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Can I create a 3d model from pictures that are available on the internet and put it into a small animation and post it on YouTube? For example I want to create a 3d model of a car from images found on the internet and then put it into animation of crashing it then posting it on Youtube. Is this illegal? Will it violate copyrights?

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It sounds like you'd be using a photo as reference material. Generally, that falls in to fair-use waters (but there are always exceptions). – DA01 Mar 11 '13 at 3:29
generally from my experience as long as you not using it for any form of profit - i.e. a portfolio piece - then its considered fair game – MephistonX Mar 11 '13 at 9:09

This sounds more like a copyright related issue, than a graphic design issue. So it's probably not appropriate for GraphicDesign.

Found some links that might help you though:

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Kudos for your second link, 'ethics and fair use for GDs'! – Yisela Mar 11 '13 at 3:26

Anything we say here is probably speculation (you would need to ask a lawyer to get the proper response), but having said that, I wonder:

Would you be replicating the exact same shape of the car? Would there be a logo or visible brand?

If the answer to these two is no, and you will only use the car for inspiration, I (personally) don't believe it's a problem. The model would be done by you. I don't think you are violating copyright by showing, for example, a brand in a short film or movie (except if you portray the brand in a very negative way, but then the line is also not very clear).

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