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CheckMate Pro v2: Lowering Poly Count On SubD Models

Friday, October 4th, 2013 by

Subdivision models naturally have more polygons than realtime models because of holding edges and good edge flow overall. However, it’s important to realize that a really well-made subdivision model often has fewer polygons than a non-subdividable model.

The following two images show a model of a Dimplex grill. On the left is the original model an artist created. He tried to make the model so it didn’t need subdivision when used as a background or mid-range object. But the model had no holding edges, so it couldn’t be subdivided for close-ups. The model on the right, however, was made especially for subdivision, with fewer segments along the side. With no subdivision the model works for background shots, at Level 1 subdivision for mid-range shots, and Level 2-3 for closeups. The subdividable model, at the base level, has fewer polygons than the original model.



Original model. Too many segments and no holding edges.


Subdividable model. Fewer side segments, holding edges, fewer polygons overall.

Another example is this skull model. The original model (left) has a high number of polys. The same model can be represented with a much lower poly count (middle) with the option to subdivide (right). This gives the customer more options while keeping the base poly count fairly low for background use.




CheckMate Pro v2 Resources

Monday, September 16th, 2013 by

Recently we’ve had a lot of blog posts about how to get your 3D models certified for CheckMate Pro v2. For your convenience, here is a list of blog posts and resources that can help you pass the specification.

Tools and Resources

Topology Specification Points


CheckMate Pro v2: Subdivision Topology Requirements

Thursday, September 12th, 2013 by

To help you pass CheckMate Pro v2 certification faster for subdividable models, here is a summary of the topology requirements. Please refer to the links for more detailed information, and also to the CheckMate Pro v2 Checklist.

Topology Requirements

  • Grid pattern for edges wherever possible. By this we mean have as close to 90-degree angles between edges as possible while still retaining the shape and flow of the model. The grid can go diagonally or turn corners, as long as it retains a grid pattern throughout the model as much as possible.

Sneaker 3D Goggles

  • Supporting edges to hold shape during subdivision.


  • Cutouts and protrusions constructed with the methods described in the Round Cutouts and Oblong Cutouts videos.
  • Objects are in separate pieces to correspond with separate pieces or sections in the real-life object, especially if different sections have different grid arrangements.
  • T-vertices only where required for turning corners.
  • In 3ds Max and Maya, no Crease settings above 0.
  • Edge flow that allows selection of loops and rings, wherever possible.
  • Edge flow and subdividability are not necessary on small, insignificant objects such as screws, bolts, rivets, wires.
  • One-sided thin objects with opacity maps do not have to be subdividable. Examples: leaves, decals, paper.
  • No openings that cause parts of the model to become see-through.

Presentation Requirements

  • Wireframe thumbnails showing the model at subdivision level 0, and at least one level higher.
  • Closeup wireframes are required if the topology of detailed areas isn’t easy to see in the full view of the model (this is usual).


CheckMate Pro v2 Checklist

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 by

CheckMate inspector Corey Cambre has provided this quick checklist for artists who wish to submit their models for CheckMate Pro v2.

3D Model Requirements

  1. CheckMate Pro Tool 1 script: Check for quads/tris only, no isolated vertices, other fail points.
  2. Decide if your model is to be submitted as subdividable or realtime.
  3. Real-world scale in any units.
  4. Model positioned near [0,0,0] and model includes a grouping or hierarchy such that entire model can be moved by selecting one object or helper.
  5. Objects in a named layer.
  6. Texture paths stripped.
  7. All extraneous splines, helpers, hidden objects, etc. removed.
  8. Transforms reset.
  9. Model + textures in a single ZIP file with flat file structure (no subfolders) for each file format offered.

 Publisher Step 1

  1. Product Name: noun or adjectives-noun, spelled correctly, first letter capitalized
  2. CheckMate Price
  3. Poly Count and Vertex Count for model without subdivision
  4. Geometry type: choose Polygonal Quads/Tris or Polygonal Quads only
  5. Fill out all other fields accurately
  6. Choose native format
  7. Choose option Submit model for CheckMate Pro

Publisher Step 2

  1. Signature Image
  2. Secondary Image
  3. At least 4 additional renderings from various angles, closeups, etc. 1200×1200 minimum and square
  4. Turntable
  5. Wireframe Images – At least 2
  6. If subdivision model, 2 or more wireframes showing subdivision levels
  7. If Unwrapped UVs = Yes or Mixed, include image of UV cage unwrapped over texture

Publisher Step 3

  • Description includes:
    1. Any third-party renderer used
    2. Resolutions for all textures
    3. Unit scale used, and size of model in that scale
    4. If realtime model, include the text “This model is not intended for subdivision.”

Note: Doing the items on this checklist will not guarantee you will pass CheckMate Pro, but it will get you close enough to submit the model and get specific corrections from a CheckMate Inspector.

CheckMate Pro v2 Checker Script

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 by

CheckMate-Tool-v2We are pleased to announce that a new MAXScript is available for checking 3ds Max models for CheckMate Pro v2 compliance. The new tool works with 3ds Max version 2010 and later.

CheckMate Pro v2 Tool 2 flags possible fail points such as poles and T-vertices. Please refer to these blog posts to learn how to determine whether the flagged topology is actually a fail.

Please note that CheckMate Pro v2 Tool 2 checks only for points specific to Pro v2. You will still need to run Tool 1 to check for specification points brought forward from Pro v1 such as quads, isolated vertices, etc. Tool 1 is the Pro v1 script, renamed to Tool 1 to differentiate it from the new script for v2.

CheckMate Pro v2 Specification: Checking Edge Flow

Monday, September 9th, 2013 by

The CheckMate Pro v2 specification requires subdividable models to have excellent edge flow. Good edge flow means you can easily select edge loops and rings, and the model subdivides extremely well. Your 3D application includes tools for testing these features.

Testing Edge Flow

Loop-SelectWith your model at the base level select an edge at random, and use your software’s built-in tools to select loops and rings from that edge. Repeat the test for several more edges on your model. If most of the loops and rings continue along the object, then your model has easily selectable edge loops and rings.

Here is a quick guide to selecting edge loops and rings in three of the major 3D applications. Refer to your software’s Help system for more information.

  • 3ds Max: Select an edge from an Editable Poly and click Loop or Ring in Selection rollout.
  • Maya: Select a loop by double-clicking an edge; select a ring with Polygons menu > Select > Select Edge Ring Tool.
  • Cinema 4D: In edge mode, hold down V and choose Select > Loop Selection or Ring Selection.

Testing Subdivision

If you are submitting a subdividable model, it is essential that you test the subdivision before you submit the model for CheckMate Pro 2. After subdividing your model, check for:

  • Pinching. Indicates poor edge flow, coincident or near-coincident vertices that need to be welded, or tiny polygons that must be collapsed.
  • Whirling patterns of edges. Indicates poor edge flow over a substantial area.
  • Drastic shape change. Indicates that the base model needs more detail or holding edges.

After correcting your base model, look at it to make sure a customer can use it without subdivision if they wish to do so. If the model looks great with subdivision but the base model has hidden overlaps and strange pulled shapes, the model will not pass CheckMate Pro v2.  The base model with no subdivision must be usable on its own.

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