CheckMate Pro Specification

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.
v. 2.1
January 30th, 2015

  1.    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   Pricing

1.2.1   Product pricing must conform to the CheckMate pricing matrix.

1.2.2   Product pricing must be equal to or above the average selling price of comparable models. TurboSquid reserves the right to make changes to prices as necessary.

1.3   File Formats

1.3.1   Native file format must pass inspection before other file formats are inspected.

1.3.2   The following file formats are eligible for inspection:

  • 3ds Max (.max) (Renderers Supported: Scanline / V-Ray / Corona / Arnold / IRay / Mental Ray)
  • Maya (.ma / .mb) (Renderers Supported: Software / Hardware / Mental Ray / V-Ray / Arnold)
  • CINEMA 4D (.c4d) (Renderers Supported: Advanced / Physical / Arnold / V-Ray)
  • Lightwave (.lws) (Renderers Supported: Default)
  • Blender (.blend) (Renderers Supported: Standard / Cycles)   Product must include at least one of the above file formats as its native file format in order to be considered for CheckMate Pro certification.   Other file formats are not inspected for CheckMate Pro certification.

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.

1.4   Scenes, Sets & Collections

1.4.1   Scenes and sets are eligible for certification.

1.4.2   Collections are not eligible for certification unless all of the models within that collection have already been certified individually as CheckMate Pro or CheckMate Lite.

  • Collections that contain all CheckMate Pro models can be submitted for Pro certification.
  • Collections that contain all CheckMate Lite models can be submitted for Lite certification.
  • Collections that contain both CheckMate Lite and Pro models can be submitted for Lite certification.

1.5   Standard or Editorial License Only – Models with Custom Licenses are not eligible for certification.

1.6   SquidGuild Only – CheckMate Pro Certification is available only for 3D models published by SquidGuild members.

1.7   Payment Information – In order to have 3D models CheckMate Certified, the publishing member must fill out accurate and up-to-date Payment Information for the TurboSquid account.

  1.    Standards for 3D Model Inspection

2.1  Geometry

2.1.1   No isolated vertices

2.1.2   No coincident vertices

2.1.3   No coincident/coplanar faces

2.1.4   Face normals point outward – by outward we mean the appropriate direction for correct rendering, with no normals incorrectly flipped.

2.1.5   No empty objects – All objects should have geometry or splines or be null/control helpers. No empty objects that have names but nothing else permitted.

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  Topology

2.2.1   Quads and Triangles only

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.   Subdividable Topology – Model can be cleanly subdividable for higher detail and still retain shape of model.   No poles with more than 5 edges on the model   Holding/support edges present to retain shape after subdivision   Exceptions:   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.   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.   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. Exception for hemispherical tips. Triangular poles that are generated as part of primitive spheres are allowed. Exception for poles in that they can exist on flat surfaces as long as the vertex where the pole resides does NOT connect directly to the edge of a curved surface.

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  Real-World Scale

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  Position and Orientation

2.4.1   Base of model must be positioned at the Origin (0,0,0).

2.4.2   The entire model should sit on or just above ground plane.

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.

2.4.4  The native model file must be in the same position and framing as the Signature and Context Signature images. Additional non-native file formats that are published simply need to open so the full model is visible in the viewport with no hidden parts but do not have to match pose and framing of the native file.

2.5   Transforms

2.5.1   The position and rotation transforms must be frozen/reset.

2.5.2   All objects at 100% scale at object level.

2.6   Naming and Organization

2.6.1   Descriptive and unique object namesDefault object names are not acceptable. They should be changed to be descriptive of the object and easy-to-understand when reviewed by a customer.

2.6.2   Model file includes only the 3D model being sold – No extraneous helpers, shapes, splines, or other unexpected objects not specifically needed for model functionality.

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   Textures and Materials

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.

2.7.2   Textures applied where appropriate

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.

2.7.4   No texture paths referenced by the model. All texture paths must be stripped from the model.

2.8   UVs 

A model with mapped textures must meet these requirements:

2.8.1   No obvious texture stretching on model.

2.8.2   UV Seams are hidden in less visible areas of model.

2.8.3   People and animals must have unwrapped UVs – This standard does not apply to larger scenes where the character or animal is not the focal point.

2.9   Rigging 

2.9.1   Transforms must be frozen/reset unless model is animated.

2.9.2   Hierarchy objects must be uniquely and appropriately named.

2.9.3   Rig must function as expected – Rig must perform simple deformations.

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.

2.10   Animation 

2.10.1   Animation must play smoothly – No obvious glitches or hitches.

2.10.2   Animation designated as looping must loop smoothly.

2.10.3   No spikes in your animation graph that cause a sudden and unnatural movement or rotation during playback..

  1.    Standards for Product Presentation

3.1   Product Preview Images

3.1.1   Signature Image Requirements: This is the primary image shown in Search Results page, must be provided and is needed to be created as follows:   1200 x 1200 Square (1 to 1) aspect ratio pixel resolution minimum.   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.   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.   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.   No text, borders, watermarking or overlay imagery is allowed on the Signature Image.   Exceptions for interior/exterior architectural scenes, terrains and closeups as follows:   Model does not have to fit inside image, but can bleed off the edges.   Background can be a sky or other simple, appropriate image.   If the sky or other background elements shown in Signature Image is not included with the product, this must be explicitly stated in Description.

3.1.2   Context Signature Image Requirements: This is the first image displayed on the main Product Page and must be a rendered thumbnail that meets these requirements:  Minimum resolution of 1480 x 800 (1 to 1.85 aspect ratio) is highly recommended. Image aspect ratios from 1 to 1.5 (minimum 1480 x 988 pixels) through 1 to 1.9 (minimum 1480 x 779 pixels) are acceptable for presentation imagery.   This image shows the model with exactly the same pose and composition as the Signature Image but includes background/environment that best highlights the quality of the model.   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.

3.1.3   Product Shot Image Requirements: A minimum of five (5) rendered images with these attributes:  Minimum resolution of 1480 x 800 (1 to 1.85 aspect ratio) is highly recommended. Image aspect ratios from 1 to 1.5 (minimum 1480 x 988 pixels) through 1 to 1.9 (minimum 1480 x 779 pixels) are acceptable for presentation imagery.   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.  Non-Rigged Character Models should never include Product Shot images of poses that are not included with the model.  For other Non-Rigged Models (e.g. vehicles/appliances), showing poses for non-character, unrigged models is acceptable with the following two requirements:  An additional line included with product description “Only default Pose included. Other poses shown are possible by rotating elements as pivots are placed properly.” The model’s pivot points are placed to allow the pose by the customer without further modification.

3.1.4   Wireframe Image Requirements: A minimum of two (2) wireframe images with the following attributes:  Minimum resolution of 1480 x 800 (1 to 1.85 aspect ratio) is highly recommended. Image aspect ratios from 1 to 1.5 (minimum 1480 x 988 pixels) through 1 to 1.9 (minimum 1480 x 779 pixels) are acceptable for presentation imagery.   These images show all of the model’s topology clearly via closeups and various angles.

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.   Shows wireframe from visible side of model only and is not see-through.   Wireframe color must be black, white, or gray.  There must be a sufficient contrast between the background/object and wire colors to clearly display the wireframe applied to the model. It is highly recommended that the background/object uses a neutral tone, but is not required. The background and object do not have to share the same tone or color.   Subdividable model wireframe recommendations: When creating models intended for subdivision, it is recommended (not required) that you provide at least two (2) additional wireframes with these attributes:   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.   One wireframe shows the entire model with subdivision, with text label stating level of subdivision. Model pose must be the same as the image showing no subdivision. Acceptable text labels:

  • Subdivision Level [number]
  • Subdivision Level: [number]
  • Subdivision: [number]   Text stating subdivision level must be at the upper left, lower left, or lower right of the image, and in the same position on each wireframe image.   Optional: Additional wireframes showing different Subdivision Levels may be added, using the same guidelines.

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.  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.   Subdivision wireframes must show actual render iterations without the use of Isoline Display.

3.1.5   Turntable Requirements: Your Product Preview must include at least one (1) turntable with the following attributes:  Minimum resolution of 1480 x 800 (1 to 1.85 aspect ratio) is highly recommended. Image aspect ratios from 1 to 1.5 (minimum 1480 x 988 pixels) through 1 to 1.9 (minimum 1480 x 779 pixels) are acceptable for presentation imagery.   Rendered (not wireframe or other shading) output that shows the entire model in a static pose (no model animation).   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.   Turntable provides an informative, quality view of the model – Must be well lit and rendered to really show the model.   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
  • Mixed   800 x 800 Square (1 to 1) aspect ratio pixel resolution minimum.   Image shows the entire Diffuse texture image overlaid by the 0-1 UV space.

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   Main Product Files

3.2.1   Includes at least one certifiable file format (See 1.3 File Formats).

3.2.2   Native file format specified within the publisher. The Native file represents the 3D application you originally built the model in.

3.2.3   Software version and renderer version are specified for all certifiable files.

3.2.4   All required files archived with product file in one of the following three ways:

  • All bitmap textures are archived with each certifiable model file in a flat file structure.
  • All bitmap textures are archived with each certifiable model file in a single subfolder beneath the main product file.
  • 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.

3.2.5   Archives should not contain multiple renderer versions; separate download archives should be provided for different renderers, even from the same 3d application.

3.3   Product Name Requirements

3.3.1   Product Name must be in English.

3.3.2   Product Name must be composed of adjectives and nouns pertaining to the model, separated by spaces or underscores.

3.3.3   Product name must not contain file extensions

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   3D Model Specifications

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

3.4.4   All product specification fields are accurate with respect to model being submitted for certification.

3.5   Description Requirements

3.5.1   All bitmap texture resolutions specified.

3.5.2   Renderer used for preview images specified (if not default for native software).

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.

3.5.4   Rigging type specified (if any) – If model is rigged, state what system is used for the rig (Biped, CAT, etc.) or if it is custom using your software’s bones and linking tools.

3.5.5   Animation details specified – Frame length, frames per second used, content of animation, etc.

3.5.6   All descriptions should use proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and correct product names.

3.5.7   Real-world scale units must be specified. This does not mean for you to put the length, width and height of your model, simply the units of measurement that were utilized.

3.6   Category

3.6.1   Must be relevant to the model you publish.

3.6.2   Only one category is required.

3.6.3   If two categories are selected, the first category should be the most relevant of the two.

3.7   Keywords

3.7.1   Must be spelled correctly.

3.7.2   Must be relevant to the model published.

3.7.3   Must include at least five (5) unique keywords.

3.8   No Personal Contact Information: This is a requirement for all products published for sale at TurboSquid.

The CheckMate Specifications, CheckMate names, including “CheckMate Pro” and “CheckMate Lite,” and all related branding and logos, whether registered or not, are the property of TurboSquid. TurboSquid retains all ownership of these trademarks and copyrighted material. They are protected by intellectual property laws of the U.S. or in some instances, foreign laws and international treaties. Unauthorized use may violate copyright, trademark and other laws.

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 (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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