Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

:icontrackdancer: More from Trackdancer

Featured in Collections

Journals by SavageFrog

Journal Entries and Literature by Link-Pikachu

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
March 8, 2013
Submitted with Writer


12,100 (8 today)
57 (who?)
MMD T-REX by Trackdancer

DeviantArts (DA) is probably unique in several ways, but the thing that I've found strangest and have had the most difficulty with grappling with is their tolerance(?) of "rips". Which is why I think this could be an interesting discussion.

"Rips" are models taken from commercial computer and video games and used for "something else". Make no mistakes about it, probably 99.99% of rips are illegal in the sense that they were "stolen" from something else. Which, given the existence of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), makes it kind of strange that DA tolerates any rips on their servers at all. May be they really do deserve the kind of reputation that they receive on other forums on the Internet, or they just aren't making enough money to be worth the bother to sue. Who knows? The fact remains is that at the moment DA seems to be a safe haven for rippers and nowhere are they perhaps more visible than in the MMD field.

Then again, there's another side to this coin. Or more specifically other sides, so we will briefly look at some of these. However, before we continue further, I think that it is important for me to state clearly my own position on ripping as in fact I am of two minds on this subject.

First off, I do use ripped models. A browse through my gallery will show this as fact. Specifically, those of dinosaurs in particular as I like dinosaurs. But I don't support all rippers. In fact I divide them into two distinct groups.

There are those who rip models, actually I'll use the word "steal" models from others or other sources, do very little work on them and then distribute them in an attempt, I believe, to drive up their page views. Which is why you may find certain models made by well known MMD modelers whose work have been "lifted", slightly rehashed such as being converted from x-files into PMD files and then re-released for downloads without either permission or acknowledgement. This is plain stealing and I do not approve or it and will not support those who engage with such practices. Yet, many in the MMD community don't have any hesitation to do so, which kind of makes you wonder sometimes as to the moral standards prevalent these days. Do we really need to "collect them all" so badly that in the process we are willing to damage the goodwill that our Japanese counterparts have been so willing to show us in the past?

This type of ripping, and the support, thereof, can be extremely harmful to our hobby. First off, it damages our relationship with our Japanese counterparts. Just as we tend to think of the Japanese as an aggregate group (which we really shouldn't), they tend to see us, those of us "Overseas", as an aggregate group (which they really shouldn't either). So when someone does something bad over here, there is the tendency for the Japanese MMDers to find us all guilty. Especially when we rip their work, redistribute them and don't even acknowledge that it was their work to begin with. Yet, these items still exist on the DA servers.

Why do you think that is the case?

In a nutshell, it's not that DA doesn't care. Their policy is very simple, for the most part they don't police what's put on to their servers. It's an almost impossible task anyway. And don't go around reporting a work as stolen, they won't do anything unless you happen to be the copyright holder or they receive a DMCA takedown order (which can only be taken out by the legal copyright owner).

So this brings us back to game rippers. Here's a tricky one. The game companies themselves may not actually frown on rippers. They won't say it out loud but; unlike their music industry counterparts; they may have realized that game rips are beneficial in at least three ways:

[ 1 ] It indirectly promotes their games, especially if the ripper does the right thing by acknowledging the source of the models. Rips can be pushed into other areas where the game company's original promotions never reached.

[ 2 ] They recognize them as "fan art" and how can this not be a good thing?In fact some game developers have actually contacted rippers to praise them or even encourage them ... tacit consent at the very least don't you think?

[ 3 ] By tolerating rippers, they're protecting their industry's future. Sound strange? How do you think many computer game modelers started? Probably by looking at models that they like and seeing how they were built perhaps? Artists through out history have learnt by looking at, copying, or otherwise examining the works of their peers. How is ripping in this context any different?

Also of note, taking a single model from a game doesn't actually harm the product and can be construed as "Fair Use". As for redistributing the model. Well, that's something for the games company to decide as to whether it is harmful or not. Legally it's definitely very dodgy (as in = software piracy).

So let's look at the T-Rex model again (image at top of page). It's one that I've used in several of my skits. The model's copyrights belong to Universal Pictures, it being of the T-Rex from the movie. It's from the game Jurassic Park (which I do not own and do not intend to as I don't play much by way of computer games). The model was ripped by Valforwing, one of the more prolific and respectful of the DA MMD rippers (which is why I support his work). Not only does he acknowledge his sources, he takes pains to ensure that the rips are trouble free and properly rigged. If you think rigging a 3D model from scratch using PMD is easy, I suggest you try it. Take it from me, it's real work.

Game rippers also take models from games that people have long since stopped playing. In this context, they breathe new life into old models that have long become digital dust. Some of these models were "state-of-the-art" in their time, and might still be good in ours. It's nice to see these works still around, and for some people, their manifestation in ripped form might be the only way that these models would ever be seen anyway. So in this context, rippers function as digital preservationists.

But game rippers can also do a lot of harm to MMD, and I've notice this. Those rippers who steal work and those who are just too lazy to develop real skills have a tendency to stifle the efforts of original model makers. Which is why probably the Japanese MMDers have (possibly) hundreds of original model makers and those of us "overseas" have very few in comparison. We have a lot of people very talented with editing existing models, but how often do we as a community actually generate "original" content?

Personally, I will continue to support rippers like Valforwing as those like him actually do bring real benefits to the community (besides being respectful in their activities). As for those who rip willy-nilly just to increase their page views, I suspect they will eventually go away anyway. "Attention-whores" usually do as they are forever going to go where they feel they're going to get the most attention.

Overall I see the future of MMD "Overseas" in a positive light. It might have taken awhile, and the community seems definitely to have shrunk, but at the same time, I've seen the quality of work go up. This can only bode well for the future

There's also one more type of rip I think that is worth discussing. These would be the rips of Miku and other Vocaloids from current game products. Opinion is going to be divided on this, but this is my POV. I don't support ripping models from concurrent products as I think its harmful to the copyright owners as well as the MMD community. If someone likes those models that much, they can and should go buy the game. There are plenty of excellent legitimate model choices for Miku, Rin, Neru and the others already available. There are no real benefits from adding these types of rips to the list of available models if you really think about it since to be able to use these models, you can just buy the product. These products were made specifically for fans of Vocaloids, so we really shouldn't shaft the developers in this manner. 

Once again, it is those of us "Overseas" that's doing this and thus we will probably remain the laughing stock for the Japanese MMDers who will be reinforced in the idea that all those of us "Overseas" can do is to steal the works of others. I also think that it is a big pity that respectable website's like Citrus Smoothie supports these types of rips and edits. If we are to grow as a community, we really do need to look closely at what we're really doing. By all means, support rippers that actually bring a positive contribution to the community and just as importantly, support (or at least encourage) creators of original content who I've seen time and time again, blithely ignored by the community.

It's not that we don't have original model makers, motion makers or even people who make original music for MMD. Most of these are having to start from scratch and most will be on the long learning curve, so they do need active encouragement and support. Rome was not built in a day. Yet, people don't appreciate their efforts and are happy to use illegal products as they're too greedy or too selfish to fully understand that by only supporting those who would do anything to provide what is perceived to be needed "now", ultimately they end up hurting the hobby as a whole as it stunts original creative works that are literally struggling to get attention.

The T-Rex model is not a rip but a resource from a modding community that Valforwing then used to convert for use in MMD. I have left the original text unmodified, but correctly, Valforwing is a "modder" not a "ripper".  Apologies for the mislabeling.


Chibi Gumi: Mamama ([link])
T-Rex (from Jurassic Park game): MMD conversion from an existing modding resource by ~Valforwing
Scenery: Batokin Island by Batokin
Sky: Internet wallpaper
MME: serious shader only
Rendered in MMD 7.39 with post effects done in Photoshop 7

Citrus-Smootie ([link]) is operated by *Xoriu and is a rich source for MMD model links.

A very partial list of original "Overseas" makers, modders and rippers of MMD models, motions, videos and other MMD related items whose work you may want to check out.

There are probably many others who make original content for MMD but seriously I don't keep a track of everyone. If you want them (or yourself) added to the list here, just add their names in the comments and I'll consider adding them later. This list is totally subjective from my POV; so tough if you don't agree. I won't be listing model editors, not that their efforts aren't important, but they aren't the topic of this discussion.

Original Content Makers:


Responsible Rippers/Modders:

Add a Comment:
ChocoFudge98 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually I myself informed SEGA about the ripping of PD and PDF and they didn't seem to care when they replied. Just said to not use for maligned things, commercial, etc
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2014
That's VERY interesting that they did that, but it makes sense.
DonDeloro Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014
Xoriu is back on DAAzurill 
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
Indeed she is. :)
DonDeloro Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014
You've probably not looked in your comments for a long time.
But I have watched with much interest in your gallery.
You're doing a really good job.
Very great interest I have always dance and camera motion (Alice + Gumi in Concert).
If I may I contact you again via Note.
You're already long since under my favorites.
Yes and for Xoriu the same applies.

Happy Easter for you

PS: I also have a beautiful video made ​​with AliceMushroomBear- Thanku 
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014
Feel free to note me if you wish to take a discussion into a more private arena. I have no problems with that practice.
BubblyBunnyBash Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I am slowly on my way to beginning to work on my own models. What I'd like to do, first, however, is get some basic models set up with pre-made resources so that I can actually see how it may look in the end when I'm done. *sigh* I have a long way to go if i want to make the entire thing from scratch.. In order for them to make a proper debut, though, I plan to have them dance to songs already made as I don't entirely know how to compose from scratch yet and haven't made their voices... q n q;;
MichiKairin Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Student Artist
I don't ever use ripped models. The only time that I even load up a ripped model is to see the details so that I can make a replica of it in meta.
I mean, some are okay but people tend to forget to read the creator's rules. For example, most ts3 mods forbid people to distribute and edit their stuff.
Trackdancer Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
It's a tough area. My current personal stance is not to support/use models from "current" games, but I'm a little bit more receptive to models from games that are no longer sold. In those instances, in some ways, the rippers I feel are more like preservationist and extending the "shelf-life" of models that would otherwise never been seen again after their time in the spotlight.
TwinkleTwinkleNova11 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013
Interesting article and now, thanks to you, I now have a few people to keep an eye on. :D

It's a shame that :iconsachishirakawa:'s stages are no longer available for download. I really like her stages.

I have used plenty of rips in my deviations, mostly because the majority of MMD models I download come from dA. I rarely can go to a few Japanese Websites due to my wifi. Not to mention, I rarely download anything at all. I have a bad habit of re-using old materials, again and again, I guess.(To be quite honest, I find myself using Animasa and LAT models a lot) I definitely need to use some more original models and other datas. :XD:

However, while I do agree with most of the points you've shown, I don't really think it's the people's fault that original content creators are ignored. Most of the people who use MMD simply are having fun so I don't think they put in much thought or are aware of what they are doing. Like you said, people just go to the place where they can easily get what they need. I've only been in the MMDC for a while, but I've already seen quite a lot of young MMD users, so that may also be a factor. Just putting my opinion out there.

However, I do agree that original content makers should be at least recognized, because they put lots of effort into their models and you're right, it's a long learning curve and can be really frustrating at times. I've definitely learned that.
Add a Comment: