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3D Modeling

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.

 

Grill-Before

Original model. Too many segments and no holding edges.

Grill-After

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.

skulls

 

 

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.

Truck

  • 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.

 

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.

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