PixelSquid FAQ

Creating Content for PixelSquid

What types of content will be available on PixelSquid?

PixelSquid offers customers 360 Spinners.  360 Spinners allow customers to rotate models to the angles that they need to generate a .JPEG, .PNG, or .PSD

What 3D software and renderers do you support?

We currently only support 3ds Max 2011 – 2020 (32- or 64-bit) + V-Ray (2.5 – 4.6) submissions ). Please note that if you are using Max 2021, you will need to back-save your files to Max 2020. V-Ray is currently required as we are rendering the output from V-Ray at 2k resolution with all of the contribution layers intact. This then allows us to produce a Photoshop file with separate reflection, glossiness, shadow, z-depth, base  layers, giving the customers full control over the image contribution.

We are actively developing the tools, process and support for these other setups:

  • 3ds Max + Mental Ray
  • Maya + V-Ray
  • Maya + Mental Ray
  • C4D + Physical Renderer

Can I use my existing TurboSquid models or must I create new content?

We would love for you to get your existing TurboSquid models ready to submit to PixelSquid. We’ve created a document and video that walks you through a common “refurb” of a TurboSquid model and shows a series of common fail points. You can find this here: Refurbishing Your Existing Models.

When you create new content, we hope that you will make it with both TurboSquid and PixelSquid in mind. The Library Materials that we provide can help you to create high-quality shaders that can also work in multiple environments. Using the PixelSquid Studio can provide a standard environment that allows a large number of 3D customers to consistently use your models.

Can I submit a model that is similar to one that is already published on PixelSquid?

Yes, you are allowed to submit models that depict content that already exists on PixelSquid. We encourage you to submit unique models that are not already represented on the site so that we can quickly expand the catalog.

After I prepare my models for PixelSquid, can I sell these updated models on TurboSquid?

We absolutely encourage you to update your models on TurboSquid. If you’ve made improvements, it is beneficial for you to post that content on TurboSquid. You can even use the spinner renders that you have created as thumbnail images for your updated content. These images are available as high resolution 2k images, perfect for TurboSquid product previews.

The tools we have created for squid.io are designed to be used by our artists to improve the quality of their models. While PixelSquid is our new product, we still want TurboSquid to flourish. With that in mind, one of our goals is to improve the overall quality and standards of 3D content. By optimizing the models you submit to PixelSquid and then posting them on TurboSquid, you are helping us to achieve that goal.

Wouldn’t it be better to use HDRis with rich lighting and contrast or to let us use our own HDRi files?

We have experimented with allowing artists to adjust their materials and use their own light rigs. However, the results have been too varied to create a standard that will work for a large variety of models.  We’ve also found that when models using customized materials and light rigs are placed inside our light rigs, they do not look like the original model because our light rigs are calibrated to work best with a large variety of physically accurate materials.

We spent much time researching and developing our light rigs. What we suggest is to either adjust your materials in our light rigs or to create the materials after using our light rigs. Using our PixelSquid tools will make your models more physically accurate and visually pleasing.

You may also want to have a look at our material library. We created these materials to look great when artists use the PixelSquid tools.

If you upload your files with textures, we will be happy to share some examples of how you can improve your materials without changing the lighting setup.

My shadow is rendering with a circular pattern. What can I do?

A possible cause for a broken shadow is if you’re using 3DS Max Design. 3DS Max Design defaults to “use Real-World Scale,” and this option will break the shadow since it will tile some of the texture maps used for shadow generation according to Real-World Scale. Also, 3DS Max Design checks the scaling of the textures and re-sizes the UVs on the Shadow Plane if you have the Real-World Scale option set as default.

The easiest way to fix a broken shadow is to disable the “use Real-World Scale” option so that it is no longer a default setting. Once doing that, simply prep your model again. Using the PixelSquid Studio tool to do this makes it fairly simple:

  1. Select your model and close the Hero Object group
  2. Open the PixelSquid Studio, and make sure you have “Keep Selection in Scene” and then select Clear Scene.
  3. Ungroup the model and prep your scene again.

You can’t have the Hero Object group in the scene if you wish to prep the scene. This will cause an error message to pop up and the scene will not be prepped.

If you don’t want to change the default settings, you will need to manually fix what is being broken. Here is a list of the changes that will need to be fixed.

  1. Check every map being used to generate the Shadow_Matte material to be sure the “use Real-World Scale” option is turned off.
  2. To fix the UVs on the Shadow Plane, apply a Planer UVW Map modifier then collapse the modifier.

The only problem with keeping “use Real-World Scale” as a default is that you will have to fix EVERY model you prep after prepping it. If you change the default setting, the tools will work properly, and you won’t have to fix your shadow every time.

I see that my submission has been approved, but it is still showing that it is In-Progress. Why can’t I see my images online?

The reason you are seeing your submission in My Products as well as In-Progress is because the submission has been fully rendered and published but is awaiting a final review.  Once the final review of the published product is completed, your submission will become visible online and no longer show in your In-Progress queue.

General Questions

Why are my products showing up on PixelSquid different from others?

This initial release of Squid.io is done separately from any signficant update to PixelSquid.com.  The next major release will be an update of that site and deal with issues such as display name and download/purchase options.  How products are interacted with with stabilize and become consistent at that release.

How much do I get paid for PixelSquid sales?

PixelSquid has two types of sales: a la carte, and Subscription.

For a la carte sales, you will be paid a royalty rate based on your SquidLevel at the time of purchase.

All monthly subscription revenue will be paid out to artists on a prorated basis at the end of the month. Artists will receive a percentage of the subscription revenue based on their current SquidLevel. The payout will be based on the percentage of total usage that came from your content. We are allowing customers to use any angle of an object, so a download is counted when a customer uses an object (downloading from the site or through the plug-in) for the 1st time that month. We count by the object, not each angle of the object.

How do I get paid?

All purchases and payments will be pushed into TurboSquid.com for processing alongside your regular TS products.

Can I submit models or images that depict currency?

Creating images or models of currency is allowed as long as it does not violate any Federal or International laws.  The United States Secret Service states that color illustrations are allowed of US currency as long as:

  • The illustration is of a size less than three-fourths or more than one and one-half, in linear dimension, of each part of the item illustrated
  • The illustration is one-sided

Generally what will be allowed are:
Piles or Stacks of bills with only the top bill fully visible.
Crumpled or creased bills
Currency images with sufficient changes from the actual currency
Coins, stacks of coins and piles of coins

What is not allowed:
Actual sized bills with front and back imagery
Sheets of currency front or back

Alternatively, making changes to the currency to make it differ from the original so that it can be used without violating any of the currency laws.   Examples of changes would be to insert Elvis Presley in place of Ben Franklin.  Using defunct currency is also another option.   TurboSquid reserves the right to remove any imagery that it deems violates any terms of the site agreement.

Do you have support for multiple languages?

At the moment, the Squid.io site is only available in English.  However, we are currently able to provide individual support in English, Russian, Polish, and Spanish. If you’d like help in one of these languages, create a support ticket, and we will get in touch with you directly.

Publisher Agreement and Licensing

What is the Publisher Agreement?

The Publisher Agreement is an agreement between artists that are publishing on PixelSquid and TurboSquid. It has significant changes to it — please make sure to read it. There are detailed royalty rates, library items to make your work easier, and lots of other stuff to make publishing on PixelSquid a success. This is going to be a joint venture.

What will customers buy on PixelSquid?

All authenticated users will be able to access watermarked 2k transparent PNGs for all objects.  They will also be able to access watermarked 2k transparent PNGs and layered PSDs for a handful of free promotional objects.

Subscribers may access 2k transparent PNGs and layered PSDs for all objects.

User who purchase an object a la carte will be able to access 2k transparent PNGs and layered PSDs for the object they purchased.

Why can’t I access the Library content?

We restrict access to the Libraries to SquidGuild members Bronze level or higher.  You can read more details online or contact support if you think you should have access.

What does the license for Library Materials let me do?

You can use Library Materials for any PixelSquid imagery, and for 3D models on TurboSquid, as long as they are exclusively published. You own the value that you add to the Library Materials, but these are not for use for freelance or other professional purposes beyond publishing on TurboSquid and PixelSquid. You may use them for personal use to learn how to improve your skills.

Library Materials do not change your Royalty Amounts on the products you create.

Library Materials may not be distributed or sold in any other capacity. These are intended for our community to learn and be productive. Please see the Publisher Agreement for more information.