Aspects - Best Practise Tips

Aspects - Best Practise Tips

3.0 Overview

The principle purpose of an Aspect is to provide a preview image of the product on-screen that the user will interact with.

The secondary purpose of an Aspect is to set the size of the 2d canvas upon which a numerical relationship between the Preview and the Output is established (see 2.2 The pixel coordinate system)

An example Aspect

3.1 Aspect image specifications

There are a few simple rules to follow with your Aspect images:

Rule #1 - Aspect images should be orthographic

   Aspect images should be created using product images from an orthographic view (ie: 'face-on' from whichever side(s) feature the printable area(s)).

  This maximises the accuracy in the relationship between the on screen visual preview and the print output generated by the system.

  The illusion of the text and image preview simply breaks down in perspective.

Rule #2 - Aspect images should be jpeg or png format

  Jpeg affords lower file sizes but no transparency.  Transparency may be desirable when using Background images or to reveal the website background when in an iframe.

Rule #3 - Aspect images must always be square

  CPP will reject non-square images.
Rule #4 - Aspect images must be less than 1mb in size (but we recommend much lower)

  There is a 1mb limit on the size of Aspect images but for performance reasons you should aim to use files which are as small as possible at an acceptable level of quality.

  We strongly recommend that files are less than 500k.  For more information on product performance, please see this separate article: 2d Product Optimisation | Load speeds & performance

  We believe that using an Aspect image of 800 x 800 pixels generally strikes the perfect balance between image quality and file size.

Rule #5 - Aspect image masks must be png format

  Png files support transparency and transparency is essential for Aspect image masks to work

Rule #6 - Aspect images should be white or off-white if used with the colour system

  The colour system works by applying the colour over the top of the underlying preview image so the darker the image the less noticeable the colour overlay is.

  For best results the Aspect image needs to be white or very slightly off-white where the colour change is to occur.

Rule #7 - Aspect images should maximise the available space in the image document

  When you create your preview image, be sure to eliminate as much empty space as possible so that you frame the product as large as it can be on the canvas.  Making the product too small can have a significant impact on preview quality and output accuracy.

Note: There are scenarios where you may want or need to use oversized images for zoomed-in views.  This subject is discussed in the following dedicated article:

3.2 Aspects are views of a product

Think of Aspects as individual views of a product.  In the majority of cases there will be a single Aspect but products with multiple print areas will require additional Aspects.


Phone case = 1 Aspect

Shirt with print areas on chest, sleeves and yoke: 4 Aspects (Front, Rear, Left, Right)

Calendar = 13 Aspects (Cover + 12 months)

3.3 Aspects can (and should) be lifestyle shots

If you have lifestyle photography of your products we would actively encourage you to use these images for your product preview image as the impact is much greater than a product placed on a simple white background.


3.4 Aspects can be masked

An Aspect can use a separate image file as a mask to determine where personalisation is visible in the preview.

Aspect masks must be black on a transparent background

Aspect masks effect colour, image and text.

Aspect masks ONLY affect the preview of the personalisation, not the output.  Additional masking options are available for that purpose, please see: Masks | Understanding the different types of masks for a 2d product.



3.5 Aspects can easily be re-ordered

When multiple Aspects exist on a product, the order in which they appear in the app can be manipulated by changing the order that they appear in the Aspects tab of the product.

Under the Actions column are Up and Down arrows (one or the other or both will appear depending on where the Aspect currently sits in the list). 

Click on the arrows to change the order of the Aspect in the list (see below)

3.6 Legacy 2d Views can be converted to Aspects

Prior to the introduction of Aspects, 2d Views were the standard means of adding a Preview image to a product.

The good news is that older products set up with 2d Views can easily be converted to Aspects to unlock all of the additional functionality available.

To do so, edit the Preview Specification in CPP and when you click on Aspects you will be presented with the page below:

Simply click on the Convert 2d Views to Aspects button to update the product.
You will be warned that there is a small chance of breaking a product when converting.  Click Yes to proceed.

Once the conversion is complete the product will be displayed using Print Test so that you can check the functionality matches the previous iteration of the product.  It there are any differences then the product will need to be updated manually.

3.7 Aspects can have 'options'

Each Aspect of a product can have multiple 'options' uploaded against it and these are generally used for colour variations of the product using source photography,  rather than using the colour overlay system on CPP.

Aspect options are displayed as thumbnails by default (this can be changed to option name using an app config if required) and each option can have its own SKU attributed to it for use as a Variant.

To add an Aspect option, click on the edit button for the Aspect and on the following page click on the red 'Create option' button

3.8 Aspect options can synchronise between multiple Aspects

When two Aspect options on two separate Aspects share the same Name or SKU, the app will synchronise the selection in the app between the Aspects.

So for instance, you have three t-shirt colours available; red, blue, yellow and they exist as images for both a Front and Rear Aspect.  Ensure that the Name and/or SKU is identical for each colour and the app will know when you select the Blue shirt in the Front Aspect, to automatically mirror that selection for the Rear Aspect too.

3.9 Default Aspect option and disabling specific Aspect options

A product featuring multiple Aspect options can have a default which will appear when the product loads.

Simply enable the 'Default' toggle against the option that you wish to appear.  Repeat the process for each Aspect.

It is possible to disable an Aspect option from appearing in the app completely, this can be done by un-checking the Enabled tick box.  One possible reason for doing this could be to reflect stock levels of the product in question.

Note: Check whether the app you plan to use with your product supports the Enabled feature.

3.10 Print areas can be connected to specific Aspect options using 'Limit to'

A print area can be associated to a specific aspect option using the 'Limit to Aspect option' field.

This functionality can be used to offer the user a choice between different options in the app, with each one having a unique personalisation setup.

So imagine in the screenshot above that each colour listed as an aspect option features a different piece of design artwork. A print area would be created for each colour and associated to the correct Aspect option using the 'Limit to Aspect option' function. Once this has been done, artwork can be loaded to each print area as normal.

If further personalisation is required, image and text areas can be associated to the appropriate print area.  For instance,  each aspect option colour could feature a different personalisation text colour.

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