TurboSquid 3D Modeling Blog

3D Modeling

What Is Feature Graph?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by

Feature Graph is a system that we are using to categorize every asset on TurboSquid. This new system not only provides a better search result for assets, but Feature Graph creates better listings and product placement. No longer are you subject to a small set of categories that may or may not accurately describe your model — Feature Graph has over 13,000 categories.

Improved Publishing & Search Results

Let’s start with the asset “apple.” As a homonym, this can be taken in multiple ways: is it an Apple iPhone or an apple that is a fruit?  The old ways of searching for “apple” would have resulted in products of both types – iPhones and fruits. This distinction can now be made thanks to Feature Graph.  If you want to search for apple, simply select the fruit from the drop-down menu, based on your intent. Once you have made your selection, you will only see apples of the fruit variety in the the search results– nothing else.

Another example of the benefit of Feature Graph can be demonstrated by a search for “hot dog.” This instance proves that the keywords used to describe some products can actually harm the visibility of an asset. When an artist uses “hot” and “dog” as a keyword that describes an asset, the old system would display the keyword search for “dog.”  This is clearly the wrong result, as the asset is not an animal. Feature Graph does not  rely on keywords to determine what an asset is, so it properly identifies a “hot dog” as food and places it into the correct category. The outcome is a search results page that no longer includes hot dogs in the mix when a customer or artist searches for “dog.”

There is also a hierarchy tree set up for all assets. Let’s use “clownfish” as an example; if a customer were to type in animal, sea creature, fish, coral fish, anemone fish, fishes,  tropical fish, arcanthurus, amphiprioninae, clown fish, or clownfish, they would see this asset in those lists:

This helps your product’s visibility and reduces the amount of spam and incorrectly-keyworded assets from showing up in those categories.

Product Pricing

As many of our artists have experienced, CheckMate enforces a strict pricing policy, put into place partially  to prevent undercutting. Feature Graph gives the CheckMate Inspectors a way to more accurately determine the average selling price of all assets of the same type of model. This information will provide the information needed to help TurboSquid to fend off undercutting, especially as we continue to view each model submitted against comparable assets.

Help Us Improve Feature Graph

While the number of categories continues to expand, there will likely come a time when a specific category does not have representation with an asset. This is bound to happen as we strive to categorize all of the objects in the world. We are currently developing a tool for artists to add brands to Feature Graph that aren’t yet listed  This is where you, our artists, come in: help us to better categorize your assets. Simply email us at  breadcrumbs@turbosquid.com with the product ID or URL, as well as suggestions for the specific category or brand name that you feel best represents the model. With your help, along with our own research, we can categorize every asset on TurboSquid, making it a place that allows your assets easy visibility and ultimate profitability.

Corey Cambre is a TurboSquid CheckMate Inspector.  In addition to this post, he has also detailed the process behind getting our artists’ models through the CheckMate Pro v2 Certification.

Artist Spotlight: Andor Kollar

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by

blog_preview_Andor-KollarOur new featured image is one great looking male model in every sense of the word.  Its creator, Andor Kollar, is an accomplished CG Supervisor and character artist who believes that his roots in traditional drawing have served him well in making great 3D models.  We were honored to have him answer our Featured Artist Interview, where Andor reflected on what it takes to create expressive art.

Andor-Kollar_assets2

Have you always been an artist?  What attracted you to 3D?

I think I was always interested in the arts, probably from the time I was born.  I’ve always tried to embrace the many things that interest me.  I am fascinated by the combination of art and culture in the world, which helped to inform my love of drawing and my traditional art background.   In the Middle Ages, they painted with oil and carved marble sculptures… Nowadays, computer graphics are the new, exciting tool with which we express our imagination.  Making 3D graphics is like creating a new world.

 

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

I’m a character artist, primarily. My biggest priority is to work with passion and fill up my characters with soul.   It’s work, but I also really enjoy playing with the models.   And I can’t rest until I’ve perfectly expressed the personality of the character I’ve created.

As artists, I think our own expressions and emotions show in our work very much.  Developing mentally plays a big part in developing artistically, because our personalities imprint on whatever we put back into the world. I think software knowledge isn’t enough to make successful work, because over the years, those methods always change. But someone who has good vision and can draw well has the biggest advantage.  It’s also important to be observant and have a strong understanding of shapes, forms, proportions, and details.

 

It looks as though perfecting your male model is an ongoing process.  What else is on the horizon for you as a 3D artist?

I have always been inspired by the human body and anatomy.  I think it’s brilliant, trying to capture a character’s personality.  That’s the most important and most difficult thing for a character artist. So, yes— building [the male model] is an ongoing process for me, because I get better and better from all the work I’ve put into it.

My plan is to keep going and make more perfect, more realistic, and more artistic characters.

 

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

I think CheckMate is a very good idea, because I’m a perfectionist and I always like clean models and a clear workflow. When I work as a CG Supervisor, I can also see things from the customer’s point of view and how it’s very important to purchase clean work that’s aesthetically pleasing and technically detailed.

I think CheckMate v2 has a more precise workflow, and I like it.

 

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

I’ve been a TurboSquid artist since 2011. I liked the site and believed that if I uploaded my work, it would be successful. Before TurboSquid, I had previous experience on AAA games like Heroes of Might and Magic VThe Witcher; Silent Hill: OriginsRise of the Argonauts; F.E.A.R.; Extraction Point; and Overlord II.  This gave me the chance to get very good at making 3d models!

I would highly recommend TurboSquid to other artists. I think having a TurboSquid catalog is as good as having a 3D portfolio.

It was an honor to do this interview and to work with TurboSquid.

Thanks, Andor!  We’re pretty fond of you too.  Check out Andor’s Featured Model on our home page and you can check out more of his work on TurboSquid and on KollarAndor.com

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

TurboTips: V-Ray FastSSS2 Material, Part 1

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by

The following is an in-depth guide to the regular V-Ray Blend Material. In this series, we will cover the theory behind many of the features of the material.  We’ll also show specific examples of settings and give you some tricks to use. While the images used are from 3ds Max, the same concepts and settings can be used for V-Ray for Maya. Currently, the SSS materials in V-Ray for C4D behave differently, so this tutorial will not be as valuable for C4D users.

The V-Ray FastSSS2 Material is designed for creating translucent materials (ones that scatter the light inside the object). Some common examples are: skin, marble, wax, milk, etc.

Compared to the “translucency” option in the regular V-Ray Material, it has a far better sub-surface scattering model (SSS).  It is faster and much more advanced. For this reason, it’s preferable to use the FastSSS2 Material whenever you need to make a translucent shader.

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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.

HKVStudios_assets

 

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!

TurboTips: An In-Depth Look at Falloff Maps

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 by

Falloff maps are an extremely powerful tool for artists to utilize when creating procedural shaders. They are essential when trying to create any realistic shader that is reflective or has color changing properties like chrome, metals, and pearlescent paint.  In order to use Falloff maps effectively, it is important to understand how the map works.

In this week’s edition of Turbo Tips, we’ll explain the ins and outs of Falloff map parameters.  For our purposes, we are demonstrating with 3ds Max, but the ideas and concepts can be used in many other 3D programs.

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TurboTips: Scene Optimizations & Best Practices, Part 4

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by

It is very easy to zone out and work away without thinking about your scene, naming, or organization. Before you know it, you have a few dozen cloned objects named Box#### or a Material Editor full of textures named # – Default, and if you take a break, you may not always remember what’s what, or what’s applied to where.

Our Turbo Tip of the week (and possibly of the year– this advice is that important!): keep things simple by naming and organizing as you go.

For now, this will be our final post in our series on Scene Optimizations & Best Practices.  If you have a topic or question you’d like to see addressed in a future edition of Turbo Tips, check out the bottom of this post to find out how to get in touch with us.

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