Archive for the ‘Customers’ Category

British Indie Music Video Makes the Most of TurboSquid Models

Thursday, May 16th, 2013 by

When British indie rock group, The Shallows, wanted a video for their song, “Honestly,” they turned to Jamie Fraser of Super Mega Action Plus.  Jamie and his partner, Debs, are the creative forces behind Super Mega Action Plus, incorporating live action film with both 2D and 3D animation.

The Shallows loved SMAP’s style in another artist’s music video, so when it came to “Honestly,” Jamie expanded on some of that video’s themes with a dystopian twist: “[We] tickled ourselves with the idea that picking something up in the street could cause an apocalyptic flood. Just wanted to seed that idea, so that when folks see odd things on the street they might wonder about it.”

What came out of it was this, their first fully-animated video, smoothly combining 2D characters in a 3D world:

Jamie: This idea was made possible by Video Copilot’s Element 3D plugin being released recently, which has meant it’s possible to bring OBJ files into After Effects and work with them in 3D space.


FAQ: Common Customer Issues, PLUS Solutions

Thursday, April 11th, 2013 by

While there is nothing common when it comes to our customers, we often find that their questions center around some common issues. We’ve collected a few of the more frequently asked questions, along with their solutions, to help our artists make their models more attractive to potential customers.

Forging a successful relationship with customers, and possibly becoming their go-to artist, is easy.  When a customer purchases one of your models, make sure that what you deliver meets their expectations.


“Why are there no wireframes available for the model that I want?”

This is a big complaint that we receive from customers, since some of the products on  TurboSquid do not have wireframes. Our research shows that the more effort you put into showcasing your work, the more likely you are to grab the attention of a potential customer (which only leads to more sales).

Suggested Solution: The customers would really like to see what they are purchasing. We have YouTube videos online to show you how to set up your model to render the wireframes.

Texture Sizes

“Where can I find the texture sizes that are being used on this model?”

Another common issue for our customers is missing information.  Buying a model can be a big purchase, and no one wants to take a risk in buying a product that won’t work for their needs.  The more information you provide, the more the customer can trust that your model is exactly what they’re looking for.

Suggested Solution: Even if you have multiple textures, be sure to list the sizes in your description to help boost sales. The more information a customer has, the more likely they are to return to your catalog.


Absolute Paths

Where are the missing elements within the model I just purchased?” 

Sometimes a model will generate a “missing textures” error when a customer loads or renders it.  Most of the time, the issue is with a naming convention rather than an actual missing texture.

Suggested Solution: When you create a model and use textures from your computer, most programs will use a specific path on your computer, for instance, C:\Users\example\My Models\TurboSquid.jpg. Before you publish your model, we ask that you strip these paths to say: TurboSquid.jpg. When a customer opens a model, this will prevent a missing textures error.


The CheckMate Difference – October Sales

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 by

CheckMate sales have passed the 20% mark! At present, about 3.5% of 3D models at TurboSquid are CheckMate certified, but sales of CheckMate models account for over 20% of 3D models sales revenue. Customers have told us over and over that they’d buy CheckMate models every time if they were available in every category. Get your models into CheckMate now, while many categories are still open!

CheckMate Graph

In celebration of hitting the 20% mark, I present this meme featuring the Y U No Guy. I have the same question myself.

Y U No Do CheckMate




CheckMate Advisory Board Live and in Person

Thursday, October 18th, 2012 by

The CheckMate Advisory Board met last week at TurboSquid headquarters in New Orleans, and what a meeting it was! Over the two-day conference, Board members discussed a variety of topics ranging from UVs and gamma correction to outsourcing and education.

CheckMate Advisory Board at TurboSquid

Advisory Board members meet at the TurboSquid headquarters. Clockwise from lower left: Jerome Denjean (Blur Studio), Fred Ruff (Bent Image Lab), Rob Wright (CNN), James Ogle (Weta Digital), Beau Perschall (TurboSquid), Viken Majoulian (Electronic Arts), Carlos Cristerna (Neoscape).


Some of the key takeaways from the meeting:

Accuracy and Reference Materials

Because 3D models are used for match moving and compositing so often that high accuracy of real-world objects is extremely important. When a customer positions the model over a still from the live action footage or photo, they should match perfectly.

For stock 3D, Advisory Board members asked that artists put in the product description the method they used to build the item accurately. If the artist has photos he can use as thumbnails, he should put up a photo of the item used as reference (clearly marked as a photo so customers don’t think it’s a rendering) and then a second thumbnail showing the model overlaid on the photo. If the artist can’t include these images, he should explain which types of reference that were used and where they came from.

What this means for TurboSquid artists: When you publish a model of a real-world object, especially vehicles and street elements (which are frequently used in match-moving), include the information described above. Remember that you cannot include exterior websites in your product description, but you can describe them. Example: “Reference used: Photos from XYZ Airlines website gallery.”

What this means for CheckMate: We’re considering having this requirement as part of a “CheckMate Plus” standard in the future. Start doing this now, and you’ll be ready!

Levels of Detail

For any type of model, the ideal is to have three models available with different levels of detail.

  • Background model. Intended for display in less than 1% of total screen space. Low poly with great textures. Example: A car at the back of a large parking lot. Basic mirrors and hood ornaments modeled, but grill and door handles represented by textures. No interior necessary.
  • Midground model. Intended for display in less than 10% of screen space. Convex details modeled, concave details textured. Example: A car in a parking lot, parked closer to the camera than a background model. This is not just a subdivided version of the Background model. For example, the grill and door handle would be modeled, but tire treads and headlights would be represented by textures. Low-poly interior for items above seat level.
  • Foreground (Hero) model. Enough detail to look good when displayed in 100% of screen space or extreme close-ups. Example: A car right in front of the camera. Tire treads and headlights would be fully modeled, and even the stitching on interior seats.

Since the Hero model almost always needs to be customized, and they know about the need for the model well ahead of time based on storyboards, production artists will usually build it themselves. They might use a purchased Midground model as the basis for a custom-built Hero model. All other models of real-world objects, both Background and Midground, can usually be purchased from a stock 3D site.

A special case for a stock Hero model is when an Art Director decides at the last minute that he wants to change the storyboard and zoom into a Background or Midground model instead. If there’s no Hero model handy, the production facility might buy one from a stock 3D site to avoid having to wait for an in-house artist to build it. This situation isn’t as common as purchase of Midground and Background models, but if the customer needs a Hero model and a high-quality model of this type is available in stock 3D, they’ll pay top dollar for it. But until there’s a detailed Hero model for every conceivable item in the world with all possible variations, production artists will continue to use stock 3D mostly for Background and Midground.

“Even if we aren’t sure we’ll need them, we’d probably buy both of them just in case,” said one Advisory Board member.

This doesn’t mean they’ll never purchase a Hero model. If they find one that works for them, they’ll buy it. But this situation is less common than finding Midground and Background models that suit their needs.

What this means for TurboSquid artists: Having both a Midground and Background version of a model available at TurboSquid as separate products, with product IDs for each listed on the other’s description, will help customers purchase model pairs that will take them all the way through a project. If you have a Hero version too, refer to that one in the Midground and Background product descriptions as well.

What this means for CheckMate: We’re not sure yet. Advisory Board members said they’d like to be able to purchase packaged sets of 2 or 3 models with different levels of detail (LODs), but CheckMate currently allows only one model per product. We’d like to see some artists putting up separate products as described above, and let’s see how they sell. We do plan to allow collections in CheckMate soon, so that might be a solution for bundling sets of two or three models with different LODs.

The Future of CheckMate

These points just scratch the surface of what the CheckMate Advisory Board talked about. We’ll post a more comprehensive list of takeaways, plus some video interviews with Board members, in the coming weeks.

Many of the discussion points will lead to future changes to the CheckMate standard. You can get a jump on quality now by utilizing this information when you publish your new 3D models at TurboSquid.

CheckMate Advisory Board Meets in New Orleans

Friday, October 5th, 2012 by

The CheckMate Advisory Board will convene in New Orleans Oct 11-12. This group of individuals, each of which is dedicated to setting and enforcing 3D modeling standards within his own organization, will inform and shape development of the CheckMate standard to ensure it meets artists’ needs going forward. Meeting topics will include:

  • Use of standards in production pipelines
  • Standards for UVs and textures
  • Naming conventions for objects and files
  • Training on standards
  • Future standards

The meeting promises to be exciting and informative. We’ll be back with a full report afterward!

TurboSquid Sighting: SURVIVOR

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 by

When the hit CBS TV show SURVIVOR needed a 3D model to promote its 24th season, naturally they turned to TurboSquid and chose a CheckMate Pro model by veteran artist Massimo Righi.


Alligator 3D model by Massimo Righi


“TurboSquid is the only place I go to buy all our 3D models,” says Jon Lee, Senior Creative Director Promo Animation at CBS. You can see the alligator in action around 1:40 in this promotional video from the CBS site.


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