3D encryption program we made. D3CRYPT3D. won SXSW Innovative Interactive Awards for Priv; Sec.

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ranek polycounter lvl 6
Long story short, that problem we had of stolen assets and an attempt at trying to solve it came out to be somewhat of a roller-coaster ride. Last weeks award ceromony, https://www.youtube.com/embed/3pbFpDqVZFM?ecver=2  (you can see it at the 57:00 mark) has been a years worth of work. We are not close but we have something now. We posted up here first when we were tinkering with it. Some of you guys gave us great feedback. D3CRYPT3D 2.0 comes out on 04/01/12 .  The new one is way more complete and fixed a whole mess of problems the first one had. I'll be posting up all the new things involved with it.  Thanks polycount. This is where I would post up and and learned a lot from this community.  I do feel that the path of  a 3d artist is one made from pure passion. Its hard. I couldn't sit by and see files be reduced to a copy and paste function.  Gonna keep building this thing out. Cheers! 

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  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    What's the memory footprint of an obj with and without this "calling card" and encryption?  
    Does this only work if both peers have D3CRYPT3D installed and would they need to be online?
    How is this better than other data encryption/decryption schemes?  
    Was the award for the idea of encrypting 3d or for a working product?  
    What is your solution for people ripping direct from the video card?
  • ranek
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    ranek polycounter lvl 6
    Your right . both peers would have to be online to view. So far its from the side of manufacturing and unbelievably there are nothing in place from stopping them.  We have 256 bit encryption in the file. The award was for the new version of our software. Its been a year working on this thing and its been brutal , but its going somewhere finally. 
    Its funny how you can take a pic with you cell phone and get meta data. Yet making anything with 3d gives you nothing. Its also a bit crazy when you think about how lawsuits go down with music. Yet the 3d stuff we make, especially when it comes to mechanical and very technical things is been really hard with the additive manufacturing industries. We are trying to put metrics to 3d models and place them at a point of origin.   
    The solution with the video card is something crazy . We have some ideals but at this junction we are more concerned about getting metrics into the model and it can be traced back to origin. 
    3D is the only file that you can't record with any device. You have to have that file. That's where we began our research. 
    Is it a silver bullet. Nope. but the fact we walked away from SXSW was that lawyers now have some kind of foothold. I don't really understand it but I do love making 3d. This only came about cause , the shit we make takes fucking hours. Anatomy, Machines, Refraction, Normals, etc etc. Its makes no sense when a bad ass model is just copied and chopped up. Musicians go ape shit over a few bars. Especially when printers are making things without the knowledge of the artists and profiting. I don't know if its gonna be the answer but I think its something that needs to happen. 
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    I agree and share your enthusiasm.  But I think the strategy of encrypting usable files is punishing to users who would otherwise not be thieving meshes.

    What I think would be more useful would be fingerprinting vertex data in such a way that the owner could prove ownership of the geometry.

    Consider this scenario - I spend those many hours making something and post it for sale on Gumroad, Turbosquid etc.

    It comes in the form of lines and lines of coded vertices in 3d space -
    Upon completion and submission to a marketplace like turbosquid I also submit code that has looked at this geo and randomly selected 3 numbers from each line of "DNA" - the first group of numbers could be a timestamp 10.30.3.21.2017.



    Now the only people to have the sequence would be the creator, and authorized marketplaces.  The Thief wouldn't even know I made this.
    If I suspected someone of re-selling my stuff I could flag it and provide the time-stamped sequence proving I was the original creator.  The thief would not be able to guess or hack the sequence.  I could then present this to the market and have the offending item pulled down. Possibly awarded any funds raised by it as well.  

    This could work for video card rips too since it's based on vertex locations from origin.  If they re-ordered the vertices you'd still get an impossibly high percentage of sequence matches line for line.

    You could even run it through multiple types of checks.  Like the distance relations of verts.  The amount of matching surface area of triangles.  Or UV matches.  The more vertices = the more proof.

    I think something like this or similar would alleviate the need for third party software for both peers.

    TL:DR - Checks to prove ownership would be a big win.  Make it easier to just model it from scratch rather than scrub a stolen file.  Encryption/Tracking doesn't seem plausible if it requires every client to install software.

    Anyway - good luck on your quest - It's something I think about too but I don't want to punish regular users because others behave badly.
  • ranek
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    ranek polycounter lvl 6
    Its funny cause that is very similar on how we started this project as well.   Building patterns that I could only determine, hiding sequences that could only be read by particular methods. ..  I've found that I am not the only one who has thought of this. Its in the back of most modeller's minds I think . Unfortunately most people who have no knowledge of 3d , are the ones that benefit from IP laws.  Currently there are some cases that are testing what it is you can patent. The Idea or the original 3d designs. People are patenting whatever 3D concepts they can imagine, and the courts are going to be setting precedents right now. I think there is a  case in TX that is about to go up regarding this issue. I'll try to find it and post it up here when I get the chance. You are super clever in your ways of hiding in plain sight your signature in your object, but its more for the industry as a whole. I don't know if what we are doing is going to work, but in my case,  I have to try.  Especially with 3d things being ganked and no acknowledgement to whomever made it. It just seems wrong. For the additive manufacturing sect, I think its something we can rectify. The gpu is something we want to tackle but not quite yet.

     Your right about the regular users and they shouldn't be punished due if others behave badly. Sadly we don't have an end all answer to this  and this has been talked about to kingdom come amongst us but if anything if you and have been thinking about it, Im pretty sure there are others that question it.  
    Thanks for bringing the argument to this topic. We have been working on this for quite sometime. Hopefully if its not us I hope someone else will figure this problem out. I really do think that digital artists / 3d artists are by every right real artists and that the things they develop are up for argument and protection. 

    Seriously thanks .You definitely give me and us food for thought. I'll make sure I update you on what we come up next. Hopefully it'll meet up to your standards. 

    Going to go and passout! Night!
  • Chimp
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    Chimp greentooth
    ranek said:
    Its funny cause that is very similar on how we started this project as well.   Building patterns that I could only determine, hiding sequences that could only be read by particular methods. ..  I've found that I am not the only one who has thought of this. Its in the back of most modeller's minds I think . Unfortunately most people who have no knowledge of 3d , are the ones that benefit from IP laws.  Currently there are some cases that are testing what it is you can patent. The Idea or the original 3d designs. People are patenting whatever 3D concepts they can imagine, and the courts are going to be setting precedents right now. I think there is a  case in TX that is about to go up regarding this issue. I'll try to find it and post it up here when I get the chance. You are super clever in your ways of hiding in plain sight your signature in your object, but its more for the industry as a whole. I don't know if what we are doing is going to work, but in my case,  I have to try.  Especially with 3d things being ganked and no acknowledgement to whomever made it. It just seems wrong. For the additive manufacturing sect, I think its something we can rectify. The gpu is something we want to tackle but not quite yet.

     Your right about the regular users and they shouldn't be punished due if others behave badly. Sadly we don't have an end all answer to this  and this has been talked about to kingdom come amongst us but if anything if you and have been thinking about it, Im pretty sure there are others that question it.  
    Thanks for bringing the argument to this topic. We have been working on this for quite sometime. Hopefully if its not us I hope someone else will figure this problem out. I really do think that digital artists / 3d artists are by every right real artists and that the things they develop are up for argument and protection. 

    Seriously thanks .You definitely give me and us food for thought. I'll make sure I update you on what we come up next. Hopefully it'll meet up to your standards. 

    Going to go and passout! Night!
    I think you mean copyright? patents aren't and shouldnt really be for art in this way afaik? They're for technological processes, inventions or ideas but not for the actual assets i.e a 3d model.
    it actually is not the same as musicians copying each other's music. here we're talking about the assets which in music would be equivelent to an MP3, unauthorised recording/transmission/distribution etc. This is a actually a licensing issue...

    Anyway, congrats on the award!

    Product seems interesting but a bit confusing. So far as I can tell its a file management platform using standard encryption whose USP is providing a means for permissions control and usage tracking. DRM for 3D basically?

    To what extent are you tracking users? You indicate that an owner will have the IP addresses, locations and usage patterns of anyone with the file - seems well intentioned but a bit dodgy, you're going to have to be absolutely transparent about every aspect of this if you want businesses to buy in. What's collected, where it goes, how it gets there, what path it takes, what state its in, and whether its personally identifiable in terms of the transmitted data AND what the owner sees.

    How does the calling card work? It seems intended for unauthorised users, so presumably they will not have your software installed. From this can only assume you are injecting your calling card model data into the file somewhere - this wouldn't be a problem if the models are designed to be demonstrational only, but as you show file editing and saving etc, so I have to assume you intend this to be used in production environments - in this case you really don't want to be editing files in a way that could compromise their integrity or identity in a version control environment, much less injecting another 3d model into every model in a project, you know? What if my engine edits files on import and suddenly someone involved decides to pass the model through your software, they upload the changed file and suddenly the entire game breaks because when the engine tries to read the file on import, its structurally different to a standard file and say, my bone re-ordering script has a headache.

    As for meta data and comparison to photographs - exif data does very little to prove ownership beyond perhaps a location tag and a serial number of the camera perhaps. You can include copyright notices but none of it is particularly secure. Plus, all modern operating systems have pretty much the same metadata for any kind of file whether its a photo or a 3d model, it will have your info in there and can be traced back to you. You can wipe it with 1 click and similarly, you can spoof it without any custom tools - an expert wouldn't be able to tell whose was the real exif data. This is why its dealt with in terms of law not technology, its all spoofable or hackable or crackable. Encryption is pretty solid, but as soon as its decrypted its entirely open, so really it just comes down to trust. Also, 3D models DO have metadata, FBX for example.

    Anyway I'm not sure how this really works in practice - your site mentions protecting against distribution rings for example - a distribution ring isnt going to share an encrypted file as it's useless. If they have the unencrypted file then your software is irrelevant.
    If its about the trusted partner being untrustworthy, what's to stop them opening it in maya with their permissions, and then simply cloning the mesh and saving it out as a new, unencrypted file and then sharing it?

    At most I see the value here in having a timestamped list of file accesses so you can perhaps pinpoint who had the file when it got decrypted and uploaded. Have you talked to a lawyer experienced in this field about the practical usefulness of your software?

    Prevention is all well and good until it gets in the way of work. The solution has always been to deal with infringement legally after the fact and I dont think we actually have a problem here in this industry. If I make a model, I publish the model properly and with a license, and somebody uses it without authorisation, and they do not have a license or receipt, then they get legally fucked for commercial use without a license. I dont really see any cases where owners fail to do this IF they've properly licensed and distributed the file (as opposed to say, just uploading it to a forum). Could you go into your rollercoaster ride a bit (don't need names, just situational details).

    Unless you can't prove that you made it, but how does this software help there? If I steal your file, and can actually use it (i.e unencrypt it) I can just make an encrypted version myself, with my own calling card using your software.

    I'd definitely talk to a legal expert with regard to exactly what you're advertising, your tagline is 'protecting your *ideas* one polygon at a time' but you're actually protecting files, the 'ideas' (as typically designed) are a whole other legal area to the actual files.

    Anyway, not pissing on your parade, just asking some genuine questions. Hope to hear your responses to these questions and see you guys continue to develop your product :)

  • Lt_Commander
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    Lt_Commander polycounter lvl 3
    3D encryption is an interesting problem - I know I'd love to see a web based 3D model viewer that's secure enough to provide confidence that the asset being viewed couldn't be ripped, or the data is distorted at the technical level enough to make ripping not worth the time - it's the last major hurdle to make 3D storefronts more interactive. 
  • ranek
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    ranek polycounter lvl 6
    @Chimp

    Sorry for the late response! Its been f*ckin crazy on our end. 

    A lot of your assumptions are correct. We are using metrics such as IP's to locate and to stamp these models. We plan on being transparent when it comes to how the models are registered. This is actually only to benefit the artist or the owner of the file.  We think its in the best interest to have the creator /author / owner to have some idea where its going and what its being used for and how the file is being handled. Not interested in what goes up or down in the database. This moment in time I think its understood that we are all hooked up somehow. This is to ensure the digital file is going and doing what it was intended to do. It kinda has to be on the network to see this. Business already like this approach, we just feel that artisans and freelancers have that option too. On the more pro edition, owners will have the power to set permissions. 

    You are also right in thinking that we have a long way to go. The fact is that all these 3d files, (complex 3d files) can be encrypted in a way that can only be unlocked by the owner. The technology is here, its just that no one is doing it on a consumer level. Its questionable why this is the case, but it does exist. We were not the first. Doing our research on 3d encryption, various groups and companies have done this already. In fact, our method of encryption is only one way of locking up models.

    Our main reason for doing this comes from this ruling. This is a section I wrote for another publication.  Much of the information was attained through lexology.com and several other different legal sources:

    The Federal Circuit has recently made a ruling that could have a significant impact on 3D printing and digital data being transmitted from outside of the US. In the case ClearCorrect Operating LLC v. Intl Trade Comm’n, No. 2014-1527, held on November 10th, 2015, the Federal Circuit ruled that the ITC has no jurisdiction over digital data, including 3D printing files, transmitted into the United States from abroad because they cannot be considered ‘material things.’

    U.S.C. section 1337 (a) gives the ITC jurisdiction only over unfair acts involving the importation of ‘articles’—which the Federal Circuit interprets explicitly as ‘material things.’ Thus, the ITC cannot police or control 3D models given that they exist in the digital, rather than the physical realm.

    If 3d space has a sense of scale and proportions, it can then be replicated in a physical form to the exact measurements and details from the model itself. An exact replicate of the original. Just as easy as it is to duplicate a model with a simple command, it is currently fair game for foreign industries to print any 3d file,  to create an exact copy, without any fear of punishment. Its not illegal by definition for a foreign company to send a "duplicate" file to an American company to print. Even if the file was from a company who has patented and IP protected the product. Thus the case for ClearCorrect.  From my understanding the ITC, International Trade Commission, has nothing in place to police or control 3d models so its chalked up to it has no jurisdiction about 3D files and where and who are able to print them.  

    It comes down to a point of ownership of a file and creation of a file and when and where it was made. To think that this is and end all solution.... no way. But as I stated earlier, its a start. 

    As for the legalese parts with this thing that was presented at SXSW. It has started some debate on the grey areas of 3d files and what they can protect. For me as an 3d artist, it makes no sense that music business has a number of things to protect the rights of producers and artists. They make millions on a bar of notes. Some of the things that are made take a lot of skill. If someone was to make an insane amount of profit on a model from this site. I do believe that person is entitled to it. At least some sort of metrics are in play now that can prove something in the court of law. We are talking a grip load of lawyers recently.  This has always been the elephant in the room that no one seems to talk about!  

    Thanks for insight. I don't claim to know all the answers, but we do plan to level the playing field just a little!

    As for the calling cards, if you don't have the reader, the calling card is embedded in the model. The unauthorized user will only have that, and would be required to download D3CRYPT3D and contact the origin/author of the model. Only then could you get permissions to open it.   
    @Lt_Commander
    You sir and many others have brought this very problem up.  We think we have a way around it. It's not cute on our end right now, but currently we are focused on placing the data in the 3d files. Illustrating ownership. The ripping of models out of memory and such is something we debate about here constantly. Its troublesome.  Hopefully with our first round of funding, we can tackle that problem too!  I just think its about time that digital artists get the recognition they deserve. Especially now that digital is just as good as being real. 

    Our new beta is dropping 04.01.2017 and NO it is not an April's fools day prank. It wasn't my idea! I hope you guys use it and give us feedback. Its only a few of us working on this but we definitely raised a bunch of eyebrows. 



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