CheckMate Pro v2: Submissions and Topology Requirements

Michele Bousquet 3D Modeling, Artists, CheckMate, Industry News 12 Comments

CheckMate Pro v2, the new highest standard of quality for 3D models, will go into effect on June 15, 2013. This version of CheckMate Pro gets the same badge as v1, but has much stricter topology requirements.

We understand that the new topology requirements can take some time to meet, and that your current CheckMate Pro submissions might not meet these requirements. With this in mind, we are allowing some leniency for models submitted for CheckMate Pro certification prior to June 15.

Submissions Before June 15

Models submitted for certification prior to June 15 only have to pass the CheckMate Pro v1 specification, and not the v2 specification, if your submission meets one of these requirements:

  • The model was submitted for CheckMate Pro certification for the first time between May 15 and June 15, and passes by July 15.
  • The model was resubmitted for CheckMate Pro certification after a Fail notification at least once between May 15 and June 15, and passes by July 15.

Every model has a Certification Date, the date on which it passed inspection. If your model passes certification under the circumstances above, the Certification Date on the product will be set to June 14, 2013.

We are telling customers that the way to tell if a model is certified for CheckMate Pro v2 is to check the Certification Date to see if it is on or after June 15. So, the June 14 Certification Date tells customers that your model meets the v1 specification only.

In any case, models in your personal queue (models waiting in the CheckMate Queue for a space to open up in the inspection queue) as of June 15 are not eligible for v1 certification. These models must pass the CheckMate Pro v2 specification.

Topology Requirements

The CheckMate Pro v2 topology requirements came from both interviews with TurboSquid customers and recommendations from the CheckMate Advisory Board, a group of industry professionals who work with 3D models every day. With CheckMate Pro v1, TurboSquid took the step of requiring quad topology and clean UVs. Now we’re moving up to the next level and setting the bar for models that will be easy for customers to re-texture and edit.

The topology requirements for CheckMate Pro v2 include:

  • Grid arrangement for edges.


  • Supporting edges to hold shape during subdivision.


  • Cutouts and protrusions constructed with the methods described in the Round Cutouts and Oblong Cutouts videos.
  • Objects are in separate pieces to correspond with separate pieces or sections in the real-life object, especially if different sections have different grid arrangements.
  • Poles with 6 or more sides are allowed only on flat, pie-shaped caps.
  • Unnecessary edge detail is not allowed.
  • In 3ds Max and Maya, no Crease settings above 0 are allowed.
  • Above all, good edge flow wherever possible.

You will also need to create thumbnails showing the model at subdivision level 0, and one level higher.

We will have more training materials for you on these points in the near future. For now, we hope you endeavor to generate good edge flow on your models and meet the CheckMate Pro v2 standard.


Comments 12

  1. This is very unfriendly towards any game-ready models. Are you at least planning to reopen the game-ready certification?

  2. Hi.

    My English isn’t super and when i try to translate this text with Google translation, the result isn’t understanding.

    Can you make a translate (English to French) ? It ‘s very important for us.

    Thank you

  3. Only some products are made for subdivision. What about rest, what about architecture, buildings, furniture and many others?

  4. Post

    We are allowing game/realtime/background models, which do not have to be subdividable. You can read about that here:

    The game models make up a small percentage of CheckMate Pro, and are more the exception than the rule.

    Architecture, buildings, and furniture can be made for subdivision, and in fact our customers have asked for this. The other option is to create such models as realtime models, with the lowest poly count possible.

  5. I am all for good topology. But, “thumbnails showing the model at subdivision level 0, and one level higher” was clearly written with 3ds Max users in mind.

    In lightwave smoothing is handled on a surface by surface basis and does not deforms geometry. Subdividing oval or cylindrical mesh will ruin smoothing.

  6. Why would you want to subdivide a hard surfaced model that is optimized for render? It creates exponentially more polys to render.

    Lightwave doesn’t use the “levels of subdivision” in models that you are referencing. That occurs in Layout when the model is rendered.

    Shouldn’t the version 2 specs be available in the Checkmate Pro and Lite specs on the front page of the website?

  7. Post

    I will try to clarify a few points here.

    Our CheckMate Advisory Board, and our customers, want models that are made in one of two ways:
    – Group 1: Perfect edge flow, suitable for most customer needs such as editing, re-texturing, rigging, subdivision. OR
    – Group 2: Minimal polygons, to be used for background, realtime, or game uses.

    All CheckMate Pro models must now be made to fit into one of these groups. Most of the models currently in CheckMate Pro fit in Group 1, or could fit in this group with some work. In reviewing the architecture models on TurboSquid, I found that most fit in Group 2, which is fine for CheckMate Pro.

    In any case, customers expect that a model with perfect edge flow will have more polygons than a realtime model or a model with a lot of odd triangles. As processors get faster and computers have more memory than ever before, polygon count is much less of an issue than it has been in the past. Customers are much more interested in saving their own time, ie. being able to edit or re-texture a model quickly. Clean edge flow makes this possible.

  8. Post

    Having said all that, we are open to suggestions on how to improve the specification. We know there will be exceptions, but we’re not sure what they are yet; as you bring up your concerns (as with the question about architecture models) we will look at them and respond, either with specification changes, or information on why a spec change is not necessary.

    The Lightwave question is a great example of this also. We don’t have a lot of native Lightwave files in CheckMate and the specification change seemed to work with those, but if you have an idea on how to make it better, please let us know.

  9. We can’t simply split models on two groups – subdivided or low poly. The thing is much more complex than that.
    Architecture can be treats like low poly but not necessary. What if someone make detailed building with 2000.000 polygons? We have various models on TS, architecture, landscapes, anatomy (very complex meshes), vehicles (some for subdivision some not which not mean “game ready”) etc. Plants – over 1000.000 polygons trees which is not for real time at all, and of course not for be subdivided.
    You consider that if model is not made for subdivision it have to be “real time” or “background model”. This is not true and this is the problem. You simplify it and this time it could be unacceptable for artists and they will leave CheckMat program for good.

    Sure, there will be exceptions and inspector will decide about it. But the thing is that inspectors failed already. Some of inspectors can’t recognize if product is scene or model, some inspectors don’t know CheckMate specification enough good. How can they decide about mesh of objects? Another thing, TS is not only store with models of tables and cars. What inspector will do when scene have few thousand models inside?

    I really understand the goal. Many models for subdivision have horrible mesh (cars, trains, air liners). But I’m worry about simplification and delimitate our creativity.

    1. Post

      So far we’ve had good success in dividing models into “subdividable” and “realtime”. The majority of 3D models submitted for CheckMate could be (or should be) subdividable, with a small but substantial percentage (5-10%, last time we checked) being designed for realtime.

      Every week since the launch of CheckMate Pro v2, I’ve sat down with our CheckMate team to review possible exceptions. What we found was not exceptions, but that refinement of the specification was necessary, and that the division of models still stands once the refinements are in place. I will be posting something about these refinements shortly.

      The one that will perhaps impact the most artists is that the guideline of <20% tris will be greatly relaxed. The focus has always been on better models, and guidelines about the percentage of triangles was designed to push artists toward more quads. Quads are still better than tris, but we do realize that to make a realtime model with the minimum geometry possible, could require well more than 20% triangles.

      Our goal with Pro v2 is to make the catalog better. If you have a model that you feel is an exception to the new refinements, we welcome input on this.

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