3D Modeling Standards: Object Names

by Michele Bousquet

When I talk to TurboSquid customers, one subject comes up over and over:  default object names.  Having logical object names for each part of a 3D model makes a big difference in customer satisfaction.  A customer who’s just purchased a bucket load of 3D models isn’t going to be happy about having to pick through each model and figure out what everything is.

The stuff of customer nightmares

Intelligent object names matter especially to customers when:

  • The model has a lot of individual parts
  • The customer merges the 3D model into a scene with many other objects, which is what customers are likely to do with a 3D model made up of just a few objects

While it’s important for 3D models with lots of parts, it’s also important for models with just a few parts.  Hmmm … call me crazy, but this seems to cover just about every 3D model out there.

Both 3ds Max and Maya have automatic renaming tools that make bulk renaming quick and easy, but only if you already know what you’re working with.  If the model is unfamiliar, this can take a long time.  We’re talking about 15 minutes of your time versus an hour or two of customer time per model.  This is the main reason customers find this problem so frustrating. They buy stock 3D to save time, but then inattention by the original artist ends up costing them time.

Still not convinced? Listen to what one of our customers has to say about default object names.

The message is clear: If you want to deliver a professional product and charge a professional price, name your objects. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference. If it doesn’t matter to you, you can skip it — but it’s hard to imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to take advantage of such an easy way to improve their models.

One more thing: If you have taken the time to name your objects, be sure to mention that in your Product Description. All other things being equal, this professional touch can give you a definite edge in sales.


7 Responses to “3D Modeling Standards: Object Names”

  1. Steve in AR says:

    Absolutely!! Naming objects is a must. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of artists do it (in my experiences).

  2. KeithC says:

    I concur with the message from the buyer above. If you have a scene (such as a city), name each object; and give it a name that makes sense as to it’s orientation in the scene. If you have a car model (for example), name the parts correctly: tire 1, 2, 3 and 4 should become front_driverside_tire, front_passengerside_tire, rear_driverside_tire, rear_passangerside_tire. As well as front_windshield, rear_windshield, etc….etc.

    A watch could have hour_dial, second_dial, minute_dial, top_band, lower_band…and so on. It will also help you stay organized both in the build, and if you have to go back and tweak/make changes to it.

    Good blog subject.


  3. trimitek says:

    Yes indeed.
    I always logically name all of the parts of my models and for the more complex ones I also group some of them in appropriate groups (if needed).
    In the end I also group all of the parts of the model so the client can easily manipulate it as one object when he imports it in his scene.

  4. Plutonius says:

    Certainly an easy thing to do, not sure why some folks don’t bother doing it though.

  5. Connor Ross says:

    I Always name my objects, and upload a screenshot like in my iPhone model. It becomes OCD lol

  6. Kupfer says:

    You can even combine the objects into groups, so it will be less difficulty with the names of objects

  7. Jamie says:

    I always name my objects as I came from a production environment where missing names was enough to make one pull out his hair! Unfortunately the object names are often mangled by some import/export processes.

    It’s usually not a problem if you are going from Program A to Program A, instead of from Program A to Format C and back into Program B.

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