Author Topic: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline  (Read 31429 times)

Offline cyphyr

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #45 on: December 14, 2008, 12:52:49 PM »
Looks like the store is gone now, all I'm getting is a 403 error now  :'(
Is this the end?
Hope not!
Or is everything being majorly re-jigged?
Hope so!
Richard
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https://www.facebook.com/RichardFraserVFX/
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Offline buzzzzz1

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #46 on: December 14, 2008, 05:20:50 PM »
Maybe Lightening struck the server?   :'(
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Offline xfrog

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #47 on: December 23, 2008, 05:59:28 PM »
we seem to be painted as the bully on the corner so i thought i should speak or continue to be trodden underfoot.  lightning modded our existing trees and sold the results.  that is not really Kosher meat.
You can build whatever you want with Xfrog and sell it, but not by starting with our labor-filled products or parts thereof.  To get more complex, he obtained all of our libraries from a warez site.  to get more complex, i could go a lot further about legal questions, but instead of raising a large hammer, i thought it might be interesting to discuss if it might be possible to work together. because we do make some efforts to fine tune our models into each target software, but its a lot of effort to do that well. just to tune each model into Vray for max, for example, means 2000+ models each individually tuned.  as well to further mod with poly tools of various software packages, we do need people who have some talent.   but as for poaching him, or slamming them because they are better quality - sorry, thats not it.  lightning, with training, could get close to our modelers but he is not close to being there yet - we are discussing training him.  as for XfrogPlants being overpriced DVDs - they are $ 2.50 a tree on DVD.  as for being an unfair Goliath - our modelers worked hard to build our content and occasionally we have to step up to the plate to protect their work. it is not exciting for anyone.  and occasionally our modelers want to buy plane tickets and visit the person in question....  we have been in 3 lawsuits and we won all 3, and i can tell you first hand, its a very big pain in the asp to defend digital copyrights but we are committed to doing it.

the news from us - please look very shortly for all our models in TG2 format as a set of lowcost DVDs.  it has been slow coming but it will be out in January.

We have been very supportive of Terragen, and close friends with Matt, and we want to see everyone able to easily use our models inside Terragen.   

stewart mcsherry
ceo | xfrog inc.
503 boccaccio ave
venice ca 90291
310 933 5949



Offline RArcher

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #48 on: December 23, 2008, 06:38:14 PM »
Very interesting.  Without question taking your copyright models, modifying them and reselling them is clearly a violation of your terms of use and you would be well within your rights to want that stopped.  I am quite confident that the community here was under the assumption that all the models created were made from scratch.

Where exactly does this leave the people who purchased any of the Floraworks packages, and what is the status of any of the plants that were freely distributed here on the planetside forums?

In regards to the "overpriced DVD's" it is likely that your packaging and marketing is at fault for creating that image.  If you were to split up the DVD's into individual sets that were distributed digitally at reasonable prices I would imagine you would have much more success in the hobbyist market.  For me personally I have no problem buying a set or two a month if they are the $2.50 each you mention, but I would have a tough time justifying to my wife that I just dropped a few hundred dollars on digital trees.  Generally speaking when you buy a bundled package you expect it to be cheaper than the sum of its parts.  Your mention of lowcost DVD's may be a step in the right direction (and I am interested in seeing what these are all about), but I think you may be shooting yourself in the foot if you don't also sell them as digital downloads.

-Ryan Archer

Offline cyphyr

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #49 on: December 23, 2008, 07:04:43 PM »
Hmm, interesting and thank you for stepping up and giving us your side of the story.

I was planning to launch a tree model site on a very similar vein to Lightning's but stopped when floraworks3d was taken offline by your legal teams actions to await developments. I'm intrigued as to how you knew he was using XFrog products or (pardon my assumption) did you "shoot first and ask questions later"? By that I mean than when you take out a legal injunction on a party who you think "may" be infringing your copyright, to force them to cease trading, unless they have the legal muscle and finances to challenge you it is a "given" that they will simply roll over and you will win. They simply have no choice! This is not to have a go at you but rather just a statement of how things work.

So whats the solution ... ?

If I (or anyone else) was to set up a business selling tree models what form of proof do you need from them to hold off any legal action?
For my self I don't use Xfrog, couldn't get the hang of the demo, but rather I use a combination of Lightwave, XSI and a variety of plugins, TreeDesigner and TGen amongst others. With these I can make a wide variety of tree, bush, grass and cactus models. You can see some early samples scattered about the file sharing section of the forum if your interested.
No one would want to go through the pain, hassle and expense of a long (or short) legal dispute so what would you recommend as an effective way forward.

Once again thank you for your time and comments.

Seasons greetings

Richard

www.richardfraser.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/RichardFraserVFX/
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Offline PorcupineFloyd

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #50 on: December 23, 2008, 07:06:16 PM »
Interesting point.

How about being able to buy those trees digitally by selecting only those which one wants and creating discounts for amounts. For example - discount for buying at once 5, 10 or 15 trees etc. As RArcher said - it would make things easier for hobbyists. And a quick download right after payment verification. After all - we don't need whole DVDs with couple of formats.

How about making an account system. One creates an account on xfrog, buys four trees and they are added to his account and he can choose what type of models to download - tgo's, 3ds, whatever and then he can access them any time by just entering his account.
Similar system works on Steam considering games. People have their accounts with games attached to their accounts. Games can be downloaded through Steam if one has bought it.
Maybe invent something similar to Steam or talk to Valve for ability to extend Steam functionality.

There are many ways of distributing things as long as you don't want your models to be designed only for professionals.

Offline old_blaggard

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #51 on: December 23, 2008, 07:21:33 PM »
Well, since Stewart seems fine talking about this out in the open....

Yes, Jack did indeed use pirated models as a basis for his plants. This was as much of a surprise to me as it is for all of you, I'm sure. Additionally, when there were concerns raised about this by some people upon the opening of the store a few months back, I asked him about this directly, and he denied at that time that they were illegitimate. I just want to make it perfectly clear that I had no knowledge about the illegal nature of Jack's models before Stewart confronted us. At Jack's request, I didn't discuss this in public until we could get everything worked out (see below); he hasn't replied to me for quite a while, though, so I no longer feel bound by that request.

All of the people currently in possession of Floraworks plants will be allowed to keep them - Stewart and I worked that out over email a while ago. People who have already purchased or received our models may continue to use them in their artwork without fear of legal repercussions, as long as they conform to the Xfrog license agreement.

The site went down because Jack stopped paying the hosting bill, and he has not responded to any of my emails in the last couple of weeks asking him to pay it, despite still being active on the forums. I don't know what's up there. Yesterday the hosting account was completely taken down, so the domain now points to the GoDaddy default park page and all of the Floraworks email is offline.

Stewart and I were discussing using the Floraworks site as the basis of a Greenworks/Xfrog store, where they would be able to sell their models individually as downloads. They already sell some of them on Turbosquid, but selling through Floraworks would both give them more control over the presentation of their models and would be much cheaper (Turbosquid takes 50% of your sales). I think that this would be a great idea, both as a Floraworks guy and as a Terragen artist on a budget. However, I still haven't heard back from Stewart about how he wants to proceed in that direction, so I wouldn't hold your breath.

Again, thanks for all of your support through this. I have to admit that I'm more than a little frustrated with the dishonesty and lack of communication during this adventure. In spite of this, regardless of where things go (if they go any farther at all), I'm still glad I had this experience and I've learned a lot from it :).
http://www.terragen.org - A great Terragen resource with models, contests, galleries, and forums.

Offline PsyOp

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #52 on: December 23, 2008, 07:51:06 PM »
Told ya so.

 :P   :P   :P

All those who jumped on my neck when I pointed out the obvious may now eat crow.


Too bad, o_b. I think you were clearly the victim in this. I would have said so sooner except the general mood here seemed one of denial.

Offline SilverCity

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #53 on: December 23, 2008, 09:45:38 PM »
Thanks for the clarification, Stewart.

Why doesn't Xfrog sell their own downloadable products on their main site? You can break up the DVD's into smaller bundles and keep 100% of the profits. It often doesn't make sense to buy an entire DVD of trees, when all you need for a particular job is 1 or 2 specific trees or plants. Hobbyists and freelancers can't always afford to drop hundreds of dollars on plant models.

Offline rcallicotte

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #54 on: December 24, 2008, 12:43:56 AM »
Stewart,

I can't wait.  I already have your basic tree pack and love all of them...only to want more, but $$ have prevented.  I understand you're in business, nevertheless.



the news from us - please look very shortly for all our models in TG2 format as a set of lowcost DVDs.  it has been slow coming but it will be out in January.

We have been very supportive of Terragen, and close friends with Matt, and we want to see everyone able to easily use our models inside Terragen.   

stewart mcsherry
ceo | xfrog inc.
503 boccaccio ave
venice ca 90291
310 933 5949



So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

Offline rcallicotte

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #55 on: December 24, 2008, 12:46:05 AM »
o_b - I'm sorry to hear about your troubles, yet you have a bright future.  Keep at it.  Something like this doesn't mark us; it makes us stronger and your integrity will only prove useful.  Why would anyone want to deal with anything else?
So this is Disney World.  Can we live here?

Offline Mohawk20

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #56 on: December 28, 2008, 07:50:17 PM »
OB, seems you have a busyness opportunity yet, with a digital plant selling site. If only Steward would want to use the Floraworks site...
Good luck with that!

(By the way, is this the reason Lighting is no longer a member here?)
Howgh!

Offline reck

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #57 on: December 29, 2008, 09:39:43 AM »
Stewart,

First of all thanks for coming over here and explaining what the situation is. The reason I started this post a month ago was to find out where us fw customers stood and know we know, shame we were left hanging for such a while though waiting for the truth to come out.

Stewart I will echo what other people have mentioned and that is to please make your TG2 objects downloadable. I don't want to mess around with shipping and DVDs.

Regarding your prices I think i'll just quote RArcher because he sums it up perfectly.

I have no problem buying a set or two a month if they are the $2.50 each you mention, but I would have a tough time justifying to my wife that I just dropped a few hundred dollars on digital trees. 

Also this sounds like a good idea.

How about being able to buy those trees digitally by selecting only those which one wants and creating discounts for amounts. For example - discount for buying at once 5, 10 or 15 trees etc. As RArcher said - it would make things easier for hobbyists. And a quick download right after payment verification. After all - we don't need whole DVDs with couple of formats.



Yes, Jack did indeed use pirated models as a basis for his plants. This was as much of a surprise to me as it is for all of you,

Yes it was unfortunate it turned out like this o_b. It looked like such a promising business venture with lightning handling the objects and you running the website/business side. Just a shame it turned out we were all misled.

Told ya so.

 :P   :P   :P

All those who jumped on my neck when I pointed out the obvious may now eat crow.

OK so you were right when you said lightning wasn't being completely honest. It just seemed like you'd joined the forum just to tarnish his "good" name and we jumped to his defence. One questions though, how could you have known what he was really up to? and wasn't your initial accusation regarding the pirated nature of the software he was using rather than the trees?

Offline PsyOp

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #58 on: January 05, 2009, 03:06:02 PM »
It wasn't terribly difficult to figure out if you know anything about the subject of modeling. This is an individual who just a few months ago was so ignorant of modeling that he was including .mtl files with his .tgo's, not realizing that it's part of an .obj file pair and totally irrelevant to a tgo. (And not realizing he was tipping his hand as to the original source of some models.) This is the individual who just a few months ago was openly bragging about the fact that he'd bought modeling packages from warez sites and that he'd been using student licensed packages to produce product he was trying to sell commercially. (No, I'm not going to dig back and find a link.)

And voila! He went from ignorant crooked noob to highly respected (well, by those who don't know any better) modeling expert in the space of a few months, as well as coming up with the funds for commercial versions of all the programs he was using in the same space of time, despite having complained of poor student syndrome. (Oh, that's right - his uncle bought the software. I wonder if the uncle even exists?)

The only thing more remarkable than the sudden emergence of this 'expert' was the degree of gullibility displayed by the suckers in this thread. How naive (or willfully stupid) do you have to be to buy into his crap in this thread? Oh, yeah. He's suddenly the modeling god and xfrog needs him to straighten out there product. And you saps actually bought into this blatant BS from an ignorant, crooked 16 year old. His scam couldn't have succeeded without a willing and gullible audience.

Frankly, I'm not surprised this happened here. I even recall a couple of older individuals who hang here taking our 'expert' to task after he bragged about using warez, telling him he would ruin this site. But the truth is that PS's marketing/sales ethics have been pretty dubious, too (or maybe we all missed that commercial release a year ago). The sad fact is that the questionable ethics displayed by PS itself no doubt encouraged him.

Like I said, I think o_b (and of course XFrog) were the real victims here. Too bad, o_b; live and learn, and better luck next time.

Offline PG

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Re: Xfrog talks with Floraworks. Store now offline
« Reply #59 on: January 05, 2009, 03:38:46 PM »
PsyOp stop being such a jackass. You're right, we did believe that he had developed as a modeller but we don't build profiles of people to track the integrity of their statements over time. I've got better things to do. He said he made them and I had no reason to think otherwise. If you wanna portray yourself as the internet P.I. then that's fine but don't drag other people into it. And what the hell has any of this got to do with Planetside?
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