TurboSquid’s New AI-Powered 3D Asset Management Platform Interview with Matt Wisdom, CEO of TurboSquid
March 31, 2020 – Today, Matt Wisdom talks to VFX Online about his experience of TurboSquid’s New AI-Powered 3D Asset Management Platform and VFX/Animation Industry.
TurboSquid introduces Kraken Pro, a turnkey version of its 3D asset manager designed to help content teams organize thousands of models in the cloud. With quick searches and a highly visual interface, Kraken brings order to the creation process, so teams always have a clear view of what they have and where to find it.
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.
// From Matt Wisdom, CEO of TurboSquid
Tell us a bit about TurboSquid’s Kraken Pro.
Kraken Pro is a new, off-the-shelf version of our 3D asset management platform, streamlined for studios and agencies. It’s designed to help 3D teams organize thousands of assets in the cloud, moving them away from a folder system and into something that is both highly visual and easy to search.
Kraken Pro is also the introduction point for a new AI-powered sorting technology that will automatically handle the entire setup process for teams that don’t know where to begin. We use this same technology to organize our own marketplace library (currently over 800,000 models). Studios just have to provide access to their models via hard drive or cloud, and the sorter will add categories, keywords, metadata, and preview renders during import.
We’ve already been working with Neoscape, one of the most prestigious architectural visualization companies in the world on this process, and have already organized 60,000 of their models. What works for them will also work for VFX, broadcast, games, advertising, and retail teams. If you use 3D, this is for you.
What made you create Kraken? How did it begin?
We were approached by large retailers and big-box stores who were struggling with their organization systems. Many were either just getting into 3D or had been at it for a little while and finding the complexity overwhelming. Since they were versed in TurboSquid and knew how deep our library was, they asked if we could give them a version of the tools we used to organize our models, and Kraken was born.
After the launch of Kraken Enterprise, which is the custom version we make for large organizations, smaller studios and agencies got in touch asking for access. But instead of custom tools, they just wanted something that would work off-the-shelf. So we spent months designing something that would naturally fit into their workflows, and then created an AI tool that would make the ingestion process super easy on them.
Kraken Pro is the first turnkey 3D asset manager made for 3D teams. How will that help them?
To start, it will finally give them an organization method designed specifically for 3D.
You’d think that after all this time, and all the millions of dollars funneled to 3D projects and development, there would be an asset manager designed for the unique challenges of 3D. But there isn’t. This has led studios to employ ad hocs solutions or non-visual methods like deep folder systems. In visual industries, that really doesn’t help anyone. You need to see the model to see if it’s right (whether it’s old or new), and you need to be able to find it quickly so you don’t waste time or resources. Kraken Pro will help them do that.
Kraken Pro also puts everything on the cloud, which allows teams to work remotely without losing access to their library. This not only helps global studios that have numerous locations, but freelancers who need to tap into a library to work on a job. It basically gives studios more flexibility during a time where that’s becoming even more important.
What 3D applications does Kraken Pro support?
Right now, the top 3D design tools (3ds Max and Maya). Support for Cinema 4D and other formats are coming soon.
Kraken is backed by AWS protection. Can you share something about that?
We chose AWS as our storage solution, and customers can rest easy knowing that their library is secured by world-class Amazon cloud technologies.
How can someone download and access the Kraken? What are the pricing options?
No downloads required. The entire Kraken platform is accessible via the cloud, so you can access your library from anywhere.
What challenges did you face when creating Kraken? Any fun stories from behind the scenes?
Building the technology to accurately identify a model based on the clues in the model has been interesting! We look at everything from ML image recognition tools, textures names, object names, material, layers, and the file name itself. We’ve seen some funny things like human characters getting tagged as “cows” because there was an object in the model labeled “calf.” That’s been the benefit of having the TurboSquid library available to help train the system… we’ve been able to continue to run content through and refine as we look at the results.
How do you make sure you are always being helpful to 3D artists?
Our mission has always been to make buying, building, and using 3D as easy as possible. We always say that using a 3D model should eventually be as easy as using a stock photo – it should just work. We’ve worked on everything like quality specifications (CheckMate and StemCell) to interesting new technologies that let non-3D users enjoy working with 3D (PixelSquid and Lens).
What does the future hold for TurboSquid?
We will continue to do our part to expand where and how 3D can be used. It’s incredible to see how quickly new use cases are popping up where 3D just changes the entire experience. From home buying to virtual dressing rooms to new VR experiences… it still feels like we’re just scratching the surface, and our whole team is dedicated to helping bring more of the world into 3D.
We would like to thank Matt Wisdom for the great interview. If you would like to know more about TurboSquid, go to www.turbosquid.com