Here comes a short step-by-step intro to the quite convoluted "EskoArtwork to Visualizer" workflow.
Firstly, in Illustrator, the function "Open In Visualizer" implies that this is a function that is to be used for sending updated artwork to the object open in Visualizer.
Secondly, Visualizer can NOT open graphics in the Illustrator .ai format!
Use PDF when you save your labels/layout-designs! (which is kinda strange since the .ai format nowadays IS pdf, go figure.)
Here's what you do to get multiple artwork showing on your product in Visualizer...
Working in Illustrator:
1. In Illustrator open or create the .dae object.
2. Open the Designer window: Window > EskoArtwork > Studio Designer > Show Studio
3. Double-click each label to create a new artwork document for each label.
4. Save each document as pdf(name them so it's easy to tell which document contains which artwork/label), so you don't forget to change the format later.
5. Add any artwork and/or text you'd like the labels to have, and save them again.
For this walkthrough let's say that we now have one .dae-object and a Front Label.pdf document and a Top Label.pdf document.
Moving over to Visualizer:
(Note: We can only send ONE label/artwork over to Visualizer!)
I will start sending the object .dae file over together with the "Top Label" artwork(you can chose any of your labels to start with).
1. I make sure my Top Label artwork is showing in Illustrators main work area.
2. I click on File > Open In Visualizer. This starts up Visualizer and after a few seconds Visualizer will show a pop-up window asking you which area you would like to work on(even though Visualizer recognizes that there are multiple areas on the object you will need to tell it which area you currently want to work with). In this case I then select "Top Label" from the drop-down menu and click OK.
Working in Visualizer:
Once the object is open in Vizualizer I can now see the Top Label artwork on the top of the .dae object. My Front Label is not showing anything but the white empty area, so let's fix that now.
Here is the secret magic trick...
1. Go to the menu Output > Export 3D File for Viewing.
2. In the drop-down menu "Type:" switch from "Collada documents (*.dae)" to "Collada archives (*.zae)".
I let "Create a preview image file alongside" stay checked. And then Save to local file with the Save As... button.
Now the .zae archive contains the object WITH the applied Top Label artwork!
3. Close Visualizer and Start it again.
4. Open the .zae file you just saved and when it now asks which area you would like to work on you now tell it you want to work on the "Front Label" area.
5. Don't be alarmed when you see that the Front Label is still blank.
6. To the left in Visualizer's Operation Stack double-click on the empty layer called "layer-1". This will bring up the Substrate Selector window (substrate is a fancy word meaning the label material type, ie. clear plastic, paper, foil, etc.).
7. I first uncheck the topmost box "Use the substrate from the structural design file (label-1)" so I can chose a nice label material.
8. I expand the "label materials" and select "transparent OPP film" and click the Finish button.
The opaque white Front Label has now been replaced by a nice transparent film label.
9. Now, lets get the Front Label artwork onto that film.
Above the Operations stack are the Actions buttons. Click the first(the left one with a "+" sign) one.
10. When the Operation Selector opens again I now go for plain "process and spot color > process color (generic)" and then click the Artwork Selector button.
11. In the browse window I go to and Open the Front Label.pdf, which I saved earlier from Illustrator.
12. In the Artwork Selector window I can now see the Front Label artwork in the left column "Image files". In the middle column "Image Contents" I only check the layer named "Process colour", leaving the layers "1" and "Cut" unchecked.
13. Since my label artwork is not an actual square but quite irregularly shaped I click the button "Image options" under the right "Selected Images" column.
14. In the "Image options for "Process colour"" window I change the Compositing options from "Alpha composite" to "Print Composite" and click OK.
15. In the Artwork Selector window I click Finish.
Now that we can see the artwork in both labels we do that magic trick again and export everything as a .zae archive... Output > Export 3D File for Viewing.
Same procedure this time around. You can overwrite the previous .zae file if you like.
Now you have the object with both label artwork saved!
Keep repeating till you have all your labels saved with your object in a nice and handy .zae archive file.
You can now start the quite fun part experimenting with various substrates, adding print effects, foils, embossing, varnishes etc. to different details in each label.
Tip: you can create masks that apply a certain effect only to parts of a label, or use the mask to make the label irregularly shaped on the object =)
Just remember to save the masks in Illustrator as PDF so you can load them in Visualizer later!
I hope this lil walkthrough can be of some help =)