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Question

What are the main differences between the 3D model file formats supported in the Studio products?

Answer

.dae

This is the extension of a standard Collada file and supported as import or export option in most 3D applications.

  • DAE files are XML files based on the Collada schema, and can be opened in any text editor.
  • DAE files are not self-contained, any referenced textures are not included in this file.
  • DAE files can be imported in Studio Toolkit to add a label or shrink sleeve, and are also the default export format for 3D models created by Toolkit for Labels in Adobe® Illustrator®.
  • DAE files can be opened or placed in Studio Designer and Studio Visualizer in case they have a properly defined Esko printable area.
  • DAE files can be imported in Store Visualizer without the need of an Esko printable area.
  • DAE files cannot be opened in Studio Viewer on Mac or Windows.

.zae

This is the extension of a Collada archive. The archive contains the actual 3D model DAE files, some manifest/root XML files and any textures that are referenced in the DAE files.

  • ZAE files can be renamed to .ZIP to unzip and find the DAE files to open in third party 3D applications.
  • ZAE files are supported by all Esko products, but to be able to open or load them in Studio Designer and Studio Visualizer, they need a properly defined Esko printable area.
  • ZAE files created by Esko Studio products can be viewed by the Studio Viewers.

.obj

This is the extension of a Wavefront 3D model, check the following article.

  • OBJ files are the best choice as output from 3D scanners if DAE is not available.
  • OBJ files can be opened with Studio Toolkit to add a label or shrink sleeve.
  • OBJ files can be imported in Store Visualizer.

.ard

This is the extension of an ArtiosCAD structure.

  • An ArtiosCAD structural design file can contain fold information, which will be kept and displayed in Studio products.
  • The Toolkit for Boxes plugin in Illustrator allows you to add/change fold information and export to a new ARD file. You can also open/import ARD files in the Toolkit application, i.e. to make compositions, but you will not be able to change the fold information. When saving/exporting an imported ARD in the Toolkit application, you will always write a ZAE Collada file, not an ARD file.
  • You can always render graphics on front- and backside of ARD components. In order to see a 3D representation including graphics in a Studio Viewer or Store Visualizer, you will need to export the result as a ZAE Collada file.
  • You cannot open an ARD file in Studio Viewers.
Article information
Applies to

Studio all versions

Created02-Apr-15
Last revised 
AuthorSACO, SDME
CW Number297146
Contents