Commercial Licensing within the CG sector

Discussion started by ghostpants

Hi All,

So I am working on a small personal commercial project creating bases for scale miniatures, but I have a question regarding licensing. At present I have been creating all of my own original work, these models I intend to sell as both; a physical version or a file (STL, OBJ..etc) for their own home printing. With these I understand that this is fine, as I own the rights to the entirety of the product.

However, as my project has progressed I have seen useful tools that would significantly increase my workflow; primarily Zbrush Skull IMM brushes and other tools along that avenue, such as models from sites like CGtrader and turbosquid. Now i am unsure as to whether I am allowed to use those sorts of brushes and tools and then still sell the end product as both a physical product and a file. When you look at the licensing across the CG sector this is what I see;

CGTrader; -

"21.1. Product may not be sold, given, or assigned to another person or entity in the form it is downloaded from the Site."

Gumroad; -

"Commercial use of the Kitbash/IMMs are allowed and can be visible in any sort of commercial product such as games and movies etc, but the meshes themselves can not be resold in any asset pack etc."

When I read these I understand that if i utilise these to create a product that I then print and sell, then that is totally fine, the mesh is integrated into a product in a format that the buyer of my product cannot access the original mesh in the form i purchased it in. However I am unclear when it comes to the file versions, I have a few questions I would hope someone here can answer;

1) If the mesh of the product bought here is integrated into another mesh (like a kitbash) and forms only a small percentile of the overall file (say a skull under the foot of a soldier), does that count as breaching the license?

2) When it states original form - are we talking file formats, or are we talking meshes? An IMM brush is a file type all in itself, so using it to insert a shape into a mesh means that the end product isn't technically in the same file format?

3) What is the best practice in these areas? Any tips from seasoned veterans about how to integrate these sorts of tools into my workflow without infringing on licensing?


Posted 30 days ago

To my knowledge you can use brushes/alphas, etc. to give your 3D models shape/details and sell them. Like for example use a brush to do scales on a dragon or maybe a lion head as a relief on a medieval armor, etc.

Just slapping someone ells image/alpha on a flat plane and sell it as 3D print model is obviously not appropriate.

3D meshes themselves are not allowed to enter other stock media/digital goods in form they are.

Some artists are somewhat forgiving when its only small amount in a lager project (usually the ones providing kitbash sets). My advice would be, simply ask/negotiate with the owner if your use case is possibly beyond the scope of the License terms. On CGtrader its as easy as clicking small envelope next to a product (right next to the artist name or his logo), on other platforms you can indirectly ask via the platform staff.

Most appropriate way is just ask, if ok then make the product, show it to him/her, make changes if him/her requests it, then go ahead and sell it. This is probably best way to avoid conflicts and have evidence your use case is 100% approved.

ghostpants wrote
Thanks IterateCGI, I assumed that was the case with regards to kitbash sets - else why sell them if your stating they cant be used in products (unless they are the concept non-commercial type), I have bought a couple from gumroad and have contacted the creators via the registered contact info - have yet to receive a reply about any of the products (3 months and counting). Reason i ask here was to get a better general understanding of the typical practice and hopefully pick-up how other users utilise them. I appreciate the response, me and my partner now focus on making sure that the bits we buy explicitly state their usage terms. As an example, we wanted some skulls, so we found skull IMM brushes, but the selling of the model post production seemed murky. So we managed to find an alpha pack that generates skulls. So the original form is the alpha, its clearly meant to be utilised to generate 3D shapes and that is what you would buy it for. We use it to generate skulls onto our objects (pillars etc), this way the final form of our product is explicitly different from the original. We then add post-alpha work onto the skulls to add additional detail and flair, so by the end the final model form is unique and our own.
Posted 30 days ago


as a smaller part of a physical product it's ok. It's even written in the CGT license for 3d printed models.
as a part of a resold model that's probably not ok. You should contact the seller and ask him if you can or not to be sure. IMM brushes are basically placing a object/mesh in to the scene.
For example - if I buy a table model and I place it in to a big interior scene, I can't sell the whole scene as my own product.

ghostpants wrote
Hi Indie, thanks for the response, I have seen some licensing where it is explicit like you state - aka can be used where it is a smaller part of a physical object. Thank you for the example, so in your case, what would you use the table for? scene in a game or something?
Posted 29 days ago

If I buy a 3d model of a table I can't sell it as a part of another (digital) 3d model/collection/scene.
Almost any other use is allowed, games, movies, animations, part of physical products etc.

Technically kitbashes and IMM brushes are models just like the table in my example.
So if you buy a kitbash (like your gumroad link) and you compose a scene or a model from it I would say you can't sell it as your own digital 3d model on markets like CGTrader.
But maybe you can get a permission from the author if you ask him.

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