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lambchops
05-06-2011, 01:02 AM
Hello Everyone. I don't often utilize the forums, but I felt compelled after I noticed the new website banner.

Here is a link to an extremely popular after effects tutorial website called 'Video Copilot' created and run by an amazing guy named Andrew Kramer. He creates tutorials, plugins, scripts, and some really fantastic design work for After Effects. He sells his plugins, but gives his awesome tutorials away for free.

Please watch this link:
http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/fracture_design/

I think the new design for the website either has to give full credit to Andrew Kramer, or be changed in a very significant way. His tutorials are awesome, I agree - I think the sign is even very pretty - but it's not original. It is recognizable, and because it is a taken from a tutorial and barely changed whatsoever it exists as a ripoff and a beacon of laziness and unoriginal design.

Should it be changed? Be sure to check my link before you respond...

Sincerely,
-Lamb

sunshineduck
05-06-2011, 01:19 AM
i think it looks really badass and even after finding out that it was basically lifted from some other dude and edited a bit, i really don't care.

nothing on the internet is original. he created a tutorial on how to make similar designs, pieface didn't just take an image and call it his own.

lambchops
05-06-2011, 01:31 AM
i think it looks really badass and even after finding out that it was basically lifted from some other dude and edited a bit, i really don't care.

nothing on the internet is original. he created a tutorial on how to make similar designs, pieface didn't just take an image and call it his own.

I disagree - I believe that is EXACTLY what happened, and it's bad. Pieface is a rad dude, I'm sure... but it's bad practice.

sunshineduck
05-06-2011, 01:37 AM
so you're saying the guy that made a tutorial showing how to do something is going to be mad when people go out and do it?

wat

lambchops
05-06-2011, 01:50 AM
You're really not getting this...

It's not about Andrew Kramer's feelings. Though I don't know him, I'm almost positive he's happy people are doing his tutorials and learning. But that is what they are for. Learning.

It's the fact that the exact tutorial was used and not changed enough to actually be a new design - and it's very obvious. Tutorials exist for people to learn new techniques, and incorporate them into their own work. Tutorials aren't supposed to straight up be people's 'own work'. Do you see the difference?

It's not about people's feelings - Andrew's or Piefaces. It's about taking credit, giving credit, and good design. I think that Altitude is fun, the Ladder is a sweet, and that it should have a sweet, unique site banner to go with it.

sunshineduck
05-06-2011, 01:59 AM
so when i look up a tutorial on how to make banana pancakes, i am supposed to make strawberry pancakes in order to avoid the issue you just described?

in a more related analogy, when i look up a photoshop tutorial on how to make my text look like it is on fire, i am supposed to do what? make my text look like it is on fire, but not too much like fire otherwise i'm not learning anything? your argument holds no water.

i mean, i think it looks badass, you think it looks badass, most people agree that it looks badass.. what's the problem? he wasn't paid to create original art, he just submitted a banner he made using a tutorial, nobo or whoever runs the website thought it would suffice, and that was that.

i don't see anywhere on his site where he requests that art created using his tutorials be accredited to him, and it's not like he screenshotted the image on that page and threw it on the ladder page - it is an edited version, no matter how much editing you personally deem is required in order for art to be considered "original".

if you would like to design your own original banner for submission or pay for someone to do it, that's awesome and you should contact nobo. otherwise, the banner really is a non-issue.

lambchops
05-06-2011, 02:18 AM
Your pancakes analogy is Goddam absurd - as I hope your realize (comparing web design to food recipes? really?), and the photoshop one doesn't work either. It doesn't work because in this specific case, there is more going into it than just the font. There is a whole package.

Here's a better photoshop analogy: If there was a tutorial explaining how to make your text look like it was on fire above a burning tree next to a burning house - and the same images were used for all of those individual elements, then yes. For the sake of argument about design - I'd say it's unquestionably bad/lazy/not-great to put that on your own public site as an image representing your business, yourself, your organization, or - yes - your gaming ladder.

I also realize that in the grand scheme of things, life will go on and everyone is fine with looking at that design because, yes, it's nice. It doesn't really matter and it's a 'non-issue'. But here - on the discussion forum where people discuss things - I think it's worth mentioning the possibility of a newer, more original banner.

Can we forget for a moment that Pie did this for free as a favour to Nobo or whatever... There are no hard feelings anywhere. I mean only to discuss design practices, and how this specific example is poor.

And now, I suppose, how your specific understanding of this conversation (or more accurately lack-of-understanding) is hilarious.

Clapon
05-06-2011, 02:19 AM
yeah this is a pretty stupid thread, maybe you should use the forums even less often. :D

elxir
05-06-2011, 02:27 AM
who cares it's a banner on a random website...

lambchops
05-06-2011, 02:39 AM
....

Design is interesting to me - also, discussing things.

I'm also sure someone will agree with me at some point and make this a more interesting conversation.

Ajuk999
05-06-2011, 03:14 AM
....

Design is interesting to me - also, discussing things.

I'm also sure someone will agree with me at some point and make this a more interesting conversation.

I agree with you to a certain point lamb. I actually contacted Andrew, and will post his response here (if I get one).

SSD, comparing recipes with digital media is absolutely pathetic. IF you knew one iota of being a web and graphic designer, you'd appreciate lamb's post.

I for one, respect lamb's stance.

nobodyhome
05-06-2011, 03:25 AM
So I guess pieface used the tutorial in making some part of his video, which we then yoinked out into our new banner. That's cool. If for some reason Andrew Kramer wants us to take that banner down or give him credit, we will. On the other hand if he gives not a single crap about some small community website that serves at most 500 people, then we will just leave it. It's pretty and I don't care at all that it's not unique, because altitude ladder is not about pretty websites, it's about providing a good competitive environment for people to play altitude.

elxir
05-06-2011, 03:57 AM
so i guess pieface used the tutorial in making some part of his video, which we then yoinked out into our new banner. That's cool. If for some reason andrew kramer wants us to take that banner down or give him credit, we will. On the other hand if he gives not a single crap about some small community website that serves at most 500 people, then we will just leave it. It's pretty and i don't care at all that it's not unique, because altitude ladder is not about pretty websites, it's about providing a good competitive environment for people to play altitude.

o for 2 nobo swing again :3

sunshineduck
05-06-2011, 05:00 AM
I agree with you to a certain point lamb. I actually contacted Andrew, and will post his response here (if I get one).

SSD, comparing recipes with digital media is absolutely pathetic. IF you knew one iota of being a web and graphic designer, you'd appreciate lamb's post.

I for one, respect lamb's stance.

there's this attitude that's commonly described as "holier-than-thou"

douchebags like you commonly exhibit related symptoms

i fear for your soul

Jrathje
05-06-2011, 05:50 AM
I understand Lamb's position and respect it as a legitimate concern. I do see that the background image is taken directly from Andrew's site. The sparks, while in the same style and probably produced with the same technique by following the tutorial, do appear to be unique. The letters, while very similar to Andrew's, are not the same, either.

I see a copyright symbol on Mr. Kramer's page, but I do not however see a copyright symbol or any credits of any kind to anyone on the Ladder page. Full credit for the banner and video is given to pieface in the Ladder website updates (http://altitudegame.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6415) thread.

Those are the facts but I don't have an opinion about what, if anything, should be done about it. I look forward to Ajuk posting Mr. Kramer's response.

lambchops
05-06-2011, 07:49 AM
I meant not to bring this up only to rightfully give a 'credit' to Andrew Kramer. I'm positive he isn't worried about that either... He gives his tutorials for free and hopes people do them. He is an awesome guy, but that's not my point.

I meant to focus the discussion on design in general, and how using (what I think is almost directly) what someone else has created and in this case clearly outlined exactly how to create, is poor design and could be better.

I will say again - the specifics highlight how this is a 'non-issue' as SSD put, because yes, the Altitude Ladder serves a relatively low number of people - most of whom don't care about this kinda stuff, right nobo? :)

I brought this up because for those people interested, the current banner is a big red-flag of lazy design and could be improved. I have been using VideoCopilot to learn new techniques for After Effects for years now, and seeing one of the tutorials existing in it's complete form somewhere else is weird/funny-for-anyone-who-knows... (TONS of people use VideoCopilot for example - many people would notice this as his work)

I know it's not what the game altitude is about, and it basically affects nothing to change it or leave it... But it is definitely worth mentioning. The game itself is designed very well so I thought more people were interested in this sort of thing.

Thanks for the support Ajuk/Jrathje... :)

cipso
05-06-2011, 08:18 AM
Lamb, I appreciate your concern. I don't do graphics design myself, but as a software developer (selling my own programs too), I do care about copyright stuff and such.

My view on this is: copying design of others is perfectly fine *if* we are ok from copyright point of view (And by my quick checking of link you've posted, and original website where texture comes from, that might be actually true).

If we need to add credits to make everybody happy, that's ok. But if you fight over this just because it's a copy of tutorial, well, I don't really care. Copying is a form of admiration, isn't it? (Why reinvent the sorting, when quicksort works just fine [usually]?)

(If there was alternative Ladder banner, then we can discuss which one to use, which is better, and which one is just a copy of something else. But for now, we use what we have. I personally like our current banner very much)

Tekn0
05-06-2011, 09:20 AM
If it *IS* a tutorial there should not be any copyright issues... It's fine as it is IMO.

Although personally I'd always change some aspect of it when I follow tutorials if no copyright violations are being done here it isn't a real problem.

And yes giving credit is always nice.

Mandrad
05-06-2011, 10:57 AM
As a Designer, i hate to see this sort of stuff. This is the reason why there's soo much cheap design outhere. Design takes time, its a process with several stages - cant be that cheap. Kills the business, takes the money from the right hands/heads.
I totaly understand your concern lamb, but... non-designers dont give a f*** :rolleyes:

In this particular case, i feel slightly diferent. I feel sympathy for those who take care of our small community making efforts to keep things rolling whatever it takes.
If tomorrow, Karlam posts, "Dear community, we´re broke, we cant take this any longer", - im prety sure we can turn thiefs in order to "keep the pizzas comin to the devs table"! :D

VipMattMan
05-06-2011, 01:54 PM
General rule of technical tutorials is to take what you've learned and reapply it differently. Change some settings, use different textures. That's generally what tutorial makers have in mind.

Ultimately tutorial makers know that some people will just take the project files and straight up use them, so i doubt there's going to be a major fluff about it, but that's generally not the intention of the tutorial.

The kosher thing to do would be to change the banner, but unless Pieface is trying to resell templates and that sort of thing it's not going to be a major issue considering the nature of the source.

Karl
05-06-2011, 04:21 PM
The copyright notices from the downloaded pack for that tutorial:

© COPYRIGHT NOTICE: You MAY use the preset in your work and create amazing graphics.
However, this preset is NOT authorized for any redistribution or sale.

The texture used in this tutorial has been created with images from CGTextures.com.
Permission to distribute this image has been granted to VideoCopilot.net.

Images from www.cgtextures.com may not be redistributed by default,
please visit www.cgtextures.com for more information."

=========================
=========================

Neither of these have been violated. Thread closed.

Pieface
05-06-2011, 05:49 PM
Just a quick addendum to what's already been said because I take copyright and creative commons licensing very seriously:

The banner was a modified version of a clip from the promo video, which you can find here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=s1ZEL0VnFzg). If you watch carefully, you'll see I borrowed several techniques from Video Copilot as I find Andrew Kramer's work to be quite inspiring and I would have no idea how to do much of this stuff without him. I don't make money from graphic design; because of this, I really appreciate guys like him who go out of their way to give tutorials and teach cool techniques. If he requested that I take the video/banner down I would do it unquestioningly - however, I feel like you're not looking at this from the right perspective.

Here's a complete list of outside resources used in the movie and banner:

Royaltee-free fonts from www.urbanfonts.com
Royaltee-free music from www.jewelbeat.com
Royaltee-free textures from Video Copilot and CG Textures
Biplane image supplied by the devs


While to a large extent I based my work off his technique and instructions, the only thing I specifically copied from Video Copilot was the background texture, which Andrew Kramer himself composited from other textures available on the free internet. The particles were created from scratch using the built-in CC Particle World generator since I can't afford the $400 Particular that Kramer uses. The project was built from scratch (not using a template) referring to the process he describes in his tutorial and then modified - I have not tried to claim it is 100% my original work and nobody has benefited financially from its use. If you scroll down to the description on the video page, you'll see credit was given to all external sources from which I got my content.

Yes, it could be more original and if someone designs an alternative I am perfectly happy to discuss the merits of each. However, the current version is legally sound and will remain so no matter how many times you contact Andrew Kramer and tell him someone's leeching off his talent.