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Civ V stock image Scavenger hunt

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by OrsonM, May 10, 2011.

  1. OrsonM

    OrsonM Our man

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    Welcome to our annual Civ scavenger hunt, were we look at the game's images and find the stock image that was used either as a visual reference (passable) or straight up just aplied a photoshop filter (shameful, because we found out).

    Inspired by a similar scavenger hunt done for NeverWinter Nights, a game that on it's first installment used visual references that were clearly Models and Actors. Aparently without paying for royalties:

    http://nwn.wikia.com/wiki/Portrait

    Being an artist it's hard: there's deadlines and the pay is not that good. Now, a crash course in ethics: you (the artist) can use stock material as a reference or as part of your work, however you must either ask for permision or pay for the rights if a visible and recognizable part of the image will be used commercially, unless it's public domain. It pays to see if it's public domain, just in case, you never know.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_%22Hope%22_poster#Origin_and_copyright_issues

    So let the hunt begin. I myself will start with 4 stock images I believe were used in a not too subtle way as references for some of the game's art:


    Subject 1: we have a match!, actually the only match here it's the banana at the bottom, which once drawn was copied 2 times and placed in the back. This was found in google under bananas (it was actually one of the first results).


    Subject 2: The deer's antlers look suspiciously alike in both pictures. Enough that it makes me think that this was the image used. However the ears and the shape of the snout are somewhat different. Perhaps the image was just used as a visual reference, but the antlers look too much alike. This was found in google under deer.


    Subject 3: The elephants body and shadows fit perfectly enough for me to consider this one the actual reference used (the rest looks different). This was found in google under Elephant Wallpaper.


    Subject 4: Although at first I thought I had the image used for the david, the angle is slightly off (check the lines behind the David). Still looking for that original picture.

    Most icons in the game are original works, only the resources and some of the wonders of the world use stock photos (the sistine chapel, Cristo Redentor, The Pentagon, etc). If anyone else has found the original stock for some of the in-game art, please let us know.

    EDIT: More than just the resources and the Wonders are based on stock images, as proven by qyll and residentmarlo. Aparently virtually every art asset could have been taken from a stock photo.
     
  2. Thander

    Thander Chieftain

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    Not bad compared to Limbo of the Lost. :lol:
     
  3. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    Ooooh... this looks like fun! :D I should've realized this was how the icons were made, it makes the most sense. That Neverwinter Nights reference was also very cool.

    Here's cotton (first page of Google):



     
  4. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    Gold (the one ring):



     
  5. OrsonM

    OrsonM Our man

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    I can't believe you found the cotton!!!, I went through pages and pages of images trying to find it. Extra points for you my friend (they even sneaked a bit of extra cotton in the back there too, very sneaky).

    For Silver I only found this one, it sort of matches, you be the judges.




    And also kudos on Limbo of the Lost, I've had no idea they reused so much!
    http://uk.gamespot.com/news/6192438.html
    http://www.vidaextra.com/pc/limbo-of-the-lost-y-the-elder-scrolls-oblivion-busca-las-7-diferencias
     
  6. Save_Ferris

    Save_Ferris Admiring Myself

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    The second one was the fifth result under "cinnamon".
     
  7. Resident Mario

    Resident Mario Chieftain

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    So this one is a stretch, but here goes:




    If you swap the central and bottom fish...I think I'll try to find a better one... :/
     
  8. qyll

    qyll Chieftain

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    Hey, I think I got one! Found by searching "red fox". I cropped and flipped it.



    And another. Searched "particle trails"

     
  9. Resident Mario

    Resident Mario Chieftain

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    Diamonds: The angle on this one isn't quite right...


     
  10. Resident Mario

    Resident Mario Chieftain

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    Another meh...spin him around, modify clothes, give him a cap.
     
  11. Resident Mario

    Resident Mario Chieftain

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    Spin it around, add wires.
     
  12. OrsonM

    OrsonM Our man

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    Perfect match!, behold:

     
  13. OrsonM

    OrsonM Our man

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    I thought I found it here too, but certain things just don't match with this one either. Still looking.
     
  14. OrsonM

    OrsonM Our man

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    Some work done for this one, each soldier was cutout and rearranged. Then it was colored and in some cases given a few extra things.

    Desk surface, toy in the back and background are probably different images too.

    Edit: more





    Ok, now I'm wondering if they actually paid for the rights to most of these...
     
  15. Helmling

    Helmling Philosopher King

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    You guys are awesome.
     
  16. blac

    blac Chieftain

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    This is sweet, can't wait to see more!!
     
  17. Pouakai

    Pouakai It belongs in a museum. Moderator

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    Wow, impressive! I'm gonna keep an eye on this!

    EDIT: How about Himeji:





    If you crop and rearrange the foliage a bit?
     
  18. qyll

    qyll Chieftain

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    Flight!

     
  19. Verticalo

    Verticalo Chieftain

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  20. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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  21. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator

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    Interesting thread :cool:.

    But i might disagree on the David in the first post. I can't see another way to draw him, because it's just based on this one and only statue, and nothing else.
     
  22. Pouakai

    Pouakai It belongs in a museum. Moderator

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    Could have something to do with the background maybe?
     
  23. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Awesome thread. :D
    The (barely perceptible in the icon) background can be explained the same way; that's what the background to David really looks like. The angle is similar, but with unique objects I would think that similar representations necessarily occur. Like the Himeji Castle match; there is only one Himeji Castle, so I wouldn't think it's necessarily a copy of a stock picture so much as a copy of reality.
     
  24. Montov

    Montov Chieftain

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    Nice finds, and I agree that the Wonders/famous stuff is nearly identical to every picture of it. :p
     
  25. Psyringe

    Psyringe Scout

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    Very interesting finds. :) I know that fan projects or mods often use stock photos, but somehow I always thought that professional developing studios created their own artwork ...

    Makes me wonder whether the "art deco" style of presentation was also chosen for economical reasons (not that much effort to filter existing stock photos in a way that it matches an art deco presentation, even if taken from very diverse sources). ;)
     
  26. mihaifx

    mihaifx Chieftain

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    Awesome stuff !
    Can you also post what did you google for the less obvious ones, like the mass media boy? Searched for mass media and newspaper and couldn't find him :)
     
  27. Brichals

    Brichals Chieftain

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  28. OrsonM

    OrsonM Our man

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    Fan projects use stock photos because of lack of manpower, lack of design knowledge and fair use. But it's ok, they are mods, many game developers learn their trade through mods and eventually build themselves up to professional standards.

    That Firaxis is using stock images is more than a lazyness, it's a liability. Of the hundreds of art assets within the game, unless ALL of them are public domain, or all of them have permision or were leased legaly, then Firaxis could be facing a few letters from a few lawyers.

    I'm a graphic designer and I have not used stock images since my first year of college, because it's a potential liability. I know a lot of fellow designers do so, that's their thing. But I find it to be of poor ethics (not to mention the visual language ends up being all over the place, from comicbook-like quality to photorealistic).

    My wife is a photographer, and while we are amused, she was pissed off to find that not only some of these images might have been used without asking for permision (we assume, as most of these are from the first few pages of google image search) but also that they were "drawified", often through the use of photoshop filters. As if that would make more dignifying.

    And now more examples:



    Trebuchet used as a visual reference (the boulder and rope part being the only difference)



    Visual reference likely used for the Brute. It's cute that this was found on google under "brute". Still, some work done here, no liability (maybe framing and pose). Let the audience judge this one.



    Donkey is a perfect match. TWICE. Still looking for the father and son and the woman. The father and son are likely 3 composite images: the bottom part holding the legs, the son and finnally the fathers face. The lady is likely just one image.
     
  29. OrsonM

    OrsonM Our man

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    Copyright expired over a 100 years ago. No liability. I think this was the visual reference used, not to suble either. Good find!

     
  30. Psyringe

    Psyringe Scout

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    They may also have run out of time. I vaguely recall that some artwork (specifically icons) had been done by a contracted artist already, but then they wanted to go for another look and had to redo them. I'm not 100% sure on this, but somebody else might remember better. In any case, it could explain why the artists in question not only used stock images, but also apparently often took the first ones that a google search turned up. There's also other evidence that the whole team (including artists) was in a hurry, like using concept art in the game. (Not trying to find excuses, just looking for a possible explanation.)
     

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