Archive for the ‘CheckMate’ Category

Artist Spotlight: HKV Studios

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by

blog_preview_HKVStudiosWhile the TurboSquid catalog is very diverse, it’s obvious that cars are some of our most popular 3D models.  Among the artists who specialize in sleek details and shapely chrome, stands HKV Studios, whose catalog is made up entirely of vehicles, both vintage and new.  This month, we’re featuring their BMW i8 model, and we had the pleasure of chatting with Artem Kabanov, the creative director and founder of HKV Studios.  In our Featured Artist Interview, Artem talks about what draws him to car modeling, as well as his long relationship with the CheckMate Standard.



How did you get your start as a 3D modeler?

I started my 3D artist career 10 years ago. It started from the hobby that wasn’t really linked with my education and specialty, which is economics and management. I always liked everything connected with machinery and engineering. When I was a kid, I liked to construct toy models of various vehicles – cars, trains, and helicopters. They had moving parts and engines, and they functioned just like the real ones… well, at least I believed they did. :)  3D modeling gave me a new opportunity to actualize my hobby.

Do you have any advice for other modelers?  What do you think is your biggest priority when making 3D models?

My advice is to find your passion that you would like to re-create in 3D. If you work with passion, this gives you an inexhaustible source of energy to improve and create the best products on the market.

When I model a car, I try to re-create every curve of the body as accurately as possible. I understand that behind any car design lies hundreds— or even thousands— of hours of artists’ and engineers’ work. You have to respect that work if you are getting into 3D car modeling.



Your catalog is amazing– lots of cars, and they all look fantastic.  What do you like about modeling cars?  Are there any models that you find particularly challenging to build?

I have loved cars as long as I can remember. They are my true passion.

I enjoy modeling concept cars the most. Those are the cars that stand at the peak of the technical progress. They’re considered to be technically revolutionary, which is underscored with a futuristic exterior and interior design. For example, Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt, and BMW i8: those cars looked and felt cosmic, or ultra-futuristic, three years before they hit the market, so they really brought the whole industry to another level.

What has been your experience with CheckMate?  Do you have any opinions on CheckMate Pro v1 versus Pro v2?

I started working with CheckMate when it was in beta. There were lots of grey areas there at that time, but overall, the process of certifying my first models went smoothly. Since then, the procedure has improved greatly thanks to implementation of the CheckMate queue into the dashboard design, as well as the number of scripts that are available for download and use. I do think there is a long way to go before the process becomes perfect, but what I see right now is that TurboSquid moves very confidently, with large steps, in the right direction.

If we speak about numbers and if the CheckMate certification pay-offs, my answer is undeniably positive. CheckMate models stand higher in the ranks and they have an attractive look that garners more views from potential customers. Customers are already convinced about the quality of CheckMate products, so their choice between certified or non-certified models, in most cases, is obvious.

The 3D industry improves as the customers’ requirements grow. In order to be a successful vendor, you should improve your techniques in accordance with those requirements. CheckMate really became a “bridge” between customer desire and artist vision. It is good to see that CheckMate Pro evolved to introduce V2. This allows us to create up-to-date models to keep the customers 100% satisfied. I look forward to the next updates!

How long have you been with TurboSquid? Would you recommend us to other 3D artists?

I have sold with TurboSquid since September 2005, so, almost nine years now. This is truly a great experience, which has changed my life tremendously. Selling through a website, worldwide, sounded unbelievable ten years ago.

TurboSquid and the 3D industry have evolved significantly. I enjoy watching the Throwback Thursday posts on the TurboSquid Facebook— it gives you a vivid look at how far the industry has jumped in ten years.  It is really great to be a part of this industry and, for sure, I advise everyone to join our great TurboSquid community and help us improve the industry together!


Want to see your CheckMate Pro Certified Model featured on the TurboSquid Home Page? Anything is possible if you just SUBMIT YOUR MODEL!

Artist Spotlight: Tornado Studio

Monday, January 27th, 2014 by

blog_preview_TornadoStudioWhile the world’s Olympians get ready for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Tornado Studio takes the gold medal in 3D modeling with this downhill skier, our newest featured image.  We were happy to get to talk with Martin Kostov, the founder and CEO of Tornado Studio, whose team has contributed a lot of great CheckMate models to the TurboSquid catalog.

How long have you been an artist, and how did you get started in 3D?

I have been a 3D artist for more than 10 years now.

While I was in high school I came a across an image of a satellite in space that I thought was a real photo. To my surprise, it was a 3D rendering and that astonished me. At that point I decided that this was what I want to do in life. Not long after I started exploring 3ds Max, I found about TurboSquid and the possibilities of selling 3D assets.


Do you have any advice for other modelers? What do you think is most important for artists who make 3D models?

We are all in this together– try to find your own part of the market, make only products that you would buy if you were the customer, and never copy other people’s work.

The main advice I have for people who want to be successful is to take the time to study references and create quality products. If you do end up making a product that other people have as well, at least try to make it better looking and match the price, or go higher.


How long have you been with TurboSquid? Would you or have you recommended TurboSquid to others?

I’ve been a seller on Turbosquid for the last 9 years or so, the market has grown and changed a lot since then, but my answer to, ” Where should I sell my 3D stock? ” hasn’t changed at all. TurboSquid is the only place I would sell my models, even if I was starting again today, knowing what I now know.


What has been your experience with CheckMate? Do you have any opinions on CheckMate Pro v1 versus Pro v2?

My team and I were one of the first vendors to try the CheckMate certification process before it was even public. My reaction then was… that this kind of differentiation for the quality of products is exactly what the market needs. Now, a few years later, CheckMate has proven to be the right path for anyone who is serious about selling 3D.

TurboSquid has shared statistics from the CheckMate sales, relative to the sales of the other 95% of the models, and you don’t have to be an expert to see that the future is in certified 3D stock. Clients want to buy a product that will do the job they need, without problems, and this is what Checkmate guarantees.

Even moreso with the new Pro v2, the quality standard has risen yet again. TurboSquid is doing an amazing job in leading the new developments in the industry and we at Tornado Studio feel privileged to be in the Squid Guild and sell exclusively in the best 3D market place there is. If there is something I would recommend for Checkmate V3 is that submissions for CheckMate certification be checked for “copycat” and “defective pricing” signs.


You have a lot of sports equipment in your catalog. Do you have any must-watch winter sports? What events to you like the best at the Winter Olympics?

We at Tornado Studio are big sports fans– we love watching and playing sports. My personal favorite discipline from the Winter Olympics is Ski Jumping. I can only imagine what feelings the athletes experience while sliding down the ramp and jumping in the air. If I ever get the chance to ski jump myself, I would gladly try it out.


Want to see your CheckMate Pro Certified Model featured on the TurboSquid Home Page? Anything is possible if you just SUBMIT YOUR MODEL!

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: 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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