Product packaging, as a graphic design discipline, is an industry itself. 3D visualization solutions are increasingly being used in the product design industry to allow marketers and designers to improve designs and enhance their product review processes.
Product visualization enables your customers to visualize products in a highly-detailed (and realistic) way, prior to creating prototypes for manufacturing. Visualization can save you time and costly mistakes. Distinctiveness and appeal of a product when placed on an actual shelf is something retailers call “shelf impact,” and it makes a huge difference in product sales.
Previously, visualizing a product packaging or concept was an expensive, multi-step process. And if the design changed, it meant starting the process all over again.
Other software applications frustratingly separate design applications into cartons or flexibles or bottles or store visualization. IC3D Suite encompasses these and more, allowing all these elements to be seamlessly combined in the same scene.
Offering a complete solution to these issues, IC3D Suite stood out to the 2014 InterTech Technology Award team from Printing Industries of America, and has been recognized for innovative excellence in the graphic arts industries.
IC3D Suite is also the first 3D packaging design and visualization software to offer the patented “Smart Wrap” Mapping software which allows labels and artwork to be placed accurately onto complex models without the need for tedious UVW mapping of texture coordinates.
IC3D Suite comes with a direct link into Adobe Illustrator allowing your 2D Illustrator artwork to be directly mapped onto your 3D models as base artwork or as labels.
Output hi-resolution images, PDF proofs for mark-up or share your designs with colleagues and customers using the IC3D Movie exporter, which creates portable compressed movie files that can be shared or put on compliant websites.
Import models from all major 3D applications, using the common cross application formats such as:
3DS Max (3DS and ASE)
Wavefront Object (OBJ)
Lightwave (LWO and LWS)
Milkshape 3D (MS3D)
Most models are imported with their materials (where applicable). Where a model is not available you can take advantage of IC3D’s Model Generation Service to create the model you desire from your designs.
Drag and Drop Model Library
IC3D is delivered with an ever expanding model library of common packaging models. Your own packaging models can be added to the model library for quick and easy access when creating your packaging designs. To use a library model it’s as simple as dragging a model from the library and dropping it within the scene.
Model creation using Model Templates
One of the slowest parts of packaging design can be creation of models. Especially if you need to keep changing the model as your concept develops. Model templates make this creation and recreation process considerably faster. IC3D ships with a range of model templates ranging from bottles, bags, magazines, and many common flexibles types, like Gusseted Bags, Pillow Bags, Sachets, Pouches and many more. This collection of auto generated template models is continually growing so if you don’t find the template you are looking for we may be able to create it for you.
Model Object Editor
The model editor allows you to manage the multiple models and model components that are often used to build up a scene. The editor allows the user to interactively control of the objects, meshes and materials within the scene, including the ability to rename the scene components for better controls.
If you are creating 3D models in your favorite 3D application and it supports the exporting of materials, then the likelihood is that those materials and the associated bitmaps can be loaded into IC3D.
Where you need to easily create sophisticated materials like refracting glass or metallic effects like gold foil, holographic or even lenticular effects, the IC3D material editor is designed to simplify this process for you. Once you have created the surface materials for your model they can be easily applied to using drag-and-drop to the correct parts of your model or by using the Object Editor.
Real Time 3D Environments
Real Time 3D Rendering
The 3D environment generates the required 3D shaders on the fly in order to correctly render all changes to models, materials and environments on the fly. No need to wait while your display updates, changes are applied in real time, meaning you can instantly tweak them to create the effect you are looking for.
IBL Lighting model
The 3D rendering model is based around Image Based Lighting, which use HDRI or EXR environments to calculate accurate and realistic lighting. Like a ray tracer it calculates the correct amount of lighting to apply and the environmental lighting influences on a per pixel basis for every rendered frame, however, unlike a ray tracer it is able to do this in real time.
Real Time Material Editing
Open an objects material in the materials editor, make changes and see those changes instantly updated at full rendering resolution to the model.
HDR and EXR support
Import HDRI and EXR format environments directly into IC3D so your models are shown in the environment of you choices. In addition use the environment as a 3D background for your scene.
Packaging Types Supported
IC3D prides itself on supporting a large number of packaging type or discipline under one application. These include:
Plus many more
All of these can have labels and or base artwork applied to them, directly from within Illustrator.
Stacked Shelving Display
It is possible in IC3D to display a shelf or display tray containing different products to they can be compared together. This is useful for the comparison of, Competitive Analysis, Version Comparison and Variant Comparison or for just checking how many with fit in the tray. This is simple process whereby several SKUs can be selected, the number of items specified and they will then be organized on the shelf automatically. Once placed on the shelf it is possible to interactive edit them, for example changing the color of the label.
Adobe Illustrator Plug-in
Real Time Editing of AI Art
IC3D comes with a Plug-in for Adobe Illustrator. This Plug-in in allows you to connect IC3D to your copy of Illustrator. When you create labels or base artwork within IC3D these are automatically created in Illustrator, where you can add artwork to the Illustrator document and it will appear on your label or model within IC3D.
Open in AI
The process also works in reverse, where you can select within IC3D to open your already designed label artwork (.ai and .pdf files formats supported) and it will open this artwork for you with Illustrator and create an IC3D label linked to it automatically. Once opened the artwork will appear on you label which can then be interactively positioned on your model.
Add labels to Models
IC3D’s Auto Mesh Mapping software allows labels to be placed accurately onto complex models without the need for tedious UVW mapping of texture coordinates. As UVW mapping of a model takes often as much time as modeling the model in the first place this can be a considerable time saving.
2D and 3D Labeling View
Labels can be seen both in 3D on a model or in 2D using the separate 2D views. These 3D and 2D Views can be exported to PDF to allow for accurate mark-up.
IC3D’s Auto Mesh Mapping software can also be adjusted to jump gaps allowing labels to flow smoothly over gaps like ridges in tins or plastic water bottles.
IC3D labels and base artwork can have many effects applied to them. In the Adobe Illustrator artwork, specify a spot color to represent where the effect should be placed, then select which effect to associate with the spot color. The rest is done automatically for you. IC3D has many predefined effects but allows you to also design your own.
Predefined effects include:
Hot and Cold Foils
Emboss and Deboss
Many Other Effects
Flexible Packet Filling
All the flexible templates allow the packets to be animated from empty to full. So you can see the effect on your artwork in different states of fullness. In addition if you have a model that has two versions (a full model and an empty version of the model) you can create your own flexible models using the IC3D Flexible Model Editor.
Filling Objects with Liquid
Models that should contain liquids can also be filled with liquid in order to see the effect the liquid has on the design. The opacity and color of the liquid can be individually controlled.
Real Time Shadows
IC3D has the ability to cast real time 3D Shadows, on other meshes within the model, creating an even more realistic rendered environment.
Reflections in the Floor
Reflections of models can be projected in the floor plane to give the impression they are sitting on a shiny surface.
Complex Scene Staging
All of the above comes together to allow the staging of complex and dynamic scenes using cross discipline packaging type. An example might be an accurate model of scotch could be created and labeled then placed to an equally accurate model of the box the scotch goes in. Then a glass of scotch with its ices is added to the scene and the materials for the glass and ice are applied. Then liquid if fifed in the bottle and glass to represent the scotch and the background is changed to grouse moorland. The result is a complex scene which can be saved and exported as a high resolution render or as a 3D model for others to view. The labels and artwork used in the generation of the scene can also be output with screen shots of the scene automatically to a PDF for collaborative review and mark-up.
Hi Res Export
High resolution renders can be exported to be further adjusted in Photoshop. The exported images can be specified to contain an alpha channel so the models can be divorced from their backgrounds so they can be placed in other scenes.
An auto generated PDF containing several screen shots of the 3D scene as well as 2D renders all the labels and base artwork in the scene, can be easily exported to allow for easier collaborative review or mark-up.
Models created or edited in IC3D can be exported with their materials in Collada format or editing in other third party 3D applications. They can then be reimported as Collada files back into IC3D if required.
A Quick Time Movie (MOV) file can be recorded and exported to allow the 3D content to be viewed on other devices and platforms, such as the Apple iPhone or iPad. The Movie exporter uses high quality video compression to create iPhone and iPad compatible movies. The user can also manually animate the object during the recording, to zoom in on a certain section or spin the object/objects so they can be viewed from all sides.