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How to combine all pieces of a packaging project into one file, i.e. if you want to create a 3D visual with artwork on both the primary pack, secondary pack and tertiary pack?
The multipart workflow that we want to advocate with the new Studio Toolkit keeps a clear distinction between structure and graphics.


For a project with three components, you need four source files:
  • the combined structure, as a multipart Studio Toolkit Collada file (one).
  • an Adobe® Illustrator® document for each component (three).
Out of those source files, you can produce view files, such as 3D PDF's, images, movies, 3D collada files for viewing etc.

The workflow:
  1. Structure: You create the composition of all structures (boxes, bags, etc) in the Studio Toolkit (no graphics). The result is one composition .zae with multiple printable parts.
  2. Graphics: You place that same .zae file in all your Adobe® Illustrator® files (choosing different printable areas). The designer window shows the composition with all the live artwork.
  3. Presentation:
    1. To make a 3D PDF/Collada for viewing, export from Studio Designer.
    2. To make a Visualizer multipart packshot, you bring the first Adobe® Illustrator® document to the front and select Open in Visualizer. In Visualizer you should see the entire composition, but all parts (except one) is blank. Then you bring the next Adobe® Illustrator® document to the front and select Open in Visualizer again. Visualizer 12 will ask you if you want to merge both the files. Click Yes. This may take a while and it's all automatic. You can repeat this step for all the parts.


There are some limitations you have to work around: You cannot make a composition of ARD files yet. So for every box that you fold, you have to export it to a Collada file first (without graphics, but with the printable part(s)). You can do that either in Studio Designer or in Visualizer. There's a similar limitation for .bag files from the old Toolkit for Flexibles, first export them to collada otherwise you cannot import/open them in the new Studio Toolkit to make the composition.



Another special case would be a multipart ARD file (multiple designs combined in a single document in ArtiosCAD):

Multiple parts in one document

Which can be composed to a nice display/composition in ArtiosCAD's 3D Designer module

Saved to 1 ARD file, that can be opened/placed in Illustrator to add graphics to all parts, and shown in 3D in case you have Studio Designer

But in order to finally open this in Studio Visualizer to create a movie/packshot or 3D file for Viewing, you'll need to first export the current document in Studio Designer to a Collada file without graphics but with "Keep printable parts" enabled:

And next place this new Collada file as structural design file ontop of the graphics (replacing the existing multipart ARD). You can simply do this via File > Structural Design > Place File...

The only difference you'll see is that the placed structural design file in the Layers palette is now listing the Collada file instead of the ARD file.

Next you can perform an "Open in Visualizer" from the File menu in Illustrator. This will export the file and open it with all parts in Studio Visualizer:

Note 1: In case you want to see the actual board (corrugated, textured boards, ...) in Studio Visualizer's end result (including graphics), you'll need to first open the ARD file in Studio Visualizer, and export it to Collada from here to get the board info included in the Collada file. Now you can use this Collada file as structural design file in Illustrator (instead of the one exported from Studio Designer which simply ignores the board information from ARD's).

Note 2: since you're using a rather big Artboard in Adobe® Illustrator®, the graphics will not have the same high resolution as when working with separate files. So it might be useful to set the Model > Image Quality to "Very High" instead of the default "High".

Article information
Applies to

Studio Visualizer 12.x

Studio Toolkit 12.x

Studio Designer 12.x

Last revised29-May-13
CW Number