TurboSquid Automatic 3D Converter Interview: Matt Wisdom, CEO of TurboSquid
December 10, 2019 – TurboSquid increases StemCell’s capabilities by four, adding Arnold and USDZ support to its automated 3D converter. With StemCell, 3D models are automatically converted into multiple formats, bringing more accessibility to a design. Now, StemCell-compatible assets can be immediately prepped for Pixar and Apple’s fast-growing augmented reality format and the entire line of Arnold rendering integrations (3ds Max, Maya and Cinema 4D).
TurboSquid, The market leader in 3D content since 2000, TurboSquid’s online 3D marketplace services a robust community of over four million artists and customers from industries including film and television, gaming, news media, advertising, architecture, engineering, simulation, and defense. With the release of StemCell, their breakthrough 3D conversion tool, and Kraken, their custom 3D asset management platform, the company continues to make 3D more accessible to companies and artists. TurboSquid is headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana and is supported by the Office of Louisiana Entertainment.
Today, Matt Wisdom spoke to VFX Online and talked about TurboSquid Automatic 3D Converter.
// From Matt Wisdom, CEO of TurboSquid
Tell us a bit more about the new updates to StemCell.
Adding support for USDZ and Arnold is a major milestone for us. With companies like Apple and Pixar behind it, USDZ is obviously an important format for TurboSquid to support – Apple appears to be all-in on AR and we want to make sure we have as much content as possible for people developing AR apps. And with Arnold as the built-in renderer for 3ds Max and Maya, it was essential for us to add it to our list of supported renderers.
Can you go into more detail about StemCell, how it came about, and how it helps artists and the issues they face?
We’ve been selling stock 3D models for over 19 years, and standardization of content has been a notoriously thorny problem. As texture-based PBR workflows started becoming popular, we realized that it might finally be possible to build content in a way that would make it easier to transport between different apps. Customers just want to buy something and have it work in their app of choice. And artists don’t want to spend time dealing with creating the conversions, they just want to make more models. StemCell makes life easier for both!
What challenges did you face when developing StemCell? Any fun stories from behind the scenes?
One of the biggest challenges was creating a workflow that works for all artists. The world of 3D is incredibly diverse and every artist has different styles and techniques, but we had to figure out how to develop our tools to fit everyone’s needs.
The most fun we had was finally seeing the great models that artists were creating. For so long during the design process we had our same test models, but once things went live we got a flood of amazing art – everything from centipedes to spaceships.
How is a StemCell 3D model created?
We’ve got a spec built around PBR best practices and tutorials that we share with our artists. It’s a change for artists who haven’t worked that way before, but we’re there to help them every step of the way. Once they’re done with a model, they submit it and our automated tools produce the conversions and test renders so they can see how the model looks in each app. Customers that buy the model won’t even be able to tell which version is the native file, because each StemCell conversion works like a native format.
Tell us more about what artists can do now that StemCell supports USDZ and Arnold Renderer — not just in AR but in VFX/content creation as well.
The new StemCell updates will give customers more options and artists more ways to reach them from a single model. A lot of VFX teams are using Arnold or V-Ray for their rendering. StemCell is optimized for both, so a team can just download an asset when they need it without having to worry about conversion issues.
Tell us more about the StemCell library and the assets provided for artists.
We’ve got thousands of StemCell-certified models on the site right now, and detailed tutorials to help TurboSquid artists get started. We’ve also got an internal team devoted to helping artists while they’re working through the process for the first time.
How do you make sure you are always being helpful to 3D artists and game designers?
By focusing on delivering the best library of 3D models on the planet; we’ve got amazing artists publishing new models to the site every day. We want customers to be able to find the perfect model, buy it at an affordable price and get it into their project as quickly as possible. But that doesn’t happen if you don’t support the people who actually make the content. A lot of our R&D goes into making the back-end easier for them, or opening up new ways to sell content. That’s how StemCell came about.
What does the future hold for TurboSquid?
We will continue to find new ways to make it easier for people to buy and use 3D models. Our long-stated goal is to make buying a 3D model as easy as buying a stock photo. It should just work. We’ve also released a 3D asset management platform called Kraken. Companies are amassing huge libraries of 3D content, and there’s no great system out there that handles the unique challenges that come along with managing a 3D library. Kraken solves that.
We would like to thank Matt Wisdom for the great interview, and if you like to know more about TurboSquid, please visit at TurboSquid.