Similarity of artworks

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by Anasrafiq, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Anasrafiq
    Anasrafiq New Member

    Have you ever created a design or artwork or anything from your pure creative mind and you found out later that somebody else has already made almost the same idea ?
    If yes does it make you feel hesitating to go on working on it? or is it just me?
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Every design is 1 in a million. Unfortunately there are over 7 billion people. So it depends on how similar, and how complex the design is in my mind. When I'm in a designing mood, I stay away from the It Arrived section, because I don't want to be too influenced by an existing design.
  3. PeregrineStudios
    PeregrineStudios Well-Known Member
    Yes, this exact thing happened to me a while back - I had designed a ring, and then saw that someone else had a very similar idea. Luckily, they were different ENOUGH that I felt it would be clear I hadn't simply copied, and I spoke with the designer of the other model beforehand as well.
  4. dragonsdesire
    dragonsdesire New Member
    Before I took creating figures, sculptures, toys, accessories as something I should seriously turn into an income generator, I was working on a video game project (unfortunately due to financial troubles, I really have to quickly make money now and so my 3D models are becoming figures for sale). My game was going to be an action beat-em-up game with a counter attack mechanic. A few months later, Batman Arkham Asylum came out with the same fighting mechanic that I had in mind. I also felt a little sad and down because how could an independent game developer compete with a big triple A company in terms of production speed?

    This made me look around and analyze things in the world a little more closely. Later on, I figured out that progress is always built upon works or ideas from a previous era and inspiration or modern needs are implemented that makes the thing "different". For example, we can say that fighting games are very common. We have Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Virtua Fighters, Tekken, Soul Blade and more. Yes, they are all fighting games, they have very similar gameplay mechanics. You press a series of buttons and combos happen. You can block, counter, and do super special moves in almost all of those games.

    Still, you cannot completely say that they are all simply cheap clones of each other. Each of these games have their own "spirit" or style. Street Fighter focuses on combos and most recently implemented an "Ink" art style. Mortal Kombat's trademark are the ridiculous ultra violent fatalities that you can perform on the loser. Virtua Fighter focuses on trying to simulate real world martial arts and that's why it doesn't have fireballs flying all around the place. Soul Blade focuses on weapon based battles where the fighters use swords, nunchucks, poles, and whatever weapon of torment is available.

    Music is also an area where it's very easy to spot similarities from one song to another. For example, chord changes, the II-V-Is or the circle of fifths, sometimes even the melody and rhythm. With just 7 keys on a keyboard, just how many chord progressions and alterations can the music world have? Still, a lot of song writers and singers can make these simple "cycles" their own. They give their creations their own style or way of singing and playing. For example, listen to how Bill Evans (my idol jazz pianist) plays the song called "My Funny Valentine". The lyrics to the song are the same, but it's the way he plays it that makes it different from, say a version of the song played by Keith Jarret or another pianist.

    The story world is also full of cliches. When there's a princess, there's always going to be a prince charming, a witch, a dragon, or some kind of royal problem that has to be solved, and most of the time the solution is love in all of its simplicity. In romantic comedies, they usually start out with the guy and girl meeting up and then getting along. Suddenly a problem arises which makes the guy or the girl look like a jerk and their relationship falls apart. Of course by the end of the movie, most of the time the two of them accept that nobody's perfect and they still love each other so they make up. The formula is there, but each movie can be different by giving its characters different personalities or quirks. For example, Mila Kunis might be playing as a very liberated lady in one film, but in another she could be the most caring and loving person who would also accept someone as crude as Ted the naughty bear.

    Although originality is a very wonderful and important thing, it's becoming harder to create something entirely new simply because there are already billions of people around the world and a lot of people have similar ideas. It's nobody's fault so don't blame yourself if you come up with an "original" idea only to find out that someone has already done it before you. The important thing is you don't "rip off" somebody's idea intentionally and claim it your own. Inspiration is good but it's very different from simple copying.

    Have fun creating :)
  5. PeregrineStudios
    PeregrineStudios Well-Known Member
    A very long reply, and a very helpful one! I think more people should read the above comment, it really stresses what creativity is. Let's face it, humans have been alive for long enough that we've pretty much done everything at least once. It's not so much about finding your own ideas as it is about bringing your own unique spin to the things that have already been tried.