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View Full Version : Mark J Taylor **WARNING**



jonny
08-26-2003, 03:42 PM
This is a warning to anyone who may be in contact with a person called Mark J Taylor, as well as a general warning about protecting your work.

If you're in contact with Mark J Taylor, he is not to be trusted, and you should, under no circumstances, send him any source files of your work.

His recently posted Freddy Kruger head, Angelina Jolie, and this head http://www.turbosquid.com/HTMLClient/FullPreview/FullPreview.cfm/ID/202138/Action/FullPreview
(that he bought from Turbosquid and then claimed as his own), are in fact created by Vladimir Mastilovic, [email protected]



Recently Mark J Taylor wrote to me claiming to be a lead artist at MGM Studios. He asked if he sent me his Freddy Kruger model, if I'd send him my aboriginal model. Because I'd seen, and been impressed with, this model on CGTalk, I believed him, and we swapped models. This is something I've done before with other 3d artists, so I thought nothing of it at the time. After more chatting, Mark asked for more of my work (yes the source model and scene files, not just pics/anims) under the pretense that he wanted to offer me a job, and that his superiors would want to see those files. I sent him a couple more things as we chatted, as he seemed knowledgable, skilled and was very convincing.

He told me he was working on a short martial arts movie pitch for MGM, and sent me some concepts he'd done. One was an obvious copy of the old man from "Ninja Scroll" which I immediately questioned. He told me that he he hadn't in fact done that concept, and that he'd confront the person who had. This should have been my first warning, since he'd put his signature on the image.

The next day he sent me the following image (on the right), saying he'd created this character from scratch in 2 hours, using my model as a guide. It was obvious to me that he'd merely slightly modified my original model and when I questioned him about it, he admitted only to using the original model's feet. The fact that he still said he'd created it, and especially saying in only 2 hours, was the first thing that made me question his authenticity, and coupled with the concept image of the previous day, I started to become wary.

http://www.zerogravity.com.au/temp/AB_Comp.jpg

I investigated him a little, and through the course of a few emails, found out that not only did he "NOT" work for MGM, that the work that he'd been posting on CGTalk and Newtek forums, and been giving out to people, was not his at all. He'd also been sending the above image to others as his own work.

He tells each person that he works at a different place. To date he's claimed to have worked for MGM/Disney, N2Productions, Id Software and Ravensoft, that I know about. He's convinced at least 4 people to send him their source files, under the pretense of offering work, which he then proceeds to send on to others as his own work, enhancing the appearance of legitimacy. He has also commissioned work earlier this year which he still has not paid for.



On that note I'd like to offer a general warning. Keep hold of all your source files, and don't give them to anyone unless you know, or have proof of, exactly who they are.

If anyone asks you for 3d files, source files of any kind (including layered photoshop files for 2d work) then the chances are, they're dodgy.

All prospective employers are happy with imagery to show the capabilities of a person, none should want or need to see source files, at least until the later stages of negotiations.

If someone you don't know, or that claims to be representing a company or studio, but isn't emailing from the company email, asks you for files, politely tell them that it's your policy not to send source files to anyone. If they are legit, they'll understand.

jonny

xtrm3d
08-26-2003, 04:02 PM
hi fellow lightwaver ..
i have to sadely admit that i am one of his " victime.."
he told me that he worked the last 14 month at ID on doom 3...
and i was dumb enough to send him one of my latest model ..

but now the truth is out and he cannot hide anymore..

in matter of fact .. he contacted me today over icq to appologize..
and told me his side of the story.... and the biggest remorse he have for having lying to so many people...and have used theyr work . . . .

noo.. no.. really i would not want to be i his skin ..
cause if he did any money from teh work of someon else.. he should get some mail from theyr lawyer soon..


like kretin, i think that the people should be warned..

but it seem.. thatteh guys learned from this.. !! ( at least i hope )

facial deluxe
08-26-2003, 04:35 PM
I think I'm gonna puke....

Noclar7
08-26-2003, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by facial deluxe
I think I'm gonna puke....

haha..rofl

Noclar7
08-26-2003, 04:42 PM
on a serious note , these people dont last long...

WilliamVaughan
08-26-2003, 05:03 PM
Well...if he wanted to be noticed it sure worked....he made front page of cgtalk.com


what is this world coming to :(

Elmar Moelzer
08-26-2003, 05:39 PM
Uh oh!
People like this one are making me angry.
It is so sad things like these are happeneing more and more often lately.
I have fallen for one of this type too a few years ago.
He claimed to be in real trouble as his LW- artist left him in the middle of a project and he needed a model. Well I did everything for him within 2 days for just 300 $ as I really wanted to help this guy out. Well, in the end he got everything and jsut disappeared without paying me even the few dollars I asked for it.
Then there has been the case of those chinese guys taking renders from other people and creating box- art for graphics cards from them. Some great and famous artists had real problems getting to their right.
Just recently I saw the webpage of a croation company, that had renders by other people on their page. I emmediately recognized the work of some well known LWers there. These guys were even too lazy or too stupid to remove the names and logos of the original artists from the images.
I think that we all are too used to the community as it used to be a few years ago, with mostly professionals and true artists (in mind) in it.
Nowadays there are so many wannabes and people that want to make quick money or something and we arent used to that.
Also this business has become much tougher lately and I have seen quite a few people, great artists being frustrated (to a point that they left the industry) by this.
The internet has become tougher too lately. I have never seen so many viruses and webpage- hacks happening as have happened lately. This is all pure senseless destruction of other peoples hard work. The hacking of the lightwavegroup was a recent example.
I mean that it is not a real achievement for anyone to hack into a webpage like that and then years back hackers would not destroy everything but just do it for sports. But the guy who hacked into Lightwave- group deleted everything up there, including great tutorials and discussions that are now lost forever.
On the sci.space groups a very honorable long- time - member is being attacked by someone who is using his name and posting things that I dont want to say here. This has caused him a lot of troubles.
Still there are some great people arround and many of them can be found here and this gives me hope for the future.
CU
Elmar
PS: Hey William, isnt there anything NT can do about this Mark J Taylor? I mean he obviously is using LW. Does he have a license?

anieves
08-26-2003, 05:46 PM
You know, this really blows, it just takes an *** hole to mess up the whole community. I for one have asked other ppl to share models and that sort of thing, proton and xtrm3d in specific and I respect their work and would never use them in such fashion. Morals and ethical standards are extremeley important as this guy is finding out now.

Thanks for the heads up.

riki
08-26-2003, 07:02 PM
ASSET PROTECTION NEEDED

As a feature request would it be possible for Newtek to come up with some sort of asset protection stategy. Like users being able to embed copyright info into scene and object files? It would be great to workshop some ideas on this front. See the thread at

http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=10055

siproductions
08-26-2003, 07:04 PM
Thanks for letting us know. I'm sorry this is happening, it's just to bad.

Titus
08-26-2003, 08:10 PM
Riki: The best protection is not share your models. All these guys submited their models voluntarily.

If you share your models so widely like proton does then nobody will try to steal them.

Wade
08-26-2003, 08:17 PM
Jonny,

Very sorry to here that you have been had by this guy, and thanks for taking the time to give the rest of us a heads up.

On the bright side I have been inspired by the work and kindness of this community, and others that I do think this guy is the exception and not the rule. I really like your frog(s) on CG talk nice work.

Wade

A Mejias
08-26-2003, 09:15 PM
NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER !!!

Never give your work to anyone unless they pay you in advance!
Never do work for free!
Never do work on "spec!"
Never do work for "deferred payment!"
Never do work without a written contract or at least a proposal!
Never do work for someone without checking them out!

There aren't only many individuals that will take your work without paying, but there are plenty of production and other companies that make a living and who's practice is to take advantage of "starving artists" and other creative professionals, because they KNOW as a whole we are ignorant of business practices.

I've seen this happen over and over and over again for more than 20 years now. It's happened to me and every other creative professional I know. I've given this advice and pointed people to the information so many times I've lost count. Some of us learn from other's mistakes, some from their own mistakes and some never learn and help to perpetuate the merry-go-round of rip-offs and low-balling. This is one those areas where if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

I STRONGLY recommend you all join the Graphics Artists Guild or at least buy the read and follow their "Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines" http://www.gag.org/

In the mean time you should all get a lawyer and sue him! I'm not kidding! Make and example of this guy. If you need a good lawyer in the NYC or LA areas I can recommend some.

Sigh.

TSpyrison
08-26-2003, 09:22 PM
Itís a shame people like that can ruin a good thing. Some of us, no matter how much we want to be using Lightwave for a business and making money with it, are merely using it as a hobby and for ****s and giggles. Then someone like that, ruins it for the rest of us. They suck.

richpr
08-26-2003, 09:33 PM
I really can't understand people wanting show off with other people's skills/work, claiming it as their own... Sad...

I mean, what do you hope to gain? And to even think that it won't be found out... ;)

Funny, as there was some discussion already around "his" Psychopathic Dude... However, we tend to give people the benefit of the doubt (a nagging suspicion remains)...

cholo
08-26-2003, 10:12 PM
I have mixed feelings about people's reactions to situations like this. On the one hand, it's a fact that impersonating someone else and taking credit for other people's work is wrong, period.
However, a bigger can of worms is now open and that is the sharing and copyright issue.

I personally find that sharing is one of the best things that has come out of the internet. It opens up the possibility for unlimited potential in creativity and exploration by artists all over the globe. For example, say you designed a great character and someone, elsewhere on the planet had a great story for that specific character to play, and someone else had the skill to animate this story. Sharing has the potential to allow us for this and more. Even more so because when you have access to shared digital content you can explore your own creativity with someone else's talent on top, thus CREATING SOMETHING NEW (this is important because it's not just the original creator's work involved anymore when something like this happens, but more work is added on top of the original.) It's like teamwork with people with whom you would have never had the chance to make teams with in the first place.

Of course it's only fair for EVERY party involved to get due credit and compensation if applicable. And there's even more challenges involved, because not only is it very much human nature to sometimes be overzealous of our own interests, leading to greed in extreme cases (RIAA anyone?), but also artists have a tendency to desire control over the use of their work for purposes other than those thought of by themselves.

But I diverge. The key word here is potential. I think it's time we start shedding off our fears and start sharing our work (and possibly risk being ripped off) and remain open minded.
I know I do, and I have posted some of my work on turbosquid for free on several occasions, and will continue to do so every time I consider something I create to be of good enough quality to justify it's place in cyberspace, as well as to open up possibilities for my work to be a part of more than I am willing or able to make it a part of.

:) Be happy people, success is a journey, not a destination, or so they say, hehehe.

novadesigns
08-26-2003, 11:13 PM
Yeah this is really sad. First STRIKE and now this doofus. :rolleyes:

You know we have (well... had, but will have again soon) a monthly modeling contest over at my website (lwg3d.org) where we take several nominated models and critique and finally judge them. Those of us doing the judging are all experience modelers and professionals. In spite of that we still get Poser models, purchased models from internet model vendors, and outright stolen work submitted to us for critique and review.

And every single time we catch and expose them for their fraud. You'd think that doing that enough times would disuade people from continuing to do that at the very least on our web forum. But no. They keep trying to fake people out to get attention. :rolleyes:

It really boggles the mind.

We very nearly cancelled our contests because of this. But we felt it was better for the community to continue to offer the valuable critique. Its also good to not only promote the really excellent modelers we have at LWG, but to continue to root out the bad guys and get them tossed out of the CG community.

archiea
08-26-2003, 11:38 PM
Gee, Jonny, I guess you should be flattered, as the saying goes about being imitated....

:(

Fact is, windbags, cheats and gloryhounds DO get far, I hate to say. I had the pleasure of calling a few of them bosses....

This.... CRAP....... regarding his cover work on CG channel. Well, the internet is a wonderful, creative democracy. And like any other "free" society, you are going to get a few that abuse it....

The only consolation for the victims is to know how many more times this kind of sharing has been beneficial. Hopefully, with the internet getting smaller with watering holes like here and CGtalk, the crap will get sifted then flushed....

I say that we shouid inform CGChannel of this issue and have them use the same forum that allowed this individual undue fame and credit be used to expose him. A bit of an eye for an eye.

Matt
08-27-2003, 01:59 AM
flippin 'eck! I thought he was a genuine waver, I'm very surprised and dissappointed.

:rolleyes:

Alex Rooth
08-27-2003, 05:43 AM
A Mejias

Just out of interest, do you really find that you are able to get people to pay for work in advance? This would seem pretty unusual to me, as the person/company you are working for is also taking a risk with you (assuming they are genuine too). Wouldn't the best you could expect be some kind of staged payment system?

Best regards

Alex

riki
08-27-2003, 07:04 AM
Well at least we now know to be more careful in future.

anieves
08-27-2003, 07:05 AM
Originally posted by Alex Rooth
A Mejias

Just out of interest, do you really find that you are able to get people to pay for work in advance? This would seem pretty unusual to me, as the person/company you are working for is also taking a risk with you (assuming they are genuine too). Wouldn't the best you could expect be some kind of staged payment system?

Best regards

Alex

No, this is not unusual at all. That is if you are a professional, student is another matter (have little experience with client dealings and therefore easy target). It is a normal practice to collect around 50% of the total fee in advance; that way if the project is killed you are not in a total loss and some of the work done would be already paid for; this has the added benefit of being able to tell who might want to scam you. The book mentioned before (Graphic Artist Guild) is a great start on ethical working standards in the industry and a great resource to quote jobs. Every time this issue comes up I recomend the book to ppl. it is great.

Employers technically are not at risk; You are, let me explain; an employer has a job that needs to get done on budget quickly and done right the first time, they don't pick any clown with a computer with a 3d package installed. On the other hand when a client determines that you are the best choice for the job hires you but then they realize that they made a mistake and pull the project! you are left with 50 hrs worth of work with the power bill sitting on your desk and hungry as hell. ;) The advance 50% helps avoid this kind of situations.

I met with a prospect client not too long ago, wanted me to model, rig texture and animate 5 characters for a pitch of an animated TV series. I was excited, we met once talked about the project and the following day I sent a quote. We agreed and made arrangements to meet again for me to get the sketches and reference material he had... he was a no-show, called him and he was doing the dishes at home! No serious employer would be doing the dished at home when he is about to make a deal official... never heard from him again. He was obviously looking for a fool that could be easily scammed.

A Mejias
08-27-2003, 07:52 AM
Originally posted by Alex Rooth
A Mejias

Just out of interest, do you really find that you are able to get people to pay for work in advance? This would seem pretty unusual to me, as the person/company you are working for is also taking a risk with you (assuming they are genuine too). Wouldn't the best you could expect be some kind of staged payment system?

Best regards

Alex


Sorry, I should have made that rule clearer. I was referring to deposits. I no longer start a project unless I get a deposit. I then bill on a regular basis so balances don't pile up When payment stops work stops! That way I don't tie up time and resources working for or chasing down clients that don't pay. Final payment is due on completion and before final delivery. No 30, 60 or 90 day wait. That's just caca! Some projects get big fast, so I only extend "credit" to trusted long time clients that have proven they pay on time.

Full payment in advance is for "stock works" i.e. works that were previously done, whether for commercial projects (where I retain the rights) or personal projects. "I want one of those and 3 of those and I want them all 8x10 and blue."

Do I get less work this way? Sure! But I also work on better projects, weed out dead beats and get to eat on a regular basis. Do projects go over schedule? Sure! "Pay on time for work on time." Are my clients happy? Sure! At least the ones that pay. I make sure to give all my clients more than they paid for and is why they keep coming back. It's much better to be hard with the rules up front and have room to negotiate later than it is to try to "get tough" after the fact.

meshmaster
08-27-2003, 08:19 AM
another thing to be warned about is a recent surge in is scams aimed at artists... (http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7494&highlight=scam)

anieves
08-27-2003, 09:49 AM
yep, follow your gut feelings, if you get a bad vibe from a client usually you are right.

Your worst enemy is the client...

Alex Rooth
08-27-2003, 12:10 PM
Thanks for clarifying that A Mejias - your approach makes a lot of sense with a deposit up front and then regular billing.

Anieves, I think you are doing well to get 50% in advance. Personally, looking at it the other way round from the perspective of the person who wants the work done, I would never pay 50% in advance (no matter what the work was and no matter what industry you are dealing with) - but maybe I am too cynical : ). I'll look up that book that was mentioned.

Regards

Alex

anieves
08-27-2003, 02:34 PM
But the deposit up front IS and advance payment. If you as an employer have problems paying an advanced fee that raises a red flag because this IS common in the industry; that is business and I wouldn't want to do business with you because the is a potential risk of you not paying me. Does that make sence?. Now I have taken that risk a couple of times and had given my client the benefit of the dbout, they could have easily screwed me over... It is up to you weather or not to demand a deposit but you should always protect yourself by preventing possible problems.

cholo
08-27-2003, 05:16 PM
Unfortunately some large companies such as advertising agencies (at least here in Mexico) have a 40 work day after delivery policy. I know BBDO and JWT do this because I've dealt with them. Also large corporations such as Ford Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler take 30 days to pay. So the best you can do is to get a signed estimate and script, and a purchase order if applicable. :)

anieves
08-27-2003, 06:45 PM
there are always exceptions of course;) Large companies like that have billing procedures that are common in the industry as well; on the other hand those are very reputable companies that can probably be trusted, you have to be smart and carefully choose who can be trusted and who can not.

Edit

Also comapnies such as those mentioned are also waiting for their client to pay them so they can in return pay their vendors.

richpr
08-27-2003, 11:18 PM
Not only may large companies be different, so are business cultures... In some countries/cultures, paying up front IS NOT that accepted... Compare to haggling ;)

A Mejias
08-28-2003, 03:11 AM
Originally posted by cholo
Unfortunately some large companies such as advertising agencies (at least here in Mexico) have a 40 work day after delivery policy. I know BBDO and JWT do this because I've dealt with them. Also large corporations such as Ford Motor Company and DaimlerChrysler take 30 days to pay. So the best you can do is to get a signed estimate and script, and a purchase order if applicable. :)

Yes yes yes. I've heard that all before. Guess what, eso es CACA! The reason "big companies" pay late is that they can keep earning interest on the money with which YOU should be earning interest. Plus they claim it as a deduction when you bill them. They pay taxes at least quarterly so there is another bonus for them. Add it up to all up and it's a butt-load of money that's "floating" around and not in YOUR pocket.

There are many practices that are considered "industry standards." "Industry standard" is just another name for, "Bend over and pick up that soap!" It many cases those standards are an outright violation of labor laws, not to mention unethical accounting. Remember all those "big companies" that were once considered reputable and trustworthy being caught fudging the books?




Originally posted by anieves
yep, follow your gut feelings, if you get a bad vibe from a client usually you are right.

Right on brotha-man! Every time I ignore my gut, I get burned. Clients that know what they want and know what it's worth are great to work with and pay on time. Clients that complain about pricing are either clueless or are trying to chisel you. This is not to say I never haggle. Haggling can be good for both the client and you. It helps clarify exactly what is expected on both side - which is the definition of a contract.

I said it before I'll say it again. Get the GAG Handbook! Read it follow it. www.gag.org.