Tag Archives: clothing

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

CLO

Kokokaka

 

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

Who are you in Minecraft?

These are samples of the multiple free skins, available for download for the  Minecraft enthusiast.

Mojang’s highly succesful sandbox game is a good example of the power of identification and customization in computer games.  This simplified and stylized example of designing your own character manages with very few pixels to reach for social, cultural and in this case even political, historical recognition.

Minecraft

Mojang

Minecraft skins