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Submitted on
February 26, 2013


931 (1 today)
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Dolling in General

Journal Entry: Tue Feb 26, 2013, 3:59 PM

I know people have written dozens of deviations and journals explaining this before this one that are better written, but I'm making one too so hush.


A word people outside of our little bubble usually don't understand. When most people think of "dolls" they think of Barbies, Raggedy Ann, etc. And those are dolls too, absolutely. Usually however, when a doller makes dolls, they are not referring to those things. Dollers make dolls from either traced bases or original bases. What is the difference between these, you ask?
It's simple really.

Traced bases are bases traced from a picture. Usually anime pictures nowadays, although I've seen traced cartoon and comic bases as well. These bases are far less likely to be seen in the pageant crowd, but it does happen on occasion.
Traced bases are NOT bases for My Little Pony, the Lion King, and whatever other animal based thing you can possibly think of to trace. That is for LINE-ART.


Pictures used with animal line art DO NOT GO IN THE TRACED BASE CATEGORY. They are in digital art> drawings > animals. Please keep your deviations categorized. It just makes CVs and the rest of us angry if you don't abide by categories.

These are examples of traced bases:
Sitting with a sword - Base by SnowBase4Ever Ipod Group Base -READ DESCRIP. by Clown-Masquerade Traced Base 2 by neeko-ninjan-pixels
They usually say "traced from this image" with a link so you know where it was traced from.

Original bases are bases that are hand drawn with or without references, and are not at all traced. These are usually the dolls used in pageants, which I will mention later. Original bases can be sketched, drawn straight on, or even scanned on to the computer and outlined on the artist's program of choice (photoshop, SAI, Gimp,  MS paint and Paint.Net being the main programs). Because this was hand-drawn, outlining the original work is not tracing and does not belong in the traced base category.

These are examples of original bases:
Jessie - Base Update1 by 1995RunAway - Mandarin 2 - by base-o-holic Asoya Base by zapatones

I mentioned earlier the word pageant. In the dolling world, this is usually a three round event where you choose a base (or go "baseless" in which you sketch out a pose and make a doll that way without even making or using a base. It is still baseless even if you later make a base of it), and doll the themes the rounds require. This may or may not be true of some pageants. Some go many rounds, others may only be a one round pageant. It is also typical that in the first round of a pageant, you doll a full-body doll (where the entire body is visible) and you doll a portrait (emphasizing the facial features of the character you are using for the pageant and is usually cut off at the chest, or perhaps half the body). However there are many different kinds of pageants. There are fantasy pageants, history pageants, punk pageants and many more that usually run about once a year for several months. ArentYouADoll has an entire section specifically for pageant bases. Feel free to suggest more or even look around if you're stumped for an entry!

People say "all people who use bases are art thieves". While I can't necessarily say anything for most traced bases, I can say something for the original base crowd. If the artist made a base of THEIR own personal work, it's not theft and therefore it's more of a collab of sorts. Tracing other's art and using it without permission can be art theft, but if permission is given I don't believe that is art theft either. There are a lot of people who don't understand there are two sides to dolling. Most pageants do not allow traced bases, or anything of the sort because of the art theft theory so if you feel so strongly you probably don't have to worry too much about pageant entries. However, if you are against it, make sure to read artist descriptions. If it says "traced from so and so" and you hate traced bases, don't troll, simply click back space and find an original base to use. The categories are separate on dA, so it shouldn't be too hard.

And that's another thing guys. Report miscategorizations, and report work you think is stolen. Don't troll or try to be a white knight leading a crusade. It often times backfires. Contact your CVs if you have a problem! Any CV you need can be found in communityrelations

And please stop putting your My Little Pony and Lion King and whatever else line-art and drawings into our categories. It is super annoying. Thank you.

Skin designed by scatterflee
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Maizuiko Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist
You and Moony, such polite little dandies you are :'D
Unfortunately most people forget how to use the back button t.0.t
BlackfyreValyrian Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
Rofl well, I just got annoyed after reporting a crapload of miscats yesterday and had to write this in hopes some people would read it and get a clue xD;; I'm glad she wrote it though. Now at least someone FROM the My Little Pony community is complaining too, so it's not just "pony-haters" or whatever they call it.
Seriously, most people forget their common sense too OTL
Maizuiko Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist
WELL, from experience, Moony is definitely one of the more 'placid' bronies out there, as it were XD;
BlackfyreValyrian Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013
Lol yeah I would have to agree xD some "bronies" are terrifyingly rabid about that show. And others are just insanely annoying. Moony however is awesome so I'm grateful she can be the mediator xD
Strawberry-Bamboo Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
It will eventually settle. With the new submitting section and deviantart making the categories more painfully obvious I think the ignorant will understand more and the arrogant will have the rule book quite rightfully thrown in their faces.
It comes with time, much like the other categories placed and as the art continues to gain more acknowledgement people will definitely be more observant... Or maybe I have way too much faith in people and hope to god they read black and white :XD:.

I always say to folks that digital dolling is much like photo-manipulation... Bases are like stock images and Dolls is the finished art piece.
Traced imagery is down to the individual of course but there's art thievery everywhere :|, originality in my opinion is so difficult to find especially in a place as vast as deviantArt that I would venture to say it can't exist here >_>.
I can see the point of disliking trace, but with permissions its quite flattering but alas people so want to be a special snowflake and have fame, the comments, the pageviews like its a competition that heckles go up and people fight like little girls ^^;...

*ahem* I went off subject trololol... A tad too passionate about this hence why I started the "Traced Base Crusade" of mine :XD:.
BlackfyreValyrian Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
I completely agree with you on all aspects of it <3
I really hope they chance the categories a wee bit more to be absolutely crystal clear to people what exactly goes in which category. The main thing now is that people think "ooh traced category, everything can go in here!" and... that's not at all true. There's dollmaker stuff, animal line art, I've even seen movie screenshots in there over the years. It's crazy xD
Ooh, thinking of bases as stock images actually would probably make a lot more sense to people than saying it's a collab as some people have never done those either xDD I would agree with you though, there is hardly any originality anymore. It's kind of just... a competition of who can draw better. If you can trace something and make it look great, people will use it. If you can draw something and make it look great and outline it into a base, chances are people will indeed use it. xD I'm an odd one. I use both original and traced bases, but with traced I typically completely resize and and redraw it to the proportions I like better and use it. I have nothing against traced bases at all, in fact quite a few dear friends of mine have made traced bases I have used <3 it's more I hear this argument almost every day, and addressing both sides is easier than addressing one and being mauled by the other LOL DeviantART can be a vicious place at times :P
Hey I think your Traced Base Crusade is awesome xD Like a few friends of mine, you've shown you can take a traced crudely drawn base and turn into something wonderful. ~scenefag is also notorious for this. She's done masterpiece dolls you'd never guess had come from traced bases. It's quite amazing. I wish more people would take on projects like that. It'd end a lot of the "traced v original" war going on between dollers. Us in-betweeners just feel awkward :C
RotRubin Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahhh thank you! I get annoyed by so many miscats in the bases categories I end up just looking on Glam and miss a lot of nice bases xnx;;;

Faving and stuff because yes good rant :v
BlackfyreValyrian Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
Rofl oh god me too. After the eighth My Little Pony and fifth The Lion King miscats yesterday that I reported I decided I was just going to make a journal because dear god this needs to end or I think the dolling community is going to go more mad than they've already become XD rofl
I tend to stick to Glam too D:
Thanks dear <3
RotRubin Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh man I don't even look in the base category anymore. I feel bad for the admins who have to re-cat them. Well I thank you for fixing them and making the base category a better place <3
IridescentStardust Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Dear god I never thought I'd see a Gwen twist on this
Putting in my main info files I link to everyone and their moms
Faving twice

YAY! I love how everyone is like "Lol basing (cause they don't know it's dolling) is theft" and it's like... a collab! Perfectly explained. Sometimes I want to go find a collab in their gallery and be like "This is theft"
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