In our open source project for medical supplies, we face the challenge in the illustration team to manage translations of text labels in imagery for manuals and animations separately of the actual models.

How do you do that to produce imagery in multiple languages efficiently?

We are not yet set about the tool/toolset but this is not the question. We want to learn from others whether such problem has been recognized and addressed in other projects.

  • 1
    What format are your models and text labels in? Mar 21, 2020 at 21:29
  • we are not yet bound to a format and look for what would work out. We consider to take Blender; translations have to be plain text UTF8.
    – J. Doe
    Mar 21, 2020 at 23:47
  • How do you intend the models to be used? Rendered as images? Used in a 3D viewer? This question is still too unclear Mar 21, 2020 at 23:54
  • as described, we want produce images and optionally animations
    – J. Doe
    Mar 22, 2020 at 0:29
  • you might want join the community and discuss if you have a scenario
    – J. Doe
    Mar 22, 2020 at 0:29

2 Answers 2


Perhaps keep the models and illustrations/animations separate from the labels.

For static images for instruction manuals, you could use page layout software to add the text labels, such as Scribus (which is open source). You could use layers to store and organise the different translations, enabling only the layers you need, then export the PDFs you need.

Animation will require a different application. Perhaps you could use something like Adobe AfterEffects to store and organise the translations on layers. There's a Video Production stack exchange for video editing questions if you need more help. There's also a Blender stack exchange for help using Blender if you want to use open source software for 3D modelling and animation.


There are a number of ways to achieve that, depending on which specific tools you plan on using.

For non-video work, as in static images or PDF files for either web or print, one usual routine is to use one bottom layer for non-text artwork, then add new layers for each language and place text content on these new layers (EN, DE, NL, FR and so on). Layering is available in most graphic design tools.

Some degree of automation can be used to inject language content and export assets per each language, but the question is to broad to give anything specific. Automation works better with some tools, not so good with other tools.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.