What are Real-Time models?

TurboSquid artists’ models are used in a wide variety of applications. Increasingly, customers are looking for models that can work in a range of real-time applications for things like games, virtual-reality and augmented reality experiences. These kinds of models are generally built with certain requirements so that they are GPU-friendly and flow easily into engines like Unreal, Unity and Lumberyard and can be interacted with in real time.

The search filter we’ve created is based on information provided by the artist as part of their metadata and is not a certification standard like CheckMate. As such, a model that shows up in search will not be guaranteed to work in real-time applications, since they have varied limitations that rapidly change. What worked on a console 5 years ago is easy on a phone today. But, we think by exposing this information as a simple filter, you can more easily find models that you can may work better for your real-time needs. If you need to have a model reviewed prior to purchase, then please contact our support group to help.

By filtering your search for Real-Time models, you’ll limit the results displayed to models that currently adhere to the following broad set of rules:

  • Include an .FBX and/or .OBJ/.MTL file format or have been submitted as native Unity or Unreal files
  • Polygon count of no more than 100K polygons (200K triangles)
  • Fully unwrapped UVs are required (they can be overlapping or not)
  • Materials are all baked down to simple image texture maps
  • Image maps must in .bmp, .png, .dds, .tga, .tif, or .jpg format (.jpg allowed, but not recommended)
  • Image texture map dimensions must be powers of two (i.e. 256, 1024, 2048, 4096)
  • Exported baked texture maps including:
    • Required: Diffuse map (no lighting or AO baked in)
    • Required: Normal map
    • Preferred, but Optional: Metal / Rough PBR maps
    • Optional: Spec / Gloss PBR maps
    • Optional: Metal / Rough PBR maps
    • Optional: Ambient Occlusion map
    • Optional: Curvature / Cavity map
    • Optional: Height map h
    • Optional: Emissive map
    • Optional: Material ID map

There are currently no conventions for rigged or animated real-time models, and only those artists who are submitting native Unity or Unreal files that include animation are accepted at present. 

While this is currently a very wide specification, TurboSquid is refining each point actively. As more precise needs are defined (like full PBR materials), we’ll update the information here to reflect the current state of the real-time industries and the Real-Time search results will also be updated.


It is worth noting that with the rapid evolution and growing computational power of computer and mobile GPUs, the idea that real-time models should be considered as low-poly is becoming less accurate and as such, the two terms should not be conflated. TurboSquid artists are already being encouraged to build to much higher polygon counts overall in order to support real-time usage now and into the future. So these models are simply optimized to work more efficiently for GPU rendering, whether that’s in a real-time application (like the Unity engine) or a traditional DCC program (like 3ds Max) that has GPU rendering options available.

But what about mobile?

We understand that mobile game developers are currently constrained by a different set of content rules than other game developers working on PCs or consoles. Currently, TurboSquid can only help identify model content that has been built with games in mind. In many cases, the hope is that you can use this type of content after tweaking it to meet mobile platform requirements.