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Stock fotos

Skimmed the tags and hadn't seen any previous discussions on the matter, but if it's out of bounds etc - just promptly let me know, thanks!

Sparing details: I received a commission order, after skimming the wall of text and links I notice that the client has actually given me stock photos (via devART links) to use. By any case I will admit that I do generally use stock on things if I feel too challenged or uninspired - BUT, with that aside...should I feel slightly concerned and/or insulted by such? In the past 6 years of commission work (only approaching a professional level this past year and a half) I have only rarely been given detailed requests of what the client -would- like to see, at most. I respect that it's a higher level of "direct request", but I just seem...put off by it, I guess?

I suppose on subject; when using stock photos, is it best to contact the client in advance for approval or permission? In the case that they're looking for the higher level of creativity than use of a crutch. Or is that influenced by the level of similarity to the original image etc?

[Edit] Sorry! I'm so used to stock being for POSE REFERENCES and not so much textures etc.

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 17th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
That does seem kind of odd, but then again, people in general are odd. I'd try not to take it too personally. I've sent stock photos of people in art trades as a means of showing what my character looked like when I didn't have sufficent drawn refs...

As for the second question, I guess it depends on how you plan on incorporating it? Like meshing it into the background, or overpainting, or texture overlays? Or just referencing? I would ask for approval on the first two, but not on, say, using a stock of some grit to lay over rocks for texture. Or if I downloaded stock of forests for ideas on various plant types to add in as clutter. I would consider that fine without saying anything, but collaging or overpainting it seems more like photo manipulation to me, which I would assume is not part of the commission description you give the client? If I were ordering an image I would want such a thing brought up rather than just done. Because it would change the actual nature of what you're paying for, I guess.

That's just my take, though, and I'm probably interpreting what you're saying wrong XD
May. 17th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
You don't have enough details for me to really form an opinion.

Did they just send you refs to use for details, like of specific clothes, species, etc? If so I'd be impressed that they seem to be an organized commissioner who knows what they want. I know when someone asks me for something like "a samurai" it's really helpful to know what they picture that to look like, I like when people do that.

If they want you to just copy the pic exactly, then yea, I'd be offended a little.

I also think citing depends on how you used the refs. Pose refs should generally be cited if you used another's work. If you used it to get some minor details right I don't see the need.
May. 17th, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
I don't know exactly what they are asking you for in sending stock photos, but before you go copying poses or "exact photos" you have to have permission from the person who took the photo. I've had people send me photos in the context of, "I want my markings to look like this" which makes sense because some animals have different markings than others. I don't think I would be insulted by that.
May. 17th, 2009 05:48 am (UTC)
An extra tidbit- When creating an illustrated likeness from a photo you (or the client) did not take, the image has to be changed -seven times- before it is no longer considered a direct copy. That is an "industry standard".
May. 17th, 2009 10:00 am (UTC)
Isn't that more of a perpetuated myth than a standard rule? You hear lots of "I can copy X% legally" and "I can make X changes and then it's orginal" online, but most copyright infraction cases are looked at on a case-by-case basis in reality as I understand it.
May. 17th, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
long winded because i am
As an art student in professional illustration I would say that no, it is not a myth- It is a standard practice because generally after One has made "7 changes" the illustration should be so removed from the photo source as to not be able to be red lined. Emphasis on "SHOULD BE SO REMOVED". :)

The reality when doing professional illustration based on photography that illustrators generall:

1.) Use their own source.
2.) Use their client's source.
3.) Use "free use" stock photography if necessary but never create something that could be linked to said photography.

The legal reprocussions are not worth it.
May. 17th, 2009 07:28 am (UTC)
I find it helpful usually. Especially when its of certain clothing styles or markings they want. I've never been giving stock for posing reference though. But I dont think you should be offended. Maybe they just want a certain emotion portrayed through the posture of the character. Just give it your own 'zazz.
May. 18th, 2009 06:16 am (UTC)
Maybe they want the quickest, easiest results by having you draw based off an existent pose. You know, all you'd have to do is redraw the pose, no need for imagination, unless you wanna shift an art slightly to the left and such.

I just got a commission of that nature too where the client linked me to a photo of Speed Racer (the classic anume) for pose reference. I was pretty stoked. I was like, hey, I got my work cut out for me! :D

But it's all a matter of preference. As long as you're eyeballing it and give credit to the source, I don't see any red flags.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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