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Is there a good place to look for royalty free or open source / public domain to get some pics for a science fiction game I am hoping to write and offer free. It has been a constant thing on my mind, in science fiction I think there needs to be pictures to help players visualise the style of the setting and to give pictures to blank lines of text (ie aliens and alternate characters). So with this in mind I decided to join the forum and plumb its depths on artwork.
Artwork is a tricky thing. It does take a lot of effort to put out art. Because of that, very few people want to make art that they just give away.
That's not to say that there aren't people that do, it's just that there are fewer of them. The other problem is that your art is going to have to be of a generic nature. You can't easily get people to make art to your exact specifications if you're not going to pay them.
I know one person who did get artwork for his game for free. The thing is, you can tell that he had to take what he got. There's very little theme to the art.
I know on the Enderra blog, Nils uses NASA pictures and makes collages or puts text over the art with some vector logos.
So if your setting is a more or less generic space opera, you can probably find free space ship and planet art. If your setting is more specific than that, what has worked in the past is as on deviant art for free art. Take what you can get and write around what you're given.
One thing I'd suggest is going to somewhere like Morguefile; it doesn't necessarily have what you're looking for, but artists usually prefer having a reference (but don't be too tyrannical about them sticking to it) and it can give you ideas of what you want before you commission a piece.
If you want spaceships or the like, I'd be happy to work on something for you, since I'm teaching myself to do fancy 3d models (I have basic training, I'm just honing my form), but I prefer to work with vehicles/inanimate objects.