Interview with Haydn Shaughnessy of Ten Cubed an Haydn Shaughnessy Gallery
Using unlicensed imagery as entourage in your images can land you and your company in a hot water, but what other options exist out there? Tracking down artists or galleries to secure rights for each image can be time consuming and expensive, but other options are now available. We interviewed Haydn Shaughnessy to explain.
CGA: Tell us about yourself and your background.
HS: I started out in television making, programmes for the BBC and Channel 4 and I've also done a lot of consultancy around technological innovation. Right now for example I am a partner with one of the fastest growing social media agencies The Conversation Group. So I see the use of art work in visualisation from two points of view. One is practical - let's make it legal. The other is affirmative and promotional. Why not use great art work, innovative art work, to add to the quality of a client's project, to create buzz and to make a project much, much more newsworthy. Clients are going to need that kind of edge right now and we can help. bear in mind also if you get architects involved they can make use of the 3D world to model different art and installation objects for developers - you can extend your role as a visualisation company here.
CGA: How did the idea of a virtual image company come to be and how did you become involved with it.
HS: We see so many moves towards a 3D experience on the web that it would be foolish not to be involved. There's not only Google Sketchup but also IBM with a huge push to make the web 3D. People don't often realise IBM's influence in things Internet. Linux, the operating system for example, appeared to come out of the many thousands of programmers who support the Open Source movement. On the other hand IBM put over $2 billion into it. Likewise with the 3D web, IBM is spending big time. I would say we are only three years away from a time when all web sites are 3D and all navigation is 3D. Architectural visualisation companies will have to adapt quickly to an environment where 3D is normal. We can help with that adaptation. But more important we can improve the product in the process.
Image (above): home 2 by Dearbhail Connon
CGA: Many visualizations don't use licensed imagery in their scenes. What are the possible ramifications of doing this?
HS: The ramifications of using unlicensed imagery in visualisations are the same as using unlicensed imagery anywhere - and by the way the problem we see is not that imagery is unlicensed but that it is poor in quality. Images almost always carry copyright conditions and you are exposing your client to litigation if you do not respect copyright. Just as bad though a lot of companies use poor imagery rather than pay a small license fee to use great imagery.
CGA: What are the laws as they pertain to using exiting artwork in an architectural visualization?
HS: There are different kinds of licensing models out there, and not easy to summarise, but the basis of the law remains copyright. An artist retains copyright in a work so even if that work is sold, I mean the physical art work is sold, that does not give the buyer the right to duplicate or replicate that work. For example you cannot take a photograph of a work in your own home and use that in a visualisation. Remember also that images in visualisations will often appear in some form in a developer's overall marketing collateral, perhaps for example appearing in a pamphlet or in outdoor publicity. Works need to be licensed for those specific applications.
Image (left): The Alchemist
by Susan Kaprov
CGA: What is the process of securing licensed artwork from your company and how do you select artwork?
HS: There are two ways to work with us. We currently work with a stable of ten artists and we hope to grow that over time. You can see the works at www.galleryica.com where most of the artists are signed up for the visualisation process or at Ten Cubed, our Second Life gallery. We select artists to work with rather than specific works. The artists we work with are familiar with the digital domain and are comfortable, for example with their work being resized for a visualisation. In some cases the work is up there just for visualisation and might never have a real life existence. And the artists are adaptable enough to work with visualisation companies to create new works - for example for foyers or other showpiece areas of a development.
HS: We generally license images for use over a 12 month period. Specifically a client can make three uses of an image in that period without relicensing, that is use an image up to three times in one visualisation or in three visualisations. And we allow resizing. The license does not extend to using the image for other forms of marketing collateral other than in an incidental way - for example if an image is seen tangentially in other marketing collateral (for example because it is in a shot of a foyer) that is fine but if is is specifically used in a pamphlet for publicity purposes that needs a different license.
Image (left): Inniscarra Dam by Ryan Whalley
CGA: How can someone see the available imagery that can be licensed?
HS: Go to www.galleryica.com. Most of those images right now are available. We will be removing those that are not over the next few days.
CGA: Given the wide variety of budgets in architectural visualization, is licensing custom artwork for a project always practical or accessible?
HS: It might cost you as little as $300 spread over 3 projects. it's not going to break the bank.
CGA: How can the client become involved in the process should they wish to obtain the actual artwork used in the visualization?
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