Our Search page now includes a tool to specify Poly Count for 3D models, giving customers the ability to search for low-polygon models within the parameters of their choice. The definitions of “low-poly” and “game-ready” change so frequently that it makes sense to allow customers to enter poly count ranges for their specific needs.
Why am I excited about this? Because the Poly Count search tool will lead to more artists getting CheckMate certified. CheckMate has always been open to low-poly 3D models, but some artists felt they had to put the words LOW POLY on their Signature Images so customers could find them. The new Poly Count search tool removes this concern, so low-poly models can have Signature Images that meet the CheckMate requirement of “no text on Signature Images”.
But most importantly, customers who have strict poly count budgets now have a tool for finding exactly what they need.
We’ve been running CheckMate officially since August 4, and we’ve made a few updates to the specification based on feedback and submissions. These aren’t major changes, but it’s important that you know about them to make your CheckMate submissions go as smoothly as possible.
Descriptions need to use correct spelling, grammar, punctuation and correct use of 3D product names like 3ds Max and V-Ray. See our Knowledge Base article on Correct Spellings of 3D Product Names to get correct spellings, or refer to the product manufacturer’s website.
In order to be eligible for CheckMate, you must choose one of the last four choices in the Geometry pulldown:
– Polygonal Quads/Tris
– Polygonal Quads only
– Polygonal Tris Only
– Polygonal Ngons used
If you choose Polygonal, Subdivision, Unknown, your submission will not pass because these legacy choices are not detailed enough to tell customers what they are getting. The NURBS selection will fail certification because we don’t currently certify NURBS model.
Signature Image Requirement
Since the Signature Image is only used in the search results as a thumbnail, we’ve lowered the resolution requirement to 600 x 600. You can still submit a higher resolution if you like, but we thought this relaxed standard might save some render time for you.
Second Image Background
The second image you upload must match the signature image in both pose and framing. It should have a dark or realistic background or a background that best shows off the quality of the model. This means a white background is acceptable. This image cannot include text, borders, badges or logos, just the model itself as you see in the Signature Image.
Turntables should show the model revolving in a counter-clockwise direction, so when the customer drags the slider to the right, the front of the model rotates to the right as well. This gives the customer the illusion that he/she is actually touching and moving the model. Turntables are only required for CheckMate Pro submissions.
Rigged and Animated Models
If you are using CAT to rig and animate your model, you don’t have to include a Readme file about the rig. We require a Readme file for custom rigs, not standard systems like Biped and CAT.
In 3ds Max it is possible to delete all the underlying geometry in an object, and the object can still exist in the scene. This will confuse the customer, so we’ve made this an explicit requirement: No empty objects. It’s fine to have Helpers, Dummies, Nulls, and Control objects, just no empty objects that add nothing to the scene and might potentially waste a customer’s time.
CheckMate submissions continue to come in fast and furious, and we couldn’t be more pleased. One of the most important things for an artist to understand is that we want to certify your 3D models!
In an ideal world, your products would pass CheckMate Certification on the first try, but it isn’t always so. Last week I blogged about zipping up your textures with your main product file, as failure to do so is one of the most common problems we see with first-time CheckMate submissions. Another common point is rendered preview images, particularly the Signature Image and Secondary Image.
The Signature Image is the one you see in Search results. CheckMate requires this image to show just the 3D model itself against an off-white background (RGB 247.247.247). This gives customers an easy-to-view catalog of 3D models based on their Search results, where they can really see the shape and design of the choices that come up.
When customers look at Search results, they understand that the thumbnails on the Search page are going to be much smaller than images in the Product Preview. They scan through the Search results looking for the overall shape and design they have in mind, and if they’re interested, they’ll click to see more. A fancy background or text isn’t going to convince a customer they need your 3D model instead of what they came to TurboSquid for; if you feel you need something besides a good representative rendering to get a customer’s attention, then you should consider improving the Signature Image rendering, or maybe even the model itself.
Any 3D model can be made to look good against the off-white background, even if the model itself is white. Use of contrast, shadow, and slightly tinted lighting can make any Signature Image look great. A couple of examples are shown below.
There are some exceptions that don’t require the off-white background, such as interior and exterior architectural scenes. Refer to the CheckMate Lite or CheckMate Pro specifications for details. You can also see our Knowledge Base article on Signature Images to learn more, or see the videos below to learn how to make Signature Images using 3ds Max and Maya.
Secondary Preview Image
The Secondary Preview Image is the one that displays by default in your Product Preview after a customer clicks your Signature Image in Search results. The Secondary Image must be in the same pose, angle, and framing as the Signature Image, but you can use any background you like. This is where you show off your model’s special qualities, whether it’s photorealism, exceptional textures, or design appeal.
The idea is that a customer (1) searches for something in particular and, seeing your model’s Signature Image, decides it’s a good possibility and clicks the thumbnail. Then (2) your Product Preview comes up, showing the Secondary Image at 600×600 and displaying your very fine 3D model against a background that highlights its excellence.
The Secondary Image has to be in the same pose, angle, and framing as the Signature Image to avoid confusing customers. When a customer clicks your thumbnail in Search they expect to see the same 3D model in the Product Preview, and they’d get confused if they saw something else. Since the background changes, we keep the model the same to make a seamless shopping experience for the customer.