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Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14863] Sat, 17 July 2010 22:56 UTC Go to next message
avatar MaxSMoke777  is currently offline MaxSMoke777
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About a month ago I got obsessed with getting my hand on my own Weighted Companion Cube from the game Portal, as the new Portal 2 is on it's way. But I didn't want the silly fuzzy dice Valve had available, so I went about making my own.

I searched the internet, but couldn't find any publicly available models to work from, so I hunted down a few screenshots and went about building my own cube from scratch in 3D Studio. After getting that done, made the design into a functional box, which I hope to one day fit a small Cake into. (inside joke)

The first one I made was out of WSF plastic, which I painted to match the game's box:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4094/4741649388_f2cf602308_b.jpg

But I decided to one-up that feat by actually texture mapping the box with an accurate Portal texture map, so the box would be completely more realistic. I also added a small picture of the cake inside the box. Here's the side by side:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4122/4794084317_04eed3c3be_b.jpg

Here's the box open:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4102/4794718198_9cf60c280d_b.jpg

And if you look closely, you can just barely make out the cake logo:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4119/4794718532_c234b616a2_b.jpg

Here you can see how the center disks are separate. I felt that making them separate would get them closer to looking like the actual box in the game, but I'm a bit unsure that was a good idea now. They do work fine though, I attached them with a little super glue.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4117/4794718768_1ab2f58690_b.jpg

So all of this leads to one question, how do I seal this? I want a clear, shiny coat, that won't add any thickness to the model, otherwise the box won't close. Can anybody suggest some good spray on sealants? As you can see, the material is a bit grainy, and is slowly grinding itself off. I want to safe guard it, and give it the same shine as the game's Cube had.

[Updated on: Sat, 17 July 2010 22:57 UTC]

Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14881 is a reply to message #14863 ] Sun, 18 July 2010 13:43 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Drawn-SteelHero  is currently offline Drawn-SteelHero
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As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'd recommend Future/Klear/Pledge (name depends on your domestic market) acrylic floor polish. It's about as fluid as water, so even if you brush it on it won't leave marks, and it'll spread out for a nice even coverage. It should give a tough, shiny finish after two or three coats - bear in mind this stuff is designed to be trodden on!
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14884 is a reply to message #14881 ] Sun, 18 July 2010 15:33 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar HaVoC373  is currently offline HaVoC373
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i like the first one, but the colors of the second cube are too washed out i dont really like it that much.
model wise its pretty cool though.

P.S. did no red flags go up because this is copywrighted material or is there some way around it that i am not aware of?

[Updated on: Sun, 18 July 2010 15:33 UTC]

Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14885 is a reply to message #14884 ] Sun, 18 July 2010 18:33 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Brian123  is currently offline Brian123
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HaVoC373 wrote on Sun, 18 July 2010 15:33

i like the first one, but the colors of the second cube are too washed out i dont really like it that much.
model wise its pretty cool though.

P.S. did no red flags go up because this is copywrighted material or is there some way around it that i am not aware of?



From what I've read, if you order something just for yourself, privately, then copyright isn't really an issue. While if you make it available to order in the shop to anyone, possibly even just visible on their main site, then that's where trouble comes in.
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14897 is a reply to message #14885 ] Mon, 19 July 2010 00:25 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar ejsue  is currently offline ejsue
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The cake is a lie.
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14901 is a reply to message #14863 ] Mon, 19 July 2010 03:22 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar MaxSMoke777  is currently offline MaxSMoke777
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I wasn't going to mention I made it because I was concerned about it getting taken down, but I see somebody else made Star Trek figures, and nobody complained about that. Last time I checked, Paramount loves to sue people WAY more then Valve. So I decided to share. (@HaVoC373: I didn't see you mention anything about the Star Trek figures!)

I was actually hoping to convince Valve to make these prints official merchandise, but they said they would only deal with companies, not individuals, when it came to merchandise. I'd like to convince then that Shapeways is legitimate manufacturer, but at the same time, should they still say no, I don't want my Cubes to disappear. I made these from scratch, they are my work, and I don't want to lose them. So I'm at a bit of a stalemate right now.

(I don't suppose anybody from Shapeways wants to talk to Valve about this?)
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14913 is a reply to message #14901 ] Mon, 19 July 2010 10:47 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar HaVoC373  is currently offline HaVoC373
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MaxSMoke777 wrote on Mon, 19 July 2010 03:22

I wasn't going to mention I made it because I was concerned about it getting taken down, but I see somebody else made Star Trek figures, and nobody complained about that. Last time I checked, Paramount loves to sue people WAY more then Valve. So I decided to share. (@HaVoC373: I didn't see you mention anything about the Star Trek figures!)



i didnt mean to cause any harm, but i didnt say anything about the star trek figures because from what i understood they were just the heads he printed. and although they do bear some resemblence to the cast of the show they are not 1:1 copy's and if he painted them differently and put them onto different figures they would not be recognizeable. your companion cube however is very recognizeable to a fan of the game. again i'm just voicing my concern cause there are a few copyrighted things i'd like to print as well which are not availible, but would like to make for myself

[Updated on: Mon, 19 July 2010 10:48 UTC]

Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14933 is a reply to message #14913 ] Mon, 19 July 2010 17:38 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Whystler  is currently offline Whystler
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I'm looking at this issue, and I'm trying to put myself in other shoes. It's difficult, because I'm not a multinational corporation, or any kind of large business entity.

But I play a game in my head to examine issues like this, and here's how the "let's pretend" games went in my head today Smile ...

My roleplay character:

Let's pretend I'm an indie comic artist. And I draw, write, and therefore own this comic and the characters I made.

Roleplay situation 1:

I ask myself how I would feel if someone made a doll of one of my characters for their own use. Maybe they brought it to a convention to show me at my artist booth or something.

The reaction:

I would be flattered. I'd love it that they were so inspired by the art I made, that they made a tribute to it for themselves. Heck, I might even be inspired by it, to make dolls of my characters and sell them. Over all - a good, happy, inspiring experience for me.

Roleplay situation 2:

I ask myself how I would feel if I were at a convention, and I find out that someone is selling dolls that represent my characters to other people without my knowledge or gain.

The reaction:

I would be upset. I spent a lot of time making those characters and the comic, and someone else is using me to make themselves money. I would not think it was a fair use of my intellectual property.

Legal Reality ...

The reality is, it's illegal to sell someone else's intellectual property without their consent before it becomes public domain, whether they are a big company or a small indie artist.

I'm not a large business or multinational whatever, but forget about laws for a minute, and let's think in a general moral sense ... Should this make a difference? Should we feel justified in selling intellectual property of large businesses:

-Simply because the idea is so widely popular that we feel it should be public domain?

-Simply because they already make so much money that it shouldn't matter that we make a couple hundred bucks from selling copies of their intellectual property?

-Because we feel that we don't have the leverage from our own talent and creativity to make much money on our own designs when competing against the huge corporations?

-Because other people, some of them large corporations, are already getting away with doing this?

Good questions ...

-Whystler


Check out my website: http://tshawnjohnson.wordpress.com/
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14935 is a reply to message #14933 ] Mon, 19 July 2010 18:07 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar HaVoC373  is currently offline HaVoC373
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Personaly as an indie artist, i have no problem with someone making a tribute to my work for themselves, even without my permission. But only as long as it does not affect me financialy.
If someone starts selling or giving away my IP in large quanities then i would take legal action.

But if someone just wants to make say a costume or an action figure from one of my characters then i have no problem with that. As long as its for them and they dont start selling multiple copies of the item.

shapeways would in a way be making money off of someone else's IP. but there are several ways you can look at it.
* first Shapeways is selling someone's IP without the permission of the original author.

* second. shapeways supplies the material and means to produce the work. but the actual work is done by the person who made the Item based on the IP. Thus making shapeways really no more acountable than a fabric store selling material to someone who wants to make a costume from a movie, comic or video game.

but then again if scenario 2 is applicable and the person starts systematicaly ordering these models on a regular basis a red flag should go up.

ugh.. this stuff is complicated. but i'm just voicing my concerns

[Updated on: Mon, 19 July 2010 18:08 UTC]

Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14937 is a reply to message #14935 ] Mon, 19 July 2010 19:28 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Whystler  is currently offline Whystler
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HaVoC373 wrote on Mon, 19 July 2010 18:07



* second. shapeways supplies the material and means to produce the work. but the actual work is done by the person who made the Item based on the IP. Thus making shapeways really no more acountable than a fabric store selling material to someone who wants to make a costume from a movie, comic or video game.




Shapeways does more than just supplying the material, because while someone else designed the piece, Shapeways actually constructs it and benefits financially from its construction.

However, Shapeways does make designers "technically" sign an afadavit before they upload a piece. There is a box during upload that forces you to claim that the piece if your own intellectual property. If you don't check it, the download will not occur.

So in that regard, Shapeways can fall back on the designer, I suppose, if they are prosecuted for selling another person's intellectual property.

-Whystler


Check out my website: http://tshawnjohnson.wordpress.com/
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14938 is a reply to message #14863 ] Mon, 19 July 2010 19:30 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar esnoeijs  is currently offline esnoeijs
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I think it is reasonable to assume that shapeways will simply take action when the copyrights holder contacts them about the possible infringement.

And when I say "assume" I actually mean I read this in the shapeways content policy page which is linked in the footer under 'content policy & take down notice'

More interestingly though, and the actual reason I wanted to reply was that liberalviewer a youtube user has posted a panel discussion of youtube and a few other people about the issue of copyright and how youtube deals with that.
It's almost a hour in total I think, but well worth the time to get some insight in how the guys in the spotlight are dealing with this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWVjxx9S1XI&feature=PlayL ist&p=B1AB681FD763830E&playnext_from=PL&index=0& amp;playnext=1
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #14943 is a reply to message #14938 ] Mon, 19 July 2010 22:11 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar pzich  is currently offline pzich
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Very nice work!
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15055 is a reply to message #14863 ] Thu, 22 July 2010 02:10 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Zorink  is currently offline Zorink
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I made a similar model a while ago for one of my engineering courses
http://www.flickr.com/photos/zorink/sets/72157604863281014/

Good job with the tex - did you rip any game files or did you recreate them from scratch?
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15107 is a reply to message #15055 ] Fri, 23 July 2010 05:41 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar FLAT3D  is currently offline FLAT3D
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Here is another scenario that I've seen come up on a different site. It involves a bunch of people making a product for their own use but the design is very recognizable. Some of these people then take the products to conventions and gatherings out in public. They even use them to raise money for charities. It has always been understood, at least to those involved, that as long as no one is trying to profit from the events or gatherings, other than the legit charities, that no one really gives much of a hoot.
I think if someone builds an item that is copyrighted and places it on this site and makes it printable to everyone then that person shouldn't add a personal fee for that item. Sure Shapeways is in business to make money and they do a great service and help us get the things we want when there is almost no other place to get it done at the competitive rates they have.
Just my 2 cents.
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15119 is a reply to message #14863 ] Fri, 23 July 2010 12:28 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar MaxSMoke777  is currently offline MaxSMoke777
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For the full color "Sandstone" version, I edited the game texture I found off Google, so the texture is partially mine, but not completely. The model is my own creation.

My WSF version doesn't have any visible lines, so you wouldn't know it's a box unless somebody told you. Even finding the right side to open isn't obvious. I thought that was rather clever.

I suppose I'll set the model to Private. Unless somebody at Shapeways wants to talk to Valve (HINT-HINT), I really shouldn't have it available.

Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15149 is a reply to message #15119 ] Fri, 23 July 2010 21:19 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Whystler  is currently offline Whystler
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I really like the box idea. I wonder if you could modify the design to make it your own, so folks can still buy a cool spacey-fantasy box.

-Whystler


Check out my website: http://tshawnjohnson.wordpress.com/
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15155 is a reply to message #15149 ] Fri, 23 July 2010 22:46 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Zorink  is currently offline Zorink
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Re: Whystler

I don't mean to thread hijack, but would something like this be enough? Without any tex it is much more of a generic box, but it is still recognizable. Would changing the circles in the middle to octagons be enough of a change or is there still an issue of being based on copyrighted work. I guess I could sell it with no markup, but is there still a problem of money being exchanged?
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15156 is a reply to message #14863 ] Fri, 23 July 2010 23:14 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Drawn-SteelHero  is currently offline Drawn-SteelHero
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To be honest, I think that's probably safe as is; not having the colourscheme takes away a reasonable chunk of resemblance, and the fact that you don't actually refer to it by name means you're not drawing the wrong kind of attention to it.
Most of all, while I'm not particularly familiar with Portal merch (as in, at all Razz), I'm assuming this isn't something with an officially licensed equivalent (though if there aren't plushie CCs being made, I reckon they're missing a big potential market). Wink

Believe me, there are people getting away with much bigger infractions.

Andy
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15158 is a reply to message #15155 ] Fri, 23 July 2010 23:29 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Whystler  is currently offline Whystler
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Hey Zorink,

I hope I didn't come across as a copyright expert! Personally, I don't think what you're showing would raise any flags .. but legally, a view of this forum would show them that you are still trying to ride financially on the coat tails of the folks who own the intellectual property.

So why do it? Ok, I mean it's a fun thing to make once and then own because it gives you instant coolness from other fans. But while you worked to create the cube, you didn't work for the popularity. So you can't sell it legally without the permission of the copyright owner.

When thinking of a product to create and actually sell, why not take the harder and *infinitely more fun, useful, and fulfilling* road by creating your own brand?

I get it .. you're inspired by it. Great! That's the exciting, wonderful and wholesome part. You're allowed to be inspired! Something about this cubey thing really gets those creative juices bubbling. You have to find out what that is. What about it makes you happy?

Take that kernal of information and turn it into something. Do you like that it's an artifact thing that is actually a box? Do you like the juxtaposition of a cute heart on something slick and spacey? What would owning a companion cube make you? And hence what else could you own of your own design that would turn you into the same thing?

-Whystler

[Updated on: Sat, 24 July 2010 03:56 UTC]


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Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15160 is a reply to message #15158 ] Sat, 24 July 2010 00:45 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar HaVoC373  is currently offline HaVoC373
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personaly there are a few things i would love to make that belong to other artists/ companies. and i think the biggest atraction to making this is first of all, the test of your own skills in modeling and observation (often even if its from a video game you will not have the original wireframe as a base to start from). and you will have to make the model from the limited amount of refrence pictures/ movies etc. that that particular media has provided you and turn that particular item that has not been designed to be printed into something that can be printed efficiently.

second is the fact that you have something that in part you made yourself and no other fan of that particular thing has.
people strive to be unique and special, stand out from the crowd. especialy with the internet nowadays. if you create something thats populair in that media but no other fan has. it makes you stand out. that alone is a very powerfull urge for alot of people who want to make stuff based on something they like.

that kind of drive to make a particular item is probably alot more powerfull than to make something your own. simply because it does not belong to anything that alot of people already enjoy. it will make you unique, but the chance that what ever you make will be recognized as an awesome piece of work in that community is alot smaller than something that is known among those people as awesome.

shapeways is just a very powerfull tool to make the kind of stuff that the IP holder wont provide their fans for what ever reason. and i definetly understand the atraction.
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15161 is a reply to message #15160 ] Sat, 24 July 2010 00:54 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Zorink  is currently offline Zorink
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I agree completely. The satisfaction of recreating something you like from scratch is great. It really tested my skills too. I made it when I was still fairly new to SolidWorks and had to learn how to use a few tools and got better in the process. Just taking an in-game screencap and trying to make a model from it was quite tricky. Then modifying it and making it into a secret box is a way to add your own idea to it and you also have something that no one else has.
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15162 is a reply to message #15161 ] Sat, 24 July 2010 00:59 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Drawn-SteelHero  is currently offline Drawn-SteelHero
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Yup. And as Whystler so eloquently pointed out, taking what you've learned from that and then making something completely your own is even more rewarding. Smile

Andy
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15164 is a reply to message #15155 ] Sat, 24 July 2010 01:53 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar MaxSMoke777  is currently offline MaxSMoke777
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I hate to bag on your box, Zorink, but I think mine has it beat. My version has an invisible seam when closed and, well it's virtually the same size, it costs about half as much. I made a demo video on YouTube, check them out here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq1Gj2_skGI

On a related note, Zorink's box is just as big a copy-right violation as my box, and should be taken down.

Also, please note that almost ALL of my creations are original and owned completely by me. I only made the Cube because I felt the merchandise available from Valve was several lacking. Have you tried to find a solid Companion Cube for sale? None available! The only thing available are fat, fuzzy dice in the shape of the Cube. Some of you might like the fluffy cubes... I do not.

I only made the Cube to put out another option for fans of the game. Since Valve won't speak to me on the matter of licensing, I'll have to take it down. Again, I find my great ideas shot down and shelved due to red-tape and bureaucracy. The story of my life.

I'm still hoping somebody at Shapeways can convince Valve that Shapeways is a legitimate manufacturer that can be trusted with their brand. I'd be happy with a few cents off every sale if I can provide the Portal fanbase with a better Cube for their money.

Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15165 is a reply to message #14863 ] Sat, 24 July 2010 02:07 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar MaxSMoke777  is currently offline MaxSMoke777
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I've pulled the Cubes out of my online store, but I think I have one Cube I should be able to leave up without issue. It's my Weighted Cube Dice:

http://www.shapeways.com/model/132248/weighted_cube_dice_v1e __1_8cm.html

Since it's a dice, it should be fine. After all, it's quite different from the real game Cube.
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15166 is a reply to message #15165 ] Sat, 24 July 2010 04:12 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Whystler  is currently offline Whystler
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Weighted dice!

-Whystler


Check out my website: http://tshawnjohnson.wordpress.com/
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15168 is a reply to message #14863 ] Sat, 24 July 2010 05:45 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Zorink  is currently offline Zorink
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Mine is now view only
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15173 is a reply to message #15166 ] Sat, 24 July 2010 08:51 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Drawn-SteelHero  is currently offline Drawn-SteelHero
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Whystler wrote on Sat, 24 July 2010 04:12

Weighted dice!

-Whystler


Yeah, it always rolls 6s. Wink
Re: Color Sandstone Companion Cube [message #15233 is a reply to message #15173 ] Mon, 26 July 2010 10:43 UTC Go to previous message
avatar chaitanyak  is currently offline chaitanyak
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awesome!
the cake is a bit hard to makeout.. but the way the box comes apart/opens is so cool!

 
   
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