What is PixelSquid?

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TurboSquid is launching an exciting new marketplace called PixelSquid – a stock photography site with a twist: On PixelSquid the photos are actually photoreal renders of 3D scenes created by TurboSquid artists.  The size of the opportunity for our artists is enormous – the stock 2D market is an order of magnitude larger than the market for 3D content.  This makes sense, since most designers are unfamiliar with 3D tools, however using stock imagery is commonplace.  PixelSquid provides TurboSquid artists with easy access to this rapidly growing market.

Leveraging the unique characteristics of 3D rendering lets PixelSquid artists produce images with features and flexibility not previously available on stock 2D sites.  Designers purchasing PixelSquid images will be able to download those images either as standard JPEGs or PNG files, or as feature-rich Adobe Photoshop PSD files.  

This PixelSquid PSD includes a number of innovative features, including:

  • Separate subject, shadow, and background layers
  • Separate reflection, specular, and primary lighting layers
  • Selection layers that let designers quickly isolate various parts of the image
  • A Z-depth channel for optical effects like fog and depth-of-field blurring

While these features have been used by special effects compositors for years, few 2D designers have ever had access to this type of content.  The agencies and designers that have been part of the PixelSquid beta have been extremely enthusiastic.  The unique flexibility provided by PixelSquid images has proven invaluable to the designers who have worked with them, and we’ve heard time and time again from our beta testers that if they are able to find the images they need on PixelSquid, they will buy from PixelSquid every time.  The focus now is to make sure the PixelSquid catalog expands quickly with the dynamic images that consumers expect from a first-rate stock photography site.

Of course, PixelSquid is more than simply “TurboSquid for pictures”.  One important distinction is that PixelSquid will feature a carefully curated catalog of images, all of which will meet high standards of technical quality and aesthetic appeal.  To ensure that TurboSquid artists have every advantage when creating imagery of this caliber, we are providing a host of useful tools, training, and other valuable resources.

  • V-Ray Lighting Environments
    We’ve created several stages that feature consistent and customizable lighting.  This means that a model that looks correct in one of these environments will look correct in all of the other provided environments without having to tune materials.
  • 3D Model Library
    Use the content provided in the free model library, or combine these models with your own models to assemble new scenes.  These models are all perfectly calibrated to integrate seamlessly into the provided V-Ray stages.
  • V-Ray Material Library
    We’ve assembled a massive library of pro-grade V-Ray materials for you to use in your PixelSquid compositions.  All materials are tuned to work perfectly within all of our V-Ray stages.  Use them with the free library models or add them to your own original models.  These are a huge time-saver, both in production and to speed your submission through the QA process.

Using the stages, models, and materials we provide allows TurboSquid artists to quickly and easily assemble scenes in a manner that’s similar to true studio photography.  Much of the hard work of creating believable materials and geometry can be skipped entirely to let you focus on creating the perfect images.

Besides the practical advantages of 3D (how else can you photograph a dinosaur?), there are some distinct technical advantages as well.  While a photographer is generally stuck with the details of the subject as they are, artists working in 3D can modify fundamental aspects of their scene quite rapidly.  For example, variations of materials and poses are valuable additions to products on PixelSquid, and can be executed quickly with the aid of our libraries.  Once created, your designs are submitted using our brand-new QA and publishing pipeline.

TurboSquid began over a decade ago with the work of a few artists whose submissions established the worlds largest 3D marketplace.  We can’t wait to see what you can do for the 2D market.

What should I do next?

Now that you understand the value of Pixelsquid, check it out yourself.  Or, read an overview on about how Squid.io enables you to create content for it and the plans for the larger TurboSquid artist expereince.  Then, dig in and get started making content.

If you have any questions, please checkout our FAQ. If your question has not been answered or you have more general comments,  create a support ticket and we will get back to you as soon as possible.