Tag Archives: 3d

Atacac – using game technology to turn fashion upside down

“We want to show a completely new way to produce and sell fashion. Another world is possible” says Atacac founder Richard Lindqvist. With a renowned career as a fashion designer running his own studio as well as consulting mega brands such as Vivienne Westwood topped with a PhD he was ready for a new adventure. Together with Jimmy Herdberg, digital creative and founder of studio Kokokaka, he decided to try a new radical approach with starting a fashion studio that had very little in common with fashion production as we know it.

The studio – Atacac founded in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2016, does not only apply innovative ideas on garment construction but also new models on how to sell and price products. Using 3D software traditionally used by the game industry, Atacac generates realistic 3D models of the garments and selling them online to customers instead of already existing products, cutting stock-holding and over production out from the production chain. The Atacac on-demand model is using pricing in the same way as flight tickets – the earlier products are purchased the better the price. Keeping the entire production chain in one spot can enable an end to end process of only a few days – something the bigger fashion brands can only dream of. Atacac is a fresh example of a small innovative player challenging a slow and unsustainable fashion industry, enabled by game technologies. But how does it work and what is its goal? Rickard and Jimmy elaborates on potential futures from their studio at Ringön.

 

Is Atacac a brand using new technologies in selling its products or a technology platform using a brand?

-We see Atacac as a creative fashion studio. This studio is elaborating with new technologies with the aim to reinvent the fashion industry. As a part of this, we do among other things run the Atacac brand and the Atacac micro-factory.

-We are currently elaborating with custom-made services together with some chosen customers. In this project, the customer downloads the 3D model together with the 2D pattern from our shareware section. She then re-designs the garment and sends the digital garment back to the Atacac micro-factory (aka 3d printer for garments) for production. We see a huge potential in making digital products available for consumers, which might eventually lead to major changes in how we relate to products, brands and production. Soon altering 3D models will be a public domain.

 

 When launching Atacac as a service, what parts didn’t work as expected? What has been your main challenges building your business?

-Delays in producing abroad made us start our own in-house micro factory for being able to elaborate with super-quick turnover times. This was not a part of the original intention but turned out to be an important part of the creative work.

You are surfing global top trends using local manufacturing with short production cycles, on-demand production and unconventional pricing models towards a more sustainable fashion industry. Will it be possible for the bigger players in the industry to adopt this way of selling products?

-Our proposals for ways of working is primarily developed from a creative perspective. We believe that the consequences of a good creative work is profitable from many perspectives. Expressional, economical and sustainable ones for example.

-Yes, it will be possible for larger companies to adopt this way of working. Most companies will have to change the ways they work in order to still be around. Some will be successful in doing so while others will disappear and be replaced by new ones.


 

What is the end goal for Atacac? Will you scale up the core brand or rather keep it small selling the platform to other brands as a service? Will Atacac ever be a multi brand platform?

-Our goal is to develop creatively and to inspire. We change from day to day. We have no end goal, there is only the end of the day. Atacac as a brand will be scaled up, to which scale is an open question.

-In a way Atacac already is a multi brand platform. As a part of elaborating with the future of retail we recently we started a monthly Fashion-Art-Technology market, that we call F.A.T market, in our studio every last Saturday of the month. We invited other brands, artists and companies to sell their things next to our products. Some of the other fashion brands produce their garments in the Atacac micro factory. This could very well also develop into a virtual multi brand community as we deliver both a digital and a physical product from the factory.

 

 

Atacac

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Kokokaka

 

Zeitguised – a quasi world in 3D

Since its founding in early 2000 they have kept pushing boundaries in crafting 3D, building their very own visual universe. Berlin-based studio Zeitguised clearly blurs the line between art and commercial work. However continued exploration of their personal voice catapulted them into becoming true pioneers – a path that later attracted even more and renowned clients rather than the opposite. Today Zeitguised has formed a commercial arm ‘Foam studio’ allowing the other part of the studio to focus on experimental work.

Zeitguised’s work is difficult to describe yet visually irresistible. In one of their latest projects, Geist.xyz “handcrafted algorithmic textiles” are portrayed in dance-like movement. Its artistic expression feels realistic yet abstract at the same time –  referred to by the studio themselves as “synthetic art”. Experimenting with algorithms and light simulations they remind us of the famous quote by Arthur C. Clarke  – that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Henrik Mauler, one of the founders of Zeitguised took time to elaborate with me on their studio and on virtual textiles and its potential futures.

Henrik – if aliens landed on earth, how would you explain to them what Zeitguised does?

ZEITGUISED is a conceptual design studio that explores the aesthetic potential of digital design and its poetic application in the materiality of the physical world. Okay, that doesn’t sound apprehensible for aliens.
Humans are a life form mostly on the surface of this planet that doesn’t know better than expanding the reach of their minds by refining their techniques and habits via repetition and variation. We’re some of them, making representations of a quasi-world, an extension of the human mind and its imaginations, a world that might not physically exist yet very much does via sensual experiences.

There is a clear voice in what you are creating. How does a studio of many people like Zeitguised keep a consistent aesthetic?

We are a diverse group of artists, commanding different aesthetics. Yet I think we share some sensibilities, so if we discover something new via exploration, we’ll try to tie it into our expanding own cosmos. We realized our common denominators are probably, on the one hand, an empathic approach that allows inanimate objects become beings that behave and speak through shape, colors and materials. on the other hand there is the love for tension, to unite elements that seemingly don’t belong together yet make for good aesthetic dance partners.

What is the most important key in making virtual textiles to look and feel realistic?

The relation of texture detail and simulation detail. There is no algorithm that makes this easier to achieve through automation yet, it’s still a manual art and craft.

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What do artificially generated textiles have that real ones don’t?

The possibility to expand their character, which is one between a dynamic, living sculpture and a lifeless, passive drape. Suddenly there is the possibility to become a being, a life form, through this means.

Technology is advancing and in the future computers are likely to generate imagery that is today created by humans. Do you think an AI ever could create good art?

Actually, we entertain the daring thought that a sophisticated AI, much unlike the vulgar AIs that we talk of nowadays, might be capable of making art that is more powerful, mind-expanding and envelope-bursting than anything humans could ever conceive. We’re talking about an AI that is not modeled to resemble the human mind. Until then, the race is on for us humans to show that we can come up with the more unexpected concepts and aesthetics.

What client do you dream of a phone call from?

We had a couple of dream clients calling us which made us realize afterwards: we’re our own dream client…we just haven’t called ourselves yet. 🙂
On the other hand, our dream clients trust us and our creative potential and vast experience and want to see objects and products that are unique, unseen, unusual, exciting, emphatic and full of character.

Zeitguised

Foam Studio

geist.xyz

 

Machine learning – the future of design?

Online retailer Zalando has teamed up with Google to create a new virtual fashion experience letting shoppers create their own designs in 3D. The initiative called Project Muze uses a neural network trained with design preferences such as colours, textures and imagery. By answering a few questions such as mood and style the shopper will generate a design based on the answers as well as data from the Google Fashion Trends Report and top trending objects from Zalando’s online platform.

The project taps in to the trend of using machine learning to create a personalized experience using Google’s open-source platform TensorFlow combined with a set of aesthetic parameters. It launched at trend show Bread&butter in Berlin earlier this fall where a few handpicked designs were highlighted. The chosen pieces were later to be translated into real garments. Considering the visual experience the project clearly shows a big gap between digital and physical dimensions yet to be filled. However the concept of combining algorithms with 3D product interaction suggests a potential future where shoppers can virtually create their own products based on personal data.

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Read more about 3D avatars and CGI in fashion

What fashion can learn from character customization

Customizable characters or the ability to create your very own avatar is a well known element in video games. Major game studios are even creating customization interfaces that are reminiscent of a real world fitting room including the ability to pick characteristics such as eye colour, skin tone and hair style.

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The importance of identification has positioned character customization as a component for game studios with graphic ambitions. It has also raised the issue of lack of diversity in an industry with reputation to only be representing white men as has historically been the only character option to choose from. Insomniac games is one of the studios rebelling against that norm in their action game Sunset Overdrive. In it, the players are given the option of playable female character as well as customization options that are unrelated to gender. It points out the importance of identification in recreating yourself digitally: you not only have the possibility to represent your physical world self, but who you want to be or, even let your imagination take you to a new digital self.

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In Bungie’s Destiny as well as BioWare’s fantasy title Dragon age: Inquisition, the player can choose his or her appearance with high level of detail in everything from race, gender and class to face features. As computer graphics have advanced into close in on photorealism, the gaps in implementation have decreased. The type of self-visualizing which has so far only been used for character design is now of interest when we digitize our lives for different kinds of services.

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Fashion ecommerce is constantly looking for new visualization tools to provide stunning digital experiences with technology used by game artists. 3D content such as creating personal avatars, virtually trying on 3D rendered garments or customizing products are services now popping up globally to bring us new ways of living our digital lives. The skillset of a CG artist is suddenly pure gold in a new fashion landscape. As shown by the advances of self-visualisation in gaming we will most likely see great innovations in the near future at this very intersection, taking the shown examples out of their original context. When it comes to visual experiences fashion has everything to learn from game art and digital storytelling.

Bungie

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Also read about the work of Joseph Cross and Chris Wells

The researcher who puts 3D avatars on the fashion runway

Kate Moss will have to look for a new job – the instant media response after a Manchester Metropolitan University  press release suggesting a new virtual direction in fashion. Runway models are replaced by digital replicas – “near-faultless copies”  that need no sleep or expensive plane tickets. Academic research has never felt more like science fiction.

Dr Andrew Brownridge with Dr Peter Twigg use a combination of 3D scanning and motion capture in developing the hybrid avatars that creates a human digital copy to be digitally dressed in virtual haute couture. From there you can either render a fashion show to video file with animated characters ready to distribute or have a live performance with models in motion capture outfits, working in real time.

However the research project did not start out with a fashion focus but as an analysis tool for the movement of ballet dancers.

How come ballet was the focus of your research Andrew? 

– The research began when we were approached by the Northern Ballet School enquiring about using motion capture equipment. Their interest was for use within augmented performance which had been touched upon by the Melbourne Dance Company previously. We suggested developing the technology further in order to provide a database of gestures for choreography purposes. Upon speaking to the dancers and researching the discipline it occurred that the motion capture technology we were using had the capability of recording very accurate measurement of movement which could be used for analytical purposes for corrective coaching and training.

Would that focus have been possible outside an academic context?

– No, I don’t believe so. It takes researchers who do not have the pressure of training and performance constantly present to look at methods and processes in a different way to see further possibilities of applying the technology. We also had equipment and appropriate expertise readily available to bring technology and physical performance together.

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How did the research move over to fashion?

– Following discussions with researchers in the fashion department, it was pointed out that modelling is simply a different form of performance and the same technologies associated with movement analysis and physical representation in a virtual world could be applied similarly in the fashion industry. The fashion department had an excellent high specification body scanner which we were quick to employ and develop techniques for generation of life-like avatars.

When research has a strong technological focus, what really drives the innovation in implementation? Do those ideas come from inside the team or from the outside?

– Personally, coming from a creative background, I found it fascinating that the technologies we were using had such a wide range of application in various other fields. I had recently studied feedback methods and motor skill learning and saw the potential for utilising the motion capture technology to analyse a performance and provide detailed and accurate feedback to aid coaching methods.

What really is your personal drive as a researcher. Do you feel stronger about “cracking the code” or does how it is being used equally interest you?

– I think if you are involved with technological research, you cannot help but constantly try to be innovative and creative. I personally feel stronger about the application and how the technology can be used, and the ‘cracking the code’ is more of a means to take the technology and implement the idea.

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The fashion avatar reminds you that physical reality and virtual worlds are merging at a fast pace. On a philosophical level, what impact do you think that has on how we look at ourselves? Will we stop looking at things as “real” or “digital”?

– My personal view is “Yes!”. Initially as the visual appearance of virtual characters becomes increasingly life-like, both from an image and a movement point of view, correspondingly the levels of artificial intelligence that can be used to drive and control such avatar will rapidly develop to the point where it would not be possible to distinguish between real and digital. For example, Windows ‘Cortana’ virtual assistant is very much in its infancy, but imagine a character like this being super imposed on an avatar in a decades time. The possibilities are endless.

 

Manchester Metropolitan University

Also read about virtual prototyping

CGI meets haute couture in Thomas Traum’s virtual experiment

Team of creatives at Thomas Traum, a Swiss agency for digital innovation teamed up with British fashion designer Cristopher Raeburn to land this magic fashion concept for his S/S collection. Titled “Meridian” the movie clearly crosses that mind tickling border between fashion, storytelling and video game graphics.

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Meridian sets place at a military wasteland, inspired by a desert boneland in Arizona where old airplanes are stored waiting for reappropriation. In a digital rendered replica a model is by flying airplane particles dressed in one of Christopher Raeburn’s signature looks. “We wanted to explore the possibilities of 3D-modeling clothes in a high fashion context and make a virtual version of a complete 3D fashion look,” says Thomas Eberwein, founder of Thomas Traum.

The film does not strive for photorealism but instead brings fashion concepts and storytelling together in a product line. By using 3D scanning and 3D software Marvellous Designer, earlier featured on Magic Fabric, the film results in an expression we have so far only seen in video games and opens up a new interesting digital landscape in fashion.

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Augmented reality disrupting the fashion show

Digital fiction is still where the most mind-breaking and visually seductive stories take place. But as technology advances the opportunity of creating interesting visual experiences expands to a wider group of creatives.

Speaking to the humans senses in digital and physical form simultaneously creates great and memorable experiences. In this virtual fashion app a digital fashion show appears just at the palm of your hand. By printing out an online available catwalk card and downloading the augmented reality app, the user points at the card and a 3D-catwalk pops up.

The show gives you front row to London College of Fashion graduation show and was developed by students Chirag Grover and Tanisha Arora in collaboration with augmented reality specialists Holition and media partner Shopping Spy.

There’s no doubt that augmented reality has the potential of disrupting the concept of fashion shows and its alternate futures.

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Download the app at myshoppingspy.com/frow

 

London College of Fashion

Holition

Also read about Virtual Prototying

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-It’s as if I was in a computer game. Once you know the rules, you can play for hours’, explains Design student Jennifer Droguett. This virtual “game” is 3D virtual prototyping software developed by Lectra. Designing clothes with this technology can feel like playing a game with an avatar

Software for garment prototyping seems to continue winning ground in the fashion industry and fashion schools worldwide are preparing their students for a new, 3D oriented craft landscape.

Tech company Lectra recently collaborated with dutch AMFI in letting the students innovate with their virtual 3D software.  High function aswell as more experimental suggestions were made.

AMFI teachers stress the fact that a fashion designer of today need to know the physical craft aswell as keep up with new technology.

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-For companies such as Adidas and Nike the virtualization of their collections is already implemented. By reducing samples they reduce costs, that’s a fact

-Fashion companies like Dior Homme and other fashion brands are following. They will all need the 21st century designers that graduate with these 3D skills in their portfolio. (AMFI)

Alicia Isabelle

 

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AMFI 

Lectra

Also read about Marvelous Designer  

 

Chris Wells’ amazonian women for Gears of War 3

Third title in Epics cover shooter Gears of war sold over 3 million copies during the first week at release and has over the years grown into a legendary title in it’s genre. It holds a lot of the characteristics of a classic shooter game and has despite of criticism of “dude bro” masculinity and excessive violence quite a large audience of female gamers.

Chris Wells, Senior Character Artist at Epics art team has over 16 years of experience as an animator for game development and played an important part in the process developing the characters for Gears of War. It might be hard for an outsider to imagine the creative process of an entertainment product of this scale; the technical skills and massive team work where with the level of detail a game character holds today.

Chris, if you were to describe  for a kid, a five-year old what it is that you do all day. What would you say?

-If I were to describe what I do to a child, I’d say that I make puppets on the computer.  In simple terms, that’s really all that I do.  It takes a team of artists and animators to bring them to life.

A skilled 3D artist of today has the opportunity of designing concepts,  environments and people that don’t exist in real life.  At a technical level where cloth, textures and physique looks fairly realistic that is an extremely powerful tool, even outside of a game context.  In game production there’s very little room for mistakes, going back to the drawing table would mean throwing away huge amounts of work.

To look into the actual visual possibilities is like a “God’s particle” discovery. Although the technological evolution in the game industry has not as it may seem made the process quicker and easier, it has actually raised the bar for the developers at a time when gamers get used to more detailed and advanced graphic experiences.

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Gears of war has been criticized for the lack of female characters och decided in it’s third entry to introduce playable female characters. The result is amazonian in comparison to a more sexualized definition of femininity.

When you decided to female characters into the third title, what was your starting point? Did you just transfer the attributes from the male characters or did they have other characteristics?

– As with all game projects, it really is a team effort.  The idea started with Cliff as I recall.  As he and other developers traveled to comic con and other events, they (myself included) were surprised to find that in addition to male cosplayers in COG costumes, there were several female cosplayers doing the same thing.  

– So once design brought the mandate down for female COGs, it went from the Art director (Chris Perna), to the concept artist (James Hawkins), to me.  We wanted to make sure the women were heroic, like Ellen Ripley of the Aliens movies.  For me, it took some time to get the look right, and I would find myself continuously revising and polishing the female models even a year after they were technically complete.  

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-Some of the hurdles were technical, because hair in UE3 at the time was best if it was dark.  Anya is a blonde of course, so that required a lot of attention to detail, as well as coding support for new tools specifically for hair.  Aesthetically,  Chris Perna had a clear vision of what he wanted, but gave me a lot of room to explore and add to the look.  

The guys were really strong, armored and heavy,  so we needed to keep the females to be believable as well.  I figured that we could sell it if we had ‘pockets of femininity’, for lack of a better term.  Basically alternating the bulky, hard surface forms of the armor, with a graceful curve in the waist area and the hips.  I also tried to make their faces as attractive (yet still strong) as possible, and I used inspiration from fashion models athletes, and even the final fantasy series for cues.  In addition, Maury Mountain and Mike Buck did amazing work texturing the bodies of Sam, Anya, and the Queen.  I’m really proud of what we accomplished as a team, and thanks to all the fans who enjoy the series!

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Chris Wells

Epic games

Marvelous Designer brings real pattern making technique and 3d software together

 

While as the majority of the worlds cg artists still make character outfits in traditional 3d software manner, Marvelous designer is a software that rather uses traditional pattern making to create virtual clothing. Because of it’s compatibility with other 3d software it is already in use by 3d artists at game and film studios around the world as in Weta Digital’s the Hobbit and Ubisofts Assasin’s Creed. The company claims the technique to both make outstanding fabric and detail replicas and at the same time save time for the CG artist.  If this new approach to virtual clothing hits it big remains to be seen.

 

 

www.marvelousdesigner.com/

Also read about Lectra fashion software