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How to add a Design template?

Design templates are the base designs that you can modify using BRIKL 3D Configurator by changing colors or adding prints.

Christophe Leroy
November 4, 2020

Design Templates are SVG files based on UV maps of your 3D models. Design templates are the base designs that you can modify using BRIKL 3D Configurator by changing colors or adding prints.


This guide has been written specifically for Adobe Illustrator.  You can use other design software like CorelDraw. Please contact BRIKL for more information.

Step 1 - Download the UV map from BRIKL

Before creating an SVG design template in Illustrator, you must first download the UV map as an SVG file from the BRIKL Dashboard. This file is what we call the “Base template” in BRIKL.

IMPORTANT: The first step is to download the UV map as an SVG file from BRIKL. We highly recommend doing this even when you have created and uploaded your own 3D model and UV map to BRIKL. Doing so will ensure that you always create your design templates based on the correct UV map.‍

1. Navigate to the BRIKL Dashboard

2. Select Design on the left-hand side menu

Dashboard Design menu

3. Choose your product and select the option to open inside the Studio Editor

Dashboard Custom product in Studio Editor

4. Go to Studio Settings

Studio settings

5. Select Assets

Assets

6. Scroll down to Base template

7. Download the SVG file

Base template

IMPORTANT: The SVG file is a large file that may take some time to download.‍

Step 2 - Save SVG  

After you click Download, it will open up a new tab in your browser.

  1. Right-click on the page
  2. Choose Save As
save as
  1. Make sure that the "Save As" type is an SVG Document.
  2. Press Save to download your SVG.
save as svg
  1. You are ready to edit the SVG template in Illustrator


Step 3 - Open SVG File in Illustrator

Open your SVG file in  Illustrator.

  1. You will notice multiple lines: Stitching line, cutting line, and perhaps even a sublimation line. The distance between the stitching line and the cutting line is what is called the “seam allowance”.
  2. Keep the most outer line which is either the cutting line or the sublimation line.
  3. Remove all other lines.
open svg in AI

IMPORTANT: Each product has its own unique pattern layout. Do not change the position of the pattern pieces. Changing the position will make it no longer compatible with the BRIKL UV map that is available in the system.‍

IMPORTANT: Each product has its unique artboard size. Do not change the artboard size. Changing the artboard size will make it no longer compatible with the BRIKL UV map that is available in the system. You can check the artboard size in Illustrator by going to Document Setup.

Step 4 - Create a Design Template in Illustrator

You must create different layers with specific naming which can be recognized by BRIKL software when importing the design template back into the system. There are two different types of layers:

  1. COLORZONE
  2. VIEWZONE

IMPORTANT: Do NOT group elements

  • Make sure not to group any elements within the logo layer. Grouping elements for logos or any other vector shapes will make the file UNREADABLE by BRIKL software.
  • Make sure also not to group any colors within the color layer. Grouping color elements will make the file UNREADABLE by BRIKL software.

Instead of grouping, you can optionally create a Compound Path to reduce the number of elements of a logo of the vector shape.

  1. Select the objects you want to group, right-click on it
  2. Choose Make Compound Path
Make a compound path

IMPORTANT: Compound paths can only merge paths with the same color. You can undo a compound-path by right-clicking the path and then releasing the Compound path.

Customizable COLORZONE layer

There can be multiple color layers.

Color layers contain all the base colors that are separated from each other in individual layers. Colors are customizable by the end-user.

The layer name should follow this naming convention: COLORZONE-(number). For example, COLORZONE-1, COLORZONE-2.

If your design uses strokes and you want the strokes to be customizable. You will first need to expand the strokes and transform them into a shape. 

  1. Select the strokes to convert to an object 
  2. In the top menu hover the Effect option
  3. Select Path > Outline Stroke
Outline Strokes
  1. In the top menu hover the Object option
  2. Select Expand Appearance
Expand appearance

Your stroke is now an object that can be filled with color in the BRIKL 3D Configurator.

IMPORTANT: When you create a design that covers a seam line (e.g. zipper on the front panel), you must make sure to separate the design into two parts (for each side of the seam line).

IMPORTANT: When using a clipping mask make sure no group has been created inside the mask. 

IMPORTANT: Make sure to write the color name in UPPER CASE and check the spelling, else it cannot be recognized by BRIKL software.

Non-customizable VIEWZONE layer

There can be multiple view layers.

The view layer contains parts of the design that cannot be customized. An example would be an embedded image, logos or artwork.

Images in the view layer can be either PNG or SVG.

  • You can upload a PNG. It will be faster to load but you will not be able to use it in your  ready-to-print file.
  • You can upload an SVG. It may take more time to load but you will be able to export a ready-to-print file.

‍IMPORTANT: Make sure to write the view name in UPPER CASE and check the spelling, else it cannot be recognized by BRIKL software.

‍IMPORTANT: Make sure to embed any images added to your design template. Otherwise your image will not be added to your SVG export.

Add image in Viewzone

IMPORTANT: When using a pathfinder to crop a specific design, sometimes it will leave an invisible outline. To identify this, simply ungroup the cropped design, locate the outline in the layer and delete it. An invisible outline can affect the pattern if not removed and will lead to errors when uploading it back into the BRIKL system.

IMPORTANT: Using a pathfinder will automatically group the objects. We need to avoid this. Therefore after using pathfinder, make sure to ungroup the objects and use the compound path method.

To convert objects to an image in Illustrator:

  1. Select the objects
  2. Then hover over to Object menu on the top navigation bar of Illustrator, and select the Rasterize option
  3. Check the transparent option for the background.
  4. Then click Ok

Step 5 - Save the finished template as an SVG

After you have created your template, the next process is to save it as an SVG.

  1. Go to File, Save As
Export as SVG
  1. Then go to Save as type and choose SVG(*.SVG)
  2. Select the Use Artboards then Save
Export use Artboards
  1. The SVG option will come up. Select Image Location
  2. Change it to Preserve & select “Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities”
  3. Then, click Ok
Export with images preserve

Step 6 - Upload the design template

Finally, you are ready to upload the SVG design template

  1. Navigate to the BRIKL dashboard and go to the Studio Editor
  2. Select the product from the top bar
  3. Go to Design Templates
Design templates in studio editor
  1. Create new design template
Add new design template
  1. Open the newly create template
Select new design template
  1. Drag and drop your file
Upload design template
  1. Add a sort number for your template

Step 7 - Naming the zones

You can name each of the zones,

‍IMPORTANT: If you don’t name the zones, the names of the color zone layers will be the default names (e.g. COLORZONE-1).

Step 8 - Assigning materials and colors

You can assign a material to each zone. Each material is associated with a color palette. You can learn how to create a color palette here.

Assign a color palette and materials to each COLORZONE on your design.

IMPORTANT: You can create different color palettes for each design template.

For example, in case you have 3 design templates and 2 different materials (e.g. fabric and zipper):

  • Material 1 - Design Template 1:  Colors
  • Material 1 - Design Template 2:  Colors
  • Material 1 - Design Template 3:  Colors
  • Material 2 - Design Template 1:  Colors
  • Material 2 - Design Template 2:  Colors
  • Material 2 - Design Template 3:  Colors
Assign color and material

Once done, refresh and preview your design.

Select template with no image

Next Step

Learn how to create preview images for your custom product


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