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Esko releases DeskPack 3-dX - unique 3-D packaging design plug-in for Adobe Illustrator

Press release from the issuing company

Ghent (Belgium), September 13, 2006 – Esko, the global market leader in packaging pre-production solutions, announces the commercial availability of DeskPack 3-dX, a new plug-in for Adobe Illustrator that supports virtual three-dimensional views and navigation for packaging design. Originally previewed at Ipex 2006, this plug-in is the latest unique tool in DeskPack – a component in Esko's Scope packaging software suite. DeskPack 3-dX will be showcased at LabelExpo Americas, Sept 11-14th, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. DeskPack 3-dX takes design to a new level of precision and ease with the innovative ability to generate a virtual three-dimensional view of a package within the familiar operating environment of Adobe Illustrator, The plug-in facilitates 3-D guidance to navigate through complex structural designs and automatically maintains a live link between 2D production and 3D design visualization. This facilitates a virtual view while building up the graphics, just as if the designer was holding the product in his or her hands. “The release of the 3-dX plug-in signals a new era in packaging design, delivering powerful and easy-to-use technology that supports a three-dimensional interactive process,” says Jan De Roeck, Esko’s Marketing Director for packaging software. “This latest innovation to the DeskPack reflects our ongoing dedication to CAD/Graphics integration in all phases of the packaging supply chain— particularly our effort to provide designers upstream in the supply chain more control to create packaging as they intend it.” Seamless integration of CAD and Graphic design One of the key advantages of DeskPack 3-dX is the ability to receive immediate feedback in a 3D format of how graphics will look like on a printed package. 3-dX delivers a level of visual accuracy that can significantly reduce prototyping and proofing costs. By making the creation of packaging extremely intuitive, 3-dX takes away mind boggling 2-D to 3-D translations. The plug-in accomplishes this by automatically maintaining a live link between 3-D design visualization and the unfolded 2-D structure. Repetitive design aspects, such as flaps, are efficiently handled by 3-dX's Distribute function. Carton or display panels may consist of different co- planar flaps, spread over the 2-D unfolded structure. The plug-in will repeat design elements automatically and seamlessly over all flaps. The 3D capabilities of the new plug-in deliver on Esko's commitment to deliver consistent quality while reducing time-to-market and eliminating costs. During CAD and graphical design, 3-D visualization of a package early in the design phase is a major advantage for testing and proofing. Numerous partners and handoffs are involved so the more realistically a design is communicated, the faster and more precisely the collaboration will deliver excellent results. ImageX, seamlessX, screenX: Additional new powerful DeskPack plug-ins The 3-dX plug-in is not the only addition to DeskPack. Adobe Illustrator, files are often created and transferred with embedded images that are not available for editing as separate graphic components. The imageX plug-in allows the operator to select these images, writing them to disk with an automatic feature that re-links them into the Adobe Illustrator. Thus, images can be edited with, for example, Adobe PhotoShop. The seamlessX plug-in is helpful for continuous graphics around a cylinder. After an original repeating graphic is created for specialty items such as gift-wraps, wallpaper, and printed upholstery is created, many times they are printed across the flexo cylinder. seamlessX is used to calculate the correct spacing and repeat numbers to properly wrap the graphic around the cylinder, assuring seamless, continuous output. The screenX plug-in allows objects to have multiple rulings, angles and/or screen definitions within a single separation, which is very important in packaging, where the use of mixed screens is quite common. This is helpful because Adobe Illustrator can only provide one set of screen parameters per ink/separation. With screenX, special dot gain compensation strategies can also be implemented directly from the design. Ongoing innovation for design and pre-production on the desktop The 3-dX plug-in is an excellent complement to the existing toolset in DeskPack. Esko acknowledges that Adobe Illustrator CS and Adobe PhotoShop CS are the world’s most popular tools used to create graphics for packaging, and has optimized its best packaging and prepress technologies to seamlessly operate within these applications. All of the DeskPack tools are designed to work side-by-side with this familiar design software, so they are easy to learn and easy to use. Keeping a packaging design in the originating application as long as possible improves reliability and flexibility; crucial success factors in the modern packaging prepress workflow. “More than 90% of all packaging designs are prepared in Adobe Illustrator, which makes it the preferred and de facto standard platform among designers. With DeskPack, packaging designers, tradeshops and converters can keep the packaging design inside Adobe Illustrator until the job is ready for print output," says Frank Adegeest, Senior Product Manager packaging application software. "The DeskPack 3-dX plug-in enables graphic designers to visualize and navigate in 3D, right on their desktops, without ever leaving Adobe Illustrator. 3-dX fulfills an important need in the packaging design process and contributes to the growing success of DeskPack, now with nearly 6,000 licenses installed worldwide." DeskPack 3-dX is available worldwide through Esko's direct sales and global network of authorized distributors.