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Content Theft - oooh how it hurts!

Sunday, February 3, 2008 , Posted by Suzanne Powell at 9:30 PM

There is a lot of content theft going on right now. And every content creator is panicking and hoping that they aren't next. There are those that think that everything in SL should be free, there are those who think that if someone spends a lot of time and effort on an item they should be rewarded, and then there are those who think that they can just rip anything off and resell it without repercussions (slime!). I have to tell you that creating even the most simple of objects/items take a long while and should at least be rewarded in appreciation if not then a monetary way. I want to walk you through the steps it takes just to create ONE piece of clothing for SL - just so you see exactly how painful it is to see your hard work stolen and resold for next to nothing or for way more that you'd charge on any given day.

Step one - Concept:

Spend a day or two coming up with a design for your item - let's go with a top. Hours spent on fabric, texture and fold - thumbnail sketches and initial design

Step two - Creation:

10 - 20 hours Creating and implementing the design in Photoshop. This ain't easy and it takes time. Even with a template or an existing design I have found that 10 hours is minimum.

Step three - testing:

5 hours - testing and checking to see if the seams match or if the pattern works in-world. Yes you can check in the SL previewer, but it doesn't always show all of the lovely UVW mapping problems. On average I spend close to L$100 per outfit just uploading the test images.

Step four - Creation In-World:

Once you have worked all of the glitches and you have made all of the patterns, colors and textures you want for that outfit; then you have to upload all of the images and make the item. Fun - this takes a really long time. The Roman Halter has 56 different textures/patterns, which means I had to upload 56 images and create 56 tops, 56 undershirts, and 56 jackets with that item. Tired yet? Hope not there's more...

Step Five - Set permissions:

Step Five can be done BEFORE four and should be if you have more than 1 item, usually I grab a top or item I've done previously and copy it into a new folder and rename it to the new item's name. This way I know the permissions are correct - although it doesn't hurt to check a few times, just in case SL borked something.

Step Six - Package the items:

Yes - whether you use vendors or signs you will need to put the items in a package or prim. If you use single prim signs, your "packaging" stops here. I usually put the item in a shopping bag or a seasonal object. I also make sure that the object has no mod/no copy permissions - I have had scripters actually use my prims to create "drop inventory" prims - YIKES!

Step Seven - Model Item and create signs:

You are not donewith Photoshop. You have to model the item and then go back into Photoshop and create the sign. Although this isn't too hard it can and does take a lot of time. You have to pick out hair, jewelry, shoes and make sure the makeup and lighting are good - just like RL. I usually take at least 50-100 pics of an item (3-4 poses and 1 pic of each pose in each color/pattern). Then I create the sign in Photoshop - lately I have been using the texture of the item as part of the sign. I also try to include 3 poses - front, back and full length. This isn't easy and it takes time - I hate that content thieves make light of any of this...


Step Eight - Put Items in vendor:

Yep - I use vendors, mainly because I usually create several iterations of the same item. Roman Halter - 56 plus 6 fatpacks, cross-tops 40 and 5 different fatpacks etc.. If I had a prim for every item I would quickly run out of space and prims. So yes I put items in a vendor, fill out the card (which can take a lot of time if there are more than 5 -10 items), test the vendor and then finally put in my shop(s). Oh yeah for each one of my signs I have to upload those textures too - so do the math, if I created 10 tops and had to create 10 signs and already uploaded 5-10 textures to check seams and other mistakes, the cost just to upload that item is 25-30 L.

Step Nine - Send the notice:

If you don't advertise, nothing happens. When I create a new item I send a notice on FashionCon and My own update group - plus I send the item to 5 - 10 bloggers and post a message on my own blog and put an advertisement on SLShopper.

Step Ten - Where you goin? You're not done yet! Put items in SLExchange box and OnRez box

You thought you were done! HA! You have to put items in the SLExchange box and/or OnRex box so that you reach another market... Once in the box you have to go to those respective websites, create those items, descriptions and upload the sign/image there too - more of what you just did! Yay!

I think I got them all.. Yeah I did. Anyway I am not including the tier fee, or land expense, not to mention the subscribe-o-matic, rent, advertising cost etc.. Let's not forget the internet cost, computer cost, software cost, texture and material cost (buying model pics, buying textures etc.). I mean the time and effort it takes just to make and market an item is enough to make one cry - yeah we do it for money but honestly most of it is because we love to create! If thieves keep on making it harder and harder to keep our heads above water then there will be fewer and fewer of us here. Support the original creator and only buy from them - they deserve it, they are the ones who put all of the effort into it.

P.S. - Yes I do use the SLCP previewer but it still has limited capability as far as showing pixel stretch and sometimes seams may look good on it and not in-world. As far as the Beta-Grid is concerned - I have just never really tried it - it seems time consuming, so as soon as I catch a break I will install it and give it a run. Thanks for any comments and suggestion though - I do appreciate it and I look forward to more. :)

Currently have 2 comments:

  1. Laynie says:

    I showed a friend how to make clothes in SL. She wondered why I'm never at parties, playing. So I showed her the whole process- basic design, basic outline, drop in fabric, shade/wrinkle/etc, upload, make into clothing, photo, back into photoshop...

    She got bored (she was sitting next to me in RL) and said, "Man, this is work!" I said yes... yes it is.

    Oh- I find SLCP is an amazing tool. It lets you save money on uploads by previewing your textures before you upload. It's not perfect, bu it's a great start.

  1. I think this is a great post, Sioxie! It is so true that we really do spend time on our designs, its a bit similar to rl clothes making: drafts, outline, shades, shadow, fabrics,textures bla bla bla...all of these things need so much time to prepare, its not like you click once, the actual product comes out.

    So no matter if our release are good or not, i just think that our efforts and time we use should always counted in; more likely to be something that people should appreciate about it.

    People will start seeing the point when they actually try making clothes. These content thiefs are just purely horrible. :( oh nnnooo!