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2d Product Creation | User Guide - Section 05: Print Areas


Section 05: Print Areas

5.1 Overview

A Print Area consists of two components; Print Width/Height (in mm) and Edit Area (in pixels).

The Print Width/Height (in mm) at 300dpi) refers to the size of the artwork file that the system will generate when an order is placed.

The Edit Area refers to the location and size of the personalisation area on the product preview.

For each correctly configured Print Area, the CPP will generate an Output File. 

Important Notes:

  • The mask component (green square in the preview) should be ignored as it does not serve any inherent purpose in 2D Products - it only relates to 3D Products (this is carried over as its a shared interface). As such, it is advised to match the Mask Area settings to those of the Surface Area (Edit Area).
  • The origin of the Print Area is the top-left corner (x and y values).
  • Output Files are generated using a whole pixel rounding algorithm. On occasion, this can lead to fractional differences between the specified mm values and the generated Output File. There is some maths behind how this is calculated; @ 300 dpi, 1 pixel is 1/300th of an inch which is 0.08mm - the system can't be any more accurate than this as subpixels can’t be used. If this tolerance causes concern, a potential solution is to manually increase the mm values in the print area by fractional amounts and re-test the Output File via the Print Test Facility.
  • There is hard limit of around 10000^2 pixels on the maximum pixel count of an output file; this equates to approximately 1000 x 1000 mm @ 300dpi.  Note that the pixel count is total so a 2m wide output is potentially possible, if the height does not exceed 65mm (extreme example but it illustrates the relationship between the two dimensions and the total number of pixels).  


5.2 Print Dimensions and Surface Area (Edit Area)

The Print Width/Height mm (Print Dimensions) refers to the physical print measurements of the required Output File. These measurements should include any bleed values as this is the artwork file that the system will produce for production purposes. Output files generated by the system will always be produced to reflect these values in mm at 300dpi (within tolerance).

UPDATE: There is now a variable DPI feature on CPP that allows you to alter the dpi of the generated file. This is beneficial for larger format prints, as it means the system can produce larger files in mm. eg, at 150dpi, the system can produce files as big as 2000x2000mm. To utilise variable DPI, set the dpi value against your print area (use - in the Print Test you must enable 'Use Product State' before running the test.

For more information on Bleed, see this dedicated article - Adding Bleed

Upon input, an Aspect Ratio (AR) will be generated (See Figure 1) - the user should be aware of this value when moving on to set the Surface Area.


Figure 1.

The Edit Area (top row of values) represents the products personalisation area within the CPP’s pixel based coordinates system and should be thought of as an on-screen representation of the printable area on the product. It should be positioned using the ‘X’ and ‘Y’ coordinates and scaled relatively to the products physical dimensions to ensure optimal accuracy (you can get pixel coordinates from Photoshop or equivalent if you want to be accurate). In most cases, you can use the Texture Preview menu to interactively scale and place the Edit Area on the product 'by eye'. This is the easiest approach. 

The Edit Area MUST have a matching AR to the Print Width/Height mm dimensions to within 0.05 -  it is this matching AR that creates the relationship between the physical output in mm and the on screen configuration in pixels. This means that the preview as seen by the end user is accurate to the printed product that they receive when an order is placed.

For a step by step explanation on creating relatively scaled Print Areas, please see: Defining Accurate Print Areas Relative to the Scale of a 2D Product

Important Note: Any AR outside of the 0.05 tolerance will be rejected, resulting in an error message (see Figure 2)

Figure 2.

A 2D Product may have multiple Print Areas. If a product has multiple 2D Views, any created Print Areas can be assigned to a specific view using the 2D View drop down menu available on the Print Areas page.

Important Note: Ensure that the position and dimensions of your print area do not extend past the size of the 2d view as this can cause products to not work correctly in some browsers (most notably Safari and Firefox)

5.3 Texture Preview

The Texture Preview window shows the 2D Product and the associated Surface Area and Mask Area simultaneously. These can be clicked and dragged within the preview window to allow interactive scaling and positioning. These changes will dynamically update the AR of the selected component. 

Important Note: Clicking and dragging inside the Texture Preview may not be as accurate as using the input fields.

5.4 Surface Mask

The Surface Mask allows the user to apply a custom mask directly to the output file generated by the system to alter/control the printed shape. This might be used to save ink or meet certain print requirements.

The mask should be created at the same size as the specified Print Dimensions (in mm at 300dpi) within the associated Print Area, this ensures the masked output has crisp lines. Any solid black areas within the mask will be visible on the output file - anything that is transparent will not be present.

More information is available in the following article

Important Note: Surface Masks are currently only supported in the artwork generation process, therefore have no noticeable impact on the 2D Product and the configured functionality.

5.5 Artwork

Once a Print Area has been set, it is possible to upload an Artwork file that gets printed automatically when the system generates the output file. This is used primarily for creating 2D Pre-Designed Products as text and image areas can be overlaid on top of the uploaded artwork to compliment the design.

Important Note: The CPP will only accept artwork files that are uploaded in PNG format. Any other format will produce an error message.

Any uploaded Artwork MUST match the physical Print Width and Height measurements in mm to 300dpi, as specified within the Print Area. Generally, the ‘Update Texture / View Background’ check box (see Figure 3) should always be ticked when Artwork is uploaded - this ensures that the 2D View Background image gets automatically updated to preview the uploaded Artwork on screen.

There is an upload limit on artwork files of 60mb for performance reasons.

Figure 3.

Important Note: Any Artwork associated with a Print Area can removed from the CPP. This does not remove the image from the 2D View Background - this has to be done manually by creating a new 2D View and re-uploading the original blank 2D View Background and 2D View Mask images.

For more information on creating Predesigned products, see:

Predesigned Products | How to add Artwork to your Products

New Predesigned Tool | Interactive Artwork Design


5.6 VIDEO 04

Demonstration of Print Area Configuration 


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