Last week we had the second meeting of the CheckMate Advisory Board, a group that meets quarterly to discuss development of the CheckMate standard. The goal of the CheckMate Advisory Board is to keep the standard relevant to the constantly evolving needs of 3D production artists, not only for TurboSquid but for the industry as a whole. In between quarterly meetings we discuss the standard online, forum-style.
In attendance were James Ogle, Viken Majoulian, Chris Bernier, Carlos Cristerna, and Rob Wright. We got several great takeaways from the meeting, many of which will eventually find their way into the CheckMate Pro standard.
- Best bitmaps for textures: EXR, TIF
- Worst: JPG. Most board members deemed JPGs useless for their pipelines.
- All UVs should be unwrapped and non-overlapping, even simple objects.
- Different objects can have different textures, and the UVs for any one texture must be non-overlapping within that texture space. In other words, the UVs for one texture can overlap the UVs from another texture, but within one texture space there should be no overlaps.
- Good to show the model textured with checkers so a potential customer can see that the mapping is nice and even.
- Creasing values don’t export, so they aren’t useful for keeping sharp edges for production pipelines. Sharp edges need to have a double edge built in even at the lowest levels so the model will stand up to subdivision.
- For a complex model (such as a vehicle), it’s good to have three versions available:
- Background/Low poly – Very rough, like a game model, for use in background. Low poly with only major forms modeled, the rest done as textures. Example: tire treads are Diffuse-mapped but not Bump-mapped.
- Medium – Good for medium shots. Major details modeled, but some textured. Example: Tire treads are bump-mapped.
- Hero/Hi Poly – Every detail modeled. Example: Tire treads are modeled.
TurboSquid is looking into providing some examples of these three cases, so TurboSquid artists can choose to create each one as individual products if they like.
- Whenever possible, show the reference materials used. Ideally, the artist uses photos he/she owns, so they can be delivered with the model.
- When this is not possible, at least state what reference was used. Example: “I used the pictures on the Peugeot website for reference.” This increases the model’s credibility.
- Include a thumbnail of the wireframe over the reference photo to show how they match.
- If artist owns the reference photos, include a few that can be used to generate new textures if necessary.
- Show a thumbnail of the model next to a cube mapped with a 1 ft or 1m ruler. This helps confirm the scale.
- In the Description, always give the unit scale used.
- Naming convention is needed for files, objects and textures.
- Layers are desirable in the 3D model file, especially if there are multiple objects in the scene that can be organized by textures. An example is a building where could be a layer for all glass objects, and another for brick.