No Sacred Cows

by Matt Wisdom
Sacred Cow

This isn’t really on TurboSquid. We made it up.


You’ve probably noticed how much energy we’ve put into raising the quality of models on the site with CheckMate. We’ve also been removing lower quality models, but that rate is about to go up, by a lot.

I wanted to give artists notice that this is coming. We’re going to focus on the very lowest quality first, and work our way up over time. If this happens to be you, and of course we don’t want it to be you (or anybody), we’ll send a support ticket explaining why. We have a lot of beginners, and people who put stuff up that they had lying around — and why not? There is nothing wrong, it seems, to throw stuff out and see if it sells. But we know what sells now, and we don’t want stuff that isn’t ready for that. It’s not personal, it’s just how we have to evolve the business.

And for the most successful artists on TurboSquid, here’s an analogy. In the music world, many great artists record songs that aren’t great. They hold them back  from release, and when you hear them later, you can tell it was a good decision. Watch the movie Pulp Fiction, and then take a peek at the DVD extras to see which scenes were edited out. All of them were great cuts.

There is going to be a point where some great artists, that have great collections, but have a couple low quality models, are going to have them pulled off the site. We’ve got a lot of wood to chop before we get to that point, and will focus so there should be few examples of other low quality stuff left when we do. Please don’t take this personally if it happens to you.

We’re going to be as objective as we possibly can, and have some strategies about how to be as effective as possible. The marketplace will ultimately be healthier, even if it is a little painful in the interim. This won’t happen overnight.  There will probably be cases where a model comes down before another model of similar quality;  please allow the process time to play out. We can’t have any sacred cows, especially like the one above. I hope you agree.




23 Responses to “No Sacred Cows”

  1. Sandu Bublic says:

    At last a good intention… Can’t wait to see it happen.
    PS. I love that cow.

  2. Denys says:

    That cow has personality! 😉 Please, reveal who from TS staff made it! 😀

    Is good to clean the site, costumers should have a better search experience and improve the opinion about seriousness of the site.
    Of course, nothing against newcomers. I think the continuity of CheckMate might be educate members to improve their skills beyond standards.

    “… although there may be lots of crap there is also some pretty amazing models there…”
    (Some customer talking about TS at CGSociety forums)

  3. Paul Teall says:

    I will let the cow artist know that you guys like the model. We’ll see if he wants to reveal him(or her?!?)self.

    The art direction was – make an ugly cow. 😉

  4. Bitmapworld says:

    The Sacred Cow FTW!
    I think we just got a new mascot 😀

  5. Kerem says:

    I feel that this will make some artists upset maybe but it is also a GREAT feedback. Personally it will let me understand more about quality 3D modeling for production and also I will have a clean portfolio with best of my work.

  6. Illume Studio says:

    Support this and the Checkmate program 100%. This is what you have to do to be the best and provide the best quality products. And this goes a long way to stand behind those who put time and effort in to their models.

  7. AhearnART says:

    $20 for that cow model.

  8. save the cow!, save the cow!

  9. Ruben says:

    I have purchased quality models and sifting through lower quality models never bothered me. I actually dreamed of doing an Indie game competition using all assets from Turbo Squid with a hard cap of how much could be spent. This would obviously use alot of lesser qualitodels but it was about getting Turbo Squid ‘s name out there and using creativity to make games. So maybe you guys can either create a new website that has the lower quality models or sponsor some sort of competition. By the way I used the lower quality models to see basic models and how they were made while I was learning to model.

  10. Max says:

    Hi Turbosquid.

    In principle, I agree with your move to clean up low quality models.
    But what defines low quality?
    Seems like a bunch here likes the cow.

    But seriously, if its just sales volume, then that wouldn’t be too good.
    I’m a Diamond level artist, most sales coming from a few models.
    But I have another couple models that dont sell much because they are
    very niche. They are pretty well modeled and rigged too.

    Conversely, if I were a buyer, and were searching for such niche models,
    and they are taken out of TS because they havent been selling much,
    that would be a shame!

  11. metpinarci sendercorp says:

    Wow , what is next , what is next , huh ? what is next , good model , bad model , not enough model ? sounds like …….., you know what .

    AhearnART says:
    November 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    $20 for that cow model.

    I see AhearnART and raise to 25 dollars .

  12. Spedition says:

    Many low quality products sell well actually so there is no sense to remove it.

  13. jcdev says:

    I hope “low quality” doesn’t mean low-poly. Most game-related models are required to have low polygon counts for real-time rendering. There are many appealing low cost and free models on TurboSquid that I’m concerned might end up being deemed to be low quality and removed.

    However, if the focus is on broken models (often models that look good in the preview are downloaded with missing textures or broken paths – so annoying) then I wholeheartedly support this effort. Really, I’d think it would make more sense to focus on broken or misleading models than ones that are simply ugly. (Already previous commenters have even expressed interest in buying that ridiculously ugly cow model!) As a user, if I see a model I don’t like, I won’t download it, but it won’t affect my opinion of the site. The real problem is when I see a model that I think I’d like, but the actual file turns out to be nothing like the previews.

  14. kjkusa says:

    I hope you don’t plan to remove any models that have actually generated sales. Hopefully your Checkmate algorithm is not that blind.

  15. Chrisz3D says:

    I produce only low poly game models for a fair price. Low poly didn’t mean low quality. Many developer out there need that kind of models – and they love it.

    If Turbosquid remove models of my catalog i will leave. Thats it.

  16. 3dafrica says:

    I have purchased a few cheap models not of exceptional quality but with a few tweaks they are passable especially for concept/visualization. In less developed markets this stuff has relevance. A good shopkeeper stocks goods of varying quality and price…sales is a matter of volume…but again everybody gets a choice which shop to go to….Turbosquid is a shop…if they do not have what you have or do not want to stock what you supply…find another. That said, quality as well as art….is subjective.

  17. 3dafrica says:

    BTW, that cow could star in a milk he available…is it a she or a he? The style is what I call Toonified.

  18. Patricia LaHay says:

    I think the cow is really cute, too. If they wanted an awful cow model, they should have asked ME to make it.

    But to answer your concerns about TurboSquid throwing out good models along with the “bad,” I wanted to reassure everyone that we realize there are different markets for 3d models and these different markets have different needs. And we also agree that “bad” is often in the eye of the beholder. We sell models to a lot of game companies who need low-poly models, for example, so that’s not our focus at all. We’re looking at products that have no potential customers and would never sell. Those don’t belong on our site.

  19. Cybartex says:

    There will always be a place in the market for lower quality models so long as it is reflected in the price. Surely there should always be a choice for customers to buy cheaper models,if it suits their need and they are willing to tweak it.

  20. Yegor Tsyba says:

    Better find the way to cleanup TS from stolen and “downloaded from somethere” models.

  21. Michele Bousquet says:

    @Cybartex: Certainly. But there are many types of models for which we have several versions. If there is a version of a simple model that looks exactly as it should for $10, and one that isn’t made correctly for $5 that has never sold, we are not going to keep the $5 version. If it has been on the site for a long time and no one has purchased it, that tells us that customers don’t want it, and it is cluttering up the search results. We are looking also at how rare the model is. If there is a model and it is the only one on the site like it, we might keep it even if the quality isn’t great, just so customers can get something.
    @Yegor: Cleaning up models that shouldn’t be on the site is also a part of this initiative. We are continually working on this.

  22. Chrisz3D says:

    Please let me give you an example for that fact that the two aspects of quality and sale have nothing to do with the kind of model.

    Ultra Low Poly game model with a small texture size
    sold x19
    You find that ship in 2 casual games.

    Low Poly and a normal texture size
    never sold but maybe someone need that model in the future? Who knows.

  23. Michele Bousquet says:

    @Chrisz3D, those are great examples to look at to further explain our approach. With our criteria, neither of these models would be taken down, regardless of whether they’ve sold. Both models look like a reasonable representation of the actual object, with both their modeled shape and their textures. They are both “good” models with “good” textures when considered for games.

    We use a number of criteria to determine whether to take something down. “No sales” is just a starting point for narrowing down what we look at. I’ll be doing another blog post soon with more details on the process; in fact, I might do it today, given the number of questions there have been about this process!

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