Testing products takes a little ABC and some OCD

Apr 24, 2018 at 03:00 pm by SchelleFire

Being a little obsessive helps tester Andy, a.k.a., donnena, make sure everyone gets what they pay for at Renderosity.

"OCD! It's a GOOD thing," Andy said about why she clicks on every link to find what works and what doesn't when she tests products for the Renderosity Marketplace.

The Marketplace has thousands of products from models and props to poses and morphs for nearly every 2D and 3D computer graphics programs out there.

And every product has been reviewed (and probably broken before it was fixed) by Renderosity's Quality Control Staff, which is overseen by Renderosity Marketplace Manager Jenn Blake.

Blake, who started at Renderosity as a buyer and then a tester, said she prides herself on offering quality products to the community.

"We have strict guidelines on what vendors can submit and how they must be tested before we offer them for sale," she said, adding she relies on testers like Andy to make sure products meet Renderosity standards.

"I've got the best job in the world," Andy said about the testing process. "I get to play with other peoples toys, break them, demand they fix them for me and then I get to break them again!!"

She uses her experience to test products mostly intended for use in Poser and DAZ Studio.

She started modeling in the late 1990s with Poser 3 and Bryce. She expanded to Photoshop, DAZ and some other programs. Meanwhile, she found a community online to help her with her art, which led her to testing.

"I've been a software tester since 2009, originally working as an Agile tester on a program designed to scan tax forms. I tested Poser & DAZ Studio items first for RDNA beginning in 2013 and moved to Renderosity in 2014," she said.

One would think there isn't an overlap between tax forms and 3D models.

But that's where the OCD comes in.

"Most of the rest of the testing is knowing where to look for problems," she explained. "The goal is to release trouble free toys and tools that just work."

In general, Andy and the other testers look for things that will frustrate a buyer, she said.

"We look for things that don't work right," she said. "Poses, for example, are supposed to leave the figure right where he is on the stage. Having the pose snap G8F back to center stage when you've spent minutes or days getting her exactly where you want her is very annoying."

She said other frequent issues are seams in skin textures, prop bloat, missing files, bad paths, XMP files in Poser items that haven't been populated, incorrect or missing documentation.

Products are allowed three fails before they are rejected and even then creators are allowed to resubmit them if they can document the problem has been fixed.

Andy, who is also a Rendo vendor and contributing artist, said she knows that most other vendors don't deliberately include errors and mistakes in their products, but it's her pleasure to play with them until she finds them.

"They are relying on us to find any errors and point them out so they can fix them," she said, adding vendors don't want faulty products in their stores and buyers don't want to waste their money on things that don't work as advertised.

"Some vendors are very embarrassed to have included an error in their product, but they honestly shouldn't be. We're all human. The capacity to mess up is infinite," she said.

In order to find those errors, Andy applies a little ABC (Apply Butt to Chair) and some OCD.

"If something looks funny, or off or doesn't seem right... find out why or why not. Sometimes it's something cool and new!" she said.

Top image: The Winter Princess created by donnena using clothing from RPublishing and Rhiannon, DM's throne and Gazebo, Snarly's snow machine, HiveWire's horse with the Arabian package and Holly Wonder World's trees.

Michelle Willard, Editor of Renderosity Magazine | Former newspaper reporter. Recovering archaeologist. Political nerd. True crime junkie. Read her articles here

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