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General => Terragen Discussion => Topic started by: rcallicotte on September 03, 2009, 04:21:12 pm

Title: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: rcallicotte on September 03, 2009, 04:21:12 pm
Planetside has very kindly allowed us (for a small fee) to use their Lego Blocks. This machine is programmable to make a near infinite variety of cars, houses, people and beer bottles, etc. I, as a user, can either make up my own Lego Block Architecture from scratch, download one from my local Lego library or buy one from the Lego Block shop. I can then take apart the patterns, modify them and then produce a new beer bottle, hat, etc. I can also take my Block Architecture to the local library or shop and make it available for others to use, either free or for a small fee.

My apologies to Cyphyr for taking his wording and changing it.  But, I'm not selling it, so I shouldn't be in any trouble and I'm giving it away.  So, we're cool.  Right?   ;D

Hope so.  I completely agree with him.

That's why I buy the cheaper NWDA contract, since I don't have plans to use NWDA's work to make money.  But, if I ever do use their stuff to make money, I'll do the right thing - buy the correct NWDA agreement.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: cyphyr on September 03, 2009, 04:48:34 pm
LOL  ::) ;D

we're oh so very cool :)

But what if you learn whilst using the NWDA presets and then sometime later build your own preset, without referencing the NWDA preset but ultimately bassed on the knowledge you acquired through use of the NWDA preset, what then. You bought the preset entirely legitimately, you hav e not used that preset to make any money commercially but you did learna new skill which you have then made money with.

Where is the line? At what point did you develop your own ideas beyond the preset?

Because these questions are so difficult to answer and ultimately come down to individual interpretation I dont see how an EULA can work on what is effectively teaching materials.

:)

Richard
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Zairyn Arsyn on September 03, 2009, 05:05:08 pm
 :D :D :D :D
this is getting ridiculous.......(but i like that.)
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Henry Blewer on September 03, 2009, 06:30:23 pm
I was totally fooled. I thought that this was a new feature. Lego like was what came to mind. With this I thought, cool, blocks to build houses and barns and other buildings.
Oh well. I guess my nodes are not connected this evening...
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: rcallicotte on September 03, 2009, 06:33:25 pm
I don't think it's ridiculous, since I just got an email from Frank telling me about copyright law.  Let's get it straight - if I pay for a commercial license, then I need to honor that agreement.  But, for someone other than me even that is shaky ground, based upon the nature of Terragen's nodal system.  It's isn't algorithms and I don't believe a court would uphold someone's complaint that I copied someone else's concept in a nodal form.  If it does mean that, then it means most people using the product of Terragen could possibly be held liable by accident.  That's not so good for business.

What is getting ridiculous is seeing how many of the creative ideas that were once here have become $$, instead of about learning how to use the product.  That is why I'm spending less and less time here.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Sp34k on September 03, 2009, 06:33:52 pm
Quote from: njeneb on September 03, 2009, 06:30:23 pm
I was totally fooled. I thought that this was a new feature. Lego like was what came to mind. With this I thought, cool, blocks to build houses and barns and other buildings.
Oh well. I guess my nodes are not connected this evening...


I admit, I thought it was something new aswell... I just didn't want to write a reply asking if it was for real haha..
Guess this copyright thingy is going to continue for a while  :D
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: cyphyr on September 03, 2009, 06:34:31 pm
hehe

If you have lightwave then you can  :)

Legoizer (http://www.arngautr.lunarpages.com/semipermanent/legoizer/)

Its a little old (can you tell from the web page lol) and it may not even work on modern LW setups but it dose at least exist ;)

Richard
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: cyphyr on September 03, 2009, 06:36:47 pm
Quote from: calico on September 03, 2009, 06:33:25 pm
.... based upon the nature of Terragen's nodal system.  It's isn't algorithms and I don't believe a court would uphold someone's complaint that I copied someone else's concept in a nodal form.  If it does mean that, then it means most people using the product of Terragen could possibly be held liable by accident.  That's not so good for business.


You've just made my point perfectly, thank you :)

Richard
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Mandrake on September 03, 2009, 07:52:19 pm
I would recommend that you avoid, buying anything, if you feel that way, and endeavor to construct and with help from the forum, find your way, on your own.. This used to be a pure TG2 science forum, sadly, things are changing..
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Zairyn Arsyn on September 03, 2009, 10:55:07 pm
calico: i was talking about the title of post (and cyphyr's), & not copyright
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Oshyan on September 04, 2009, 01:07:30 am
Gentlemen, please. The value of a philosophical argument regarding copyright is limited. The law has its perspective, and the only way to truly find out what it would be is challenge it in court. If that's a concern for you, then you should avoid purchasing copyrighted products. I can assure you that Planetside makes no claim of copyright to any work produced with TG2, our liability for the works of the users of our software is exclaimed. If others claim copyright on their works created with TG2, we have no desire to dispute that. If anyone else has such a desire, they should take it up in court.

If in the end what all this is really about is the fear that you might accidentally reproduce a copyrighted work and then be sued over making it available, I don't think you have much to worry about. Practically speaking the possibility that you would ever run into this issue is so remote as to be essentially not worth talking about.

Even if it were likely that you would exactly duplicate a copyrighted work (which it's not), that's a far cry from having a lawsuit brought against you for it. Even large companies almost always begin any such legal action with simple cease and desist requests. Unless you fail to comply, you can generally remove yourself from liability by simply removing the offending material. In the highly unlikely event that it would go to court, there is still the necessity to prove the copyrightable nature of the work in question which, if it's as obvious as claimed, you should have no worry of defending against. Not to mention the possibility of demonstrating prior art.

All this is not to say, however, that anyone should bother crying wolf on someone's reasonable desire to modestly benefit financially from their time investment. Whether or not anyone's legal perspective on copyright is valid could be a subject of endless debate, the results of which are unlikely to change anyone's minds and is liable to just piss everyone involved off. The only way to truly settle such a matter is in court, which I think it's safe to say everyone involved in these *three* threads about this subject would like to avoid.

So let's leave it at that, shall we? ;D

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: scott8933 on September 05, 2009, 11:30:14 am
Nothing new here. Years ago some users got busted by Onyx for selling trees created by Onyx Tree. The people on the Electric Image forum (where the controversy started) were a little outraged at first - but the owner himself came in to explain his position, very eloquently.

That basically Onyx exists solely to sell the tree generator. And to go and re-sell work derived from that essentially takes money directly from Onyx - even though there was plenty of creative intervention on the part of the tree creator himself.

Agree or not, their user license was pretty iron clad and the guy had to stop selling it.

But also, hearing it from Onyx's side helped a lot too - you could tell that the guy was really passionate about his work and not just out to just make the bottom line buck (Onyx isn't getting rich selling those plugins I'm sure). Simply protecting his entire life's work's revenue stream.

Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: cyphyr on September 05, 2009, 12:10:52 pm
Excellent point and I agree entirely and thank you for compounding my point.

In the case you cite Onyx produce a product capable of a near infinite amount of permutations. Onyx wants to stop people using their product to make (in their case, trees, bushes, palms etc) that they could then sell on (or give away) thus depriving Onyx of a revenue stream. Fair enough.

NWDA on the other-hand are more akin to the gentlemen who is selling on Onyx derived trees and bushes. They have no more "created" their products than the trees and bushes were "created" by the chap selling Onyx trees. The only difference between the two scenarios is that Onyx has stated that you may not sell or distribute their output or tree files at all. Planetside makes no such stipulation.

In both cases, Onyx and Terragen, both products offer the user a near infinite variety of possibilities, these possibilities are already inherent in the program itself and are NOT created from outside the program (this will change when the SDK is released). No matter how hard you try you can not make a car in Onyx or a Julia set fractal in Terragen for example. If some one comes along after the SDK is released and makes a plugin that can introduce new math then they will have complete rights to define their own limitations and restrictions on usage and distribution.

I have no objection to NWDA selling presets and clip files, or anything else in fact :)

My issue is with their claim that they in some way own them, that they "created" them.
They do not and did not.
They, through hard work, diligence and deep understanding discovered them.
After one has discovered something one is free to decide what to do with that knowledge, to keep it secret, to give or sell it to others or to publish it. A free choice with no preference one way of the other.

Its a little like the DNA argument. Once the human genome was laid bare various medical companies started to say that they had rights to certain parts of the DNA. Most people believe this to be fundamentally wrong and although they may have a legal case they have no case from "natural philosophy" viewpoint.

Happy rendering

Richard
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: neuspadrin on September 05, 2009, 01:22:10 pm
The way I see nwda is you are paying them for their understanding and time tinkering these settings for you, not the settings themselves.  I don't see them out there trying to trace down the smallest violations of their licenses, but they simply want to make a little money on the side by offering their high quality work to a more public audience. 

Using some of the arguments presented in here, I could argue planetside has no right to sell tg2 because they used xyz to program and compile the program!  All they did was know how to type code the specific way needed to make their program.  And thats not just planetside, you could argue any program like that. 

But thats not how it works.  Sure, all NWDA is selling is nodes.  And anyone could stumble on that exact combination of nodes (in theory), but what you are doing is honoring NWDA by giving them a little money to let you benefit from THEIR research and knowledge so that you can get stuff done faster and easier.  They offer both a commercial and hobbiest license because they know many of us have no intentions of making money off their product, but are willing to spend a little here and there in support of their efforts (I myself have bought a few packs, and I learned a lot and enjoy having them as an option while setting up a scene).

Basically its up to each programs license to determine how licensing should work for products derived from it.  Planetside doesn't mind users selling preset packs, so legally its perfectly ok for anyone to do that.  And because planetside doesn't mind, its up to NWDA to decide how their license works for their products.  Also these packs (from my point of view) arn't really for someone who knows what they are doing.  Its for people who are under a deadline to quickly grab a few packs and make the scene they need, and hobbiests who are interested in learning new concepts to apply to their work.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Sp34k on September 05, 2009, 02:01:16 pm
I have one thing to say......... I shouldn't have uploaded that file haha :D
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: PG on September 05, 2009, 02:14:31 pm
In UK law, the NWDA would have to register for a design in order for their commercial licenses to have any weight. Without it they have no claim to the particular pattern of nodes and values used. So you could buy the non-commerical license, recreate it and then use that commercially with no legal backlash. Anyone know whether there are any similar laws in the US?
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: dandelO on September 05, 2009, 02:18:18 pm
I've been absent for a time and have missed a fair bit, it seems! Disorder in the ranks.
I personally wouldn't purchase anyone elses TG work, preffering to learn through trial and error and with help from friends I meet here, the best place to learn and advance your TG skills.

I also say, good luck and good fortune to anyone who finds a gap in the market to sell their TG content. Personally, though, I wouldn't do this, for precisely the reasons I'm reading here.
Who am I to copyright what, essentially, any one of us could produce?
Could I be arsed even persuing any legal matters that arise after I did? Not me.
Up until not long before TG2 was released officially, we had a very close, friendly and not unwilling to share the most complexed of node-works, forum. Something happened around about this time and now there is much more 'holding the cards to the chest' going on.
I don't mind sharing anything I, as someone beautifully put it up there ^^ 'discovered' in the nodes. After all, I wouldn't have learned half as much as I have, if others hadn't shared their own knowledge before, know?

Even when I look at another's files very rarely, that file will stay on my desktop whilst I have a little nosey(;)), never be transferred to the TG folder and, will then end up in the recycle bin. Not because I believe it's bin-worthy material, just because it isn't my own and I couldn't put my name to anything and say 'I made this', if I didn't.

I downloaded Luc Bianco's cumulo-nimbus file again the other day, I say again because it's already gone to the recycle bin once before ;). That these files exist here as 'free resources' is great. I can have a looksee, see where I'm differing in my own works, or problems I'm coming across, and comparing the results with someone who has done something I'm interested in and made a more succesful attempt than I have. I'd never take a .tgd and then stick a model in(or something) and say 'Here's my new render', because it isn't, know?

A tricky situation and one that I won't beat around for too long, just my say.
If you don't want to worry about legalities, don't buy, or distribute, other's copyrighted material. Seems simple enough to me.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: rcallicotte on September 05, 2009, 04:13:28 pm
Since I've heard from one person in my Private Messages who mentioned something about being wary of buying stuff from NWDA, I need to be clear about what I think (my opinion) - NWDA has some cool people selling their wares and I don't mind buying the lesser priced items to learn from them.  They can't hurt us, if we do that, and I know Frank et al do not want to see us hurt by learning from them.

Anyway, I'm thankful for people like DandelO and Mandrake and Cyphyr (and so many others) who have donated their time and resources by giving TGDs and TGCs, as well as clear explanations, to those of us who want to learn.  I recommend everyone paying attention to the wonderful resources in the File Section, where many great and groovy things can be learned and downloaded.  It will change your perspective on learning TG2.  We really have some generous people here.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: scott8933 on September 05, 2009, 06:48:20 pm
Hope I'm not clipping out too much to make my point - but in this regard, I'd take the side of NWDA. Those clip/node/setup files are useless without Terragen to use them in. So Planetside is losing no sales because of it, and only has sales to gain. Last I checked, Planetside isn't selling setups or scenes. And thus, NWDA is in no direct competition with them - only complimentery.

ONYX's point was quite valid - "built" trees could be sold as models and used anywhere. Thus depriving ONYX of sales.

NWDA is in the same situation as Useful Things was when they sold After Effects animation .ffx files. What use is that without After Effetcts? None!

I hope I'm not missing anything in this discussion. But it seems to me that NWDA is only selling value-added material that would in turn create more demand for the core app that Planetside sells - and thus more sales.

Am I off in this thinking? Or skip over a key part of the controversy? I don't have the time to have kept up with every thread here.

Quote from: neuspadrin on September 05, 2009, 01:22:10 pm
... Sure, all NWDA is selling is nodes....
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: scott8933 on September 05, 2009, 09:45:29 pm
Okay, I'm getting a clearer picture of the problem here (sorry, I wasn't up to speed on this ongoing issue!).

Personally I can see both sides of the story. It is perfectly reasonable for NWDA to want to protect their hard work, just as ONYX or any other vendor of digital assets.

This seems like a probably a problem that Planetside didn't even anticipate fully - perhaps there would be a way to create a version of a node that's "protected" somehow. Maybe in the form of a plugin (like AfterEffects) that would give you access to all the parameters, but not allow you to save it back out, instead of the current system that behaves more like an AfterEffects .ffx file that's basically wide open for anyone to use/change/resell or give away.

We may be diverging quite a bit from what the architecture currently supports (I assume), but most AE and 3D app plugins allow you to save setup parameters. So this would allow the user to keep re-using an NWDA node - the node would be locked, but allow for loadable settings. That way an unscrupulous user couldn't just save out the node under a new name and give it away. And users could still use that node in new projects, just by loading up their previously saved params.

Just thinking out loud. Again, I haven't followed this from the start - so I may remain ignorant of more details.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: pfrancke on September 05, 2009, 11:56:45 pm
Indeed it is an interesting and somewhat awkward situation.  I've bought a few of the NWDA sets and have gotten great learning from them.  I know that there is much available that is free, but to me it is well worth spending a few dollars just to have the good stuff organized and easy to find.  I don't think I'd ever have the talent or the perseverance to bootstrap myself into learning this program, but I very much respect those that can and do.  So anyway, those packs are of great value to me.  And ever so slowly, as I see how others tie these nodes together, it slowly makes more sense to me.  But on the negative side, I also find myself many times wanting to share or to explain, but not doing so simply because the source of the new knowledge was in one of those packs - in those cases I feel that it is not my place to speak to them or to their design concept.  And of course, as the part what I produce is less of me than it might have been otherwise, sometimes I DO feel shame to upload a pic where a good part of it could never have been without the pack to leverage it. 

The copyright issue is pure poison.  Not because of right and wrong or law, but because it turns knowledge and study and play into ownership.  Kind of reminds me of the fencing of America, and the native American getting all confused and ultimately very lost.  When I spent 4 or 5 bucks for a pack, I gave up 4 or 5 bucks, but not my soul.  Besides giving up 4 or 5 bucks I also find myself having to be very careful with what I bought so that I don't bite the hand that feeds me - if that makes sense.  But one thing that I know for certain, is that the TG community walks that razor blade between genius and insane - what a bunch of people!!!  And craziness aside, I have a deep faith that all parties in this are sensitive and caring and honest and will come through with pride and integrity. 
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Henry Blewer on September 06, 2009, 08:26:58 am
Well I was not going to put my opinion in, but I can't help myself.
If you bought a book about node networks in Terragen 2, it is implied that the knowledge gained will be put to use. The NWDA packs are like examples in the book. Guides to learn from, and use by the license agreement. If you have used a node network from NWDA, then give them credit. We all know how much work can be put into a project.
I use Mr.Lamppost's Brush Pack and Walli's plant pack often. I forget to acknowledge this here on the forum, but where I post the images, Flickr; I use tags to give them credit. It is really no problem for me to give credit to someone if I use their work. Even with the packs, there are many ways to use them which makes the output unique; but the pack/s are still part of the whole.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Volker Harun on September 07, 2009, 01:28:21 pm
@PG: Commonly in the EU there is no patent pending for software without an additionly design. Are you sure that it is the same with copyright in the UK.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: PG on September 07, 2009, 03:32:54 pm
In UK law they are defined as distinct under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1989.
As soon as you create something original it has a copyright. You don't need to apply, nor pay for it, however it helps in proving the validity of the time it was created if there is some dated proof. E.g. posting it to yourself so the envelope has the Post Offices stamp. They also last until 100 years after the death of the creator.
Designs and Patents are similar in format but distinct in application. They both must be registered and payed for, they both last a limited time and they are both handled by the Patent Office.
Where they are distinct is in what they cover. Designs protect the visual style of the item in question, so the design of a company logo, the shape of a car, etc. Patents protect the process of creating the item. Blueprints, design documents, etc.

So basically, copyright protects and idea, design protects the look of an idea, patents protect the technicalities of producing the idea. But you don't need one to have the other.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Matt on September 07, 2009, 11:00:12 pm
Quote from: cyphyr on September 05, 2009, 12:10:52 pm
No matter how hard you try you can not make... a Julia set fractal in Terragen for example.


I bet someone could! :)

Matt
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: CCC on September 07, 2009, 11:15:38 pm
Quote from: Matt on September 07, 2009, 11:00:12 pm
Quote from: cyphyr on September 05, 2009, 12:10:52 pm
No matter how hard you try you can not make... a Julia set fractal in Terragen for example.


I bet someone could! :)

Matt



I'll believe it when i see it.   ;D
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Volker Harun on September 08, 2009, 03:00:41 am
@Matt: using recursive iterations or a linear setup? ,-)
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Matt on September 08, 2009, 03:31:09 am
I think it would have to be non-recursive, although I'd love to be proved wrong!

An iterator function might help things a little... :)
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: cyphyr on September 08, 2009, 03:33:58 am
Ooh how about branching "L-systems"
:)
Richard
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Walli on September 08, 2009, 03:51:15 am
Please see this as private view on this topic from a person, who also creates content.

To me the case is much simpler compared to what people try to make out of it. Content producers - no matter if it´s a node setup, objects, an entire scene or even realworld products like croissants - spend a lot of time and would like to get a reward. Some of them do this for a living, some of them as side job that enables them to spend a little more for the pc, to spend some money on a nice meal or to get some toys for their children.
And I think it is totally fair and okay to make some money from the hard work that is invested into such content.

I think none of those people try to copyright the idea or this special node setup. Or this special object in my case. I mean, I just do what I see in nature, recreate this as good as possible. Of course i can not claim that I invented the lilac. This doesn´t look as problematic on the first sight, as this is just an object. But i also give away objects where the procedural nature is available (for example if you get my free pines).

The only thing that people like me want is, that no one starts redistributing this work. If a customer learns from a node setup or from my models and then starts to do his own stuff and sell his own stuff - fine!
Even if its a lilac ;-)
Just take a look out of the door. Someone who sells pimped cars. Thats perfectly fine and why? He buys content, improves it and then resells it.
In digital world its usually like this - the "pimper" buys the original once - and then sells dozens or hundreds of pimped copies. Thats not fair, as the original author does not receive what he deserves.
If someone approaches me and says - look, I took your model and changed it to my liking, now I want to sell it. Then I might allow him to do so - if he gives me something for each model he sells - just like in real world.

The point is that you have to write something into an EULA and no matter what you will write into it, there always will be critique. The next step is usually to introduce some sort of DRM and I think some other industries noticed that this probably is not the best approach. So I always try to call on common sense. If people don´t start to steal and redistribute, there is no problem. And if someone by mistake redistributes a bought network or object, well then this was his fault and the consequence is clear - he simply takes the file down and thats it. Not more, not less. I perfectly understand that something like that happens. But as I said, the only thing I ask for is, that such a file is taken down (or cleaned up and then uploaded again)
No one (at least not me) wants to afflict other people or customers. I prefer to spend my time with my family or creating new content.

Thats much more I wanted to write, as i usually stay quiet ;-)
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: CCC on September 08, 2009, 06:02:03 am
Quote from: Matt on September 08, 2009, 03:31:09 am
I think it would have to be non-recursive, although I'd love to be proved wrong!

An iterator function might help things a little... :)


Hmmmmmm.      8)
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Volker Harun on September 08, 2009, 12:17:49 pm
I used a linear setup with 8 'iterations' ... made the render work for 45 minutes ... any iteration beyond in that setup would make my machine very slow ... slow .... ..... slow.

Else this is a Julia-Set with c = -0.125 + 0.785156 i

Sorry about the simple scene.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: CCC on September 08, 2009, 03:25:00 pm
Interesting. i suggested a branched noise flavor in another thread as it would be good for creating canyon networks, river systems and even cirrus clouds.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: cyphyr on September 08, 2009, 04:49:22 pm
Quote from: Volker Harun on September 08, 2009, 12:17:49 pm
I used a linear setup with 8 'iterations' ... made the render work for 45 minutes ... any iteration beyond in that setup would make my machine very slow ... slow .... ..... slow.

Else this is a Julia-Set with c = -0.125 + 0.785156 i

Sorry about the simple scene.


Marvelous
Of course :)
It could only be you :)
Thought you could do it, care to share  ;D
Mandelbrot next ?? lol

Now if I could only figur out how to create a function (f ) with functions ... Ahh learning
Head scratching here I come
Richard
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: FrankB on September 08, 2009, 05:09:01 pm
For anyone wanting to get into functions: For me, the break-through understanding was that you need to build functions from their inside to the outside in TG2.

It always starts with the variable first though. Think about a simple function like sin(x).

To create sin(x), you need to "get" the x first. Once you have the x, you wrap the sine around it, so to speak.

So first you create a function node like "Get position in texture". This is a vector that has the x, the y, the z. Then you create another function node below the "get texture". You create a "x to scalar" node.
NOW, you have your x. Plug this into your sine function node and you have sin(x). If you want sin(z), just use "z to scalar" instead.

Nested functions are build form the inside to the outside too. Let's say you want exp(sin(x/2)).
1. get position in texture and "x to scalar".
2. divide scalar and a constant scalar shader with the value "2". Now you have "x/2"
3. plug this into sin scalar. Now you have sin(x/2).
4. plug this into exp scalar. Now you have exp(sin(x/2)).

Plug this into e.g. the blend shader of a surface shader and see what happens.

Not that I have ever created anything really complicated with functions yet, but a trigonometric function every now and then can really brighten my day ;D

Cheers,
Frank
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Walli on September 08, 2009, 05:19:52 pm
and the best thing about functions - they usually don´t bite ;-) So you can experiment to your liking.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Matt on September 08, 2009, 05:22:05 pm
Haha, there we go. Nice one. Sorry you couldn't just code it in Python - TG3 I guess? ;)

Matt
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: littlecannon on September 08, 2009, 05:25:47 pm
Excellent... cheers Frank, I have to give this a go...
Simon.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: cyphyr on September 08, 2009, 05:40:10 pm
Thanks Frank :)

That's very clear and "Ahh !! Of course, its all starting to make sense .... a bit " :)

This actually illustrates my point very well. As a node structure can be created almost identically by two or more people (early yet but I guess there's only a few ways of creating a "Julia set" nodally in TG); yes I can see that one of them could copyright the node setup if they wished, but what happens if someone later who has never seen the "copyrighted" one (its identical for all intents and purposes) chooses to share it? If I go and create a "Julia Set" node setup and publish it am I in any way stealing from Volker Horn. I don't "feel" I am and I certainly wont be limited in my artistic expression but I would not want to be the cause of any harm.

:)

Richard

ps: So Python is in TG3, where do I sign up :)
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Volker Harun on September 08, 2009, 06:14:22 pm
Hey Richard ...

I have shared a lot of knowledge and nodes. But only a few full tweaks. I like to share the starting points so anybody will be able to recreate. And may share, too.
The same will be with the procedural crater shader. I will share the basics for free and I have developed a professional setup, which makes things a lot easier for creating different craters. Well, it took me about 48 hours, to rebuild the node network and to add common functionality. For some days I am testing it, so every internal calculation works fine.

If you do not need it, feel free to modify the free version, to learn, rebuild and use it. And share it combined with your works.
If anybody else wants to save time and use presets and gets for small money the pro-version ... I would really be dissapointed, if my work would be shared, the time I spent got useless.

As stated above, there is no patent pending for software, node-compositions and so on.
If somebody is specialized in Computer Graphics and has read heaps of books about it - and this person is going to write his own book - he should not copy full paragraphs, pages or chapters of his sources (unless stated and permitted). He would cover similar topics using similar words, but would write it on his own. That is fine.

What I want is to push the people forward, to push this marvelous software, to give the efforts of Matt, Jo, Oshyan and Mr.Licence the breakthrough they deserve.
And I kindly ask anybody who will use the presets, bought over at NWDA, to respect the time and work I spent. I'll respect yours!

;) Volker

P.S.: Julia-nodes will be uploaded in a few minutes ;D
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: pfrancke on September 08, 2009, 06:29:48 pm
I think for me the time has come to buy some of Walli's objects and to study Volker's upload...  thank you also for the "ground up" explanation.

As a side note, during the 80's in an effort to stifle spaghetti code (resulting mostly from uncontrolled "goto" branches), this fellow by the name of Yourdon argued all logical problems could be defined and solved in code by using three constructs.  The are sequence, decision, and iteration.  I think he made a lot of money selling structured programming. 

Sometimes I think that it is the concept of how TG works that throws me so badly, having been a programmer, I want to visualize what TG is doing in programmer terms (or rather in constructs that I've grown accustomed to in a variety of different languages) and it obviously is its own animal with its own madness.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Matt on September 08, 2009, 06:38:13 pm
Quote from: cyphyr on September 08, 2009, 05:40:10 pm
This actually illustrates my point very well. As a node structure can be created almost identically by two or more people (early yet but I guess there's only a few ways of creating a "Julia set" nodally in TG); yes I can see that one of them could copyright the node setup if they wished, but what happens if someone later who has never seen the "copyrighted" one (its identical for all intents and purposes) chooses to share it? If I go and create a "Julia Set" node setup and publish it am I in any way stealing from Volker Horn. I don't "feel" I am and I certainly wont be limited in my artistic expression but I would not want to be the cause of any harm.


If you create something independently without seeing the other person's version, of course you are not stealing.

Yes, it can get tricky, but how is this any different from copyrighting a novel or a computer program? I think you would agree that copyright laws are useful in those cases, am I right? Node networks can get complex very quickly, and there is an almost infinite variety of settings that can be in a network with only a handful of nodes.

Matt
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Matt on September 08, 2009, 06:51:35 pm
Quote from: pfrancke on September 08, 2009, 06:29:48 pm
As a side note, during the 80's in an effort to stifle spaghetti code (resulting mostly from uncontrolled "goto" branches), this fellow by the name of Yourdon argued all logical problems could be defined and solved in code by using three constructs.  The are sequence, decision, and iteration.  I think he made a lot of money selling structured programming.  

Sometimes I think that it is the concept of how TG works that throws me so badly, having been a programmer, I want to visualize what TG is doing in programmer terms (or rather in constructs that I've grown accustomed to in a variety of different languages) and it obviously is its own animal with its own madness.


I don't want it to be so alien to programmers. That's never been my intention, although I may be guilty of complicating some things in a misguided attempt to make other things simpler or to make it more difficult to accidentally do things with unwanted side effects. When it's possible to program shaders using Python (or a C/C++ SDK, which is still a long way off), maybe it will become clearer how everything works. If the documentation is good enough, of course...  Maybe then some of the decisions I've made with the built-in shaders and function nodes will make more sense - I don't know. I look forward to seeing how other programmers interpret what I've done and to getting advice on how we could improve the built-in shaders and function nodes to make the GUI more logical. I also realise that many of these things - even while they have their own madness - would be easier to understand with better documentation.

Matt
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: cyphyr on September 08, 2009, 09:17:21 pm
Hi guys
I've listened to your explanations and understandings about copyrighting node networks. I think I'm coming to a slight change of heart. I've never wanted to stop people selling their creations in any way or to stop them claiming authorship of any discovery they have made. That was never the point :) My worry was that if something was copyrighted how could two (or more) people own it. If I create/discover a Mandelbrot set (err for example lol) and publish it with a copyright notice that should not preclude someone else doing the same. As long as they haven't stolen it or copied it all they have done is make their own journey of discovery.

A Possible Solution :)
I know this has been suggested before but now I see it in a different light. Rather than copyright maybe it would actually be cool to be able to "lock nodes", have them encrypted in some way. You could lock entire internal networks or individual nodes. Maybe a small icon on each node of a padlock. Click it and the node is locked. If the node has an internal structure then that is locked. Keep the variables on the outside so the user can make modifications. Possibly the "lock" could be linked to the users Terragen key so its only usable by that person.

This would mean there was no ambiguity about copyright. I simply could not use a file I had no right to, it just would not work!

Just an old idea, certainly not mine but worth thinking about, no?

:)

Richard

ps: I don't think there's a need for a macro system, it would be cool but its not that necessary.

pps: thoroughly enjoying the Julia Set (http://forums.planetside.co.uk/index.php?topic=7496.msg) :)
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Matt on September 08, 2009, 09:34:06 pm
A locking mechanism is similar to DRM in music and video - it doesn't make the legal case any stronger (I guess?) - you have certain "digital rights" regardless of whether they are "managed" - and it will be cracked anyway. It will give node network creators a false sense of security, until someone cracks it, and then Planetside would get the blame for making a crackable lock that people expected to provide them some protection. I'm not saying Planetside won't ever do this - it's my personal opinion at the moment but may not reflect those of the rest of the team.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Walli on September 09, 2009, 02:29:48 am
I actually also think, that lockable networks are not the solution. They might be a solution for a studio that wants to share stuff on the one side, but protect their own findings on the other side. But for doing business this often creates even more problems:
-bad reputation of drm
-customers that can´t make their content work, because something of the drm freaks out
-producers that freak out because the drm system can be cracked

And when I see how much time companies inverst into DRM and anticracking systems and how fast the cracks then show up...I think if someone does not want to pay for sftware or content, he simply doesn´t do that.
I have the feeling, that most DRM systems and anticrack systems mostly hit the paying customer, as he not only pays the product, but also the anticrack system. And he suffers from problems that arise with DRM

But I know that I am sometimes to naive when it comes to crime stuff ;-)
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Cyber-Angel on September 09, 2009, 02:58:20 am
The thing that has yet not come out in this debate as far as I can tell is that with enough time and experimentation some one may figure out on their own how too make a node network that looks like some thing created by someone else without having ever looked at the prior work.

The question then remains and you'd need a copyright lawyer for this, did the individual who came up with what they did on their own infringe on prior art of the other party if indeed TG2 or any other programs node network structures are protected under copyright law, which i don't think they are but could be wrong?

Can the plaintiff (In this case the party who claims infringement of their hypothetical TG2 Node Network claim) claim that their rights have been infringed when the defendant came up that same solution on their own recognizance without having seen or having prior knowledge of the prior work.

I think that with a system of the power and inherent flexibility of the Node System in TG2 it is inevitable that people are going to find ways of working that are in many ways similar too that of someone else: this must also be true of other node based systems. I think that trying to claim copyright in a node set up would be a legal minefield as well as been a nightmare to enforce, more over their would have to be a published test case in a court of law to set a precedence for other cases in the future; bearing in mind the impact it would have on the industry as a whole and the impact it would have on all other node based systems.

Regards to you.

Cyber-Angel                             
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Walli on September 09, 2009, 03:17:46 am
Quote from: Cyber-Angel on September 09, 2009, 02:58:20 am
The thing that has yet not come out in this debate as far as I can tell is that with enough time and experimentation some one may figure out on their own how too make a node network that looks like some thing created by someone else without having ever looked at the prior work.


As I wrote, if someone does something on his own, then I don´t have a problem with it.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: PG on September 09, 2009, 06:01:22 am
Quote from: cyphyr on September 08, 2009, 09:17:21 pm
If I create/discover a Mandelbrot set (err for example lol) and publish it with a copyright notice that should not preclude someone else doing the same. As long as they haven't stolen it or copied it all they have done is make their own journey of discovery.


In order to protect your node network for that, you would need to register a design (or whatever the equivelant is in your country) to protect the way your network looks. It wouldn't be worth it unless you discovered/created some massively complex and amazing function that made TG2 turn the user into a demi-god.
Other than that, I doubt a court would hold a copyright to be enough, as you're not really creating something entirely new, you're just designing a new way to do something which probably has multiple routes.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: rcallicotte on September 09, 2009, 09:00:09 am
One thing about a locked node (or a do-it-yourself Black Box) would be that if someone does crack it, that person will be showing their intentions - to take something they weren't meant to take.   That is how it would be addressed in American court, anyway - the "why".  This is the reasoning behind why I think Black Box nodes would be a step in the right direction for those copyrighting concepts.

Nevertheless, then when someone else decides to create their own Black Box to do something better than someone else's Black Box, woohoo!  Then, who owns the "copyright"?  LOL  Can't help but complicate things, since writing sort of has these sorts of goofy analogies.  Like, how much of an idea can someone steal, before it's considered theft by the legal system?  In my mind, taking someone else's idea and using it to make money is a crime.  But, one Hollywood producer told me bluntly, "You can't copyright ideas."  Great.  So all those conversations I was having online with all of those insiders meant I just gave up my hard earned thoughts.  Pooo-eeee.   ;D

Anyway, I'll always pay for what I use, if it has been purchased with such an agreement.
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: Mandrake on September 09, 2009, 10:08:26 am
check this out Calico. hehe crazy stuff
http://academic.udayton.edu/health/05bioethics/00ammons.htm
Title: Re: Ownership of Lego Block Architecture
Post by: rcallicotte on September 09, 2009, 03:15:52 pm
@Mandrake - And nothing in the news about § 106. Prohibition on patent of human genetic material, though it appears to be part of a bill going to the House of Representatives.  Crazy doesn't even touch it, does it?