Alternative to Photoshop actions for 3D datamerge?

Can you please spare a moment to provide some graphic advice for our nonprofit?

We need to create thousands (eventually tens of thousands) of 3D images of greeting cards, like you see at changingthepresent DOT org/pages/greeting-cards

All the cards would use the exact same template but with different content.

The current best solution we have is:

  • use InDesign or CraftMyPDF or Abyssale (we prefer one of the cloud solutions) to run data-merge to create three flat images (front of card, inside top of card, and inside bottom of card) with the appropriate text and graphic elements for each of the thousands of cards.

  • then use Photoshop and a spreadsheet to run an “action” to data-merge those sets of 3 images to create these 3D card images.

The problem with doing that in Photoshop is that we need to have the template, spreadsheet, and sets of 3 images on a local computer drive. Then we need to manually run the batches in Photoshop.

We would like to find a cloud solution instead of having to use Photoshop. We would set up a template and pair it with a Google sheet containing the image URL for each of the three images. Each time a row is added to the Google sheet, the cloud software would generate the corresonding 3D card image.

Can anyone please suggest a cloud software solution for this?

Thank you very much!

One cloud solution that could potentially meet your needs is Blender. Blender is a free and open-source 3D creation software that allows you to automate tasks using Python scripting. With Blender, you can create a template 3D model of the greeting card, and then use Python scripting to automate the process of replacing the content with the appropriate text and graphic elements.

To integrate this solution with a Google Sheet, you could use Google Apps Script to create a custom script that reads the image URL for each of the three images from the Google Sheet, and then uses Blender’s Python scripting capabilities to generate the corresponding 3D card image.

Alternatively, you could explore using a cloud-based automation platform such as Zapier or Integromat to automate the process of generating the 3D card images. These platforms allow you to connect different cloud applications and automate tasks based on triggers and actions. You could set up a trigger to monitor the Google Sheet for new rows, and then use an action to generate the corresponding 3D card image using a cloud-based 3D rendering service.

Creating tens of thousands of 3D images of greeting cards can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, but there are several cloud-based solutions that can help streamline the process. Here are a few suggestions:

Canva: Canva is a popular cloud-based graphic design tool.

Lucidpress: Lucidpress is another cloud-based design tool

Adobe Creative Cloud: If you’re already familiar with Adobe’s suite of graphic design tools, such as InDesign and Photoshop, you might consider using Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe offers a range of cloud-based tools and services, including Adobe InDesign Server, which allows you to automate the creation of design files using data merge and scripting.

Cloudinary: Cloudinary is a cloud-based media management platform that offers a range of tools for processing and manipulating images and videos. It has a range of integrations with other tools, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, and offers a range of features for generating and manipulating images, including overlays, text, and effects.

I hope these suggestions are helpful for your project. It’s worth noting that each of these tools has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to evaluate them based on your specific needs and requirements.