Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

Using my blueprints for your own purposes

I am writing this for a number of reasons but first and foremost because someone was offering to sell a t-shirt with my design on.


I have always been very clear any that anything made using my designs were for personal use only

What can you do with them?

As long as you credit my blog and don’t modify my designs, you can use them as wallpapers, print posters, mug mouse mats, get a tattoo; it doesn’t matter as long as you are not doing it for money. No commercial use. Ever. 

Why not?

Because it’s all my hard work (of years) and I don’t get a penny, nor do I want to charge for them. I certainly don’t want someone else simply selling my work on for profit or  promotion. These are for the Elite Dangerous community.

I have in the past looked to produce posters at cost for attendees at LaveCon, or enable charities like Special Effect be able to sell my designs as merchandise to raise money as exceptions to this rule.

But this cannot happen without Frontier’s agreement as the Intellectual Property (IP) is solely theirs.

I spoke to Frontier about this last June, Sally Morgan-Moore (then Elite: Dangerous Product Manager) replied:

As for printing and selling…I’d have to do a check on that I’m afraid. This wouldn’t be til next week though. There’s so much red tape when money and sales become involved, and it’s frustrating how I can’t be more straight forward about it. Let me try and dig for you. Giving one away though for the raffle is perfectly awesome though as it’s linked to charity.

And in July I chased her just prior to LaveCon and good as gold, she came back to me very quickly:

I’m so sorry but I haven’t had David B in, or many of the legal team so I really am struggling to get anyone to prioritise this.

There you have it, as spoken direct from Frontier Towers – no selling of items connected to their IP. Understandably having other people sell their IP without any gain is not a priority for them. They are after all, a business and doing legal paperwork out of their own pocket is probably a big ask.

I’m not being a grumpy old Scrooge, refusing to share – I give my blueprints away for free to make content for my blog in the absence of game content to report upon - I’ve even done illustration work for EDRPG again, for free

If they give me some kind of green light to produce my blueprints as posters or mugs etc. at cost, believe me, you’d be the first to know!

But trust me when I say it would be me selling the merchandise through Frontier, or direct from this blog at cost. Don’t ever buy my designs from ANYONE; they do not have the right (legal or otherwise) to sell my work.

I’ll happily give you a bitmap, as you can see in my email above, you can get printed on a t-shirt for yourself for personal use only.

ECM 2020 Blueprints - update

This morning's post contained a nice little bundle. I had "put a rush" on five designs specifically; The Anaconda, Asp Explorer, Imperial Cutter, Federal Corvette & Python. These are, according to Inara's galaxy statistics the most popular main ships among players. I took the five designs with a slightly different set of proportions so they would print as a mouse mat. Here's what turned up. 

The mats all have that "new rubber" smell! They have a satin finish and look really nice. Those people attending Elite Community Meet 2020 in April will be able to enter the raffle and win themselves one of these beauties. So if you can't make it, see if you can beg, bribe or otherwise coerce someone who is going to buy some raffle tickets for you. All proceeds go to charity (Special Effect).

There are 59 vehicles in my blueprint collection and I've got to redraw all of them, so I'm trying for 3 per day if possible (although house-hunting has impacted my time a fair bit).

UPDATE: 12/03/2020 - I have now only 19 vehicle blueprints left to re-draw. WIP below.


Current Project for ECM 2020

After my fundraiser I did a number of custom blueprints for my supporters, but I have now undertaken another project.

This one will take me into March to complete as I have to do some considerable drawing work on all my existing blueprints. This involves drawing outlines for each of the five views. 5 x 59 = 295 outlines to draw. Each takes around 6-7 minutes - a lot of work, but worth it.

The original blueprints are all hand-drawn vectors which are transparent wire frames (very 1984). They can be any colour and overlaid on any background.

What I am now doing is drawing an outline for each that is not part of the original vector object.

Once I have the outline, I can alter its thickness or change it to a solid fill. In this case I make two copies, one solid with a partial transparent fill and the second hollow with a thick border to emphasise the edges.

Once I have this I can get creative. The end result looks something like this.

The plan is to have a full set of my blueprints in this style, printed as a colour bound booklet in the Elite Community Event charity raffle. We did similar in 2018. Back then there were 50 booklets printed, so I suspect we'll do the same this year. There are however 59 vehicles, compared to the 47 back in 2018. 

If you can't make ECM due to other commitments, geography or because the tickets sold out, try and bribe someone who is going to grab you a few raffle tickets!