A group of fashion designers are taking advantage of 3D visualisation to speed up the design process and enhance creativity thanks to FashionLab; a technology incubation unit from Dassault Systemes. The company is now looking towards autostereoscopic technology to take fashion design and presentation to the next level.
This article is brought to you in association with 3D specialists Presteigne Charter.
During the official London launch of FashionLab on Thursday April 26th, designer Julien Fournié spoke about a few of the futuristic tools available to him from the R&D unit that aims to allow fashion designers and stylists to explore and test new concepts using 3D.
Dassault Systemes, which is more often associated with engineering rather than the fashion industry, creates 3D virtual world solutions to improve lives in the real world across multiple industries, one of those projects being 3DVia, the free virtual environment creation software seen by 3D Focus last year.
Fashion appears to be a surprisingly good fit to the company's ambitions and the FashionLab offers a powerful case for 3D to be closely integrated into the fashion world. FashionLab is an incubator, not a commercial arm of Dassualt Systemes, but the company hopes that some of the projects will be commercialised in 3-5 years' time, for both B-B and B-C markets.
One of the on-going projects is a software interface (pictured above) that a designer can use to draw a 2D sketch of a design which then extrudes 3D data from the silhouette into a 3D model that can be fuly manipulated. Different fabric presets can be applied as well as environmental effects such as breeze to illustrate the movement of the fabric in a real environment. This information is then passed to the seamstress, reducing the need to make as many prototypes.
Julien Fournie says “What can be hard in the 2D drawing process, particularly when you are not familiar with this entire routine, is to translate the 3D piece you have in your mind on a mere piece of paper using a pencil. Even with a good sketch, many things need to be explained before your team can start to make your sketch become 3D on the mannequin.” He continued…” Trying to sketch in 3D for the first time, when we started to develop these FashionLab tools was merely fantastic! My 3D ideas were coming to life faster than I could have thought, taking shape in 3D volumes. I could make the drawing turn around and literally mould it into a sculpture before my eyes, using a digital pen and tablet."
The fashion industry appears to be increasingly interested in how 3D can impact their creativity. For the 2012 spring summer, Taiwanese fashion designer Tri Nouio created a collection of super minimal garments with 3D prints. For his Noumenon “Tridulum” 2012 spring summer collection, he combined art, technology and fashion in the use of 3D imagery on fabric.
"The image is easier to convey than the message", Tri Nouio said, "so I adapted 3D technology to develop motifs influenced by nature for my collection. This piece has been developed by combining the familiarity of nature with new technology and is intended as an ironic statement that modern technology cannot protect nature. Worn with 3D glasses, it is intended to be a distraction from the human form." (You can watch the video here and you can read more about this project here.)
Another interesting project to be created out of the research was the Valentino Garavani’s Virtual Museum. Said to be the first digital exhibition developed by a fashion designer, the virtual museum was introduced on December 6th at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The two year project collects together 5000 images of dresses and nearly 180 fashion show videos in a virtual first person perspective environment that would take over 10,000 square meters if it were a real world environment. You can download the free exhibition here.
Dassualt Systemes are also looking at using 3D for high tech presentation, one form of that being online virtual stores were designers can add their designers to virtual shops. Guests can walk around the store ad even purchase the designs which, in the future, might even be printed at home. The company is also looking into virtual mirror technology as seen by 3D Focus at the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute last year, where people can ‘try on’ designs, augmented to their bodies and order them in non traditional environments like train stations and airports.
3D printing is set to play an increasingly vital role in the fashion and aparel world. Talking to 3D Focus, Jerome Bergeret said “We can imagine that in the future, a consumer will have a 3D printer at home or have access to 3D printing services where they could create a 3D prototype using our tools.”
During the presentation, we were shown how, for accessories such as watches, an entire self contained ecosystem, from 2D sketching to printing of a 3D prototype, can be achieved within a designer’s studio, with no outsourcing.
The Materialise World Conference took place from April18th to April 20th 2012 and featured a session called The Hats off Challenge (pictured above). The top 20 3D printed hats and accessories were worn by models on a catwalk.
Talking about the future, Jerome said "We want to work with autostereoscopic screens to share experiences with multiple people. We want to do this to serve consumers so they can see designs in 3D without glasses and also our designers".
For more information on FashionLab: www.3dsfashionlab.com
For a vision of the future of fashion check out this video…
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