Knowledge Base/CheckMate: The first 3D modeling standard /CheckMate for Artists

CheckMate Pro Specification

posted this on June 16, 2011, 11:50

This article contains the full specification for CheckMate Pro, TurboSquid's highest quality standard for 3D models. 

CheckMate Pro Specification

June 15, 2013

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   $29 minimum price

1.2.2   Product pricing must conform to CheckMate pricing tiers.

1.2.3   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    File formats eligible for inspection are:

 - 3ds Max (.max)
 - Cinema 4D (.c4d)
 - LightWave (.lwo, .lws)
 - Maya (.ma, .mb)
 - Softimage (.hrc, .scn)   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    Certification by format - CheckMate Pro certification is awarded on a per-format basis. If the native file format passes certification but another certifiable file format fails, the native format (and product) will still be marked as CheckMate certified. The non-native must, as a minimum, pass the requirements for CheckMate Lite inspection (opening and rendering without errors).

1.4    Scenes and Collections

1.4.1    Scenes are eligible for certification.

1.4.2    Collections are not eligible for 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.

2. 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 10%-20% tris is sensible for most models, but some will call for a higher percentage to form sensible topology. Models are inspected manually to ensure a sensible quad/tri ratio is maintained.

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".

2.2.3    Clean edge flow: Model must have the best possible edge flow, with sufficient geometry to meet these requirements without superfluous geometry. See Meeting the CheckMate Pro v2 Topology RequirementsNote: 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 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 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: 3ds Max and Maya only: Value of Crease parameter 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.

2.3.3   Units used in the file should be included in the description.

2.4    Position and Orientation - See Centering and Freezing Transforms for more info

2.4.1    Base of model at or near 0,0,0 origin

2.4.2    Entire model sits on or just above ground plane

2.4.3    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.

2.4.4 Model must be in the same position and framing as the signature and secondary image

2.5    Transforms - See Centering and Freezing Transforms for more info

2.5.1    Position and rotation transforms frozen/reset - Exception: This requirement does not apply to 3ds Max.

2.5.2    3ds Max Requirement: All objects at 100% scale at object level

2.6    Naming and Organization

2.6.1    Descriptive and unique object names - Default object names are not acceptable. They should be changed to be descriptive of the object.

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    Includes a grouping or hierarchy for moving all objects in model together

2.6.4   Objects must have short, easy-to-scan names.

2.6.5   Objects are contained in a 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
      • C4D - Layers
      • XSI - Layers
      • LightWave - Include the .lws with the model and organize using a null object

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    Materials named descriptively

2.7.5    No texture paths referenced by model. Any texture paths must be stripped from model. See Texture References.

2.8    UVs - A model with mapped textures must meet these requirements:

2.8.1    No obvious texture stretching on model

2.8.2    Seams 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 animation graph

3    Standards for Product Preview

3.1     Preview Images

3.1.1    Rendered Preview Images Requirements - At least five (5) rendered images with these attributes:    1200 x 1200 resolution minimum. (signature image used only for search results can be smaller resolution, the other four (4) hi-res images will be visible on the product page).    Set of rendered thumbnails show the model from a variety of angles    Shows the model's quality with aesthetic appeal

3.1.2    Signature Image Requirements - Image for Search results, set up in Publisher    600 x 600 resolution minimum    Square resolution - If the image resolution is above 600x600, it must be 1600x1600, 2400x2400, or other square resolution.    No text, borders, watermarking or overlay imagery.    Shows only the model and no additional elements. Can include a shadow under or behind the model.  Shadows are allowed to clip the edge of the bottom and lower third of the image only.    Shows the entire model. Exceptions can be made for closeups of characters and other models, at inspector discretion.    Rendered against background color RGB (247,247,247). Be sure to check your final image before posting, often JPG compression changes the RGB value to something other than 247.    Entire rendered model inside image boundaries.    Exceptions for interior/exterior architectural scenes, terrains and closeups:    Model does not have to fit inside image, but can bleed off the edges.    Background can be a sky or other simple, appropriate background.  If sky or other background elements shown in Signature Image are not included with the product, this must be explicitly stated in Description.

3.1.3    Second Rendered Preview Image Requirements - The second thumbnail in Publisher (just after Signature Image) must be a rendered thumbnail that meets these requirements:    Image shows the model with exactly the same pose and angle as Signature Image. Other spec requirements for signature image also apply (square, no text, logos or  borders.)  Turntables are not allowed as the signature or second image. Watermarking permitted.    Image includes background/environment that is dark, realistic or best highlights the quality of the model (inspector discretion).

3.1.4    Wireframe Image Requirements - At least two (2) wireframe images with these attributes:    1200 x 1200 resolution minimum    Square resolution - If image resolution is above 1200x1200, the resolution must be 1600x1600, 2400x2400, or other square resolution.   Set of wirefrmaes that show only the model from different angles and/or closeups. The full set of wireframes must show all 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, many more wireframes might be necessary.    Shows wireframe from visible side of model only (not see-through)    Wire color must be black, white, or gray. Other colors are allowed at Inspector discretion.    Background must be of neutral tone and distinctively different than the non-wireframe images.    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.)   One wireframe shows entire model's base geometry (no subdivision) with 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 entire model with subdivision, with text label stating level of subdivision. Model pose must be the same as 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 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 with smooth wires of the outside of the model.

Screen captures are usually not smooth enough for wireframe images. See-through wireframes are not acceptable.     Subdivision wireframes must show actual render iterations without the use of Isoline Display

3.1.5    Unwrapped UV Image Requirement - The Product Preview includes at least one image of the unwrapped UVs if one of the following options is selected for the model's Unwrapped UVs attribute:

        • Yes, overlapping
        • Yes, non-overlapping
        • Mixed    Image shows the entire diffuse texture image overlaid by the UV cage

If no texture is applied to the object, background color on thumbnail should be 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.    Image is at least 400x400 resolution

3.2    Turntables

Product Preview must include at least one (1) turntable with the following attributes:

3.2.1    Rendered (not wireframe or other shading)

3.2.2    Shows the entire model

3.2.3    Resolution of 1200x1200 or above

3.2.4    Square resolution - If at a resolution over 1200x1200, the turntable must be rendered at a square resolution such as 1600x1600.

3.2.5    36-72 frames long

3.2.6    Equal number of degrees between each frame

3.2.7    Loops seamlessly and turns in a counter-clockwise direction

3.2.8    Provides an informative, quality view of the model - Must be well lit and rendered to really show the model.

3.2.9   Exceptions 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.

3.3     Main Product Files

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

3.3.2    Native file format specified

3.3.3    Software version is specified for all certifiable files

3.3.4    All required files archived with product file   Textures must be archived with each certifiable model file.   Each archive must be a flat file structure with no folders or subfolders. See Texture References.

3.3.5    Archives should not contain multiple renderer versions; separate downloads should be provided for different renderers.

3.4    Product Name Requirements - See Product Names for more info

3.4.1    Product Name must be in English

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

3.4.3    Product name must not contain file extensions

3.4.4    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. 

3.5    3D Model Specifications

3.5.1    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.

3.5.2    Vertex Count value matches vertex count in native file format before subdivision

3.5.3    In the Geometry field, one of these two choices is selected:

      • Polygonal Quads/Tris
      • Polygonal Quads only

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

3.6    Description Requirements - See Product Descriptions for more info

3.6.1    Texture resolutions specified

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

3.6.3    Third-party plug-ins or renderers used or referenced in model specified - 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.

3.6.4    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.

3.6.5    Animation details specified - Frame length, frames per second used, content of animation, etc.

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

3.6.8    Real world scale units must be specified.

3.6.9   Low poly models (models not Subdividable) must include the text "Intended for game/realtime/background use" in Description. Note: Only models inspected after June 15, 2013 are guaranteed to meet this point of the specification.

3.7    Category

3.7.1    Must be relevant

3.7.2    Only one category is required

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

3.8    Keywords

3.8.1    Must be spelled correctly

3.8.2    Must be relevant

3.8.3    Must include at least five (5) unique keywords

3.9    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.

For any questions or to request permission to republish CheckMate Specifications, please contact

Related Topics

Topic is closed for comments