Archive for the ‘CheckMate’ Category

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.

CheckMate Pro v2 Specification: T-Vertices

Thursday, September 5th, 2013 by

Part of creating good topology for CheckMate Pro v2 subdividable models is to avoid T-vertices, the convergence of edges in a T formation, unless they are absolutely necessary for the flow of the model’s shape. T-vertices, or T-verts for short, when used incorrectly, will halt edge flow and cause poor subdivision.

Acceptable T-vertex

Acceptable T-vertex


Unacceptable T-vertex

Any vertex with only three edges could be consider a T-vertex; the crossbar of the T doesn’t have to be straight across. You can use them when there’s no better solution, but it is best to avoid them as much as possible. Here, we’ll look at at few T-vert situations, both acceptable and unacceptable.

Flowing Around Corners – Acceptable

When a model’s shape changes direction, T-vertices are necessary where the quad flow from one direction meets the flow from the other direction.

On this rabbit model, an acceptable T-vertex forms where the edge flow up the side of the ear meets the edge flow across the top of the ear.

On cell phones and other electronics, an acceptable T-vertex forms when the quad flow from the side of the phone form a corner with the flow from the bottom of the phone.

On cell phones and other electronics, an acceptable T-vertex forms when the quad flow from the side of the phone forms a corner with the flow across the bottom of the phone.


Insets – Acceptable

The method of creating extra detail described in the Oblong Cutouts video creates T-vertices. These vertices are acceptable because this method is the best way to increase detail within a specific area while still maintaining easily selectable edge loops.

The recommended method for increasing detail creates acceptable T-vertices.

The recommended method for increasing detail creates acceptable T-vertices.

Such a construction results in easily selectable edge loops.

Such a construction is easy to edit. It results in easily selectable edge loops.

You (or the customer) can easily select rings of edges...

You (or the customer) can easily select rings of edges…

...and create a new set of edges by connecting the ring selection.

…and create a new set of edges by connecting the ring selection.


Transitioning with Other Methods – Usually unacceptable

Artists sometimes use T-verts as a solution for going from an area of high detail to lower detail. This is acceptable as long as the transition uses insets as described above. If insets are not used, the topology is probably not the best it can be, which means it fails CheckMate Pro v2. A straight T crossbar is often an indication of poorly planned topology.


A T-vertex with a straight crossbar is usually not the best solution.

Original 2_option

It’s better to extend the edges…

Original 2_element_new

…or make the sleeve and arm separate objects…


…or rearrange the edges so the inset method can be used.

Unnecessary Use of Inset Method – Unacceptable

Just because all your T-vertices are a result of insets, does not mean the model will pass CheckMate Pro v2. In order for insets to be acceptable, they must be necessary. The model below fails CheckMate Pro v2 not on T-vertices, but on unnecessary and excessive edges. When the edges were removed, the model kept exactly the same shape.

Although the T-vertices (yellow) are created with an inset structure, the red edges are unnecessary for this object and should be removed altogether.

Although the T-vertices (yellow) are created with an inset structure, the red edges are unnecessary for this object and should be removed altogether.

Bent Polygon – Unacceptable

A bent polygon can result from the use of T-vertices, with the polygon bending along a hidden edge following from the supporting bar of the T. This is poor topology that will cause undesirable effects in renderings.

Poorly planned T-vertices can result in a bent polygon.

In this case, an edge should be added in place of the hidden edge, and the resulting topology should be adjusted for good edge flow.

These are just guidelines for T-vertices. As with all your topology, you should be constantly asking yourself, “Is there any way this could be better?” The existence of T-vertices in any situation other than the first two listed here is usually a sign that your topology could be (and should be) better.

If your model suffers from T-vertices and you don’t know how to fix them, you can submit your model for CheckMate Pro inspection and ask the inspector for assistance.

CheckMate Pro v2 Specification: Realtime 3D Models

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 by

Part of the CheckMate Pro v2 specification allows for realtime models. A realtime model has the minimum number of polygons possible to create the shape of the object, and excellent textures to make up the difference in detail. Such a model is also not expected to be subdividable. In fact, if holding edges are added to the model, it adds unnecessary detail that causes the model to not be ideal for realtime.      Exception for realtime models: Models intended for game engines, realtime display, or background elements must have the lowest number of polygons possible while still retaining the model’s shape… For such models, a high percentage of triangles is allowable, provided they are necessary to make the model shape with the lowest number of polygons possible.


Here are some examples of CheckMate Pro v2 realtime models.

T-55A Medium Tank by ES3DStudios

751844-Tank-Render 751844-Tank-Wire-Detail

 This tank model has just the right amount of detail on round areas that realtime users or game players will be likely to notice, such as the treads and turret. The gun has just enough segments to keep it round at a medium distance, and the flat plates on the tank body have a single bevel to catch light detail and add an extra touch of realism. There are no holding edges on the treads, or anywhere else. The textures and UVs are also superb. It’s clear that this model was carefully thought out and modeled with realtime use in mind.


Rubble Debris Complete Scene by 3D_Multimedia

758887-Debris-Render 758887-Debris-Wire

758887-Debris-Render-Car 758887-Debris-Render-Lights

Is there anything better than a big pile of debris? This busy scene consists of several low-poly objects for a game or realtime environment. Great time and care was taken to make each object as low-poly as possible, while providing great textures to make a rich scene.

Triangles and Realtime Models

If necessary, a realtime 3D model can have a large percentage of triangles. Appropriate realtime topology is all about making a model that customers can readily use for realtime or background purposes, especially in situations where poly count is an issue. When preparing a realtime model, ask yourself if there’s any way to reduce the poly count even further and still retain the shape of the model.

Realtime Submissions for CheckMate Pro v2

When submitting a realtime 3D model for CheckMate Pro v2 certification, be sure to indicate in the Description that the model is intended for realtime and not subdivision. This tells the inspector what to look for when inspecting your model.

CheckMate Pro v2: Updating Your Pro v1 Catalog

Friday, August 23rd, 2013 by

CheckMate Pro Certified Logo Many artists have commented to me that their 3D models in CheckMate Pro v1 already meet the CheckMate Pro v2 standard. That’s great news, and we want you to have that later certification date along with the shiny new badge for all your models.

To submit your Pro v1 models for Pro v2, you can do one of two things:

  • Reupload your native file in the product to automatically trigger a reinspection for Pro v2.
  • Or, if you have a lot of models to submit, open a support ticket with the subject “Upgrade Pro v1 to v2″ and list the product IDs you want to upgrade. We will manually trigger a reinspection on our end.

Please note that any 3D models you submit for Pro v2 in this way will go through a full inspection for the new specification.

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