Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tai-otoshi - free judo illustrations

Click the image to reach the illustration-library at Flickr, or you may cut and paste this URL:
Image is free to use under the Creative commons - attribution - share-alike license.
At our judo club in Uppsala we have been looking over the graduation hand-outs that have been used for years. They are just lists of techniques with some illustrations. The illustrations are a mix of horrid old photocopies, illustrations stolen from different books, and some hastily drawn stick figures. There are two problems with this. First, they are mostly bad, and secondly they are either copyrighted or of uncertain copyright status. In an effort to fix this we went looking for creative commons or other freely available judo illustrations on the internets.

There are photographs for some techniques on wikimedia commons that are not terrible, there are even some illustrations, although mostly not so good. At judoinfo everything is copyrighted, and frankly the quality is not always what you would hope for. In the end we were not able to find more than a handful of usable images, which explains the quality of our present hand-outs as well as the quality online in general.

Since I clearly haven't got enough shit to do, we decided to create a set of illustrations and release them into the wild for the judo community to use and spread. All those books are great, and we all have them, but the children don't and they never will. So, here are (or will be) a collection of free to use illustrations of judo techniques. They are provided under the Creative commons - non-commercial, attribution, share-alike - license, which means that they are free to use for non-commercial purposes as long as they are properly attributed, and any derivative works are also shared freely under the same license.
Original tai-otoshi photograph. Copyright Michael Hultström 2012.
First out is Tai-otoshi, or body-drop. Mostly because that was one I had a good photograph of to use as template. Don't expect this to go quickly, but give us a year or two and there should be fair number of images to use. Quality-wise I will be aiming for proper vectorised line-art in the end, but that is even more work and will take even more time.
Edit: I have been convinced that the non-commercial license is too restrictive as it potentially limits uses I would like to allow. Thus, the illustrations are now re-licensed as attribution, share-alike.