Packaging software specialist IC3D gave a preview of its latest version during a seminar to mark the 20th anniversary of Kodak’s Prinergy workflow last week.
The event at Mercedes World in Surrey was the UK leg of a European tour for Prinergy as Kodak works to underpin its credentials as a powerful packaging workflow. IC3D is now tightly integrated with Prinergy, as is Arden Software for creating the digital dielines as structural mock ups of a package or display unit. IC3D is upstream of this, delivering the visualisation of a finished box or label when applied to a product.
The company has developed a 3D virtual packaging application that now gains Ray Trace visualisation for a photorealistic impression of the finished packaging. This can be placed in virtual shelving alongside real products from a photo shot sharing the same lighting impact used by different stores, or in advertising ahead of a product launch.
More prosaically the virtual packaging is useful to ensure graphics line up correctly, that cut outs do not result in unfortunate view points and that all elements are in the correct position. The Ray Trace technology is far better at doing this than the Open GL format that is widely used in 3D visualisation applications, says managing director Nick Gilmore.
Now the software is being integrated into Insite Creative, a version of Kodak’s Prinergy workflow aimed at packaging designers, brands and label and carton printers. The latter group will be able to use the software to offer more than print and converting services, using the application for deeper engagement with their customers.
“They will be able to improve pitches, to offer new services via sales and marketing teams by showing brands the products how they will appear,” says Gilmore. “Open GL is no longer good enough.”
The service will reduce the number of iterations in a design cycle, slashing time to market, from an average of 33 business days to 15 days, he says.
Key to this is the performance of the IC3D renderer. This can handle the different iterations of a product design, the multiple languages and sizes that can be resolved in minutes rather than days. This is a path to earning money with the application, says Gilmore, pointing out that by matching what is traditionally paid for the heavy grunt of rendering, but using the new software, there is scope to earn a welcome margin.
The software can show the effect of different materials with a range of gloss, metallic foil, and plastic effects selected from a herd of cows to apply to the package in question. It will also show the effects of spot varnish, embossing and debasing, metallics and so on in the render. This might make the software useful to sell the benefits of the digital embellishment technologies that are available to commercial printers as well as to packaging converters.
The latest to be included in these effects is a Fresnel lens effect, used in some foils.
By Gareth Ward