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Re: Notes on scientifically comparative paleoposes
Having just replied to the kind of query that is appropriate, here is one
of the sort I object to. That's because email@example.com repeatedly
misrepresents what I said even when it is plain as day that he is not actually
responding to what I said, but to what he thinks I said. It begins right at the
In a message dated 3/17/11 11:52:55 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
I said "having different artists pose their skeletons in the same manner
is not scientific and is misleading."
Immediately after that statement email@example.com inserts "Really?
Just so I can be sure - you're the same Greg Paul who wrote _Predatory
Dinosaurs of the World_ with all the skeletons in the same pose, right?
Aside from the snarky tone, firstname.lastname@example.org is making it seem that I
think that it is not scientific when a given artist poses their side views in
the same manner to make them comparable they way I do. But that is obviously
far from what I said, and late in the post I note that a single artist doing
so is a good idea science wise. What I said above is that "having DIFFERENT
artists pose their skeletons" the same way. I then go on to detail why.
I said that "the point here is that for items to be truly comparable they
have to be consistently produced in methodology and accuracy, and basically
from the same source."
Immediately after that statement email@example.com inserts "So in other
words, you [GP] should be the only dino illustrator until you get too old to
hold a pencil?"
Note what firstname.lastname@example.org did here. It is a common tactic (often used by
biased media reporters) of setting up a false argument by making a false
and remarkably outlandish claim. I did not come close to saying that I should
be the only one doing dinoskeletons. I would never do that. All I said was
that for a given set of skeletons to be comparable that have to be done by
one person. Say four equally skilled paleoartists each do their own sets of
dinosaur skeletons. They will not be fully cross comparable with one another.
That means if a given author wants all the skeletons they use in a single
venue to be as cross comparable as possible, then he or she of course needs
to go to a single source who produces skeletons of consistent quality (a
comparable situation would be that if a modeler wants a truly comparable set of
1/48 Spitfires from Mark 1-22 he would have to limit himself to just one
high quality producer). If the artist prefers to use skeletons from a bunch of
artists by all means do so, just realize they will not be cross comparable
(same if one builds a bunch of Spitfires from different companies). It is
true that I am the only one that has done a skeleton for nearly every dinosaur
that one can be done for (according to my criteria) so I hope scientists
come to me, but if others want to do the work to build up a comparable set
then get out there and do it.
I said that "it is a career mistake for a paleoartist to miss building up
their own distinctive brand by patterning their images after someone else’s."
Immediately after that statement email@example.com inserts "So now homages
are bad too?
Yes, all homages are pure evil and all who do them should die!
Sorry, couldn't resist that. Again firstname.lastname@example.org is snarkily raising a
false claim about what I said, but his query is actually useful in that it
raises a notable point. Say one paleoartist really admires another's work
and wants to do an homage. Some artists might truly like their work being
"honored" like that. But be careful. Some artist do not. If they feel the
violates their rights they may take action of some sort. Especially if they
feel it impairs their income or reputation. Hey, I'm just stating the risks
one runs, it happens, so don't get after me about it. But where things
become a real problem is when homages become chronic to the degree they are
impairing the income of the artist who is not really being honored. What I
get is why I have to say this, I am only saying what all should already
I said that "Some have claimed my standard pose is not a de facto brand
because it is supposedly based on Bakker’s running Deinonychus. I have
explained elsewhere that is not really so. In any case RTB never used the pose
regular basis, so it was not a characteristic of his work
Immediately after that statement email@example.com inserts "So now people
have to use the same pose over and over again for it to matter/count?
Here is how this works. If someone wants to establish a brand one way to do
it is to come up with a logo/image, trademark it and plaster it over a lot
of product until it becomes recognizable. A way to develop a more informal
popular brand is to make some aspect of their art recognizable via reptition,
to the point that many who see and image will say "hey, that's a Greg
Paul!" Which of course is why a person who does so might prefer others not use
t same distinctive feature and muddy their waters. Think about this one. I
have done lots of dinosaurs in lots of poses. But almost all of them do not
trigger that "Greg Paul" impression, only a few iconic skeletal poses do.
And if someone happened to pose their set of dinosaur side views in a posture
that happened to be similar to a pose I happened to use at one point that is
OK because I have done so many images that it would be hard to avoid being
close to one of them. In any case it is a good idea to justify your own pose
by doing it for a technical reason like I did.