Feature Request Details

Package Design - Create 3D Model from Dyeline/Blueprint

I'd like to be able to build a product package from a dieline created in Illustrator, fold it along specific lines, give it a UV gloss on parts, add foiling and embossing where required.

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    Chris shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    started  ·  AdminJeanette Mathews (Admin, Dimension CC) responded  · 

    Hello everyone. I’m very excited to say that this feature has been underway in research for some time, and we have some excited first results, which we recently did a Sneak at Adobe MAX titled Project Fantastic Fold. You can see the video here:


    I’d love to get your thoughts on the preview so far, which parts are most valuable, etc. I may reach out for more interview participants soon!

    - Jeanette


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      • AdminJeanette Mathews (Admin, Dimension CC) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Love the discussion that's going on here, thank you for the thoughtful and constructive conversation. Let me share what I can!

        First, to the question of Dimension/Illustrator workflows.

        We are planning on an initial step which would be fully a workflow in Dimension. You would provide your dielines in .ai or .eps format with your artwork and cut/fold lines all together. In Dimension CC you would import this and the technology would automatically fold/cut a 3D model directly from your design, meaning all of your artwork would be mapped to the 3D model directly.

        The Fantastic Fold demo was future facing as a vision, but the actual mapping of artwork back and forth between 2D and 3D won't be on our first step. For the first iteration, if you needed to update the art you'd likely have to go back to Illustrattor, do it there, then re-import. The goal is definitely to get a smarter workflow so you can do some art placement in 3D and we'll move it back to the Illustrator file in 2D as shown in the video, but that's not the initial thing we'd be shipping.

        I'd love to know peoples thoughts on that workflow. Do you think the dieline > 3D model functionality on it's own is valuable enough as a first step?

        Second, in regards to outputs.

        At the moment we have a few outputs from Dimension. You can save your scene as a rendered image or you can save it to the web in a published 3D viewer. We are NOT currently planning on 3D PDF, but I do agree this is an important format. It just likely won't happen at the same time as the initial delivery of this feature. We'll work towards that, but as mentioned PDF uses a different material model, so in order to make our content look okay there, we'll need to do some work either on our side, or on the PDF standard. Discussions are in progress!

      • Tim Melis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree with Jeff. We really really need 3D PDF. All of our contacts and customers are using Acrobat Reader to review designs, artwork, etc.. Allowing customers to view and rotate a design in Acrobat is absolutely mandatory. We can't expect customers to use multiple reviewing platforms and solutions. And in some larger companies, web access is restricted, and it can be a very big struggle convincing IT to allow acces to certain web portals.

      • Jeff Korzeniowski commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Sharing 3D files for your needs do not necessarily fit others needs.. We need 3DPDF. We have customers that require it.. We have asked for them to go the browser route and they prefer 3D PDF. SO it is untrue that 3D PDF files aren't a good format. Its a format that you do not require. Better or not, these are our needs.
        I do also want 3D PDF and a good browser viewer to be top on the list. But to not include 3D PDF because you don't want it is not a good argument.

      • jmi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        from Tim's post, I'm not sure that 3D pdf remains a good format for sharing 3D.
        A live "glb" preview in a browser is so nicier with PBR rendering than the flat gouraud shading of PDF looks poor.
        (no normal texture, no shadows...)

        Following Mark's post, I totally agree that it is mandatory to be able to see the same file in Dn (for rendering) than the File which goes in "production".
        It should be tedious, errorful , and time consuming if you need to generate a dedicated file for the render.
        I gues taht with smart options like "Layer Comp" that you can manage in a single file (with multiple artboards,) all the informatyion needed for the production and for rendering in Dimension. setting the visibility of some layers for one usage and some other for the other one in dedicated "Layer compositions".

      • Mark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi Jeanette,

        For me, I would use it mainly as a pre-vis tool so that clients can see designs as they will actually appear when printed and folded. However, if it was possible to use Illustrator files (with dielines) as the image source when mapping in Dimensions, then you're also creating most of the artwork at the same time. It would also mean that only one 'live; file is required so it cuts down on duplication (exporting to .psd, etc.).

      • Tim Melis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thank you for the update Jeanette. Please allow users to save the result as a 3D rotatable PDF...

      • John C Miller commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The Project Fantastic Fold is really looking amazing. But is this compatible with illustrator? I am a packaging designer and I am just keen to use this tool that would save so much time in terms of client presentation and artwork generation.

      • Enisio commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Illustrator 8.9.10 ... and the FOLDUP plug-in I use up to CS5 is only slightly improved. I wrote this in 2018.

      • SD commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hey that looks really great. Will it be compatible with Illustrator? So a Design created in Illustrator with processcolors and spotcolors can be folded?
        Will it be part of the Adobe CC?
        I think you created a phantastic tool...

      • Howard commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Having some sort of asset generator built in as an automated workflow would be great.

      • Brittany commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My whole office is now staring at me for actually squeaking out loud with glee! What an amazing presentation! This would be SO helpful to have. And I adore Tiffany Haddish, so that was a fun surprise too. :)

        The rotatable view of the dieline in its assembled state would be a game changer. I currently use LiveSurface Context for this sort of thing but it relies on 3D models provided by the software team, so developing custom dielines isn't possible. This would fix that major need.

        I'd absolutely want options for white ink, metallic inks, and gloss/matte finishes. This is a thing that Context does really well (I'm assuming the Adobe team already knows about this software but I'm putting it out there in case anyone else reading this thread wants to see what I'm talking about.)

        Live updates of changes to dielines and ability to choose substrates would also make this tool exponentially more useful (or at the very least, ability to choose the thickness of the substrate in GSM or millimeters.)

        I'm less concerned with dielines for packaging other than boxes. I saw that someone mentioned candy bars and shrink wrappers for bottles. I feel like Dimension already does these things effectively. The two things that would dramatically increase effectiveness for me would be 1) a wider assortment of packaging models (I currently have to hire a contractor to create 3D models of our rollstock plastic bags because nothing similar is available from Adobe's stock of models) and 2) if we could export the maps from Dimension after placing decals on a model. Even if we had to recreate the art in Illustrator because the map has been rasterized, it would at least give us the template for correct placement of art assets.

      • Jeff Korzeniowski commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Project Fantastic Fold looks amazing.. (I think there was a little tear in my eye just then)

        Here are my thoughts on what I see so far. Jonny and Tim have the same desires as me.
        1. Love the distribute functionality.. place once for all panels. Question. What if an object is not dependent on a single surface. It could wrap from the top panel to the side panel.. Or.. a band could wrap all the way around a box.
        2. auto masking along edges is great.. this is good for 3D but if we need to use the graphics in actual artwork itself (the main reason for having this) can we get an option for bleeds over scores. maybe an add bleed button???? or bleed is based on a setting.. editable later
        3. if the packaging world only worked in flat paper we would be in trouble. can you simulate a fluted corrugated box? box material could be upwards of a quarter inch thick.. can this be added to the simulation?
        4. Will this retain all colors modes, spot colors etc.. Will by AI file be usable after? Does it convert to RGB?
        5. assuming we can design our own structures, we need to be able to assign cut crease and then assign fold angles.
        6. What about bags? Packaging includes flexible bags as well.. Probably too soon to do but think about things like potato chip bags, candy bar wrappers. Those items are not based on simple folds they are dynamically molded around an object inside. Also, there are lots of Shrink packaging labels and packaging. Think bottled water packs and odd shaped shrink sleeve labels for shampoo bottles etc.. Possibilities are endless.
        7. File needs to be dynamically updated.. an edit in illustrator should update in Dimension.
        8. WHITE INK.. for clear packaging. Think Pen boxes at Staples... This needs a white ink layer in order for ink to show accurately. the ability to layer our inks and modify our ink parameters would be great.. add gloss, bump patters, refractions etc. layer the order of inks as needed.. White first, cyan and then maybe a spot blue as an example.
        9. The ability to Link and open the illustrator file right from within Dimensions.
        10. the ability to preview the file within illustrator without having dimensions open (preview window). This way when we have a model done and complete we can preview the file quickly without needing to keep updating and going back to dimensions. I dont want to see 3D options in illustrator.. just a preview window showing what it would look like.
        11. Like Mark said below.. Multipart elements.. lots of packaging contain multi parts.. think Displays in stores or boxes with inserts. Maybe create a scene in Dimensions and load in Illustrator.. have the ability to open all illustrator files associated with the 3D scene.. update ai files as needed and the scene will update.
        12.. So much more to come. So excited for this. Been waiting for this type of integration since I started workin in Illustrator '88.. No joking.. the Packaging industry has been wanting this for years.. Now all we need is a decent way to add measurements to our cad files.

        Thank you so much for the effort and can't wait to try out these new features.

      • Mark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm a food packaging designer and that presentation looks fantastic. It would save so much time in terms of client presentation and artwork generation. At the moment I have to build a model in C4D and because the UV unwrapping is so complicated and time-consuming, I render a base model and apply textures in Photoshop using smart objects (Illustrator > Photoshop).

        As mentioned below, substrate thickness and finishes such as foil and varnishes would be great additions. Another useful feature would be:

        - Support for multipart elements: Often packaging consists of various parts/sections such as sleeve, fitting, lid, base, etc.

        But for now, I'm really keen to use it and look forward to putting it through its paces.

      • jmi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Even if it's not completely related to packaging only, I was wondering if it is possible to work on an Import of AI files as decals with an automatic link of some layers to texture channel.

        In packaging, you may have some graphics or lettering "printed" and also vernished and Embossed.

        The vernish could be handled as a mask in a dedicated layer and the Embossing as a Normal file in a dedicated layer if it could be possible to have the relevant PS filter in AI.

        It's already faisible to select which Artwork you can use as a texture, but it should also be valuable to manage Layers (best of all should be to get "layer comps" in Ai like you have in PS)...

        With this, it should be really easy to refine the artwork in Ai if you have only one file to manage.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Dear Jeanette,

        the demonstration is fantastic! I wonder how the software knows where and when to fold. Is there a possibility for manual adjustments?

        My question is this. I have finished artwork. It is die-lie with graphics place on it. It is done in Photoshop and Illustrator. Is it possible to upload this project (PDF or Ai) to this software so I won´t have to place the graphics again?


      • Tim Melis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Wooow! Thanks Jeanette. I'm really blown away. It looks fantastic...
        Please also include some things Jonny mentioned...
        - Selection of substrates and thicknesses (standard card, corrugated card, ...)
        - rendering of finishes (matte/gloss, spot UVs, Foils etc)
        - Gold and Silver reflections on partial pieces located the artwork ...

        Please keep up the good work!

      • jmi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate


        This presentation is really great and I'm impatient to be able to try it.

        I was wondering if you have to start from the 2D blueprint or if you can also "unfold" a 3D shape.

      • Jonny commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks Jeanette! Just watched the Adobe Max Sneak and am very excited! Progress is looking fantastic!
        Features most valuable:
        - assisted artwork alignment
        - showing progressive folding animation
        - exporting to Dimension for scene rendering

        Features not shown but very much desired:
        - Selection of substrates and thicknesses (standard card, corrugated card, material weight (GSM) etc)
        - rendering of finishes (matte/gloss, spot UVs, Foils etc)
        - Curved folds accurately represented
        - Live update of art and dieline. (ESKO locks the dieline once 3d fold is created)
        - The ability to record the fold animation and send to suppliers to communicate production processes.
        - ability to export to a number of common 3d file formats
        Will there be BETA testing open to previous Felix testers? If so, please sign me up!

        Thanks Adobe team :)

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