Author Archive

What Is Feature Graph?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Feature Graph is a system that we are using to categorize every asset on TurboSquid. This new system not only provides a better search result for assets, but Feature Graph creates better listings and product placement. No longer are you subject to a small set of categories that may or may not accurately describe your model — Feature Graph has over 13,000 categories.

Improved Publishing & Search Results

Let’s start with the asset “apple.” As a homonym, this can be taken in multiple ways: is it an Apple iPhone or an apple that is a fruit?  The old ways of searching for “apple” would have resulted in products of both types – iPhones and fruits. This distinction can now be made thanks to Feature Graph.  If you want to search for apple, simply select the fruit from the drop-down menu, based on your intent. Once you have made your selection, you will only see apples of the fruit variety in the the search results– nothing else.

Another example of the benefit of Feature Graph can be demonstrated by a search for “hot dog.” This instance proves that the keywords used to describe some products can actually harm the visibility of an asset. When an artist uses “hot” and “dog” as a keyword that describes an asset, the old system would display the keyword search for “dog.”  This is clearly the wrong result, as the asset is not an animal. Feature Graph does not  rely on keywords to determine what an asset is, so it properly identifies a “hot dog” as food and places it into the correct category. The outcome is a search results page that no longer includes hot dogs in the mix when a customer or artist searches for “dog.”

There is also a hierarchy tree set up for all assets. Let’s use “clownfish” as an example; if a customer were to type in animal, sea creature, fish, coral fish, anemone fish, fishes,  tropical fish, arcanthurus, amphiprioninae, clown fish, or clownfish, they would see this asset in those lists:

This helps your product’s visibility and reduces the amount of spam and incorrectly-keyworded assets from showing up in those categories.

Product Pricing

As many of our artists have experienced, CheckMate enforces a strict pricing policy, put into place partially  to prevent undercutting. Feature Graph gives the CheckMate Inspectors a way to more accurately determine the average selling price of all assets of the same type of model. This information will provide the information needed to help TurboSquid to fend off undercutting, especially as we continue to view each model submitted against comparable assets.

Help Us Improve Feature Graph

While the number of categories continues to expand, there will likely come a time when a specific category does not have representation with an asset. This is bound to happen as we strive to categorize all of the objects in the world. We are currently developing a tool for artists to add brands to Feature Graph that aren’t yet listed  This is where you, our artists, come in: help us to better categorize your assets. Simply email us at  breadcrumbs@turbosquid.com with the product ID or URL, as well as suggestions for the specific category or brand name that you feel best represents the model. With your help, along with our own research, we can categorize every asset on TurboSquid, making it a place that allows your assets easy visibility and ultimate profitability.

Corey Cambre is a TurboSquid CheckMate Inspector.  In addition to this post, he has also detailed the process behind getting our artists’ models through the CheckMate Pro v2 Certification.

CheckMate Pro v2: Inspection Process

Thursday, September 12th, 2013 by

As a CheckMate Pro inspector, I’d like to tell you about the steps we take when inspecting the models you submit for CheckMate Pro v2. Our goal is to help you get through the process as quickly and easily as possible. The procedure is a little different from Pro v2 because of our new focus on edge flow and clean topology. Knowing how we do inspections can help you pass the CheckMate Pro specification faster. You can also use the CheckMate Pro v2 Checklist to help you along.

Step 1. Determine the model type

When you first submit your model for CheckMate Pro, the first thing the inspector does is check to see if the model is being submitted as subdividable or as realtime.

In the Product Preview, the inspector looks for one of two things to be present:

  • The text “not intended for subdivision” in the product’s description, indicating that you intend the model to be used for background, real-time, or game use, OR
  • Wireframe thumbnails with subdivision applied to them and labeled with Subdivision Levels, indicating that you intend the model to be subdividable.

If one of these is found, the inspector can determine whether you are submitting for subdividable or realtime, and the inspector moves on to the next step. If neither of these are found (or if both are found), the inspector fails the submission and asks you to provide one (and only one) of these things in the product preview so he/she can tell which type of certification you’re going for.

Note that the inspector doesn’t check all aspects of the product preview just yet. That step is later in the process. This is a change from Pro v1 inspections, when we used to check the product preview first for sufficient rendered thumbnails, texture resolutions in the description, and so forth.

Step 2. Topology Check

If the model is specified as “not intended for subdivision” then the inspector checks that the model that has the minimum number of polygons possible to create the shape of the object, and excellent textures to make up the difference in detail.  If the model does not meet this standard, the inspector fails the model and asks you to reduce the number of edges around certain parts of the model to get it to the minimum number for polygons. See our examples of certified realtime models.

If the model is subdividable than the inspector checks for perfect edge flow, suitable for most customer needs such as editing, re-texturing, rigging, and subdivision.Possible fail points include poles and T-vertices as well as overall edge flow. If the inspector finds any issue that prevents the model from having clean edge flow, they take screen captures of these areas and circle the areas that need correction. You will find a link to these pictures in the support ticket. If you have trouble envisioning how to change your edge flow to fit the topology standard, you can ask the inspector for drawings showing possible solutions.

Once the model’s topology has been passed by the inspector (as either subdividable or non-subdividable) according to the specification,  then they move onto the next step in the inspection process.

Step 3. Product Preview

Only after your topology passes the specification do we look at the Product Preview, or the product as it appears on TurboSquid.  In this step we look at the rendered images, the specifications of the model, the description, etc. as described in Sections 1 and 3 in the CheckMate Pro Specification. If an inspector finds errors or issues with the Product Preview thumbnails or information, the Inspector fails the model and sends you notes on how to correct those errors.

At this point we also check to make sure your Vendor Information is filled out. This includes how and when you get paid for sales. Vendor Information must be complete before you can pass any CheckMate level including Lite.

Step 4. Native Model File

The Fourth step to the inspection process involves the native file format. This is the model that you chose in the Publisher as the model’s native format. This format should be the original format that you modeled the product in. The inspector checks the model against Section 2 in the CheckMate Pro Specification. Basically this is everything other than topology such as real world scale, textures present, objects in a named layer, model near origin, etc. Using the CheckMate Pro v2 Checklist before you submit can be very helpful in making sure you pass this step quickly.

If an inspector finds issues with the native format the model is failed, and you will receive notes on how to correct those errors. Once the native format  is up to the specification, the inspector goes onto the next step.

Step 5. Non-Native Files

Non-native files are other certifiable formats beyond the native format: Maya, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Softimage, or Lightwave. Inspectors check these files in the same way they check the native format in the previous step. They also look over the non-native topology to ensure there are no significant differences from native file.

If there is an error with a non-native file, the inspector fails the product and contacts you about your options:

  • You can fix the problem with the file to make it certifiable, OR
  • You can leave the file format as uncertified, meaning it will appear under “Unreviewed Formats” in the Product Preview. Note that any such file must pass the CheckMate Lite standard for files; it must open without errors and include all textures. The specifics are laid out in Section 2 of the Lite specification.

Once that question is settled and all non-native files pass one of the two points above, the model is certified for CheckMate Pro.

I hope you find this information helpful. We like seeing all the models coming in for CheckMate Pro, and we hope you’ll send more our way.

 

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