Boxshot 3D Packaging Software can be used to develop 3D models in PrintNow. The two apps that are required are Origami and Boxshot. Origami is used for print packaging structures and connects directly to Illustrator, so you see your layout in 3D immediately. Origami lets you save your folded layout for further processing in Boxshot. Boxshot alone can be used for applying material options but most customers used it to position the model's initial viewing angle and to export OBJ and MTL files used in PrintNow.
- Install Origami and Boxshot from boxshot.com and follow installation instructions.
- Review basic documentation to familiarize yourself with the product.
Illustrator / Origami
1. Load structure in Adobe Illustrator and have Origami opened as well.
2. Change the orientation of the structure to match the orientation you want users to see in PrintNow. Your product’s trim in PrintNow should match the width and height of the structure itself.
3. Create a new layer to serve as an Info layer so when the model is created you and the users have a point of visual reference. I added the text “top” to the top of the box so I could see it on the model in Origami and assigned it to that layer. You can continue to add other copy in your info layer to help users identify areas on your structure.
4. Name your main layer with all folded paths to “Origami”.
5. Solid lines serve as cut lines and dashed lines serve as folded lines. They can be any color but it's recommended to make them spot colors if you're going to include the structured data on the production final print-ready files for easy separation and production finishing.
6. By default, Origami folds to 90°, but you can change this by renaming the path. In my example, I changed the pathname to "45" on the one crease to show the box open. Click the "reload" button in Origami again to display it.
7. If your model displays the wrong side up you can tell Origami which side of your structure is the bottom or top. Origami looks through its layer trying to find a path named "bottom" for instance. If it finds that path, it makes the center of the path a bottom point of the shape. If it does not find a path with that name, it makes a guess about which side is the bottom. To specify a different bottom, make a small rectangle named "bottom" and move it to the place you want to make the bottom side. Even if you hide that path, Origami will find it. Now reload the shape in Origami to see that it now understands where you want the bottom to be. If your model doesn't have a bottom face to place a rectangle on you can specify "top" instead and place it on the top.
8. Origami supports paper thickness. See Paper types to apply a thickness that matches the final product.
9. Save your modified Illustrator file as a .ai file or .pdf file that can be edited with illustrator when you are satisfied with the way it previews.
10. In Origami save completed 3D model as (*.boxshotModel)
11. The boxshotModel format and png files of the textures get generated on save.
12. If you have no attention to applying additional material options or advanced effects you can skip the need to open up the Boxshot application altogether and proceed to step 1 under the "Modifying the MTL file" section. If you want to include Boxshot in your workflow to generate more advanced OBJ models then proceed to step 1 in the next Boxshot section.
13. In Origami Click, File and then click, Save 3D model to generate the Wavefront OBJ files (*.obj). Proceed to step 1 under "Modifying the MTL file" below.
1. Open up the Boxshot application and drag and drop the “.boxshotModel” file on the scene.
2. You will see the model presented in its default view shown in #5.
3. Click Fit to View and use both rotate & move tools to change the default view as shown in the screenshot.
4. Make sure to rotate and position the model itself rather than adjust the actual scene. Click on Fit to View until satisfied like screenshot #6 shows.
5. In Boxshot save the “.boxshot” model.
6. In Boxshot export the Wavefront OBJ (*.obj).
7. Your directory structure should look like screenshot #7.
Modifying the MTL file
1. The next step is modifying the “.MTL” file to match your Short Description name on your product. You can access that information in PrintNow by editing your product and clicking Actions/Item Manager shown in screenshots #8, #9.
2. Open up the .mtl file in a simple text editor like notepad. In this case, the product has only printing on the outside so we will modify the texture name shown as Front to match the Short Description on the product in PrintNow.
In my case, I changed "map_Kd DISPLAYS_files/texture0.png" to "map_Kd outside.png" on the front so the texture could be generated dynamically.
3. You can optionally embed images using online Base64 Image encoders or by specifying a URL to an image stored on a server for mapping other textures used on your model other than the one we swap out dynamically.
4. Save changes to the mtl format by replacing the file.
By default in our system, the textures are generated in different ways depending on what 3d program created them. Initially we supported Strata/Kaon and recently we moved to Origami/Boxshot models when configuring print packaging folded products.
You can add a comment to the MTL file "# PrintNow-StretchFit" when using other 3d software like blender for different results. The"-o" or "-s" options are also supported to change texture offset and scale.
Upload Model to PrintNow
1. Go to PrintNow admin tools under EDITOR and click on the on “3D Models”.
2. Click Add 3D Model, Attached obj model file & mtl program file. See #12.
3. Fill Color is the default background color that will be used.
4. You can ignore Applet width & height because it's not actually being used.
5. Meson Code is all optional. AutoRotate is set to false by default.
BackroundColo r1 & 2 creates a gradient and overrides “Fill Color”. The BackgroundImageURL will load the embedded image behind the model.
'BackgroundImageUrl': 'Insert base64 output here'
6. Upload pages allow custom upload products an override for texture names. For more than one texture separated by a comma.
7. Click save
Assign 3D model to the product in PrintNow
1. Go to products and select a category where all templates are made available.
2. Edit the correct product and change Preview Type.
3. Edit 3D Model pull-down and assign the correct model.
4. Save Changes
5. Publish product and test model on the front end for accuracy for the final step.