Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mapping problem, cont.

(These are mostly personal musings on problem- I'm not explaining it explicitly enough to describe it for others currently [primarily because I think to really explain, I'd have to draw diagrams, and I'm still not sure how well I could translate 3D deformed space to 2D flat and still retain any sort of clarity]. I'm still looking around for potential solutions, but am just coming up with more problems instead.)

Upon further research, the wall gets taller. Apparently there are a number of imperfect tools out there to try to get around the problem (including one that takes an obj and imports it as a sculpt through the SL menu...which, aside from the fact it's extremely touchy on what you can ever try, I generally don't trust at _all_), and it sounds like they all do it badly. There's a big discussion on the forums about trying to do it and how tos in ways that...I just don't understand why they're trying to do it _that_ way, as it seems like the hard way to me. Looks like Blender is not the only program to not map proper though (no programs were raised as "well, you know x does it right, even if it is expensive" which isn't really heartening. If Maya actually got around it without all the hoops and etc....)

Tacked on, I'm not 100% sure I'm on the right page with the way SL does it. Mostly I'm a little perplexed as to texture mapping regarding, as they seem to be at odds to me (which is another dimension of The Problem with inaccuracy). At least in certain ways- it mostly comes down to "well, you stitch it this way and I get it. But you stitch it that way and I'm starting to get a little confused." There's also one more somewhat esoteric and bizarre stitching method I'd love to have, just generally (a modified sphere stitching, basically. It's odd and strange enough although it makes sense while modeling that I can't see it even being something they would consider adding, as much as it would be useful).

Worse, in regards to my immediate problem...I'm not sure where I stand on that at all. This is not 100% due to the inaccuracy problem (now, raise the prim limits to 20x20x20, and I wouldn't have any of that dimension at all, because I wouldn't have to worry about splicing bits and could skip my problematic steps. *sigh* I wih megaprims came in more useful sizes, and the massive chunk of them weren't just hacked to make it work in one particular manner this way, which means it won't with anything else), but also due to a bit of uncertainty how to actually approach certain features of the object itself. This is a point at which existing architectural reference would come in handy, as I'm not sure how x and y would translate properly, nor how much they would be desired. So yeah...spinning my wheels entirely until I can get a concrete vision on what I'm doing.

Tacked on, the thing for me...I'm still very heavily in the "that would be a nice thing to have" mode, not really the "ok, let's do this!" It's another thing that I need to wrap my head around the scale of before I can get much done, and I'm just...not sure at all. At least a) it's something that there is architectural reference of, even if I am not going those ways a lot, and b) I've already figured out how a fair bit of that will function regardless, prims willing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Improper Mapping in Blender: a problem

I'm trying to be a little more zen about certain things annoying me (times when people refuse to stop jumping up and saying LOOK AT ME I'M RIGHT LOOK AT ME DO WHAT I WANT!...take a step back, a deep breath, and just stop feeding into it and walk away. They are free to think they won, in reality they aren't worth my time. There's a reason I'm a misanthrope). I know I'm also a bit less able to deal because I've effectively had a bad cold for a year and a half now. *sigh* I want to go home.

My new new irksome though is not related to people. I've finally run into the wall that I've known was there for a while about Blender's imprecision on mapping the sculpt texture. Instead of mapping the points where SL maps them, it has a tendency to basically map in between (this is most disasterous on the edges, as that's where the problem begins, and has the greatest deformation). This is not such a huge deal for a lot of sculpts: SL does a bit of deforming your mesh here and there anyway, although your seams may still be somewhat messy, which is not cool. This becomes a greater deal with sharp edges (which have needed a fair bit of PS post anyway, in my experience- even when they shouldn't), as, even when you redo the edges you've still got a pixel of messy lead in (which can be eliminated by making it the edge as well, so long as you can sacrifice it- but it still means the sculpt and texture are pulling off. One top of this, the corner corner top/bottom edges...are just a total wreck, because it doesn't pull them where it ought to.

In this case, I can probably reason through the math and do it all in PS from a Rokuro (not that I actually want to do that, but this problem right now is entirely fueled by the 10x10x10 prim size limit, it's not a hard shape in of itself), but that simply won't work in some cases, nor does it change the fact it's always stretching things improperly. I'm not comfortable with many of the tools in sculptypaint yet, and I don't think it has the robust _sculpting_ tools that I need, but it does map properly (too bad it doesn't import .objs itself for mapping), and, damn. Stairs. Truly, totally, awesome. Too bad I don't see a way to work another staircase I'd like to with it, that's going to be "a challenge" and require a lot of fixing it up in PS, I'm sure- although I think perhaps the map here has given me a good concrete view of how to (until I try it and find the niggling things I haven't thought of, of course). Aside from everything else, it's pretty brilliant for importing your sculpt map and finding out what havok Blender has dealt with the way it goes about it- whether it's even worth trying to pull into SL.

I've got an idea to try that will, I'm reasonably certain, require a bit of post to get functional (if it's even possible, which I'm not sold on- it's a kinda sorta maybe, not a perfect answer), to get around the problem. This model has enough other troubles inherent in the way Blender deals with it I'm not sure it's a model case to try though. (I think it would actually be pretty straightforward to write a program that would take the one data and convert it to the other correctly, that's just not something I'm up to. I do not write programs, and haven't any desire to learn that, a little light coding and scripting is more than enough, thanks.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

New viewer and code, joys and flaws

I've been running the Windlight Release Candidate for a while. The regular viewer started cascade crashing, and the other options out there (read: fan made viewers) weren't working right (one had the same crashing, the other corrupted textures constantly). I had found it to be a far more rock solid uncrashing viewer than the regular, by far. It's...not as much anymore. It's still not horrid, but not as stable as it used to be.

I'm sure they merged the code branches less because they were actually ready, and more because they didn't want to be working on multiple code branches at once, so they could just apply everything to WL (especially with the big move to Havok 4). Shoving both out at once makes it harder to see what is causing which flaw though.

I don't think it was lost on anyone what a massive clusterfuck the launch of Havok 4 was. Some of it wasn't even their fault.

Something has gone rotten with the camera. I don't know which one started it- the RC WL wasn't doing it, and the beta grid running Havok 4 wasn't doing it. But the proper viewer...yeah. They "fixed" the camera in the 1.20 RC, and I had to switch to the regular viewer instead, because it was making me queasy. The camera was often moving with less constraints and more sensitivity, and, and this is the bad part for me, it isn't updating the location of the selected outline properly. It lags behind the camera rotating around, which is very disconcerting, and well, not a fan. I'm not sure what's up here, but it ain't good.

(As an aside, I wish they'd rework the camera in regards to focusing on objects. Most noticeable in larger prims, so it shows in builds, not in jewelry, the camera has serious issues with hollows and dimpled cube/cylinder/prism surfaces. It wants to focus on the "outside" that isn't there. This is mostly not a deal...except that they've now semi sanctioned megaprims so more people are going to be using them, and with the extremely limited number around, a lot of them are dimpled to mimic other sizes, and, worse, the interior of cylindrical buildings of any type just doesn't work well. It would also be a great primsaver with hollowing and cutting for right angle walls and such- which some people do, to the camera's detriment.

As another aside, I wish they would just go ahead and up the prim size limit legitimately. I would kill for 20m instead of 10. More would be nice, but that would be a great start.)

1.20 also has Jazz Hands (aka Dazzle), which is ugly as sin, and has a lot of really bad UI choices. I really hope people are already working on skinning this hideous thing so it doesn't have to look like crap when they do force it on us.

The SKIRT BUG. Motherfucking pudding, but I can't believe they let this thing go live with that. Obviously, from things they've said, they just plain don't care. They've also been trying to say WL isn't the which case, why is that the thing that makes them go away? I know, I know, it's a packet thing blah blah, but come _on_. If you never used WL, you never got the bug. Therefore, don't make people change, until the bug is gone. Is this so hard to grasp? I know, we don't think skirts matter. This is why you will never truly be a viable economic platform, and people will jump ship when something else comes along. Not because you didn't "keep up" and put in voice and awkward lighting effects. (God, voice. I still think my random laggy hangs have to do with that, since that's when they started.)

Memory leak! Yes, it's complex, yes, you have to track it down, yes, this should be your number one priority. I've heard, *cough*, that some of those 3rd party fanviewers do not have this problem. Maybe you should actually consider listening to these people who are fixing your viewers? Because it isn't as if they aren't trying to share this information with you.

I know, it's too much to ask for that friends going on/offline, group notices, and, in fact, being anywhere with more than 5 people not cause random lagspikes that freeze me entirely.

This new texture thing makes me cry. Ever so occasionally I'll get the useful thing back...briefly, and then it will break again. Matching offsets becomes so very much more of a headache. And it looks like it's yet another "oh, you use an Nvidia card. Well, too bad"- which was also apparently the source of my cascading crashes, from the information I could track down.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blender, the avatar, and you.

You know those evil seams? Yeah, there are things that, while not perfect, can make it easier. With Blender, you can draw right on the avatar. Not with the same precision as a graphics program (in my experience, at least, maybe you're better at it), but for matching up stuff in the problem areas? 100% awesome.

I'm not super great at tutorials, because I tend to skip steps, but here's hoping this is something that isn't totally random. I'm going to try to give a really basic crash course to take you through the whole system. And hope I haven't forgotten steps on the way.

Download Blender, install and all that. Blender is a very weird program, but I think the installation was reasonably straightforward.

Download these avatar Blender files:

(Note: the first one may not be good. The second one is more useful, it should be good as of now, up to when they decide to nuke it again.)

Default model for cross section seams- the avatar on the green axis line has some sections joined crosswise. The one next to it is divided up into each image. Both are in the T pose, so shoulders are not as useful for how things will really hang.

Ruth in 3 poses- the mother of us all. I don't find the model you download off the website to actually be accurate, this is actually Ruth. This is entirely divided into the per images, there are no cross image sections. Also, her feet are the Ruthfeet size, so don't sculpt shoes around it unless you're willing for them to not be size 0. Yes, one of them has shoe morphed feet with max height anyway. This is better for things you want to see the sleeves in, as well as being a nice way to preview what something will look like before importing to SL, if you don't have the clothing previewer (which I think you ought to, personally! I don't know how I could live without it, even with this. It's far more lightweight and compact for previewing). (Bonus for skinners and the like: the eyelashes should be connected properly, and the eyes are also included as a separate texture mapped thingie.)

I'll be working on more avatar models (including guys) to make seeing where things really go easier eventually. You can use the male model off of the website (note: you will have to do a lot of prep, including importing the .obj, which requires a plugin), but I find that it doesn't map particularly true in a lot of areas.

Open the file of choice. Now the fun starts, because there are a jillion and 4 options in Blender, and it can be daunting. Below the black avatar wireframes, there should be a menu. You should be in Object Mode, which is what you need to switch to any time you want to choose which part of the model you want to work on.

First, a note on camera: Hold down Alt, and the mouse button, and you rotate around. Alt+Shift and mouse, and Alt+Ctrl and mouse move different ways (drag around the scene, zoom in/out). I just hold down alt and play around with the others to see what's what, since everything has to use a different camera and it's hard to keep straight! If you've got a mouse with a scrolly wheel, that also zooms in and out (generally, mouse settings vary and all).

Here, have a picture that may not help much that I've scribbled all over:

I've spliced the bottom there in while in Texture Paint, you can't see all of those options while in Object Mode!

Choose the bit you want to work with, with the right button. If you want to join parts of the model together (note, this will mean they share texture images! So don't join unless you _want_ that), shift, select the other parts, and then Ctrl+J to join. Note: Blender does very weird sensitive submenus, if you mouse off of it before clicking to verify, it will not do what you ask! This includes things like saving! Joining is useful with the 3 avatar file, as you can join all the heads, all the torsos, all the legs, and they will all update at once. Currently they are each separate.

The new version of Blender has done away with UV Face Select mode, and collapsed it into Edit mode. Change everywhere I say "UV Face Select" to "Edit Mode" if your version of Blender doesn't have UV Face Select.

Once you've got your selection, go to the Object Mode dropdown, and choose UV Face Select. Now, the windows should all be set up such that in the next panel, you will now see the UV outlines for that piece laid out in that space (this is the UV/Image Editor mode, which only has a face icon visible, click on the dropdown to see the name). If that panel does not have them outlined, hover over the avatar and press A (select all, which toggles selection on and off). It should be selected unless you've clicked off of it. At any time you can unselect a section, if you've clicked on one face, and then select the entire model by pressing A twice (yes, just A, no shift, control, or alt. And you have to have your mouse hovering that section). Your image will not be applied to the entire model, unless the entire model is selected. That includes not being able to draw on it, even though it looks like it's right there.

If you are using the cross image seamed avatar, the stomach will have lines at the bottom, and the pelvis at the top, but the legs and arms and such won't be there! This way we can draw across it all on one image, and it will update top and bottom. You'll have to divide these out later, as well as the fact it won't do anything about the parts that aren't outlined there. (Note: I tend to not do this that much actually due to laziness, since I have to splice out the pieces back to where they belong. Your mileage may vary.)

In the panel with the UV map laid out, go to the Image menu, New, or Open (note: I think it only accepts tgas, but it ignores transparency entirely1, so denote that with a contrasting colour when working on it), and either create a new image of your choice or import something you want to check. Remember, if you're doing the stomach/pelvis, you will have had to prep an image to have both of the necessary pieces in it, that you will divide back up again later.

1This is no longer true in newer versions of Blender. It DOES do transparency, so save your working copies as 24 bit tgas, or don't drop your channel in. Transparency is awesome for trying to get the $*%@#! skirt mesh to line up, crap for everything else.

The image should now appear under the UV map. To get it to appear on your avatar, in the menu under it, there is a strange outlined box thing next to UV Face Select. Click on that dropdown, and choose Textured.

To actually _do_ something with all of this, change UV Face Select to Texture Paint. Hit A to deselect the model so you can see it better. The vertex lines will still be there. If you want them to go away, switch to Object Mode and then to Texture Paint (don't change your selection any), and it will just outline the entire thing in a light pink line around the area you're working on. Both things have their uses.

In the bottom panel that has all that scary menu text, hover your mouse, and hit F9. The Paint panel lets you choose paint colour, opacity, brush size, and all that fun stuff. Draw all over the avatar! Once you're done, go back to that Image menu where you created a new image or opened one you already had, and save it. Blender WILL let you close things without saving! It does not prompt!

If you want to save what you've done with the model as a whole, for instance the joining, you can save it under the File menu. As I said before, Blender does not prompt for saving if you've changed anything!

It actually is less complicated than it looks, once you've done it a few times!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Again, wah wah wah, and rampant speculation

Oh god, this way-too-easy-to-post-to-the-wrong-one strikes again. Hah, crap. I didn't mean to keep stirring shit up where it was so visible. I really don't like dramaqueening, but I had to get some of this off my chest so it wasn't just running circles around in my head.

So...crap. I pulled it once I found out, but damage is done, and well, whatever the fallout will be there's no going back and fixing it. she's sort of "given her notice" that's she's quitting. I'm still confused about a fair bit of the whole matter.

I've heard second/third hand, that she revised the post, and the original version actually went to in to particulars. I want to read that post. Apparently, she ripped into the baby, which would have made me laugh my head off, because if that isn't a case of not getting it, I don't know what is. (I'm sure the rest, of course, would have just pissed me off- although if she'd actually said useful things? I might have let it slide. Violet stared at her cameo until she figured out that due to newscaryWL and SL refusing to save states when updated, that 5 of the gems weren't set full bright. THAT IS EASY TO FIX, IF SOMEONE JUST FUCKING TOLD HER. And you know, when it's not a freebie? A lot of people tend to hunt through their records and send fixed copies to everyone if something's messed up like that. It's pointless doing it with freebies, because there are just too damn many transactions. I overran my 500 a day repeatedly.) I still don't know what was "wrong" with mine- I'm wondering if it's some of the intentional things (oh, I would have cackled if she'd complained the way the pattern worked on the back of the men's version on a woman, because THE MODELS ARE DIFFERENT, and that's why there are two versions! The peck/boob shading and cuts are just an added thing because I had to anyway, and isn't too terribly uncrossable [well, men in the white women's, maybe]. Or bitched that my blacks are too black, hand-staple-forehead, believe it or not, they are dark _and_ have depth, which is a painful line to walk. Maybe your monitor doesn't show it all, mine does. Or that the top/bottoms don't quite match up, which is height of irony given some of the other things she's said- and they come as close as I could manage). Yeah, artists, by nature, tend to be insecure beasts, it's partly to do with tearing our souls bare and sharing them with strangers.

I am still wondering if its a vendetta against someone in particular- but no one I know has ever even heard of her before. An alt, maybe...but still, none of us can think of anyone we've pissed off. That still leaves a couple of people, but seeing as they didn't really have anything to do with the actual build itself...I don't know. I'm sort of peeved she dissed the poseballz, because I wasn't even vaguely started on those. I was way more focused on getting the place up and running, and added a few around as I came to it, whereas I'd been intended to poseball the place up a fair bit more, making some poses for it and such, as well as replacing a bunch that are there, since they were just placeholders while I was figuring out the rest. And now, because she threw a bitchfit, people may think that's all due to her. Um, no, not even a little. It was just one of the little ironic things that made me laugh though, the one pic at the motel, she's in one of the ubiquitous freebie poses that isn't particularly well done- and that's hers, not ours, there's no pose there at all (and, if we're bitching about not having put fancy sits in all the chairs, as that LIBRARY chair there doesn't have one...)

Reading through her archive, also just adds more perplexitude. While she does some feature freebs of quality...there is also a lot of not so much that she gushes over. So, whiskey tango foxtrot?

If I were a really vindictive bitch, I could try to get her banned from groups/sims of people I know. She at least used to be in one group I have a banhammer for, if I wanted to abuse my powers (which I in no way would- I'm not even going to bring up the possibility with the owner, as _she_ might do it anyway if she knew, as yes, we are protective of each other), and I'm sure I could get her banned from the sim as well, if I really wanted. I could probably get her banned from at least one place she actually "shops" (although she pointed out that she's basically a drain on the economy, and not willing to get a job or put money into the system), as she's a friend of a friend, and I haven't really met her entirely due to not being in the same place at the same time yet (and, *cough*, she's bought things from me when I wasn't around, as well). And, I wonder how long it would take her to notice and figure it out, since I certainly wouldn't tell her.

I've even considered the idea of touch-give and pay eventing all my freebs, instead of buys, entirely so I could keep a blacklist of people it wouldn't give stuff to. I won't because it's petty (although, if they aren't going to be gracious, they don't deserve it), and it would be asspainy with the lack of transaction records, that I kind of like even though they aren't all that relevant, just because, you know?, but on the other hand, a networked blacklist with this script very stealthily distributed to content creators so these people didn't know, would be fucking hysterical.

I had thought, perhaps, that aside from backpedal faster bitch damage control, her follow up "wink wink something else is going on here" post (which INFURIATES me, as to me, at least, it implies that she's got something going with ME, and as aforementioned, I have no idea who the fuck she is), was a play at grabbing a piece of the freebie blogging pie. Even bad press being press and all, and a play like this might get her the attention she craves from the blahgosphere. But, since she's backing out, I don't know. Maybe it _was_, until she got a much negative attention as she has (although she says it's all been positive...and maybe it has. Maybe people do feel entitled to not having to spend any money, in which case, yeah...back to my previous "maybe people will eventually figure out this isn't worth it". But at least one of her consistent cheerleaders is a friend, from references in earlier posts, and those I generally negate as useful posts, as friends will have your back even if you're wrong, a lot).

On the other hand, I think a crapton more people went to the motel because of it though, so it actually ended up being a positive thing in every way except emotionally.

Monday, April 7, 2008

In which we whinge and complain more, as this is a less public forum

I was all prepared to bitch more about that certain someone and things related, and I may still because things still somewhat infuriate (not even her in particular, honestly. It's been building a long time with the general thing, and she's just getting my ire as being the last, and most egregious that I've seen directly instead of just hearing about, case of it).

Then there was stuffs on shopping cart re: Cachet and (sloppy) stealing from designers, and *sigh*, yeah, it depresses me how much this is done. (Ok, first off though? How much did upon first glance I think the actual model was the avatar, and that was some damn fine sculpties? Seriously, even at closer inspection, that doesn't look entirely out of the realm of possibility.) Not just the big names like McQueen, but also Leg Avenue (which, gah, is sloppy enough to begin with, although occasionally the design ideas are cute, but wow, do you own any of it? I own one or two and they are so crappily made), Threadless (which is total bullshit unless you're the one who made it there too), Urban Outfitters, etc. etc. I'm not talking inspiration here, I'm talking dead stealing (I skimmed the comments a bit- for instance though Alla Ruff is totally not in the category I'm talking here, even if she did see two things and do a third that had some influences from both but was a totally different thing). (And PC actually gets another category entirely from me, because I don't think they are doing it for serious, but instead for the lollercopters, even if the vast majority of people don't get that it IS parody. It's not hard to spot that it is if you actually look. Look at the blog or website, and tell me they aren't shooting the piss. This is all 100% carefully planned. And, christ, it's even funnier the more people who do this stuff for serious.)

There are people who try to defend it..."RL and SL aren't the same thing!" and such, and yeah...I'm not onboard with that. I'll bet that neither are the people you're copying, if they do decide to turn their eye to you.

Worse to me though, is the cases where you can probably just step up and fucking ask, and they'll say "yeah, go ahead, and my url on it would be totally awesome!" (There are a couple of places that I'm very...sketchy about, I might buy from there otherwise, but they've got items that, while they give credit, I don't see any mention of permission when it most likely could have been obtained...and yeah. It doesn't make me feel good. It's still way less creepy...but still a little "well, did that person say you can make her x?") Case in point: the newest issue of GLAM.

First off, I want to say, not everyone in the mag should be tarred with the brush. There are articles and ads there that have absolutely NOTHING to do with the whole bullshit, other than they ended up in the same publication. There's an awesome article on Jessica Ornitz, and another great article with Fallingwater Cellardoor (and that's not all by half, those are just the ones that jumped out to me). I also love the BJD spread, which, yes, that whole thing is inspired by an actual thing, but I see it as something totally different really. To my knowledge that's based on the general phenomena, not directly one person's thing, and it's become really a huge huge widespread thing that has taken on a life of its own. (I'm also assuming the Nicky Ree ad that makes me cringe is a case of model error, wearing 2 different shades. It sort of has to be, nothing else makes sense, other than possibly Windlight deciding on some new fuckery. Which, you know, really is a possibility. *sigh*)

But. I turned to the 7 Deadly Sins spread (which was actually what caught my interest, following a link from Fleur, curious about their post of "something that worked with the spread but was still something our customers would like"). Vanity is the one that SCREAMED the source material to me (and is currently still her featured). She hadn't finished the whole set when I first saw that, ages ago, but Vanity was one of the 3? if I recall correctly, but it's been a long time, and the memory is fuzzy- but it was the one that stuck out to me (Natalia Zelmanov did a dress of it at one point in the past as well, but she was 100% up front with "this is exactly where it came from"- which still, makes me a little twitchy as forementioned...but she came out and said it, which is a damn good start. AND she gave the url to the source material, which is pretty damn close to good enough, I didn't even have to google it- although explicit credit would still make me more comfortable. I mean, this whole idea is why I won't sell some stuff, period- the Sandman and Transmet stuff I gave out a while back, and it'll never go on sale sale, unless I talk to the respective authors about putting them up for the Comic Book Legal Defense League or something. And as much as I've thought about making a set of Death skins...probably not something I'll ever let other people have. I've got one I wear upon occasion now, but my my skins I don't distribute beyond a very very tiny circle). I thought her art was really neat (and I'm in awe of people who really really digital paint like that, that takes talent. I fuck around a bit, but I don't think I ever have a hope of being that good- although honestly serious recreation of paint in a digital medium is not something I ever plan to spend that much time mastering, it's neat, but I have other things that grab my personal attention more. If I want to paint, I have paint, you know? And, oddly, even though I almost entirely only draw people unless I've got something else in mind or I'm totally scribbling, I hardly ever paint people, and never in the same style as the way I draw. Don't ask me, I don't know. But I'm also not into super realism unless I have a serious reason for it.)

Unless there are credits somewhere I don't see, there's zero mention. And...I wonder how many of the people involved in the spread had any clue what was going on. Casa del Shai's stuff definitely predates (and, doesn't look as much like it as it does there, but god, if I were them, I'd be pretty embarrassed about how it made me look if I found out about it afterwards, since I think their stuff was used the most there). Sloth, which starts it off, has some obvious changes (the skin is quite obviously not "HERE, MAKE THIS" which makes one think that yeah, some of these people probably did get drawn into this unknowingly, and there's the butterfly instead of bubbles, and the hair and dress are only vaguely. I'm thinking the poses all are direct rips, and were made for this, and the heads are just free in some of them. I could be wrong...but they are really really close). Wrath also, disturbing pose/background, but only passing similarities to dress/skin/hair/jewelry. Vanity is from a different angle, and with a direct comparison between the two isn't as direct as it seemed, but still, very obviously trying to recreate it (the makeup is semi generic enough that it's close...but that doesn't actually mean anything). Envy is even trying to do the very distinctive hair, although it's a definite case of not the same makeup. Lust is another case of doubtful on the makeup (note, I'm stressing the makeup here, as it was started as being created for the spread, and I'm thinking that most/all of the people making the skins were not complicit), but you've got the pose, background, and accessories right there. Gluttony is, on inspection, a fair bit different, and most obviously due to head turning- but I'm unfortunately thinking that's just due to not locking the head/neck, and the same goes for Avarice.

Personally...if I were one of the people featured in any of the spread I'd be very uncomfortable with it. But, I don't think they really had anything to do with it, this may just be a case of photographer's etc. Which, hell, they do in Vogue from time to time to some degree...but any time I've noticed it they are 100% up front about it, even when it's generic enough they don't have to be. That's what makes me squirm- doubly so because it's a person who's a solo artist, and probably does actually answer their emails, so actually clearing it might have been really easy. (Yeah, there's the possibility they'll say no, but is just steamrolling ahead without clearing it better? I say no, personally.)

We've all, I'm sure, been guilty of it to some degree, from fan doodles to whatnot. When money enters into it, I become a lot more uncomfortable about the whole thing though. If I was contracted to do something, would I? To a degree, probably yes (in fact, to a degree definitely yes, although it was far less of a clearcut thing, I still wasn't superthrilled), if I'd agreed to beforehand without knowing whatall exactly was involved. I'd be far less likely to continue my contract beyond the original term, and I'd try to make it as much "inspired by" and not "oh hai, I just ripped that off" as I could, generally. As much as there are sometimes things that yeah, I might like to have, I don't really like directly copying, just generally.

Will I prove myself a total hypocrite somewhere down the line? Quite possibly. It's easy to stand in judgment over someone else, whereas you may not see it when you're in it. I'm also way less into it when it's a little guy. Big corps, yeah, you might get your ass sued if they turn their lawyers loose on you, but the little guys are a) approachable, so you can actually do something about clearing it, and b) way less obvious, although moreso in the world post internet and sensory overload, so yeah, you may well still get caught with your pants down.