I have an exciting announcement for our entire 3D community. After two years of development, TurboSquid has released its CheckMate Certification program for 3D models. CheckMate Certification allows artists to submit their highest quality models for review and inspection by TurboSquid staff. Models that pass the standard are marked with a badge so you can easily search for and spot our best 3D models.
Up until now, quality in our catalog has varied too much from one model to the next. We are addressing this problem by establishing universal standards: CheckMate Pro for the highest quality, and CheckMate Lite for basic reliability. We’re sending out a press release on this groundbreaking program, and we’d like to give you a little more background on how we came to decide on CheckMate as the next important step for TurboSquid and the 3D industry.
The Stock 3D Industry’s Problem
The lack of generally accepted standards for 3D model quality has been a major problem in our industry. Customers don’t know what they’re truly buying, and artists don’t know what customers care about in a model. While our industry and TurboSquid have seen consistent growth, we haven’t come close to tapping into stock 3D’s true potential because customers get deeply frustrated if they have to repair a model or even talk to customer support – like everything, models should always “just work”. So if the field of photography has long had standards for composition, contrast, and clarity, why doesn’t 3D modeling have standards, too? It’s time for somebody to step forward and try to solve this problem.
The Solution: CheckMate Certification
CheckMate Certification is a whole program that includes the standards themselves, a submission process for artists, model inspections from our in-house team with personal feedbcak, artist training materials, and display of CheckMate badges in search results and in product previews. We’ve assembled a sizeable team to make this happen, including a large group of trained 3D inspectors to conduct manual inspections alongside our automated tools. You can find out all there is to know about the program on our CheckMate info page and in our Knowledge Base. You can also read our CheckMate Certification FAQ to find out more.
How Did TurboSquid Determine the Standards?
We surveyed customers and artists extensively to compile the CheckMate standards. We started with discussions with artists in our blog and forums, and moved on to survey and interview customers in a wide range of disciplines. For example, in one of our surveys, we asked customers how they felt about a variety of 3D model attributes. Below you can see some of the results, showing the percentage of customer respondents who considered each attribute important. These attributes all became part of the CheckMate Pro standard. We also got feedback from customers about product information and presentation in product previews on TurboSquid. More than anything else in a presentation, customers want better and higher quality images. So, as part of preparing for CheckMate, we developed and released a high-resolution thumbnail viewer and turntables which dramatically increase the amount of detail customers can see before they buy. As part of our intense push for quality, these types of images are required for CheckMate Pro models. Lastly, TurboSquid ran a six-month beta program with top customers and artists to fine-tune both the standards and the inspection process. Feedback from our artists was invaluable in developing a working certification program. From the beta process emerged a second standard, CheckMate Lite, a less rigorous specification that requires wireframe thumbnails, full product information, and a model that renders and works. Early customer feedback on CheckMate has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, many customers who participated in our surveys and beta said they’ll never buy anything other than CheckMate models, which is a great validation of the effort made by TurboSquid’s artists and our team to bring standards to this industry.
It’s time to end the game of guessing what a quality 3D model is. We named this program CheckMate for just that reason. TurboSquid has always had the widest variety and largest catalog of models, but we now have a clear brand in CheckMate to help customers know what they’re buying. CheckMate will demand more from artists who create and publish their 3D models, and more from TurboSquid in inspecting and certifying these models. But this work will create new value for our customers, and will open up stock 3D to new customers who wouldn’t have considered it an option in the past. We look forward to a new era in the stock 3D industry, and we invite you to be a part of it. Please tell us what you think by commenting below.