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SIGGRAPH 2019 : the future of 3D assets marketplaces according to TurboSquid

This article is available in: Français (French)

TurboSquid is a leader in the 3D assets market. The company announced several buyouts and new technologies in the last few years. We had the chance to meet meet Matthew Wisdom, CEO of TurboSquid, at SIGGRAPH 2019. He told us about the current state of this marketplace, and what we can expect in the upcoming months.

3DVF : TurboSquid has evolved a lot in the last few years. You bought CGStudio and TF3DM, launched some
new tech. Could you walk us through the current state of the company ?

Matthew Wisdom – TurboSquid : We have 5 millions registered users, three quarters of a million commercial 3D models, high quality models that are actually being sold, 70000 artists that are selling from the market place. It is growing and we are selling more every year, but I can’t share specific numbers.

The market is robust and it is broad, it is also made of people that we would not necessarily expect to be into 3D, we sell to 55 of 100 fortune largest companies in the world. A major insurance company has started buying from us, and we are watching the market closely. It is bigger and different from what we thought back when we were only focused on animation and VFX in the nineties.

3DVF : Later this year you will launch a Pro model for Kraken, your new asset manager. How will it improve the current version of Kraken ? Who are you targeting with this new offer ?

TurboSquid : Kraken is a version of TurboSquid’s new technology for managing assets. Kraken Enterprise has all the functionalities we offer, and Kraken Pro will make it easier to just sign up and add users. With Enterprise but we are doing custom contracts, so it is a little harder to start off and it will take more conversation.
Pro will be a mid level offer, where you sign up and use the software right away, which is all cloud based.
It will be available in Q4 of 2019.

3DVF : Last year you launched a beta for StemCell, your 3D model standardization project. what can we expect in the upcoming month ?

It is a beta, we are still building tools to help people create the StemCell content. We are working on an interactive publisher – this will take a bit longer – where people can work in webGL, they can author and package things up in a user friendly manner. Some of the 3D tech is hard to get just right, however we are working on simplifying it.

TurboSquid models created using StemCell

3DVF : What are you presenting at Siggraph ?

TurboSquid : We are promotion Kraken and the upcoming Pro version, this is our main focus for SIGGRAPH. The other thing that we are doing is advance how people can use 3D. We have a product coming out based on the idea that people can work in webGL, make imagery, render it in the cloud with V-Ray and make something beautiful. There are a lot of things we are doing to make the technology easier for people to use.

3DVF : The market is constantly evolving : Microsoft has recently closed his 3D assset platform, Remix 3D, Sketchfab launched his own marketplace last year. What’s your take on the current market and how do you think it will evolve in the upcoming month ?

TurboSquid : It is fascinating because It is harder to build a market than people expect. You can make the software simple but to make a vibrant community, where people actually want to make a living on the market and build content is hard. It is easy to give away free models, but to create content that is high quality and useful it takes a lot of effort. I am sorry Microsoft are closing their Remix 3D, because I know they were trying to do something interesting. Sketchfab is trying to do something with a different technology in real time. We have other real time features, which we will add to TurboSquid very shortly. 

As we look at 3D captures and scanning for asset production, we see people doing it already and selling it on the market. Several people and studios are focused on just doing captures and publish them. This is just a new production technique. It does, however, always requires some hand tuning, for example to handle reflections. It’s a good technique for models such as rocks, less so for consumer products such as electronics.
TurboSquid sells a lot 3D scan models and this is a good thing : the more content there is the best it is for the customers. We have many customers around the world and we are seeing the 3D scanning approachadding value for them, which is a good thing for them.
Even though you have to hand touch the models, 3D scanning is just becoming a feature of the industry.

3DVF : Could you give some advice to artists who want to make the assets they sell “future proof” ?

TurboSquid : Great imagery. It is what every costumer says, they want beautiful renders. Nothing makes something look older than lower resolution renders. The interesting fact is that back in 2000, when we started the company, the renders looked low quality and fidelity. However, now we are worried because renders have become so good that people can longer tell if they are 3D models, and they will get confused that it is an imagery site instead of a 3D model site. But this is what makes models have longevity over periodes of years, because beautiful renders keep selling. We see that people who did a good job packaing their models for sale are surprised that their collections from older years can keep selling well. You have to keep marketing your models, you cannot just build them, you have to make them look great for people to buy, it is very old school business.

To learn more about TurboSquid

TurboSquid’s website.

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