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Public Notice about Texture artwork by Garry J. Smith

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Hi Everyone,Well it's time I made a public declaration in relation to my textures as there is starting to be some confusion in relation to my creation and release methods of textures for the flight sim environment.May I make something very clear - Flight Sim Texture painting has been a hobby of mine for many years and I try to continue to maintain this perspective. I enjoy immensely the pleasure of releasing a texture and receive the bricks and flowers that are almost always generated with the work I do - some good and some bad textures but I think I am getting better at it. With over 230 textures, more than 300mb dedicated to Flight Sim on my web server and with downloads between 2000 and 8000 each week I guess that I am filling a niche.Firstly - Do I take requests for textures:Yes I do take requests for textures and I do create and release many every month for absolutely no fee or concept of cost to the recipient. All of the textures I create for user requests are published on my web site for the pleasure of all simmers. I apply absolutely no time limit on when these textures will be done, nor do I make any promises that they will be done but I try very hard to meet as many requests as I possible can. Many texture requests that I have done have been very prompt and within days of the request but over the last few months the list is now a couple of hundred long.Secondly - Why don't I publish my textures to major FS sites.My good faith in many of the excellent major sites dictates that if I published to one then I should publish to all to ensure that I am not being bias to any one group or site. This is impossible for me to do with a limited (56k) internet link so I choose to download all of my work to one location and try very hard to advertise the existence of these textures through the forums. Yes I bet you get sick of me occasionally posting "Yet another texture" post but with over 300mb of textures and many new ones each month I have no other alternatives.Third - Am I charging Fees for some textures. Yes I am now - I charge fees for doing textures for Virtual Airline's - originally, I did all texture request for anyone and everyone including VA textures but through time the VA liveries have become the most demanding of all of the tasks. Many people have their say in the end result and that means that I am spending an inordinate amount of time doing the VA texture and edits. When the principle texture is complete then there is the obligatory request for even more textures for their fleet and my time became focused on becoming their pseudo personal Painter. Don't get me wrong here as I love doing textures for aircraft but doing a virtual airline texture requires a considerably greater amount of focus and effort and often is repetitive and with perceived minor changes taking many more hours of work. Over the last few months I have written back to several VA request makers and have advised them of a fee for service principle and most have decided that if they can't have it for free then they cancel their request - a few others have accepted and agreed to pay a reasonable fee and I am working diligently on their needs now. Not surprisingly many of those that have declined have come back to me stating that their request is now a personal one and enquiring when can I do their request. My response is that with over two hundred request it will be quite some time before I address their needs and as I offer priority to the VA's texture that are being paid for it may be well into next year. Responses to this have been unfavourable in some instances, I am dealing with one person at the moment who is demanding his rights to have his personal texture now instead of his VA requested texture, "but keep it the same as the draft you sent" and that I had better do his texture "real soon" I will of course ignore that one - another is suggesting that as I have already done the draft texture to meet his needs why not give it away anyway. This one will go into the bin.Fourth - How Much Will I Charge.I have had a few texturing tasks that I have set various methods of payment on - mostly fixed price for a completed accepted texture. This was 30 Pounds Sterling or $50US or less depending on the task but that is proving to be inappropriate as some of the VA textures I have worked on for up to 30 hours - this is, of course, the nature of the simming environment but does little to balance the time and effort input into these works. From this post date I will be setting an hourly rate of $15US for the creation of new textures and logos - most take between 2 to 10 hours. I will apply this fee to only textures that are accepted by the VA - so if they change their mind or decline the texture that is my loss in time and effort. But rejected textures and design work will be destroyed within days of the rejection so that I have space to continue with other textures.ConclusionI am aware of the hundreds of arguments on why my work should be free and I can generate hundreds of reasons why I should charge for my services for all textures but I did not write this post to argue either case simple to advise you all that I have elected to charge for VA requests to keep the requests and tasks that I do in some sort of perspective. Persecute me on this post if you must but this is the only way that I can continue to try and achieve a balance between my hobby, personal time and flight sim requests etc.Garry J. Smith at http://www.gjsmith.comAircraft Texture Tinkererhttp://www.gjsmith.com/images/GJS-banner.gif

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Sounds pretty reasonable to me - at the end of the day this is a hobby for you, if someone is demanding something is done then they should have to pay the going rate.It does seem that lately the efforts of some of the "bigger" names in freeware design are being taken for granted, perhaps the muppets doing the demanding should take their own personal time to learn how to do things themselves rather than trying to impose their will on people that have already given their time freely !!!Phew - off that soapbox now !!!!

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Garry,As I have said before, I can't comprehend what the problem is supposed to be with someone doing work, and getting compensated for it. I know how much work your textures are, because I know how much work it takes me to make the basic ones I put on my planes. I just don't get it. Mike Stone

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Quote:...."I am aware of the hundreds of arguments on why my work should be free and I can generate hundreds of reasons why I should charge for my services for all textures but I did not write this post to argue either case simple to advise you all that I have elected to charge for VA requests to keep the requests and tasks that I do in some sort of perspective." ......It's an interesting pattern that you've come up against, Garry....as have countless other designers, artists and craftspeople. Personal interactions in our flightsim hobby has shown itself to display a wide swath of human behaviour, both good and bad....In a few years, I've seen everything from the most generous, selfless gifts and services (no charge), to the most malignant, selfish, hurtful, jealous and thieving acts imaginable..(in the virtual world..)...Certainly when a creator as yourself becomes well known for superb work and generosity....everybody wants a piece of the pie. Folks will vary from pleasant and diplomatic, to irrational and sociopathic. It can be tough to deal with, and attempts to contain chaos within guidelines and structured parameters often makes the more irrational individuals fall off the deep end....How many creators, from novice to expert have simply walked away from the public side of flightsims because of overwhelming negativety and destructiveness..?..Countless....It often seems to boil down to the practice of personal respect versus the success of material gain. Some folks balance it well...other just don't seem to get it...displaying zero respect for anybody, including themselves...as long as they get the cookie in the end....Hell....Charge 'em, Garry. Your work and time are valuable, your skill and talent...priceless..!! A fee for the services will filter out the riff-raff...the very element that I would love to see purged from the public side of flightsims....Sure...they'll howl and cry foul for a while...so does a bear when you run out of marshmellows. Time to put up a big sign on the side of the road....,"This artist does not feed the wildlife...!!"...Let them load up their own damn utilities, learn to paint, and fend for themselves. Maybe then, the detractors and slimeballs will shutup and go away....But then....perhaps I'm being a little too optimistic. At anyrate, Garry.....more power to you...!!! I hope you stay with us for a long time. Cheers, James Banks.......P.S. May I add that it should be the first ammendment in the Flightsimmers Bill of Rights: The Artist/Creator shall be free to choose whether he/she charges a fee or not for the work therein, and shall be totally free to select the format and release details of the work, without question, arguement, or harrassment from any individual. Period. Wouldn't that be nice...but I fear it is but a pipe dream.

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I agree with everyone, Garry. You do have the right to be compensated for your work.But...If the aircraft you are repainting were released as freeware, then it is inethical for you to be charging to repaint them. You are using the creation of another publisher (whoever made the aircraft, the air file, and the base textures) to make money for yourself. I don't know what models you do repaints on, maybe you can clarify?

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I know that Garry has done a number of repaints of my aircraft, and I believe he's done some of those for VA's. As the author of those models I can see no problem whatsoever in what he is doing. As far as I know, his texture files are original works, entirely of this own doing. This is what he is selling, and not my aircraft models. In fact, he doesn't even distribute the models. He packages his textures seperately and directs people to my web site to get the models. True, he needs my (and other's) models to do what he does. So is he making money off of my work or off the work that he adds to them? That's kind of open to interpretation, but I don't have a problem with it. Mike Stone

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I don't quite understand the point there Mike, if people are asking Garry to use his "free time" and produce a livery surely it is not wrong to charge for it. If it was the case that Garry was producing liveries by himself and then charging that might be a different matter (not really made up my mind either way but it is a different scenario), but if someone is asking him to do the work then I think he is well within his rights to charge !!!

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*sigh* Gazzareth, here's my very first line: "You do have the right to be compensated for your work."My concern was that he may be using copyrighted materials to make a profit against the wishes of freeware designers. Many designers say that no part of their packages can be sold for proft.Lets say I make some textures for the FFG DC-10, and sell them for $30 dollars. Is it fair to FFG, who designed the entire model, airfile and base textures, that I make money off their work?However, if Garry has the blessing from the aircraft designers, then there is no problem. That was my original concern.

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It's amazing how many people there are who demand use of your talents free of charge. I can't tell you how many requests I got as a grad student in a foreign language department to translate this or that letter or document. I'd tell them what the rate was going to be (which was quite reasonable), and most people flew off the handle- as if my foreign language skills had fallen on my head from the sky and were not the result of countless hours of work. If you want to put stuff out for a fee or give it out, either choice is equally valid in my opinion.John

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I have no interest or concern as to whether designers do Fsim work for free or ask for payment. And I have no opinion as to whether it is right or wrong for them to ask for mayment. That is entirely their own business. BUT - I have noticed an increasing tendency amongst a few freeware designers to complain about demands being put upon them and also about aggressive (as compared to constructive) criticisms of their work. It seems to me that these demands and criticisms would/should be easily avoidable (just give them the contempt that they deserve) .HOWEVER - it also seems to me that the designers themselves are (as we say here in Australia ) "creating a whip for their own back" in their active, enthusistic (maybe even egotistical) promotion of their work. In other words mates -- have a think as to whether you own behavior is causing your own problems? But anyway -- as for me -- I THANK all the freeware designers ( big and small, good and not-so-good) for their work and hope that a little introspection leads them to understand what I am trying to say. Barry

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Mike,I think we have a slightly "crossed line" here, I probably made my point badly. There are two distinct situations that Garry was talking about:The first being when he decides to produce a set of textures for his own enjoyment or the benefit of the community, these are made available free of charge. If he decided to sell them he would be within his rights, as long as it does not include any part of the FFG package (to use your example). However, unless the designers of the original model had given him their blessing I think it may be seen as being wrong.The second being when someone asks (or demands) that he produce the textures. The way I read Garry's post (please correct me if I am wrong) suggests he is not charging for the textures, but for the time it has taken him to create them, which is very different. I can't see anything wrong with that at all, if someone is happy to pay for his time then fair enough. If he also went on to sell the textures then again that may be wrong.It would be interesting to hear what POSKY or FFG would think about it......

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Hi fellow simmers,Nice active and contstructive responses through this thread.Thank you all for your input.Yes I paint textures for various aircraft that are available - I use my time and effort to create unique and different textures for these aircraft. I use many tools as well to achieve the end result.When I release my textures to the internet they are placed there as only works of art for other to use with the appropriate aircraft that is their responsiblity to procure through either freeware or payware.I intend to charge (only for VA tasks) that require me to create artwork for aircraft that they are already using.Now lets put this matter into perspective in relation to the real world.If I take my car to the spray painter and ask him to change the colour and do some other nice things is he required to contact the manufacture for their permission to do so before he requests payment for his time and effort to re-paint my car. Does he require the permission of his tool makers before he starts to use the spray gun or masking tape to create the end result.No people - he will charge me for his time and effort and materials used to achieve the objective and I expect to pay for this as we all pay others for their time and effort in just about everything that we have asked others do for us.I acknowledge, and have always acknowledged the fact that my textures are done to suite this or that particular aircraft - I have never, and will never compromise any of the great aircraft developers out there as I know how much work they do to create their flying beauties. Throughout my site you will find many notices identifying the authors or manufactures of the aircraft in relation to the textures that I do, acknowledgements also for the Tools that I use such as DXTBMP etc.What it boils down to my friends is that I am choosing to, in some cases, sell my time and effort using the skills and knowledge I have developed over the years to create artwork - artwork that happens to fit uniquely to a particular aircraft. If any aircraft developer has a problem with this then please feel free to contact me and I will liaise with them.Regards and thanks for the positive input from all of you.Good to see and appreciate your support Mike.Garry J. Smith at http://www.gjsmith.comAircraft Texture Tinkererhttp://www.gjsmith.com/images/GJS-banner.gif

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That is well put James and I like your attitude :-lolI am not complaining about the nasty grams and silly people in this post nor am I in anyway implying that I am not going to continue to turn out textures that are for mine and others fun and pleasure.It would take a lot for me to ever give up texture painting as it is indeed a great diversion and relaxing hobby for me. I will continue to post some good and bad textures to my site even if no one ever downloaded or used them.What I am getting at is that from now on the BIG tasks which are associated to VA requests will no longer be done FREE of Charge. As mentioned advising them of a fee for service does indeed filter out a lot of requests and that enables me to do textures for pleasure and for those that are serious about their texture requirements.Happy Simming Garry J. Smith at http://www.gjsmith.comAircraft Texture Tinkererhttp://www.gjsmith.com/images/GJS-banner.gif

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Well, Garry, it seems you feel that selling freeware files for your own profit is right. Let me ask you, do you create the base textures? Has anyone flown your payware textures without the freeware aircraft? Will you be giving a cut of your profits to the aircraft designer, without whom your textures would be useless?Here's a line from one of Mike's readme's that you may have missed:"The software, or any part of it, may not be included in any other product that is sold or distributed for a fee."If you don't have the time or interest in doing as many repaints anymore, then cut back on the number you do. Selling freeware at a profit is not a "cottage industry" or convenient way to suppiment your income. That's a big no-no, and I would expect better from you.

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