Learning From The Best

November 20, 2014 - By 

Talented artist, Albert Omoss posted this amazing animation a couple weeks ago. I loved the look and style of it so much. So, I did what I usually do when I see something that inspires me… I opened Cinema 4D to try to figure it out myself.

I played for hours trying to figure out how to get soft bodies to behave like he did. I didn’t quite get the right super-stretchy dynamics, but I sure tried. In fact, here is a time lapse of all the renders and tests over a few days of playing with soft body settings and looks.

While playing with this technique, I got excited and posted a work in progress GIF on tumblr. Albert responded on twitter saying that he wan’t cool with us doing a tutorial on his exact effect. He said that we should “…change the concept enough to encourage your students to be creative and original.”

I certainly can’t argue with that.

We all learn by watching and emulating the masters. But, then we need to use those new techniques to make our original work better. I’ve ended many tutorials with a similar request. Take what you learned today and apply it to your own work. Don’t just recreate tutorials.

Don’t forget, we couldn’t teach what we do without talented artists like Albert to emulate and look up to. I certainly can’t make renders as original and beautiful as Albert’s or any other true artists out there. We need them.

Work from great artists make learning exciting and fun for us beginners. Their work is a goal, a beacon, something to make us say, “I want to be able to make something that good one day”.

Beginner guitarists and Pianists learn covers because it’s more fun to try and play great music you already love. But remember, we aren’t learning Bach or The Beatles to steal their style. We are learning from the best because they are the best, and there are no better people to learn from.

Let’s be inspired by amazing work. Inspired enough to learn more about our tools and technique to become better. Copy and emulate anything and everything that inspires you. But don’t forget, you are copying to learn, not to put it on your reel.

Make Your Own

In the spirit of being inspired to make something new, let’s all learn and play with Softbody stuff this week and post an original animation in the comments below. Just something short. Play with the tools and make something all your own.

Here are some soft body tutorials to get you up to speed with many of the techniques needed to make a dynamic soft body animation.

  • The spheres smash the dinosaur at the rythm of the music LOL
    Great results tho

  • Um sure. But I think you should respect the original artist first and foremost.

  • I hear everything you’re saying, understand, accept and respect it too.

    However, maybe it should also be seen from the other side, the freelancer side. I’m a freelancer but I don’t necessarily consider myself a “creative” person, don’t get me wrong, I know what looks right and what looks wrong, and am brave enough to tell I client that too. I’ve worked with some of the best creatives out there, people that have worked with agencies such as Saatchi and Saatchi. And I absolutely know I’m not in that league, not at all.

    I consider myself a technician, someone who works with the “creatives” and gives them what they want, or at least something that’s damn close. And for me to reproduce tutorials, almost verbatim, in my eyes, doesn’t mean they (we, I) are being lazy. We’re still producing something that is technically quite difficult at times, and the client (creative) is probably unaware that any of these tutorials exist, why would they?

    More often than not a client will want something that’s very similar too the original. A lot of my motion graphic work is for conferences, where only a select audience will see the work, thus it’s not considered a rip-off, more of a parody…

    Not too sure where I’m going with this, but I thought say it anyway…

  • cool video.
    What drugs do you do btw?

  • I followed the original feud between Nick and Albert, and I can see the the issue from both sides, but here is a few of my thoughts:

    Nicks main argument was “he can’t come up with original ideas” to do tutorials, and needs to be inspired by the likes of people like Albert. This might’ve flown 4 years ago, when GSG was a smaller tutorial site. But now GSG sells some of the hottest C4D plugins on the market, and Nick makes a big chunk of that cash. The tutorials that GSG releases are essentially marketing tools for the larger GSG brand. Additionally, Nick employees or invites several other artists to make tutorials for GSG, who seem to be pretty capable of showing something original and useful.

    Nick then claims he is just “another guy trying to learn c4d.” Sorry Nick, but you aren’t just another guy learning C4D. One, he develops products for C4D, and secondly, about 98% of everyone who knows C4D, most likely learned a majority of it from Nick, making him one of the most sought after C4D trainers out there.

    On the flip side, While I respect his talents, Albert did seem to be a bit egotistic, and should be a little more thankful anyone is interested in the short film, as there really isn’t anything special about it. There really isn’t a grand idea that Nick was copying, just a software technique that’s always been there, Albert just did it better than most. B/c of this I’m not surprised Nick jumped at the opportunity to show how it might be done.

    • I see what you mean about the plugins for sure. I have to remember that i’m not just in my bedroom making tutorials anymore. This is becoming a business now. Sometimes I see the training separate from the plugins, but I guess they are tied together. It reminds me of having separate editorial teams and advertising teams in newspapers and magazines to make sure there is no conflict of interest. Good point.

    • Does perceived egotism outweigh outright theft?

      He didn’t want Nick using his work to promote GSG. It should have ended there. Why is Albert at fault in any way? Because he wouldn’t let Nick profit off his work?

      This blog post only exists as some kind of passive-aggressive rallying cry to direct hate towards an artist trying to protect their work.

      It’s despicable.

  • Why would you use the artist’s work to promote your site when they specifically asked you not to?

    What are you giving back to the artists who’s work you profit from?

    • Hi David. Albert wanted me to do the tutorial, just not in his style. So, that’s what I did. I also wanted to use this to remind everyone NOT to rip off others work when learning. I want to celebrate great artists. Not take from them.

      • If you are profiting off his work without paying him, you are stealing. It is very simple. To paint it as anything else is dishonest.

        • Give it a rest David.

        • Not really sure why you’re so pissed off about this. Have you never seen someone else’s piece and been inspired. Have you never created a mood board using existing art? Have you never pulled reference material for styling, movement, colors, etc? My guess is that if you work in this industry, you probably have…..so ya dude, give it a rest.

  • Pfffff, he’s not cool with it?
    Well did he ask the person, who made this game


    if he/she would be cool with him making his video?

    I mean it is really his choice to be cool or not cool with something, but why not let people get inspired from his stuff and try to mimick it or even better get inspired to make something new? I personally have much more respect for those artists that choose to “be cool” with sharing their stuff and encourage other people to participate.

    Although it’s fun to watch, he certainly does not reinvent the wheel with his video, and I find your unpolished video, Nick, quite a bit more entertaining.

    • You are wrong.

      Albert doesn’t have to ask permission because he’s not selling anything. There is a huge difference between making a tutorial, and making a tutorial to promote a company.

      Anytime there are profits involved, those who’s work you are using need to be compensated, otherwise it is stealing.

      • Well, Albert did claim what Nick did is counterfeiting. He does do exactly the same and when it comes to the question if something is counterfeiting or not it doesn’t really matter if it is to make money or not. It is basically about stealing an idea.

        So yes, while Nick makes money of this (but doesn’t Albert, too, in some way, by promoting his stuff?) Albert still clearly took his idea from existing ragdoll games / videos, so it is bullshit to claim it is his very own, original idea. It has been done before, so if he claims Nick is counterfeiting, Albert is counterfeiting, too.

        However, having said that, I would not call any of this counterfeiting. We all stand on the shoulders of other people and most of the stuff created in the industry is somehow a copy of an idea previously realized.

        But as I said, if he’s not cool with Nick doing stuff with a ragdoll, he could surely express that. I just don’t care, because Albert’s idea is not original (in the sense of coming up with a whole new idea) in the first place.

        • I don’t think it matters whether you care or not. It’s not your work being used.

          • Great arguing there…

            It’s not Albert’s work being *used* either. Nick didn’t download Albert’s video and remix or re-edit it. Nick was inspired by it and tried to mimick it as Albert was inspired by one of the numerous ragdoll games / videos that were around before his.

            It is not the first video of a ragdoll falling down and hitting things and it is not the first video of light pegs. Get over it.

          • Albert never claimed the work was completely original, just that he didn’t want Nick using it to promote his business.

            Did you even read the full Twitter convo between them? Or did you just read this one-sided account?

          • (I’ll continue here, because apparently the site doesn’t allow for more levels of conversation).

            I did read the Twitter conversation, where else would I have picked up the word counterfeiting that Albert used there?

            But now I start to understand that we are talking about two different aspects.

            If Albert would have come forward and right away said: “Hey, please, could you take down my video from your site?”, then I would *completely* understand his point. But that’s not what he did. He started with “I’m not cool with that” and then instead of explaining (because Nick apparently didn’t understand what he meant) and asking to take down his video he accused Nick of counterfeiting. Which is just wrong since both videos are not original.

            So, I see it like this
            Asking Nick to take down his video: sure, of course!
            Accusing Nick of counterfeiting: well… no, he could accuse himself then just as well.

          • He only accused Nick of being a “business owner selling products”, and he said:

            “I totally support tutorials, as long as they aren’t teaching people unethical practices, like counterfeiting the work of others.”

            I don’t see any accusations in there. Unless you mean when Albert said:

            “Do your tutorial, just come up with an original idea. When you take someone else’s, and profit from that, its stealing.”

            Even that isn’t accusatory. It’s pretty basic law in the United States of America, where they both live.

          • Alright, fair enough. I take your point.

            Only when you take that last sentence that you quoted literally, it would surely mean that Albert is stealing, too. Because *of course* he also profits from publishing this short film. It promotes his work, he gets exposure, people might consider to hire him and so on.

            Personally I don’t consider either of them as stealing (downloading Albert’s video and using it directly would be stealing for me) someone’s work, but as I said: I take your point.

      • David,
        That is incorrect. IP violations and copyright infringements are not dependent on one’s ability to make money from it. You are wrong.

        mdomino is correct in suggesting appropriate attributions need to be made.

  • My impression is that your intentions are good Nick. You’ve never minced words about your interest in dissecting existing work from other artists to figure out how to do it in C4D, and I can’t count how many tutorials you guys have made that work in that vein. Certainly having a growing business changes that dynamic, but I don’t think it completely shelves it as a way to proceed. I think the “oh shit” moment was posting the WIP gif to Tumblr. Sure, you linked to Albert’s video, but it was just so blatantly an exact copy of Albert’s work that it didn’t feel like a process of learning on your part but rather more like an move of exploitation. Maybe as you swim into deeper waters with your business you’ll have to re-evaluate your tutorial development process to either come up with some exclusively GSG content to prevent misunderstandings, get explicit permission from the inspiring artist to move forward with a breakdown, or much like Albert said – do the tutorial but change it from mimicry to a testing of concepts.

    • I think you’ve hit the spot.

    • Nick, I think you should hire this guy Noah^^^ as your new ethics advisor.

      • “Maybe as you swim into deeper waters with your business you’ll have to re-evaluate your tutorial development process to either come up with some exclusively GSG content to prevent misunderstandings, get explicit permission from the inspiring artist to move forward with a breakdown, or much like Albert said – do the tutorial but change it from mimicry to a testing of concepts.”

        Yep. I think Noah said it pretty perfectly.

        • Hi Nick, don’t get bullied by people making comments that you can’t make a flipping tutorial based on someone else’s work. That is bollocks, we’re in a competitive industry and we need these tutorials based on the best work out there to improve. Admittedly you get large selection of kids who copy the tutorial down to the last setting and post it on YouTube. But people like myself and many others, apply the theory to a totally different project and reap the results. Artists like to think no one can copy there effect but can we honestly say anybody’s work nowadays is hundred percent original. Inspiration from talent is what pushes us to work harder and tweak the settings even further.

  • What is important is the chef, not the recipe.

    I learned from the greats and now some people is learning from my stuff, that’s the circle of life (play Lion King’s main song here please).

    … yes, don’t put tutorials on your showreel. Who’s is hiring knows it 😉

  • That’s a pretty odd discussion. Trying to recreate a look for educational purpose is very different from taking someone’s artwork and pretending it’s your own. Only the latter is stealing.
    If you put something out into the wild of the internet it’s is subject to analysis, often critique and sometimes admiration.
    Albert should be glad to get admiration and traffic. His feeling, that someone is making money off his work is ridiculous.
    That would be certainly different, if he had produced a tutorial himself and someone would knock if off.

    And as for the plugin business of Nick. Folks, get realistic about market size and market share. You don’t seriously believe that Nick’s plugins payed for his Ferrari, do you?

    You get ton’s of free education on this site and some promote Nick’s plugins. So what? Maybe Albert picked up some useful information here too. Who knows. I didn’t know Albert’s work and I’m sure, he got more traffic to his site lately than he has ever.

    So maybe this is all clever publicity stunt and Albert profits more from this that Nick who mostly served people here, who already had bought his plugins anyway…
    And the perception that Albert is not selling anything is just wrong. His product is made of 0 and 1s like any other digital artwork, tutorial, or plugin.

    • Selling plugins and publishing free art are not even close to equivalent. 0’s and 1’s? Are you for real?

      • Are you the thumbs up! guy by any chance?

        • Just a big artist trying to protect small artists from capitalists disguised as altruists.

          • well… that explains it all.
            no wonder you sound so frustrated, I’d be too if I had to punch myself in the face to get people’s attention and make a living.

            big artist = f#*@ed up attitude.

          • Discussion and disagreement of ideas is welcome and encouraged. But let’s not name call or attack each other.

          • I’m not sure what you’re talking about, but you’re not adding anything to the conversation by attacking me.

          • What I’m adding to the conversation is that, no matter if you’re right or wrong, your attitude sucks.
            No offence, just pure evidence.
            As far as you punching yourself in the face…it’s strange you don’t recall that, since I’m sure it’s many people’s favourite.

          • So I’m guessing when you use Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s painting and make a version of it for your comic book it’s ok to use someone else’s work… But when Nick uses another artist’s work to TEACH others a C4D tool which he doesn’t own or sell (Nick does not sell a soft body plugin, it comes for free in Maxon’s C4D) it’s not ok?? ARE YOU SERIOUS MR. BIG ARTIST?? Protecting the small artists from capitalists? Thank you so much Mr. Big Artist, but I’m sure I’m not the only one here who thinks we don’t need and have not asked for your help, so please go back to being an arrogant pretentious BIG ARTIST and leave us motion designers alone…

      • Yes, I’m serious. I honor the creative process of coding great software as much as that of creating an animation. Both are 0s and 1s. Nick creates software. He doesn’t just sell it. Can you do that?

  • Instead of beating around the bush and analyzing all this, I’m just gonna come right out and say what I’m sure many people are thinking . .
    Albert is a d*ck. (Sorry Nick for the bad word. Hope the “*” made it ok.)
    What he did wasn’t exactly a ‘short film.’ It was just something he did fooling around with soft bodies in some (not sure if it was C4D or not) 3D software. And I just love how he’s telling Nick ‘how’ to teach. Oh, man. This dude is arrogant. Dude.. You made an interesting looking soft body animation that will only ever be used to show people on vimeo.com or whatever. Chill out. I understand Nick sells products, but to be honest, I have never bought any, and he provides the tutorials for free. I check greyscalegorilla out everyday and I have never sent them a penny. (Now that I think about it, I probably should though.) It’s incredibly nice of the greyscalegorillas’ to make their entire site free and ‘if you want’ you can buy some amazing plugins for actually not too much money. I think Nick is a man of the people and everyone should just be quiet and be happy there is someone like the fine people at greyscalegorilla out there to help us out and give a little inspiration and knowledge. Also, I have NEVER seen Nick not give COMPLETE credit where it was due. He goes completely out of his way to make sure that people get all the credit in the world for something he just wants to show others. More likely than not, he’s actually helping these people get more exposure.
    So everyone just calm it down, and call a spade a spade. .Or to spell it out . . Call Albert a d*ck.

    In conclusion, apparently, I still beat around the bush. Sorry. And to Nick, you are a gentlemen still being so nice and appreciative to that a-hole. Listen I do get it.. If someone doesn’t want there stuff shown ’cause they just don’t want people seeing or stealing the work they worked so hard on, that’s fine. But don’t be a douche and tell him “you can use it but only if you do this or that and also please teach it this way or that way.” Just simmer down Albert, simmer down . .

    • Albert seemed pretty nice about it, actually.

      You should probably simmer down instead.

      • Maybe you’re right. To be completely honest, I didn’t even read the conversation between the two of them. I just went on what people on this forum had said, and came to my conclusion that way. Obviously, I may have been very wrong. And if it’s true, Albert was actually nice about it, then I really do apologize. Like I said, I was being stupid and never even read the discussion. I may of been way off base. Some of the stuff I said I still might stand behind, but the d*ck thing was never even a little substantiated.. So my apologies to Albert if it is true, and he was being completely pleasant about the whole thing..

    • Respectfully, I don’t think you’re being fair by calling Albert a dick. I think if someone makes something, they should be able to dictate the terms of how it’s used, even on the internet. Admittedly that gets exponentially harder to do once posted online to the point of being futile, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he made it and it’s his work and he should have a say in how it’s used. You’re right in that I don’t think Nick intended harm or exploitation by referencing it for tutorials, but that shouldn’t give Nick a free pass to do whatever he pleases when approaching other peoples work without them having a say in it, especially since we’ve moved beyond Nick doing this only for the benefit of the community to doing it for the benefit of the community and to make money. That doesn’t make Nick a bad guy by any stretch, but it definitely changes how any action, however innocent, is perceived. Albert speaking up for his work doesn’t make him a bad guy either and it disappoints me to see so many people turn on him the minute that he speaks up, declaring that either he doesn’t have a right to do so, that he’s an asshole for not sharing, that the work isn’t even any good, that he stole it himself, etc. I don’t think he was even objecting the tutorial idea anyway, just requesting that it not be an exact copy of his stuff. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

      • Perhaps you’re right. Like I said, I didn’t do nearly enough research to have any true fact based opinions. For me, it’s like this. Nick has always been VERY respectful when it comes to showing other people’s artwork, and usually those people are very pleased to have him do so. But as long as Albert was nice and courteous about the whole thing, I don’t have any real problems with him. But for such a little doofy animation I really don’t think he should tell Nick how to teach it. And I think he should have just let Nick show it as is. I mean, it’s nothing really. The animation is kind of stupid.. It’s just ‘interesting.’ And it definitely is not something super unique. AND he put it on the internet for everyone to see. So now Nick can’t direct people to something Albert already put out publicly? I don’t know. I just don’t like it. Not sure why. Maybe just because I believe Nick is such a man of the people and does so much for the community. Even the products he does sell, are not very expensive at all. I believe he purposefully prices it so that anyone, even on a tight budget, can have the high-quality plugins without going on welfare. Like I said earlier, I didn’t even read the discussion between Albert and Nick so anything I said was based purely on what other people were saying and I formed my opinions on other people’s opinions. So, probably not the smartest thing to do..

        • Thanks for your honesty. I’m not against Nick or GSG in any sense – I owe a large part of having a career to these guys and the tutorials they’ve created – but my point is that simply being community minded does not absolve you of accountability when you interact with another person’s IP. Let me be very clear: I don’t think Nick broke the law by dissecting Albert’s animation nor do I think he had any malicious, exploitative intent in doing so. I think we’re merely talking about an issue of etiquette here and while I’m certainly not an authority on what that looks like, my opinion is that if an artist requests that their work not be used in a way they disagree with that request should be honored for the most part, especially if there is monetary gain tied to it, directly or indirectly. And that’s exactly what took place. Nick stepped on Albert’s toes a bit by posting the gif, Albert asked Nick to take a step back, and Nick did as requested, even finding a way to take what he learned from Albert’s work and form it into a lesson in a way that didn’t infringe on Albert’s stuff. That doesn’t make Nick a villain nor does it make Albert an asshole.
          Some people feel that by posting this blog entry and linking to Albert’s Twitter account that Nick is inciting retaliation against Albert for not agreeing to let Nick use his content as tutorial material. I don’t think that was intentional on Nick’s part either (although we could argue all day about the verbiage used or whether it was a good idea or not to begin with), but it’s definitely got the conversational gears turning on some pretty important issues, so that’s something.
          As for Albert, yes he runs a risk of piracy or misuse of his work the instant that he uploads content, but I don’t believe that you forfeit your right to something you made simply by posting it online. IP is still IP, no matter the medium, and while you are absolutely entitled to your own opinion of Albert’s work, when we look at it through the lens of this conversation it translates as an attempt at justifying that Albert’s stuff isn’t worth being protected, and that’s just not true. It doesn’t matter if the work that someone makes is terrible or not, it still deserves to be respected and protected as their work. Now that being said, Albert does not hold copyright over soft body dynamics, or soft bodied humans, or luminescent pegs, or any number of elements of which his stuff is comprised of. But in the precise way that he combined them, to his taste, he has some degree of claim to that. You’re absolutely right that he has no right to dictate that Nick teach a tutorial in one way or another or even to dictate what topic Nick and Co. covers when they teach, but he does have a right to say “don’t use my work as an example”, even if it seems counter to how you or I might react.
          The accessibility of knowledge is an incredibly important issue, no doubt. It levels the playing field and gives everybody a chance to play, and it builds the tower of shoulders that we stand on ever higher so that we can press against the boundaries of what is possible and stretch them further. But it’s also important to watch where we step as we get there, so we don’t walk all over the accomplishments of others in that pursuit.

          • This is great, Noah. Well said. Thanks again for your level headed comments.

            It’s easy to find a villain when there is a disagreement. You never do. I appreciate that.

          • Amen. This Noah guy is way smarter and calmer than I am.

          • Well, Noah, I’ll tell you what.. If I had any doubts or counter opinions to the points that you have made, they are now gone. What you said was so thoughtful, insightful, and well said, I think I totally agree with you. If I didn’t before..well then..I do now. Great job. You should be in debate or lobbying perhaps. 😉 Every point you made, in my humble opinion, was very hard to disagree with. It seemed well thought out. I may have jumped the gun, which I am prone to do. I tend to jump to quick conclusions without really pondering things or educating myself. So. Their you have it. Thank you for enlightening me. I believe you are absolutely correct. What I said was not well thought out at all, I just became defensive of Nick and this site, and spoke emotionally instead of intelligently. So thank you.. – Rob

  • None of this makes any sense to me. I can’t for the life of me understand what Albert is complaining about. Did Albert get credited? Yes. Does a guitar teacher teach me songs by famous musicians? Yes. Does he sell me guitar strings as part of his business? Yes.. None of this adds up and he’s really coming off poorly by this comment “I’m not cool with this”. I can’t tell Albert how to feel but most artists are humbled when people pay enough attention to their work to want to know how it was done. But anyway, being creative is it’s own discussion and it’s not what Nick typically teaches us. He teaches us techniques and it’s exactly what we’ve asked of him and what we hope he continues to do.

    Thanks Nick. Carry on.

    • Does your guitar teacher teach you how to build fake Fender guitars and then sell you pieces you would need to make them?

      Theres a massive difference between playing a famous song vs. recording it and then using that song to promote your business.

      • David are you going to start criticizing people who read the Maxon “Show Help” and use those techniques? Nick is not ripping off Albert’s video and claiming it as his own. That would be wrong. So what is he stealing from him? Nick, like any artist, saw some thing he liked and tried to figure out how that artist did it. Check out the documentary Tim’s Vermeer, same thing. Nick didn’t steal files, or hack Albert’s system he figured it out on his own. GSG is about technique, not ripping off other peoples work and claiming it as their own. In photography if 2 people take a picture of the same thing is the second photographer a hack? Absolutely not. And even in that scenario the second Artist is just showing the techniques HE WOULD USE to take that photo. We don’t even know if Nick’s technique is the same as Albert’s. We all benefit from people like Nick, beeple, etc. and the world of motion graphics is significantly better because of people like them. They offer their knowledge up for free. what you do with that information is your choice. Nick shouldn’t be criticized for trying to solve a problem. And Nick profits off of tools to make our life easier, so does Maxon. They analyze trends and techniques and see if they can make it easier for people to make those things, which is awesome and how we advance. Nick please keep up the great work and don’t let this thread sway you from what you have here at GSG. This is a few people criticizing you when there are tens of thousands supporting you. You do good work and you are an honest person with a good moral compass. You met with someone with a difference of opinion and that is all. He can have his and you can have yours, unfortunately not all of use will agree. But I trust you and know you have nothing to be ashamed of. -Z-Licious- A Proud GSG member and supporter.

        • You’re comparing “Tim’s Vermeer” to what Nick is doing?!? Vermeer died in 1675, so hes not a contemporary artist. Albert just released his film a few weeks ago, so his copyrights still apply. Also, I don’t remember Tim trying to use that Vermeer he painted to promote his company, which Nick is clearly doing.

          Your examples are not even close to equivalent. Taking a photo of the same thing?!? Are you seriously comparing taking a photo of the same subject to directly saying “Hey I’m gonna copy this artist’s work and use that to promote my business.”

          After reading more about Nick, I realize he probably didn’t mean any harm at first. But as soon as the original artist was not happy with the situation, Nick should have stopped. Instead he rounded up his entire cult to attack an innocent artist.

          This whole thing is really sad.

      • “Does your guitar teacher teach you how to build fake Fender guitars and then sell you pieces you would need to make them?”

        Huh? what are you talking about? He sells me parts that help in enhance the guitar I already have. You’ve confused the tool to make art as if it were the art piece itself. But to answer your weird question, you can buy parts to make a fake anything you want. Go make a fake polo sweater and wear it around town. As long as you don’t market it and sell it as if were a genuine polo sweater then there’s no harm.

        Nick never once suggested his break down of this guys animation was of his own imagination. He linked to the artist page and that’s enough. The fact that Nick has a product to sell has NOTHING to do with it. You’re not compelled to buy any of these products at any time just like we’re not compelled to by better stings or a guitar bag at the music store that you get your lessons.

      • Seriously David…Nick doesn’t make money from the tuts…he also cited the original author and a link to the video and in no way did he claim it was his.

        Your example of a guitar teacher is pretty absurd given the fact that they teach MUSIC – not woodworking. Your teacher will use current trend songs in order to teach rhythm, chords, etc…Which is what Nick is doing.

        He is teaching software by using real-world references so that viewers can relate to what they are watching. None of the pieces in the tuts need to be purchased in order for you to follow along. They all use components of the software installed from Maxon (provided you have the right version). While he does use his product in the tuts for the rendering portion – nothing else he uses requires purchases of any kind.

        Your diatribe throughout this whole event is tiring. You bring up inaccurate / unsubstantiated references to Nick “rounded up his entire cult to attack an innocent artist”, blatantly ripping off artists work and claiming it as his own, among others.

        I haven’t read any “Let’s all attack Albert” stuff anywhere…just clarifying questions and a want to understand the artist’ view on the matter.

        When asked – Nick stopped. End of story.

        Sounds like you are Albert’s BFF and more pissed off than he is. You really need relax.

        • Sorry if I come off as upset. I just see that everyone here is clearly biased and doesn’t even think twice about blaming the artist. The artist did nothing wrong in this case. Nick used their work without asking. It’s not like Albert is hard to get in contact with. His email and twitter is listed on his website. How hard is it to simply ask permission before you appropriate an artist’s work for your business?

          Nick has done this many times in the past. Argue all you want about hiding information or whatever the counter-point is, but bottom line, you can’t appropriate someone else’s work and then ask for forgiveness later. It’s not right.

          And the idea that Nick doesn’t make money off the tutorials is ludicrous. The tutorials are an advertisement for the products. The more tutorials made, the more products sold. Period. This is a direct correlation. Nick also used Signal ($129.00) in the related soft-body tutorial, further proving this fact.

    • I think the guitar lesson analogy misses a key point, which is the publication of results on the internet. Again, I could be mistaken in what I think the contended action was that triggered all of this hubbub, but I think the analogy might be more akin to learning Led Zeppelin’s “Traveling Riverside Blues” (which is perfectly fine), then recording your version of it and posting it online with a comment like “just playing around with the pentatonic scale after listening to this” and linking to the original. I think the offense is slight and nuanced, and maybe it’s all in the eye of the beholder, but I think it can feel like an assumption of ownership because you are making a declaration about your own work/progress/ideas while using someone else’s art. That no doubt gets trickier if there is monetary gain even remotely associated with it. It all sounds like water under the bridge now between Nick and Albert, but I think the key takeaway for Nick (which he’s no doubt learned in spades from this experience) is that gone are the days where he’s just a dude posting stuff on a blog. With the official declaration of GSG as a company, everything he posts online speaks on behalf of his business whether he likes it or not, which means he has to be doubly careful about how stuff could be construed before he puts it out there.

  • Hi Everyone.

    Just wanted to place a small note as someone who has had content stolen from me and used by another person as if they created it… That is theft.

    Nick, nor Chris, have ever ‘stolen’ anything. They credit great ideas (I wish one day I could be so lucky) and reflect them to a broader audience. I’ve offered well-paying jobs to people as a result of Greyscale crediting their sources. I am sure I am not alone and that many benefits have befallen those who are the creative inspiration for these tutorials.

    Albert seems like a nice guy who spoke his mind and that is appreciated. He has every right to not like what Nick did, and I’d say Nick did his level best to be forthright with everyone about that.

    Nothing wrong has happened here – on either side.


  • I’ve heard quite a few mentions of how Nick makes a profit with his tutorials. I really don’t understand where people get that idea. I know there’s some profit to be made from selling the products (Light Kit, Texture Kit, etc.), but I don’t get the connection to profits through the tutorials.

    I’ve watched nearly every tutorial on this site and not once did I have to enter any payment information to do so. Strangely enough, my checking account balance has also never diminished (by magic or some other nefarious means) after watching a tutorial.

    • What if Coca Cola took your work and made a free tutorial? That tutorial isn’t directly selling you Coke, but its promoting the Coca Cola brand.

      This entire motion graphics industry is based on artists being paid by companies for their work. As soon as you start siding with the companies rather than the artists, then you are the bad guy. That kind of thinking makes the entire industry suffer.

      You guys are betraying your future selves if you think this way.

      • “What if Coca Cola took your work and made a free tutorial?”

        I guess it would depend completely upon the uniqueness and/or originality of said work. I just watched Albert’s so-called “amazing” video. . . It was not amazing, original or unique in any way. I seem to recall watching an episode of The Price Is Right many years ago wherein Bob Barker dropped a Stretch Armstrong® or similar stretchy/gooey toy into the Plinko board. That was fun to watch, but only because it was Bob Barker doing it.

        I think the main point here is that Nick is merely recreating a CONCEPT, something that is not subject to copyright or trademark. Coca-Cola owns Coca-Cola; Pepsi owns Pepsi Cola. There’s nothing preventing me from creating my own cola and selling it. I just can’t slap my label on a Coca-Cola bottle and call it mine.

        • Nice sidestep there. You completely dodged the main point.

          “That tutorial isn’t directly selling you Coke, but its promoting the Coca Cola brand.”

          They don’t own the original work and therefor don’t have the rights to use it for that purpose. Just like Nick doesn’t own Albert’s work and needs to respect the original artist’s wishes.

          It doesn’t matter how ‘amazing, original or unique’ YOU think the work is. This is basic ethics and professional courtesy.

          • I still don’t get it. Maybe I’m missing a very important part of the whole conversation, but I don’t understand in what capacity Nick is using some else’s original work. As far as I can tell, he merely said “Hey, check out this cool video made by this talented artist!” and maybe provided a link to the video, then tried to recreate the effect in C4D.

            I’m really not trying to be one-sided here. If I’m missing something, please let me know.

      • Well let’s go back to the guitar teacher and his shop. Say he posts led zeppelin posters on his store front with words next to it, “learn your favorite rock songs”. Is there any copyright infringement here? There may be, I’m just asking.

        Noah above makes the argument that the real issue comes to publishing. If Nick were to sit down one on one with us and show us the techniques of an Artist then it would be okay? It seems to be a distinction without a difference.

        • If Led Zeppelin doesn’t like what the guitar teacher is doing with their work, then there is a problem. But, I don’t think you can compare multi-millionaires like Led Zeppelin to a single artist making personal work on their own. When taking from the small solo artist, the act seems exponentially more severe.

          I think the artist just had a problem with Nick using their work without asking. Or maybe they just don’t like Nick. Or maybe they don’t like GSG. Whatever their reasons are, it’s their choice to make, not yours, mine, or anyone else’s, including Nick.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if some of Albert’s inspiration came from here:

  • There is not one person alive who isn’t in some form inspired by someone else. Ideas are only driven by the things we see and hear. No matter where you look, inspiration is out there and the last time I checked it’s free to be inspired. So I say why not? I think it’s awesome when someone says ” I want to do what you do”.

    Even the Mars candy company bought chocolate from Hersey’s in the beginning to make Snickers 😉

    • You’re free to be inspired, not free to make money from other people’s work.

      Yeah, Mars BOUGHT chocolate from Hershey’s, they didn’t take it without asking.

  • I usually mainly doing photography. In photography no one would ever complain about someone reverse-engineering your technique. In fact, many really great contemporary photographers openly share their techniques these days.

    If your creativity stands and falls with a technique you are really just a one-trick pony and far from being an artist.

    • How many photographers spend months working on a photograph? Unless you’re building your own cameras and lenses there is no possible way you can compare taking a photo to creating a 3D animation. The most complex photographic techniques don’t even measure up in complexity to the simplest CG films.

      Who are you to define who is an artist and who is not? A museum curator? An art critic? I’d love to know what makes a person think they know who is an artist and who is not.

      • David, you obviously do not have no fucking clue about photography or art in general. There’s a world beyond C4D.

        You should get yourself exposed to some local museums as a start. Even if it’s your village’s local History Society.

      • And to add to this: You obviously think that time spent correlates positively with artsy-fartsy scale. No. It doesn’t. Technique has nothing to do with art. Never, freaking ever.

        I may take you weeks to produce an animation which never will be considered art or liked by anyone and it’s still art. Or not. But when genius strikes it’s the click of a camera executed by someone who has extensive training and experience in taking pictures or execution of a brilliant idea into 3D motion graphics.

        Try to embrace creativity instead of technique. I’m sure it will move you forward as an artist.

        • What you’re saying doesnt make sense. Also it has absolutely nothing to do with using other peoples work without their permission to make money. That is the issue here.

      • Apparently YOU think Albert is an artist. You’re calling him an artist I don’t know how many times in this thread, so by that definition you seem to be the person who defines who is an artist and who is not. What if I would consider Albert just a guy who employs a few smart CG tricks? Would it then be OK to be inspired by him?

        • This also has absolutely nothing to do with using other peoples work without their permission to make money. That is the issue here.

          • Indeed it doesn’t. I was just pointing out that you are extremely opinionated person, taking the liberty to rate CG work above that of photography, and that somehow nobody is allowed to determine what is art (with the exception of yourself of course). And as far as ‘the issue’ is concerned: (1) Albert posted his work on Vimeo, a public service, not at some private gallery showing. That means more exposure for the artist, but also the possibility of more people being inspired by it and giving it their own interpretation or discussing how the work was made. (2) Nick hasn’t stolen anything or pretended that it was his divine inspiration when he made that tutorial. That makes it OK for me, even if he does make money from that (I haven’t paid anything though). And if that doesn’t fit into David’s big book of ethics? Tough.

          • Pretty obvious when you start attacking me that you have no real point.

            It doesn’t matter what is ‘OK’ with you because the law says its NOT ‘OK’.

  • Nick – it’s a good job you didn’t tell them about the dirty fork! (monty python reference…)

  • It’s just massive insecurity that makes certain people respond this way to your tutorials, Nick. You are pulling back the curtain and it threatens them for some reason. They’re not concerned about you not encouraging originality. They just don’t want you revealing any secrets. “We had to learn by blood, sweat and tears.” Bullshit. Albert learned from watching tutorials, and getting help from fellow artists and so-on. And, I’m sure, like the rest of us, with blood, sweat and tears. Ever has it been, ever shall it be.

    It’s sad, because most of them are so good and far ahead that they will always be innovating and should not even bother looking over their shoulder.

    There will always be people who watch tutorials and then regurgitate the exact animation/image/fill-in-the-blank that was covered and then send it back out into the world. There’s nothing anyone can do about it. To use the musical analogy, they will forever be in a form of Cover Band.

    Most of us watch in order to learn and to leverage what we’ve learned to use in our own work.
    Guys like Albert need to get over themselves. Pretentious and insecure.

    • Wow, way to come down hard on the artist for trying to protect their work. Maybe he’s just not cool with people using his work without permission. He even asked Nick to ‘please’ change the concept (which Nick conveniently left out of this post). That ‘please’ makes a big difference. Not sure how much more polite you can be when someone uses your work without asking first. Maybe he’s not cool with making a C4D tutorial on a piece that was made in Houdini. Might be a little confusing, no?

      The point is, there are a million reasons for the artist to be upset, but basically ZERO reasons for anyone else to be.

  • Interesting how David Choe suddenly turns his argument from “if it is against the artist’s wishes you shouldn’t do it” into “it is illegal”. Well, let’s talk about that then. It seems Albert would have a hard time enforcing copyright in court. It is accepted that one can comment, or critize a work, or teach students about the techniques used without infringing on copyright. The question is: Does Nick make money from those teachings? Indirectly, probably, but since his teachings are not behind a paywall my guess would be that he’s off the hook.

    • The “it is against the law” comment was totally out of place, especially so if David Choe is actually the “D. Choe – grate artist” he claims to be, cause that guy built great part of his artistic carrier by doing illegal actions.
      Hypocrisy is the greatest luxury.

    • Both the moral argument of the artist having a problem with it, and the legal argument of copyright infringement both stand. If you don’t care about other people, then sure, just focus on the legal part of the issue. Steal whatever you want up to the limits of the law with no respect for the effort put into the work or the artist themselves. But, I think the moral argument is even more important in this case since Albert was never threatening a lawsuit, only requesting, politely, that Nick come up with a more original tutorial idea. Nick himself said “I certainly can’t argue with that”.

      So tell me again, why should a for-profit company be able to take an artist’s work and do whatever they want with it, without asking? How is that good for the industry? Because some students might learn something? Teaching people doesn’t grant you free reign to use an artist’s work in any way you see fit.

      • David, the fact that Albert’s request should be respected is in my opinion undeniable. The passion you’ve shown for this case, considering that in the end you are trying to protect someone’s work, is remarkable.
        But now it seems like you are just posting comments to contest any other opinion no matter what; like you wanna convince everyone that your opinion is the only right one.
        What’s the point?
        This kind of attitude is irritating and really doesn’t make people want to agree with you even if you may be right. It just makes you sound very frustrated and arrogant.
        That is just my opinion of course.

        I think Noah’s comment was a good END to this thread, don’t you agree?

        • Why do you keep attacking me? What does any of this have to do with ME?!?

          I’m not interested in people ‘wanting’ to agree with me. I just want people to know there’s another side to this. There was a victim here, and it sure wasn’t Nick, GSG, or the fanboys. While just about everyone here rallies against the victim, some of us choose to stand up for them and make their voice heard above the belligerent mob. Maybe Albert doesn’t even care about this as much as I do, but I can’t just sit back while people on this site perpetuate this victim-blaming nonsense. It’s ugly, rude, disrespectful, and I stand against it on principle alone.

          • attacking you?
            I’m just trying to make you understand the kind of reaction you stimulate.
            I’m sure that if your comments had been written by someonelse and you had read them, you yourself would be annoyed. Give it a try:

            “Thanks for adding to the conversation! Great analysis!
            You are stealing. It is very simple.
            You are wrong.
            I don’t think it matters whether you care or not.
            Nick, I think you should hire this guy Noah^^^ as your new ethics advisor.
            I’m just a big artist trying to protect small artists from capitalists disguised as altruists.
            You make no sense.
            Everyone here is clearly biased and doesn’t even think twice about blaming the artist.
            You guys are betraying your future selves if you think this way.
            Nick, you have a really positive, thoughtful, and educated group of people on your site.
            Bravo for cultivating such high-level discussions…”

            C’mon David, like I’ve said, the fact you are trying to protect someone’s work is remarkable, but you’ve been provocative since the very start, talking like you were above everyone else and treating all of us like a bunch of idiots.
            Honestly, I think that you should not have taken such a strong position on Albert’s beahalf unless asked by Albert himself. I don’t know if you are friends, but personally I would never want someone I don’t even know to fight my battles for me, especially the way you are doing which is in my opinion affecting his image in a negative way. Everyone here who didn’t know Albert will associate his name with yours and this embarrasing thread, which Albert should not be too happy about according to me.

  • wojciech omiljanowski November 29, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    I think it’s a velociraptor, not a t-rex.

  • The music for this is so perfectly GSG

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.