Announcing the CheckMate Tools Contest

TurboSquid 3D Modeling, CheckMate, Featured Artists

Image of 3D Model Trophies by 3DArtisan

TurboSquid is holding a programming contest for the next generation of CheckMate 3D model quality checking tools. The challenge is to create a tool that automatically inspects a 3D model within 3ds Max, then generates a detailed report outlining how well the model meets the CheckMate Pro standard. This report enables artists to quickly find areas of a model that need to be fixed prior to submission for certification.

The contest runs from now until March 31, 2012. The official contest page includes an entry form as well as links to all of related contest information.

* Please note that participant requirements have changed to allow entries from those in nearly every country in the world. We are no longer limiting entry to U.S. Residents only, as previously mentioned on our blog. 

Why are we running this contest?

TurboSquid already provides several CheckMate tools that are compatible with the 2010 software versions; which are available for download on the CheckMate Tools page. These tools include a v2010 tool for 3ds Max, however many CheckMate artists create models in earlier versions to accommodate customers using older software. The CheckMate Tools Contest aims to produce fast, effective scripts to review images that have been created using earlier versions of 3ds Max.

Part of the challenge comes from the design of 3ds Max itself. In versions 2010 and later, many points of the CheckMate standard can be verified manually with the XView feature. For earlier versions, before XView was released, the task is not so simple. With this contest, TurboSquid aims to attract the best and brightest MAXScripters, those who can figure out the most efficient way to inspect models in pre-2010 versions of 3ds Max without the benefit of XView.

You should know that we plan to make entries available to the public after the contest. We might also modify your entry before distribution, for example we might combine two or more entries to make a more robust tool. It’s all in the interest of making CheckMate more accessible to more artists.

How much can you win?

The prizes for this contest are:

  • 1st prize: $1000
  • 2nd prize: $500
  • 3rd prize: $250

To enter, you must be a TurboSquid member that is 18 years of age or older. For other restrictions and full details; please see the contest rules page.

We’ll also be inviting programmers outside of the TurboSquid community to join us and help make it happen. If you’ve got a MAXScripter friend, this is a great opportunity for you to collaborate on an entry that will not only help you with your work, but might get you some nice pocket change.

What should your entry include?

We’ve prepared a list of target features for entries. The goal is to check for as many points of the CheckMate Pro specification as possible, providing a report that artists can use to easily check their models – but don’t let us hold you back. Just include as many of the features as you can.

You can use MAXScript or any other programming language to write the tool.

It will help if you test your program in a version of 3ds Max earlier than 2010, but even if you can’t, we invite you to enter anyway. Just include the earliest tested 3ds Max version on the entry form, and we’ll test the tool on earlier versions to see how far back it will work.

Are you planning to enter the contest, or do you have a programmer friend who you think might like to give it a try? If so, please pass on this blog post, or let us know with a comment below.