This article contains the full specification for CheckMate Pro, TurboSquid’s highest quality standard for 3D models. To see the condensed CheckMate Pro Checklist, you can go HERE.
January 30th, 2015
Limitations on CheckMate Pro Certification
Limitations on CheckMate Pro Certification
1.1 Quality – The 3D model must have a high level of aesthetic appeal as well as workability. If the model is intended to represent a real-world object, it must accurately represent that object. Quads and triangles must be intelligently distributed for good edge flow and clean topology.
1.2.1 Product pricing must conform to the CheckMate pricing matrix.
- 3ds Max (.max)
- Maya (.ma / .mb)
- CINEMA 4D (.c4d)
- Lightwave (.lws)
- Blender (.blend)
1.3.3 CheckMate Pro certification is awarded on a per-format basis. The native file format must pass CheckMate Pro certification in order to get the Pro badge, but if another certifiable non-native file format fails inspection, the native format (and product) will still be marked as CheckMate Pro certified. The non-native file must, as a minimum, pass the requirements for CheckMate Lite inspection in that it must open and render without errors.
Standards for 3D Model Inspection
Standards for 3D Model Inspection
2.1.1 No isolated vertices
2.1.2 No coincident vertices
2.1.3 No coincident/coplanar faces
2.1.6 Geometry must not have open edges or borders that cause see-through cracks in the model when rendered. Note: Only models inspected after June 15, 2013 are guaranteed to meet this point of the specification.
2.2.2 Mostly quads – The model must use quads as much as possible. A range of 5%-10% triangles is acceptable for most models, but you should actively endeavor to minimize their usage in your work. Models are inspected manually to ensure excessive triangles aren’t present.
Note that realtime models will often have a much higher percentage of triangles to meet the requirement of minimum geometry possible to form the object.
2.2.3Clean edge flow – Model must have the best possible edge flow, with sufficient geometry to meet these requirements without superfluous geometry. Note: Only models inspected after June 15, 2013 are guaranteed to meet this point of the specification.
126.96.36.199 No poles with more than 6 edges on the model
188.8.131.52.1 Exception for very small, insignificant objects within the model/scene: Such objects do not have to meet the criteria above. Objects such as screws, bolts, rivets, wires, and other objects which are very small in comparison to the overall model size, do not have to follow the Clean Edge Flow rules.
184.108.40.206.2 Exception for one-sided objects with opacity map: Objects that represent a thin real-life object as a one-sided object, where the shape of the object is depicted via an opacity map, do not have to follow the Clean Edge Flow rules.
Examples of this exception are leaves, petals, decals, paper, cloth. This exception does not apply to fully three-dimensional objects such as thin boxes.
220.127.116.11.3 Exception for realtime models – Models intended for game engines, realtime display, or background elements must have the lowest number of polygons possible while still retaining the model’s shape, but do not have to conform to the subdivision points above. For such models, a high percentage of triangles is allowable, provided they are necessary to make the model shape with the lowest number of polygons possible.
2.2.4 Crease value – Value of the Crease or Open SubDiv function within your 3D application must be 0 for all edges. Note: Only models inspected after June 15, 2013 are guaranteed to meet this point of the specification.
This requirement ensures that a subdividable model, when converted to other formats, will retain the same shape when subdivided. If the model is a realtime model (not subdividable), there is no reason to have a Crease value other than 0.
2.3.1 Real-world scale within 1-3% – Model can use any units to achieve real-world scale. If the model does not have an exact real-world counterpart (such as a human character or an unbranded car), the model must use the size/scale of comparable objects in real life.
2.3.2 Exception for exceedingly large/small models – Models of objects that have a real-world scale at a microscopic or astronomical level, such as amoebas and solar systems, are excepted from having real-world scale.
2.4.3 The model should be oriented to World up-axis – The obvious “up” side of the model must be pointing toward the World up axis. In other words, the model can’t be lying on its side or upside-down when the file is opened. For objects that can be oriented in multiple ways (e.g. books, pencils, etc.), the artist is free to choose the up-axis, but this must be reflected in the presentation images so a customer’s expectations are matched by what is shown.
2.6.1 Descriptive and unique object names – Default object names are not acceptable. They should be changed to be descriptive of the object and easy-to-understand when reviewed by a customer.
2.6.3 Model includes a grouping or hierarchy for moving all objects in model together.
2.6.4 All geometry is contained in a single layer structure, with the layer having the same name as the product. Note: Only models inspected after June 15, 2013 are guaranteed to meet this point of the specification.
- 3ds Max – Layers
- Maya – Display Layers
- CINEMA 4D – Layers
- Lightwave – Include the .LWS with the model and organize using a null object
- Blender – All elements of the model on a single layer
2.7.1 At least one material must be applied to each object to represent real-world object surfaces. The customer should be able to render the model upon purchase and get quality surface representation.
2.7.3 Materials and Bitmap texture files named descriptively. Bitmap filenames Image, Pic or Picture plus a number are not acceptable. Likewise, material filenames 01-Default, Blinn01, Mat are not acceptable.
A model with mapped textures must meet these requirements:
2.9.4 Custom rig must include instructions – A Readme, PDF document, or other documentation on how to use the rig. Rigs that use Biped or CAT are not required to have a readme unless there are custom controls.
Standards for Product Presentation
Standards for Product Presentation
18.104.22.168 Signature image should show only the model and no additional elements. You can include a shadow under or behind the model (not required). Any included shadows are allowed to clip the edge of the bottom and lower third of the image only.
22.214.171.124 Signature image should show the entire model inside the image boundaries. Exceptions can be made for closeups of characters and other vertically oriented models like skyscrapers, street lights, etc.
126.96.36.199 Signature image must be rendered against background color RGB (247,247,247) in .PNG format. Be sure to check your final image before posting, often JPG compression changes the RGB value to something other than 247.
188.8.131.52 Other spec requirements for Signature Image also apply (no text, logos or borders.). Watermarks can be used only as described and subject to inspector discretion. Turntables are not allowed as the Signature or Context Signature Image.
184.108.40.206 This set of rendered imagery shows off the model’s quality, detail and aesthetic appeal from a variety of angles and positions. This is where you get to show off your skill to potential customers, so spend time on these.
It is usually necessary to include at least 3-4 closeups of various parts of the geometry to fully show the topology. On a complex model, more wireframes might be required to give a potential customer the visual information they need to make a buying decision.
220.127.116.11 Subdividable model wireframe requirements: At least two (2) additional wireframes with these attributes: Note: Only models inspected after June 15, 2013 are guaranteed to meet this point of the specification.
18.104.22.168.1 One wireframe that shows entire model’s base geometry (no subdivision) with a text label stating such. Text label must be in a color that contrasts the image background, and should not overlap the model unless overlapping is unavoidable. Label must be one of the following, including punctuation, capitalization, and spelling:
- Subdivision Level 0
- Subdivision Level: 0
- Subdivision: None
- No Subdivision
Do not use names of tools or modifiers within your native software in the text label, as these names might not be familiar to customers using other software.
- Subdivision Level [number]
- Subdivision Level: [number]
- Subdivision: [number]
A Photoshop PSD file with suitable Subdivision Level text is available for download on the CheckMate Tools page. It is recommended (but not required) that you use this PSD file to set the text on these wireframe images.
22.214.171.124 All wireframe images must clearly show the model’s geometry as a solid, neutral color with contrasting colored wires showing the construction of the model. Screen captures and see-through renders are not allowed for wireframe images.
126.96.36.199 Turntable is a minimum of 18 frames long, starting at the front of the model and turning in a counter-clockwise direction. Animation should have an equal number of degrees between frames and should loop seamlessly without slowing down.
188.8.131.52 Exception for architecture – interiors can have a centrally located camera that rotates looking outward, scenes and exteriors can substitute flyovers and flybys for looping animations where appropriate.
3.1.6 Unwrapped UV Image Requirements: At least one (1) image of the unwrapped UVs of your model if one of the following options is selected for the model’s Unwrapped UVs attribute within the publisher interface:
- Yes, overlapping
- Yes, non-overlapping
If no texture is applied to the object, background color on thumbnail should match the material color applied to the object. The image should show the main texture, pattern, or color on the object, not secondary textures such as bump or specular maps.
3.1.7 Optional Images: Beyond the required imagery explained above (Signature, Context Signature, Product Shots, Wireframes, Unwrapped UVs, Turntables), you are encouraged to use your creativity to showcase your talent with additional product shots, turntables, and more. These images must adhere to image size minimums listed in the required imagery above, but may have artist annotations, logos and/or watermarks on them as well.
3.2.1 Includes at least one certifiable file format (See 1.3 File Formats).
3.2.4 All required files archived with product file in one of the following two ways:
- All bitmap textures are archived with each certifiable model file in a flat file structure.
- All bitmap textures required are placed into a single, named ZIP file and uploaded once as a Textures Supporting Items product in the TurboSquid publisher. Certifiable model files are each placed into their own named ZIP files and uploaded on their own. See Bitmap Texture Pathing.
3.3.4 All words in the Product Name except articles, conjunctions and prepositions must have initial capital letter. Words that represent acronyms can be all caps, but product Name should not be all caps.
3.4.1 Polygon Count value matches poly count in native file format. If you’ve applied subdivision to the native file format which is removable (as with a TurboSmooth modifier in 3ds Max or an editable history in Maya) you must enter the polygon count without subdivision.
3.4.2 Vertex Count value matches vertex count in native file format before subdivision.
3.4.3 In the Geometry field within the publisher, one of these two choices is selected:
- Polygonal Quads/Tris
- Polygonal Quads only
3.5.3 Third-party plug-ins or renderers used or referenced in model explicitly specified in your description. If the renderer in the model file is set to a non-default renderer, or if materials are those from a non-default renderer, state this in Description.
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CheckMate Specifications may be reused and republished by third parties with permission, with the exception of third parties that sell or distribute 3D content as part of a stock 3D business. In no case may models distributed or sold anywhere other than at turbosquid.com (or its affiliates including the SquidGuild Network) be referred to as “CheckMate,” “CheckMate Certified,” “CheckMate Pro,” “CheckMate Lite” or any by similar name referencing CheckMate.
Participants in the CheckMate program who have received certification and would like to use CheckMate branding to promote their own models may do so on other sites, so long as such models are not sold on those other sites.
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