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Another thing, this time about models. It seems like there are two sections for exporting models, one in File and the other in Scripts. IIUC, the latter is redundant so it can be removed.

Second thing is a bit more controversial I guess, but IMO exporting model geometry should be disabled. This way you can use DR to e.g. export .ase to .obj and modify otherwise unchangeable models (ase can be exported, but not imported into any modeling software). Artists have no control over how their assets can be used, and this way they can be spliced, hacked, and bashed by mappers. Even if you copyright or otherwise restrict the usage, you'll have hard time tracking down those who don't give a crap about modellers.

This is also related to use of other models, or derivative works from other models. There are many free models that are not entirely CC0, but they're free / allow derivative works, but on a condition of, e.g.: "you may not use the asset in a way that allows others to use or access the asset as a stand-alone" – this is a standard license quote from a popular 3d hosting platform. So having DR as an .ase -> .obj exporter makes such terms impossible to follow.

Exporting brushwork or patches is obviously fine, if anyone works this way.

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Just skimming through the topic here so I may miss some of the nuances of the conversation. I've been part of the Thief community since 1999.  From the very beginning, mappers have made use of ex

Loosely following the discussions on Discord, I think I know where this topic is coming from. The conclusion to solve the past problems by removing the model export functionality from DR is wrong on s

I get the sentiment here, I really do. However, if someone wants to take models (my own included) and change them for better or for worse - I consider that their problem and not mine. Thats just

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2 hours ago, peter_spy said:

Second thing is a bit more controversial I guess, but IMO exporting model geometry should be disabled. This way you can use DR to e.g. export .ase to .obj and modify otherwise unchangeable models (ase can be exported, but not imported into any modeling software). Artists have no control over how their assets can be used, and this way they can be spliced, hacked, and bashed by mappers. Even if you copyright or otherwise restrict the usage, you'll have hard time tracking down those who don't give a crap about modellers.

Ugh, no.

DarkRadiant is a mapping tool, not a DRM enforcement system. Disabling or removing features because someone, somewhere might use them to violate someone's copyright is the sort of rubbish we saw when the late-twentieth-century RIAA and MPAA wanted to ban MP3 players and CD writers because people might use them to copy commercial music.

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There are many free models that are not entirely CC0, but they're free / allow derivative works, but on a condition of, e.g.: "you may not use the asset in a way that allows others to use or access the asset as a stand-alone".

Then those models are not compatible with the CC license used by the Dark Mod can cannot be used as part of the mod, full stop. Our CC license requires sharing alike and restricts commercial use, but no more. There are no restrictions on formats or storage mechanisms, and any license which imposed such additional restrictions would be CC-incompatible and therefore unlawful to distribute as part of a CC-licensed work.

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So having DR as an .ase -> .obj exporter makes such terms impossible to follow.

You seem to be under the misconception that there is something magic about the ASE format which means it can't be loaded into anything else. This is incorrect. It is a text format like any other, and it is easy to write an import script for it just as you can write an import script for OBJ, LWO or any other format. There is even an ASE import script for Blender 2.49, which according to your interpretation would make it impossible to follow the license of certain models until Blender is deleted from the internet.

If a license is interpreted such that following the license is only possible as long as some other piece of software does not exist, there is something very broken about that license and I would suggest not touching any assets which use such a license.

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Making assets or designs is different from coding, this is not joint iterative effort, where working in groups and having code review obviously makes sense, as it contributes to better code. This more of a personal investment, and at a certain level of fidelity, takes a lot of time and work. Similar thing to making music, really. That's why creators want to have at least some level of control over what they made and hold the results fairly dear. Maybe you're right that disabling DR export features wouldn't change that, although both that and locking the pk4 packages would at least limit that to some extent.

1 hour ago, greebo said:

I personally find the thought of artists being that retentive about their work a bit strange, at least in the context of this community. If all the folks contributing to the mod had thought this way, there simply wouldn't have been a The Dark Mod at all.

There's a difference between making assets planned for the core mod and possible future modifications, and making custom content for a single FM. In context of that Discord discussion, that's especially in the context of this community. It's been time and time again, where certain community members didn't get / didn't care about what is personal creation that requires permission, thinking everything released for TDM should be up for grabs and free for all. And there were more community members chiming into the forum discussion with that "what's the big deal" attitude as well. So it is a bigger awareness problem. And if you wonder why there are so few regular modellers around here, then, apart from antiquated content pipeline, this would be the main reason – no control over the work. Even if you add copyright notice to your FM (which you can do, as assets are not code and don't have to comply with GPL) there's not much you can do but trust that people will adhere to that, which is rather naive.

It's also about quality control. If a mapper rips your model from from the asset package and makes weird modifications, and the resulting model looks worse, or in general you wouldn't want your name to be associated with such thing – that's still attributed to you.

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Restricting and locking isn't the right direction to take TDM or DR. For me the atmosphere would become one where we can't trust each other, and I think that would do irreparable harm over the long term.

It's unfortunate that you feel such measures are necessary "especially in the context of this community", but I believe there's in fact no active mapper here who would knowingly ignore a modeller's request not to alter their work.

Unknowingly is another matter, and there will probably be another bad apple in the future or from off-site, but that's a limitation of uploading your work to a project like this. As was already established, you couldn't control this even if you wanted to, and any attempts at doing so anyway would have to be weighed against how this would alter the character of TDM. Personally I think there are a lot more contributors attracted to TDM's openness than there are contributors who want to lock their work away from others.

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4 hours ago, Dragofer said:

It's unfortunate that you feel such measures are necessary "especially in the context of this community", but I believe there's in fact no active mapper here who would knowingly ignore a modeller's request not to alter their work.

 

Apart from believing or not believing in the community's sense of decency, this isn't about locking a work away. With locked packages, you have the work, you can play the mission. If the author decides to do so, you'll also get a separate package with models to be used in your work.

It's about decision on when and where the model is finished. It's the same as with decision to finish writing a piece or a book. With current system there's no such thing.

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Well, I can see the merit in having a locking mechanism in that it prevents modifications by those who don't know that the author wants no changes. They'd have to actively circumvent the lock somehow, which they won't do if they respect the author's wishes.

If they intentionally want to ignore the author's wishes, then previous posts have already established there's no effective safeguard. (Though that was from the DR side, it'd probably be more effective from the TDM side).

If the existence of such a locking mechanism allows work to be submitted that would otherwise not be submitted it's probably all good, but on the other hand if it became a widespread practice to lock one's work I think it'd be very negative for the mod as a whole.

That said, I don't think there would be many who feel they need to use such a locking mechanism, so it's maybe more a question of the effort:reward ratio for the devs to implement it.

In any case, I don't think is a DR discussion anymore.

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I'm really against wording it like that, as "locking away". It almost sounds as you or community were the victim here. You do get to play a mission with these models, and you can also use them. They're not locked away from you. You just can't do whatever the hell you want with how they were built. The author decided they're finished. That's not your decision to make anyway.

But I agree that this is no longer DR-related talk.

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3 hours ago, Dragofer said:

For me the atmosphere would become one where we can't trust each other, and I think that would do irreparable harm over the long term.

FYI, I just got asked via Discord whether I could share the unfinished and unreleased mission by Ubermann: https://forums.thedarkmod.com/index.php?/topic/19045-merchant-by-the-canal/page/2/&tab=comments#comment-456963

Not sure whether this was a player or mapper, but yeah, that's the decency and trust. As long as we have new maps to play, everything fucking goes 🙄

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My opinion peter_spy, as a modeler in some extent my self, i do comprehend your feeling, I really do, modeling of your caliber, is a big amount of work but I also agree with the others, this is not the type of direction that a open source tool, open community should follow, if you really care about who uses your models, than I can only say, don't make models for TDM period or spend less time and effort on them, even if that means TDM losing a source of high quality models. 

There's nothing you can do about leaches trying to use your work, someone somewhere will just find a way to rip your models, even if you lock them, if you let that affect you, you will never be able to work in a open environment and get yourself a ulcera. ;) 

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14 minutes ago, HMart said:

My opinion peter_spy, as a modeler in some extent my self, i do comprehend your feeling, I really do, modeling of your caliber, is a big amount of work but I also agree with the others, this is not the type of direction that a open source tool, open community should follow, if you really care about who uses your models, than I can only say, don't make models for TDM period or spend less time and effort on them, even if that means TDM losing a source of high quality models. 

There's nothing you can do about leaches trying to use your work, someone somewhere will just find a way to rip your models, even if you lock them, if you let that affect you, you will never be able to work in a open environment and get yourself a ulcera. ;) 

Sure, if someone is a real bastard, they'll find a way to rip anything, but that's not the point. The point is, some basic protection / encryption that asset packages provide has been a standard thing in other engines for ages now. The demand that models be fully opened and ready for infinite modification is what is rather outdated and entitled attitude, not the other way around.

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9 minutes ago, kingsal said:

We're not going to boot model exporting.

Out of curiosity, how that actually contributes to any workflow? I get that you can whip up something with DR brushwork and add details in Blender. But you don't need to export models from DR, if you have model source, and if it's not your model, it's safer to ask the original creator to make changes, as they know how a model was made.

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8 minutes ago, roygato said:

I'm also curious, has anything like this ever once veritably happened, or is it all anecdotes and "could-be" scenarios?

There's a history of making unwanted changes to maps and copy-pasting portions of one map to another, yes. And players not giving a crap as long as they have something new to play.

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Just now, peter_spy said:

There's a history of making unwanted changes to maps and copy-pasting portions of one map to another, yes. And players not giving a crap as long as they have something new to play.

Interesting. That said, surely it's up to the team to enforce this if it's undesirable, instead of thinking the players "don't give crap". Why would anyone downloading TDM missions even think about meta drama like this.

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48 minutes ago, kingsal said:

Thats just the nature of contributing to a free mod.

I think that's more complex than that. You might want to just give the community a mission to play. You can prepare a separate package with assets for mappers later. That's how it worked with T3 missions.

Plus, there are awesome free and paid assets (that goes in particular for music tracks), that you could use in your mission, provided that they're not editable / accessible.

You don't have to always deal in absolutes, not everything has to be a contribution to the core mod that can be disassembled and modified forever.

 

9 minutes ago, roygato said:

Interesting. That said, surely it's up to the team to enforce this if it's undesirable, instead of thinking the players "don't give crap". Why would anyone downloading TDM missions even think about meta drama like this.

There was one person who was banned for the practice mentioned and was still defended by the most zealous fans, just because they map a lot and people have stuff to play. As for the most recent example, see my post above. I was casually asked to share an unfinished and unreleased mission by an author who's not been around for quite some time. That doesn't sound like respect, does it?

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15 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

There was one person who was banned for the practice mentioned and was still defended by the most arduous fans just because they map a lot and people have stuff to play. As for the most recent example, see my post above. I was casually asked to share an unfinished and unreleased mission by an author who's not been around for quite some time. That doesn't sound like respect, does it?

I see, I did almost ask if there was some forum event that happened in the past. Considering there will be a vocal minority to defend almost anything, it doesn't particularly surprise me. I would imagine a majority of TDM players don't visit the forums, though.

Btw, it wasn't Bikerdude was it? I've only recently started following this forum with any regularity, so I'm not very familiar with most anything, but I do remember reading old threads about drama of years past.

As for the unreleased mission bit, I did notice the posts in the beta testing forum. Could be just a bored player, without any malicious intent, albeit not exactly tactful. A leeching mapper is another story, but there seems to be a precedent for shutting that down at least.

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29 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

Plus, there are awesome free and paid assets (that goes in particular for music tracks), that you could use in your mission, provided that they're not editable / accessible.

Being able to pack licensed assets in the FM is the main one for me. Ideally it could be done without restricting mappers’ access to the rest of the archive by having locked archives within the unlocked FM archive, otherwise the rather cumbersome approach with separately uploading archives would have to be used. In any case, that should be an enrichment for TDM and benefit all mappers.

I’m not enthusiastic about the prospect of homegrown files being prohibited from being modified or opened, because an important part of mapping is modifying assets to fit the FM and inspecting other people’s work. But fair enough if that’s what it takes. I must say I hope it doesn’t become a wider trend.

 

26 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

I was casually asked to share an unfinished and unreleased mission by an author who's not been around for quite some time. That doesn't sound like respect, does it?

The author’s not been seen in over 2 years and you've written that you thought it might be as good as finished, so it’s not unreasonable for someone unfamiliar with the creative process to conclude that it might as well be released as it is rather than never. It’s wrong, of course, but most likely not with ill intent.

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28 minutes ago, Dragofer said:

I’m not enthusiastic about the prospect of homegrown files being prohibited from being modified or opened, because an important part of mapping is modifying assets to fit the FM and inspecting other people’s work. But fair enough if that’s what it takes. I must say I hope it doesn’t become a wider trend.

Again, similar to Kingsal's stance on this, I'm curious about practical application of this, because: 1) if you're not the model creator, you have no idea how a model was made, so the potential to make it look worse is IMO rather substantial; 2) typically in FM package you get textures in .dds format, so if you plan to rework them for your mission, you'll be applying heavy compression upon compression, again reducing the overall quality of the model. In both cases it's better to ask the original creator to get better results. Separate asset packages definitely are additional effort, but e.g. could be released with all textures in uncompressed tga format, allowing further modification without losing quality.

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I hope it's clear that noone here wants to prevent sharing assets. It's the ability to make a decision that an asset is finished and should be used as it is. Or just experienced in a mission without becoming a part of the core mod.

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Players won't go into looking for the details of a specific model they don't like. They will assume that the FM author created them. There's no need for some kind of a DRM system in a free mod IMHO.

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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TDM is an open source project, and as such there are certain ideological aspects that tend to come with such projects. Not everyone cares about that of course, but the idea of copy-protecting resources in an open source project doesn't really go down well. It's the kind of idea that tends to be a part of corporate/proprietary software, not a free and open project. I'm not sure how widespread the abuse of freely provided assets in different projects is, although I've definitely seen it happen.

It's something of a balance between the interests of the artists and that of the project. If you're worried about assets you created been taken later, reused and possibly modified out of your control, the only practical option is to not put such content out there. The good thing seems to be that, while it does sometimes happen that someone go nuts and forgets even the basics of asking for permission before messing with other people's content, it's generally quite rare that this happens. A project such as TDM doesn't survive unless people have the confidence to create assets for it without worrying about post-release manipulation.

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A word of warning, Agent Denton. This was a simulated experience; real LAMs will not be so forgiving.

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2 hours ago, peter_spy said:

 In both cases it's better to ask the original creator to get better results. 

👍 Definitely. I think in all cases its proper etiquette to ask the artist/ creator for permission to use their work.  I also think its also our responsibility as creators to use our best judgment when we put our work on the internet, because inevitable not everyone is going to ask, unfortunately. 

 

Assets that come packaged with the mod (part of the core) are up for grabs for editing, modifying, ect without permission. Just not using commercially of course. 😀

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