This is not a fun post to write, but I feel it is necessary to raise awareness about an issue that has been going on for more years, so I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read it. It's a long one.
As many of you know, I put a ton of effort into developing Rapid Rig tools and supporting my amazing users. This is a side hustle for me, and I do it mostly out of my love and passion for rigging.
Which brings me to the uncomfortable topic of this post: Rapid Rig Appropriation. For Rapid Rig: Advanced and Rapid Rig: Modular, the licensing agreement is for internal and production use only and rigs and code are not to be distributed. However, a lot of people use my auto rig tools to rig models and then sell or upload them as their own rigs, intentionally violating EULA*.
These Rapid Rig's are usually modified to not look like Rapid Rig so the builder can take full credit. These are readily available on sites like Agora.com, Gumroad.com and Artstation.com. Some are free, some are for sale.
Several Rapid Rigs have been removed from Agora.com after I reported it to them. Generally they have been good at dealing with this, but it has always been on me to investigate and report. These sites do not audit uploaded assets, so they have been complicit by creating a platform for these people to claim ownership of my creations, in direct violation with the EULA.
But please understand that I am all for a strong CG community. It is this community that has given me so much. I try to give back through free tools, teaching at BCIT here in Vancouver, and giving rigging support on sites like Reddit.
Reddit is usually how I come across these rigs being passed off by others with no credit to me. And frankly, it sucks.
For example, I was reading this Reddit post today, where someone was having an issue with scaling a Spider Gwen rig. Immediately, I recognized the attribute names in the screenshots. The person who generated the rig only went as far as changing the appearance of the controls, but not the attributes.
For comparison, here is Rapid Rig: Modular 2 of the Gwen rig with modified controls, downloaded from Agora and Gumroad. Note the custom attributes on the MAIN_Ctrl:
And here is Rapid Rig: Modular 2, freshly built in a new scene with the biped template. Same controls, same attributes, but with original shapes:
So while the control shapes have been swapped and a couple extra controls were added to the hood, this is very much made with my auto rig system.
The person even signed the image of the concealed Rapid Rig on the Gumroad page while taking full credit for the deformation and no mention of the rig actually being Rapid Rig: Modular. But they made sure to not take credit for the modeling. So that's good at least.
This is not even close to the only individual to do this. Just the latest one I stumbled across.
I could not imagine taking credit for or making a profit off of other people. Any time I use a model not made by me in any of my videos or files, I make sure to give credit to the talented people I collaborate with.
For any character artists out there who would like to have their characters rigged and distributed using Rapid Rig, please get in touch with me directly. I'd love to work with you and make sure everyone gets the credit they deserve.
If you made it this far, I really, really appreciate it. And I'd love to hear others' perspective on this so post a comment if you have any thoughts.
*EULA: End User License Agreement