Author Topic: Applying real sized labels is not good  (Read 5588 times)

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Offline quigley

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Applying real sized labels is not good
« on: August 30, 2016, 04:53:51 am »
I have been using Keyshot since Hypershot v1 days, and it is right up there as our favourite application, but there are still areas of the software that constantly frustrate me. Applying life size labels is one of these.

The Galleries are full of wonderful images showing super complex textured and labelled images, created by highly skilled artists and designers, but for us, Keyshot is about churning out high quality images during the design phases of projects. This is what it built its market on and this is why we continue to use it. Typically we will produce 200-300 A3 print sized renders a day during the presentation phases on a typical product design project, fed directly from Rhino or SolidWorks. 95% of our work uses manufactured materials without additional surface decoration, but that last 5% requires us to add decals (labels) to parts.

Sometimes these labels can be placed and scaled freely - no problem. But we do have cases where we need to place labels that are life size onto specific locations, and this whole process is really not very good.

A typical scenario is applying graphic panels to a trade show stand (I list this as it is what I spent the weekend doing). Here, we have a stand model developed in SolidWorks, and a pile of graphics panels that have been developed to a specific size in Photoshop. What we do is create geometry in SolidWorks for the actual panel and position it. So for example, if we are velcroing a panel 900x2000 onto a shell scheme, we create a panel 900x2000x3mm thick and position this in the SolidWorks model.

Then the fun starts. We use the Keyshot plug in, to load the SolidWorks model into Keyshot, apply all the materials, and start to add the graphics. So in Photoshop we have created panels at full size (900x2000mm at the dpi our printers need). We generally scale these down for visuals to minimise file sizes.

So we have graphic files that EXACTLY match the proportions of the panel and (in some cases) EXACTLY match the physical dimensions of the panel. So we then try to apply it as a label. >:(

This is frankly a painful process. Rarely does this run smoothly. You have to import the graphic as a label, work out the mapping (sometimes projection, sometimes planar x/y/z etc), figure out the scale factor, rotate, flip etc etc. Positioning the graphic interactively is a pain, as it always clicks back to the origin so you need to do a continuous drag. then repeat the process for another 30 panels!

This is definitely NOT very Keyshot like guys.

We used to do these jobs in FormZ. Back in the late 1990s, the render quality was OK, but the interface to the render was excellent. What FormZ offered (like SketchUp does now) is LIFE SIZED TEXTURES. Everything you do is life sized. So if you create a graphic at 900x2000 it imports at 900x2000mm. Furthermore there are helpful interface tools like "match width" (of applied surface) so scaling the graphic to the surface is a single click. You have handles and bounding boxes to manipulate the label and position it quickly.

Even SolidWorks PhotoWorks is better at doing this type of label work than Keyshot - much better.

So what to do. Well right at this time I have spent probably 20 hrs doing a job in Keyshot that used to take 5 hrs in FormZ - 15 years ago. I'm using a fast workstation BTW -dual processor, 32GB RAM, 4GB Quadro, etc. Before anyone asks, I have performance mode active for placing labels to speed things up.

So suggestions for v7 and getting keyshot back on track for the core market of users:

1. Enable import of life sized parts AND graphics - currently you can do life sized parts but graphics don't seem to work.
2. Enable far far far better orthographic  editing modes (maybe using OpenGL or similar) - sometimes for placing labels and objects you really do not need the overhead of a constant live rendering system - even performance mode is slow compared to something like SolidWorks.
3. Enable far better mapping controls with bounding boxes for labels.
4. Enable helper controls for labelling like match width/height or enable snapping of the edge of the label to the edge of the geometry it is being applied to.
5. Please please please sort out the textures and labels libraries - I am getting fed up of applying a life sized texture like a mold tech or wood and having to scale these up by 500% to see it in the model. This unfortunately has crept in in recent releases.
6. Allow labels applied in SolidWorks to come through into Keyshot via the plug in process.

All the improvements in Keyshot in recent years have been great, but I think you need to refocus on the market that built the business to start with - product design and 3D design. We simply do not use a lot of the new stuff as it is aimed at people doing high end one off advertising rendering. But we would use genuine workflow enhancements that speed our everyday work up.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 04:57:07 am by quigley »

Offline Robb63

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2016, 05:52:46 am »
Hey Quigley,
This won't help with positioning, which I agree has always been an issue (don't get me started on the  number of times I should be able to use cylinder mapping, but can't get it to work!!).
I have been using the DPI checkbox on labels a lot lately, that way I know the part is sized and scaled correctly for the geometry. Then, I just have to worry about the planar x/y/z or UV issue.

guest84672

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 06:22:04 am »
As Robb63 said selecting DPI and the proper projection direction will position the label correctly each and every time.

Offline quigley

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 09:58:07 am »
Right thanks - I missed the DPI button! Just tried it and yes it does the trick for the scaling.
Can we make this a bit more obvious?

guest84672

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2016, 12:57:31 pm »
Good to hear.  We are debating to check the DPI button by default for KeyShot 7.

Offline Speedster

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 04:39:20 pm »
When I have to precisely position a label, I always create a "boundary box" on the subject surface, using (in SolidWorks) the Split Line command.  If necessary I apply and size the label as a "decal" in SolidWorks to use as a guide.  The boundary box just fits the decal.  I then map the resultant surface in some other color. Then in KeyShot I apply my base color or material to the part, and something nasty to the boundary box.  I then apply, scale (or not if using DPI) and position the label.  I then apply the base material to the surface, using alt or ctrl (can't remember which as I write this!) to retain the label.  Very accurate control...

DPI should be the default!

I agree that cylindrical mapping really sucks and seldom works.  Gotta fix that puppy!

Bill G
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 04:43:15 pm by Speedster »

Offline jhiker

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2016, 01:33:15 am »
Often when I apply a label to a surface it doesn't show up first time, even when using the 'Position' tab.
I think it's there somewhere but I don't know where.
I then have to mess about scaling and moving in the hope it will show up and allow final positioning. Can't a label be highlighted in the scene so I can find it?
If I'm missing something I'm happy to be corrected.

guest84672

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2016, 11:41:08 am »
Can't you just click on the surface to position it?

Offline Will Gibbons

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2016, 12:56:40 pm »
This video may be of some help and shows the DPI settings and explains how the default mapping mode in KeyShot works for labels.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3t9e26f3TY

guest84672

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2016, 05:10:23 pm »
@Speedster - what do you mean by "cylindrical mapping seldom works"?

@ jhiker - Normal projection should always allow you to position the label onto the object right where you want it. If you use any other projection method you will see the widget in the scene. The first step is to move to the location where you want to apply the label. If you have a bunch of parts that have the same material and are therefore linked together you may want to unlink the material that will have the label first. This will make positioning of the label faster and easier.

Offline jhiker

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2016, 05:05:45 am »
@Speedster - what do you mean by "cylindrical mapping seldom works"?

@ jhiker - Normal projection should always allow you to position the label onto the object right where you want it. If you use any other projection method you will see the widget in the scene. The first step is to move to the location where you want to apply the label. If you have a bunch of parts that have the same material and are therefore linked together you may want to unlink the material that will have the label first. This will make positioning of the label faster and easier.
Noted. Actually, checking the 'dpi' box helps - I just learned that from this thread!

Offline Speedster

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2016, 07:03:00 am »
Quote
@Speedster - what do you mean by "cylindrical mapping seldom works"?
It seems to be related to where the cylindrical axis is.  If a cylinder is vertical (like a bottle), it works.  But if it's a wheel, for example, and I want to apply the decal to the outside (OD) it always comes in oddly striped or something.  Changing the angle does not fix it.  It's like it does not recognize the axle as the axis.  Or maybe I'm missing something?
Bill G

Offline Chad Holton

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2016, 07:06:36 am »
Hi Bill,

You may need to change the axis direction (e.g. it may be X or Z when you need it to be Y). If you have a simple file with the issue you could share, we can investigate this further.

Thanks,
Chad

guest84672

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2016, 07:39:04 am »
I gave this a try yesterday and while it may take a bit of tinkering you can definitely get it there. The important part is to get the mapping tool at the center of the cylinder, and then tweak the scale as needed. As Chad suggested a simple might be most helpful.

Offline Chad Holton

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Re: Applying real sized labels is not good
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2016, 08:34:33 am »
Check out our YouTube Channel every so often, there are some great tips there even for the seasoned users. Here's the one mentioning DPI: