Ethics with template creation?

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deanbonkovich's picture
Joined: 10/18/2008

A tipping app?

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gdaddy's picture
Joined: 10/31/2008

There are better solutions.   The thing to remember about using pics off the internet is that they don't always exactly scale, and its common for the pics to be of the same model but in different dimensions.    

https://sourceforge.net/projects/boardcad/#:~:text=BoardCAD%20is%20an%20....

As for the ethics of emulating designs other people have developed, most board builders have been doing that all along.   Rich Harbour didn't come up with that general planshape, but he certainly tweaked it to fit his design ethos.   In that respect what he ended up with was at least a little different than what he started with.   

I''ve mapped many designs from the pros over the years.  I didn't build or even intend to build most of them; I was just sussing out different design elements.  Not just in the templates but also in the other elements like rockers and thicknesses and so on.    I have never "copied" anyone else's design; I always tweaked things to my own tastes.   That doesn't count the times I started with a blank file and did my own, which even as a backyarder has been far more common than not.    

Unless you're selling boards in direct competition to the labels you love the most they're losing to a "copy" is a single shaping fee.   Not to mention the fact that it's probably not a copy to begin with; no matter how hard you try some elements will end up different.   You might end up with a good shape but it won't be exactly the same.    Jy advice is to use those designs as a starting point for your own vision, not as a paint-by-numbers copy.   

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Mike Up North's picture
Joined: 06/12/2022

This is helpful, thank you for the reassurance. And to your point, there is no way mine will be nearly as dialed in as Harbours. That's actually a really good point about scale and perspective, the photo itself tends to warp things a bit based on how the pic was taken. 

Would you recco board cad over AKU? 

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

I think Mike Doyle wrote in his book that Pat Curran once caught him trying to copy one of Pat's Gun templates.  Relating to Harbor;  There's the Bigler story of the Yater "Spoon" that became the Harbor "Cheater".  Lowel

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

Forget the damned computer.  Get yourself a sheet of Masonite, a pencil, a square and a flexible straight edge.  Get some basic measurements and start there.

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

Mike Up North's picture
Joined: 06/12/2022

I feel ya, I'm a graphic designer so it's just second nature. Masonite is my next step. I've done a few masonite templates so far with just points, and then blending and I've not been 100% satisfied with the contour of the nose - and wanted to nail this one. 

A quick follow-up question for you. What is a good flexible straight edge to use? I've tried scraps of masonite - but it wants to lift in the middle for some reason. Also tried an electrician fish-wire, which didn't quite have the right bend. Also tried to just freehand it, which turned out how you might imagine. 

Thanks for the advice. 

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unclegrumpy's picture
Joined: 09/16/2006

Mike Up North wrote:

A quick follow-up question for you. What is a good flexible straight edge to use? I've tried scraps of masonite - but it wants to lift in the middle for some reason. Also tried an electrician fish-wire, which didn't quite have the right bend. Also tried to just freehand it, which turned out how you might imagine. 

Thanks for the advice. 

Technically known as a spline, you can use a nice clear piece of pine or poplar molding, sail battens, a narrow and thin strip of plexiglass, I've even heard of folks using fishing rod blanks in a pinch.

These are expensive but come in handy for refining nose and tail. 

https://www.draftingsuppliesdew.com/acu-arc-adjustable-spline-curves       

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No; It's not an ironing board.

Mike Up North's picture
Joined: 06/12/2022

Thank you! Going to try molding 1st, then plexiglass (there is a shop in town with scraps). 

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McDing's picture
Joined: 05/22/2004

A fiberglass batten from a sail is my first choice.  You may be able to get one from someone who is or has been a Sailboarder.  I'm sure they are used on the sails of small sailboats as well.  You can also find 48" metal rulers at Lowes.  Lowes and Home Depot sell 8' metal straight edge.  Usually one inch wide, 8' long and1/4" thick. You can rip a piece of 1/4" hardwood on a table saw.  But by far I love my Sailboard "Batten" and have a variety of them in various thickness(flex) and length..  they were inherited from a deceased brother in law who was an avid Sailboarder.  Lowel

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That which can be assorted without evidence was read in an illegal magazine.

mako224's picture
Joined: 12/26/2005

I've made templates using Gimp and Photoshop using the same basic method as the original poster.  Its important to understand that photography provides a distorted view compared to an actual template and you have to be able to figure out how to accomodate for the distortion.  Bear in mind that your bottom rocker creates a longer line along the stringer than if you measure the deck side for instance.  The board below was made off of a picture of a 70s board using this process.

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Mike Up North's picture
Joined: 06/12/2022

Wow, this one looks beautiful. Is all the artwork resin tinted? Copy that, on the photography skewing. 

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sharkcountry's picture
Joined: 03/25/2006

I did that for years. You're only copying an outline or rocker. You still to need make a useable template and then shape the board. Makos comments about them not being 100% accurate is true, but it's close enough. I used to print out 11x17 sheets then tape it all together to make a full template, but I've had problems with the printed pieces being slightly smaller. I didn't care, I would adjust as needed.
I'd say 90% of outlines are just stuff that someone else has come up with in the past.

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reverb's picture
Joined: 03/20/2004

...in my opinion, yes; no Ethics. Instead of that do from scratch, as mentioned before. That way you truly develop an "eye" for the curves; in search of pure lines. Many many boards that I see in the surf shops have lines that "fight" each other (you know; water is not complicated so you only let it flow the best way as possible--when there is some design feature--like fins; hips; etc--that actually not flow the best way IS AN INTENDED thing to provide an specific situation)

Caused due to the poor eye development of these pseudo shapers that only know about CAD archives.

See it a lot with Architects; that never ever grabbed a spoon or did concrete; etc

If you want to make bread better to know how to deal and work with the flour; so knead by hand is a must; yes, then you can use a mixer.

I understand that this sounds old school; but have good foundations is indeed a must. Bear in mind that you do not need too many tools etc to be a shaper; so have the basics close to 100% is the way to go in my book.

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stoneburner's picture
Joined: 12/30/2007

Lots of free templates to play with at this link:

https://www.blendingcurves.com/outline-templates

Regarding template dimension shifts (i.e. distortions), you can always unlock the aspect ratios, shift the widepoint and/or re-size once you have a basic design you like:

http://bgboard.blogspot.com/2016/01/re-sizing-full-size-surfboard-templa...

http://bgboard.blogspot.com/2016/09/moving-widepoint-of-surfboard-templa...

After you have played around with a template and shaped a board with it, rarely is it the same as the original.  It is only inspired by a given shape.

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Mike Up North's picture
Joined: 06/12/2022

I gotta say thank you all for such thoughtful and insightful responses. I really owe a lot to y'all on these threads. 

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condition_red's picture
Joined: 11/06/2006

Late to the party.

But just so it's on record, look up "lofting". It's the technique for creating curves. I recall chains were sometimes used on a vertical surface. Anyway, boat builders used to publish lofting tables. How unlike shapers of today.

CAD surfboard rockers and outlines can be achieved with just endpoints - no midpoint holders. But I do add a midpoint after the curve is defined. Most designers put in a midpoint at the beginning.

First board I ripped off. It came out different to the one I had painstakingly measured. Actually surfed better. But the original shaper arced up about his design being stolen, so I created my next purely by eye and have never looked back.

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Rnoll98's picture
Joined: 03/16/2021

I would imagine most of the experts on here could simply look at a board and run their hand over it and get closer to a true copy than you or I could with all the tools and software in the world. I'm still very much a novice, but I feel like outline is the most notable feature of a board, but rocker, rail profile, and bottom contours are probably all equal contributors to performance, and probably harder to copy and get right. Agreeing with someone who posted earlier, almost every outline shape has been done before. The magic in a board is how all the features come together and work together and that's also where the decades of experience shines.

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