 95x95 port is resized, but still within its proportions (1:1) it does not fit the  original image at all. Resizing includes making the port big enough to try and fit the same size of the "traced" portion of the image (perhaps trying to make the head roughly the same size as it is in the original image or something like that).
But when this is done, the image doesn't match up at all. Maybe one portion can be made to match up to some degree, but then the rest is compeltely off size or off shape.
So to get it to "fit" the 95x95 port is taken out of its proportions (from 1:1 to say.. 1:3.2), stretch and squashed until it better fits the original image, but the stretched port itself is no longer within the proportions of the 95x95 version.

Of course, this still shows a remarkabl similarity between the two. But I'm just not sure one can take a warped overlay and claim it proves tracing (strange exemptions aside as there are people who could go to ridiculous lengths to get away with tracing).

And I understand what you mean about fearing that someone will find something you drew and try to match it to a random photo.
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Offline Zuko

I think that if someone had to sit there and take the time to play with the image and distort/move it around a lot to get it to match exactly, as opposed to simply just placing it over the image and seeing it match, then it's not tracing.

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