Selling 3D Models: TurboSquid Publishing Best Practices – Real-World Scale

Beau Perschall 3D Modeling

Welcome to the first installment of our guide to help you become more successful as a vendor on TurboSquid. Over 9+ years, we’ve gotten a LOT of feedback from our clients, and we feel it’s important that we share this information with you so that you work smarter before publishing and can be more successful after you have content for sale through our library. So, let’s dive into our first topic:


With more 3d animations relying on dynamics in one form or another; for example rigid body dynamics to destroy buildings or entire civilizations, soft-bodies for cloth, hair and other “squishy” bits, fluid dynamics for water, smoke and fire and much more, and global illumination rendering becoming more prevalent, it is becoming more critical that vendors consider the scale of the content they post for sale. In many cases, it is no longer simply enough to make the model “look right”, because it might be imported into a scene that needs real-world scale in order to function properly, whether as part of a specific render or as part of simulation system. This can be especially frustrating for a client who purchases your content (especially architects and designers, who use our library more often these days), so do your best to consider the following things while modeling:

1. For real-world content (i.e. cell phones, flower pots, speakers, tables, etc.) do a little research to make sure its scale is correct. Measure it! Check your units setup and use the built-in measuring tools to ensure you’ve got it set up right. The old adage “measure twice, cut once” can be updated for TurboSquid vendors to read “measure twice, publish once”. There is little use for a 10-foot tall cell phone, even if it is amazingly detailed and richly textured. Likewise a 150 foot long table will have a cloth sim behave very strangely unless the client who buys it wants it for a giant’s home. Check this video out to see what I mean:

Here are some other tips regarding real-world scale that we often see overlooked in many tutorials:

2. If you’re using image planes as guides to construct your content, make sure they are not only set up on the origin (which is just good modeling practice – but that’s a publishing topic for another day), but that they are to the right scale too. It makes little sense to do all of your modeling only to discover that your brand new car model with all its detailed bits and pieces is 30-meters long (unless you’re designing a SUPER stretch limo!). That will take a bit more of your time to scale down properly after the fact and opens up the potential for mistakes.

3. In concert with the previous tip, if you’re providing a model (as opposed to a scene or collection of objects), you should try and ensure that it is centered at the origin of the construction planes so on import, or merge a user doesn’t have to hunt for it.

That’s it for now. Next time, we’ll cover another crucial aspect of publishing – Model Naming. Until then, Happy Publishing!