When we visited the Creative Edge stand it was busy and notably, according to company CEO Nick Gilmore, a large number of visitors till that point were from South Asia. He told us that ray tracing software used in the gaming world has been customized for packaging design, development, and marketing by the US based Creative Edge Software. The newly signed up three-year sponsor of the Pentawards caused quite a stir with a virtual prototyping tool designed to speed up the production of mock-ups and time to market. According to the company, IC3D creates 3D-effect moving imagery and convincing photorealism with potential cost benefits for brand owners and suppliers in an emerging digital market segment for packaging. Printing and prepress professionals are welcoming an alternative to what’s on the market with new capabilities, says Gilmore. He told Packaging South Asia that brand owners and creatives were the initial target but drupa had opened the door to new target customers.
The system is intended to complement and work alongside Esko products and in a ‘world first’ for ray tracing, integrates cloud sharing via a platform called Opsis. Ray tracing is the key to the dynamic user experience and photo-realistic imaging, producing the effect of reflected and refracted light on a glass bottle and the contents, for example. Gilmore showed how easy it is to add a label and virtually shrink a sleeve label with accuracy. Images created in 3D can be manipulated with 2D images to show the impact of a design on-shelf. In advertising and marketing, the high quality of digital imagery gets around the need for professional studio shots.
“Brands are starting to take control of prototyping,” observes Gilmore. He says global drinks brand Diageo, an early adopter, has found experimental sampling generated by acrylic 3D printing can bring digital efficiency to getting new products to market. Customers also include Swiss chocolate brand Lindt and Molson Coors beers.
Tutoring videos are freely available and an adept Illustrator user can be up-andrunning with the software in a day, says Gilmore. The complete system bought outright costs US$ 9,950 (£7,000) and the simpler version for folding cartons sells at US$ 2,750 (£2,000).
Creative Edge Software appoints ThinkPrint for South Asia distribution
In response to growing interest in its award-winning packaging design application in the South Asia region, Creative Edge Software signed on ThinkPrint at drupa 2016 to assume responsibility for sales and support of iC3D software in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The announcement came on 28 June 2016.
ThinkPrint is a cooperation between three established suppliers of graphic arts systems and solutions: Venus Infotech, Basis Systems and Genesis Systems. Hemanshu Desai of Venus Infotech says that iC3D has very real potential to transform packaging design processes in India. “Already since drupa we have run a number of demos of the new iC3D version-4 with customers and the response has been extremely encouraging. They are staggered by its speed and the ease of use.”
According to Desai, the all-in-one iC3D package design solution has several additional USPs that make it ideal for the Indian market. He mentions iC3D connectivity with Illustrator and its ready-to-go library of structural templates that can be modified or entirely re-worked according to requirements.
iC3D is an all-in-one packaging application that allows designers to generate 3D digital prototypes in real-time for all types of packaging, including cartons, labels, flexibles, bottles, POS/POP and shrink wraps. The latest iC3D version 4 launched at drupa 2016 incorporates five new features to deliver unprecedented photorealism, including Ray Tracing technology, which makes glass and liquids look realistic for transparency, translucence, color, refractive index, reflections and shadows.
“The quality of the final 3D visualizations is truly stunning, and this is a factor of increasing importance in India,” explains Desai. “The packaging industry is booming here and brand awareness has greatly increased in recent years. This means that packaging producers are increasingly concerned with tackling the threat from counterfeit goods. This leads to continuous updating of package designs. With its ease of use and affordable price point, iC3D is perfectly positioned to take the market by storm.”
With offices in Mumbai and Delhi, ThinkPrint serves the commercial print, packaging and publishing markets throughout India and beyond. Its three constituent companies share a workforce of 14 people representing a strong portfolio of clients including Epson, CGS, Enfocus, Ultimate, Global Graphics and PPI.
“ThinkPrint came to see us at drupa because they were specifically looking for a solution that’s both easier to use and more cost-effective than the leading design visualization software products currently on the Indian market,” explains Nick Gilmore, CEO of Creative Edge Software. “They were wowed when they realized we could offer much, much more – an application superior in every respect. With more than 50 strong sales leads in India taken at drupa alone, we’re now looking forward to a long and successful relationship with ThinkPrint.”