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How Clothing is Made in Second Life: Summary

August 15, 2008 4 comments

I hope this little introductory series about how clothing is made in Second Life has been informative to you. From my own personal experience it all can be quite confusing to a new user or someone that has no past experience with 3D virtual worlds or applications. I have just about completed updating my Introduction to Second Life For Fashion OpenCourseWare Learning Module series. The video above will provide you with a quick overview of the learning modules [listed below for you] that are posted on www.fashionCAD.info

OpenCourseWare Learning Modules

  • Module One:  Getting Started in Second Life – Signing On
  • Module Two:  Getting Getting Started in Second Life After Orientation Island – Video Tutorials o f the Basics in SL; Practicing SL Basic Skills; Snapshot to Disk; Prepare First Avatar Presentation in Photoshop.
  • Module Three: Getting Started in Second Life – How Clothes are Made in Second Life: The Basics; Some Review, First Tee & Outfit in Appearance – File Permissions, Poseball, Snapshot, Make Transparent Mannequin
  • Module Four: Practicing and Modifying Pre-Made Patterns, UV Mapped Items, Flexi-Skirts
  • Module Five: How Clothes are Made in Second Life: TEXTURES Preparing and Uploading your SL Pattern Texture Files 
  • Module Six: How Clothes are Made in Second Life: UV MAPS and More File Permissions
  • Module Seven: How Clothes are Made in Second Life: PRIMS 
  • Module Eight: Fashion Collection Presentation Package
  • Module Nine: Prepare for the upcoming Fashion Show in SL & Set-Up  Franamation OverRider 
  • Module Ten: Create a layout presentation image of your fashion collection
  • Module Eleven:  Prepare for the Fashion Show

You can complete the learning modules (above] at you own pace or you can register for the Virtual Fashion class I am offering as an online and in world class this coming fall semester.

Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08']

If you are interested in registering for this course – you better hurry because fall 2008 classes start 8/25/08. This class will need instructor permission to register so make sure you get permission from me before you attempt to even register for it.  You will need to have Second Life loaded on your computer and should have an introductory knowledge of Photoshop [basic functions] as well as the application itself.

One last thing – Here is an informal index to the videos I have created for Second Life. Please keep in mind that while some of these videos represent finished products others are just rough guides completed as an aid during a class project that was in progress.

Second Life for Fashion Students-Video Tutorial Index

 I want to share this information with the hopes that others can use them for educational purposes.

Previous Posts in This Series:

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part IV – PRIMS

August 13, 2008 2 comments

PRIMS TO CREATE GARMENTS IN SL

Finn1 FlintlockYou may have noticed that the hair and shoes and other items you create using the APPEARANCE menu are not as visually appealing as many of the fashions you see in Second Life. This is because many fashion outfits are enhanced by belts, accessories, scarves, ties, handbags, flexiskirts, etc that are created from PRIMS. PRIMS are the basic 3D building tools in Second Life. If you like making clothing in Second Life – you need to learn to build. An excellent place to learn how to build at your own pace is the Ivory Tower of Prims in SL.

Here is a video Tour of the Ivory Tower of Prims by Torley Linden: Learn building at the Ivory Tower of Primitives

Here is a short video I made that will demonstrate how PRIM hair is different from the hair that you can create in the APPEARANCE menu: APPEARANCE and PRIM Hair.you can use the BUILD tool to create simple prims that will enhance your garments in SECOND LIFE. Here is a video that will demonstrate that for you: Create Simple Prims to Enhance Garments in SL . With regards to flexiskirts – you may be wondering, what makes the skirt panels move when your avatar walks? In the EDIT menu under the FEATURES tab the FLEXIBLE PATH field is checked, that makes a prim flexible-there are various adjustments there to fine tune the amount of flexibility you want on the panel. You set the proprieties of the skirt panel before you make it into a flexiskirt.

MORE ABOUT FLEXISKIRTS

Now more about flexiskirts – they are made from multiple panels of PRIMS but it would be an exercise in torture to try to make flexiskirts without a SCRIPT. SCRIPTS are what make all things in SL interactive. You can automate PRIMS in SL by using scripts. If you notice things like HOVERTEXT – that is the text above items that you see in SL – this text is also created by using a SCRIPT. Sometimes you click on something in SL and a NOTECARD opens or a link to a WEBSITE opens or you sit on a chair or a poseball and your avatar assumes a pose or sitting position – these are created by dragging and dropping a script and sometimes an animation into a PRIM in SL.

The very basic flexiskirt script is free. Here is a link to Natalia Zelmanov’s Blog post titled, Day 97: Flexi Skirts Part 1 (Ged Larsen’s LoopRez Script) which will provide you with excellent instructions on how to create your first flexi-skirt and there is a SURL link that will teleport you into the location SL where you can get the Loop REZ script for FREE in SL. [NOTE: you can also get it on the SLEXCHANGE for $L1]

I have some flexiskirt’s created with this script with open permission for you available on the Buffalo State Island, this is the SURL LINK. Once you complete Natalia’s basic Flexiskirt tutorial you can go to her part II post to learn how to set up the attachment set. It will adjust your flexi-skirt so that it will not melt through another PRIM when your avatar sits down. Day 433: Flexi Skirts Part 2 (Self-Adjustment with AttachmentSet).

Natalia Zelmanov’s blog has excellent detailed how-to instructions for building all kinds of clothing and textures  in Second Life including prim hair shoes and jewelry, fur, satin, semi transparent textures, animations and poses. Here is the link to Natalia’s BUILD TUTORIAL INDEX.

Ged Larsen's FREE LoopRez Script

Ged Larsen also has two other models of the Loop Rez for you to choose from. The first is the LoopRez Deluxe.  Here is a link to the LoopRez Deluxe  tutorial on his blog. In addition to purchasing the LoopRez in-world you can purchase it on the SLEXCHANGE. If you purchase something to use in-world here you pay at the SLEXCHANGE and it will automatically be delivered to you in world. Here is a link to the LoopRez Deluxe Personal Edition v0.81 [L$220]from the SLEXCHANGE but keep in mind you CANNOT SELL THESE FLEXISKIRTS IN SL that is why it is called the “personal edition.” The Permissions are : LoopRez Object: COPY [that means for you only] / NO MOD / NO TRANSFER … Skirts: COPY [that means for yourself] / MOD [that means for yourself] / NO TRANSFER

Here is a YOUTUBE Video to show you how Ged Larson’s LoopREZ Deluze works.

If you want to purchase a flexiskirt LoopREZ so that you can create and sell the flexiskirts you create you need to purchase the LoopRez Deluxe Commercial Edition v0.81[L$2200]It is the same as the LoopREZ Deluxe but the permissions are set so that the skirts you create can be copied, modified and transferred.

Here is an interesting video of a Flower Power2 Building tool to create a Flexiskirt…

Previous Posts in This Series:

Virtual Fashion FRI Spring/Summer 2010 Courses

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part III – UV MAPS

August 11, 2008 5 comments

UV MAPS TO CREATE GARMENTS IN SL

 

Finn1 Flintlock
Another way to create fashion in SL is to download the UV maps and create garments directly on to the UV maps an upload them to SL and apply them on your avatar in APPEARANCE. Avatar UV Maps are 2D representations of a 3D virtual avatar. The markings on the UV map serve as guides to help with matching the seams of the virtual garments that are created that will then be virtually “mapped” on to the 3D avatar.

An excellent way to start is to follow Robin Wood’s T-Shirt Tutorial and create your very own T-shirt graphic for your avatar. Robin provides a link to download a ZIP file of the T-Shirt Template and there are links included  to follow the step by step tutorial.

 

 
Here is a link to a video tutorial I made to demonstrate how you can use Robin’s T- Shirt Template to very quickly make a custom T-Shirt & upload it to Second Life. The next video in this mini-series will demonstrate to you how to create multiple garments that coordinate with the new T-Shirt you created and explains the file permissions on the new garments. It is titled Make Outfit in Appearance, Save it and Set Permissions. Once you created and saved your new outfit you need to wear it and go to the poseballs and take a snapshot to disk – here is a third video tutorial titled Pose With the Poseballs, Snapshot to Disk in Sl. The fourth video this mini-series will demonstrate for you how to make a mannequin for Second Life by extracting the background, making a transparency channel, using the Smudge Tool and uploading it to SL.

Once you get the idea how UV maps are used by using Robin’s T-shirt template you can download a full set of her UV templates from her site and move on to creating more UV mapped garments. Robin’s site is an excellent resource and there are additional links to how to make lace textures, how to add transparencies, adding patterns to cloth and so on.

Just like in the real world of fashion there are many different quality levels of fashions in Second Life. Some UV Mapped garments in particular can require an exceptionally high level of digital graphic illustration skills. There are many extremely talented and highly skilled digital virtual fashion design artists in Second Life. SL fashion design artists use their digital illustration skills on the UV Maps to create highly detailed garments from scratch and they often enhance their creations with prim attachments like flexi-skirts, hats, collars, shoes, belts, etc. UV Maps are also used to create a variety of custom avatar skins as well as tattoos.

There are many beginner SL fashion designers and amateurs that create and try to sell tons of rip-off or knock-offs of fashion items just like in the real world of fashion. Many of the freebie garments in Second Life are created by placing the front and back of a Web image on to the UV Map. Some of these images are then modified and others are just copied “as is” from the real world item. Also as there are technical “product quality” issues in the real world there are also digital quality issues such as “are the seams closed?” “are the seams matched?” What is the digital overall technical quality level of the UV Mapped garment in addition to creative originality of the virtual UV Mapped fashions?

The creation of TEXTURES correlate indirectly to the creation of surface print patterns for industry that fashion designers in the real world need to make but the skills needed for UV Mapped garments and PRIM building in Second Life are only remotely related to the skills that real world fashion students require. Real world fashion students need to know how to create fashion product sketches [flats or fashion croquees], technical product specification and costing sheets, a variety of client presentation boards as well as to gain flat pattern drafting and pattern-making skills to actually create the garment pattern and then acquire the skill to assemble the garment in the real world. The file organization skills that are required to create and sell fashion garments in SL are excellent organizational and basic business start-up skills for fashion students as well as learning to work in a 3D environment. [ex: store layout & design and fashion show production] The fashion industry is shifting over to multi-dimensional product development for use in design as well as merchandising so gaining 3D conceptional skills in a virtual application like Second Life is a valuable transitional skill for fashion students.

Here are three excellent links from Natalia Zelmanov’s Blog that explain the UV Maps and how to use them to create clothing in Photoshop. Natalia has a variety of highly detailed and well-illustrated  step-by-step directions on how to build all sorts of fashion related items for Second Life. Robin Wood’s and Natalia Zelmanov’s blogs were a Godsend to me when I first “literally fell” into the virtual world of Second Life.

Clothing Texture Templates: A discussion of SL clothing templates (Robin Wood’s in particular) and how the flat template files map onto the avatar’s body

Creating Clothes Pt 1: Making clothes using the Second Life texture maps

Creating Clothes Pt 2: Making clothes using the Second Life texture maps

Here is another link from Natalia’s  blog that will show you how to create clothes using the UV maps with GIMP (free program like Photoshop) and UV maps to create a garment. Day 181: Creating Clothes with GIMP

Next Post in this Series: How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part IV – PRIMS

Previous Posts in this Series:

Virtual Fashion FRI Spring/Summer 2010 Courses

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part II – TEXTURES

August 8, 2008 5 comments

Finn1 Flintlock

TEXTURES

A very easy way to make your SL APPEARANCE clothing look more unique is to create and upload your own textures. Before you begin using this method you should understand how textures work in SL. Textures work differently in the APPEARANCE MENU then with the TEXTURE TAB in the BUILD tool that is used to create PRIMS. I created a video to explain the difference for you – here is a link to the About Textures in Sl video.

Once you understand how textures work differently in APPEARANCE and with the TEXTURE TAB in the BUILD tool you can make adjustments when you create and upload your own textures. In a nutshell – the textures that are on a prim [like a flexi-skirt panel] can be tiled and flipped and set into different scaled repeats – this is not possible in the APPEARANCE. I personally think this is a BIG DRAWBACK for flexibility and creative expression using the APPEARANCE menu with custom textures in Second Life but we have to work with what we have.

I have lots of student-created free fiber design seamless textures on the Buffalo State island and I made a video that will demonstrate how you can insert them into garments you create using the APPEARANCE menu in SL. There is a color set and a grayscale set that you can add your own tints to. Here is the link to the video: Fiber Textures in Second Life. The SURL pasted below in this post will take you to the location in Second Life [pictured above] where there are plentiful textures for you to experiment with and the permissions are all opened for you.

Here are a short series of video tutorials that will get you started with creating your own custom textures in Photoshop that you can use on garments you create in the APPEARANCE menu. [NOTE: in these videos I make the textures 256px by 256px - you can make them more detailed by creating them 512 X 512 px or even 256px by 512px , or 1024 or 1024 px but keep in mind larger texture files will need more processing time to come in clear. To get fine detail into your textures you can create them at a very high resolution and creating them in Illustrator will give you even more control. Once you have completed them you can resample [rescale] them down in Image Size before you upload them. I would not go over 512px unless there is very fine detail that is very important to keep in. Here is a link to a site where you can download free high resolution texturesto get your creativity going with custom texture development. You will get a really good look if you create a seamless texture of an area you apply filters to and then place it into a half-drop and make it seamless again.

SL TEXTURES/PATTERN DEVELOPMENT FOR INDUSTRY

The pattern repeat techniques for developing seamless TEXTURES for Second Life correlate somewhat with the pattern repeat development skills that CAD Textile Print Designers for industry need. The primary difference is that when you are developing print repeat designs for industry you need to know how to create and work in reduced colors as well as tonals, there are size constraints that need to match print methods and skill is required to recolor the pattern to match current color trends. If you are working in tonal images [photographic or true color scans of maybe watercolors] you need to know how to create layer masks to recolor your tonals.

PRACTICING APPLYING TEXTURES & TINTS TO CLOTHING

I have created a series of videos that will demonstrate to you step by step how to change colors and textures on UV clothing and flexi-skirts. All of these items in the video are available for you with the permissions open so you can modify, and or transfer them and  customize them to make them your own. Here is a SURL that will take you to the location on the Buffalo State island[pictured above] where these garments are available so you can follow along with the videos. All permissions on the garments and textures for the video tutorials are open.

Next Post in this Series: How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part III – UV MAPS

Previous Post in this Series: How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part I- THE BASICS

More textures here: Buffalo Loves Cotton Texture Gallery for Second Life

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

How Clothes Are Made in Second Life:Part I- THE BASICS

August 6, 2008 3 comments

Finn1 Flintlock

This is a first of a series to present an overview of the different ways clothes are made in Second Life.

There are multiple ways clothes can be created in Second Life: adding custom colors and pattern textures, creating UV mapped garments and fashion items created from prims. You not only need to know the different ways clothes are made but if you want to create or try to give away or sell clothing in SL you also need to understand file permissions.

Clothes can be created from the basic APPEARANCE menu and built-in TEXTURES available to everyone from the SL LIBRARY folder in your INVENTORY. You can enhance your SL garments by adding your own custom TEXTURES to make the APPEARANCE garments more unique. You can add custom tattoos and unique avatar clothing by getting a set of UV MAP files  and using a program like Photoshop or Gimp [free] to create custom clothing for your avatar, and finally you can add loads of fashion items by learning to use the BUILD tool in SL. You can make single and multiple linked prims that turn into shoes, hair, belts, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, pins and lots of other customized fashion accessories.

BASIC CLOTHING FROM THE APPEARANCE MENU

The fist and most simple way to make clothing in Second Life is to create garments in the APPEARANCE menu. When you create articles of clothing using the APPEARANCE you can save each individual article of new clothing you create before you exit the APPEARANCE menu. Here is a YOUTUBE video from Torley Linden that introduces you to using APPEARANCE.

 

BASICS: Editing your appearance – Second Life Video TuTORial

When you are in the APPEARANCE MENU you can add colors and tints to your garment and you can access the universal Second Life LIBRARY folder in your inventory to place a TEXTURE file on to the garment you are creating. The TEXTURES in your LIBRARY folder are available to everyone in Second Life. You can also create your own custom textures and upload them to SL for L$10. You will notice that some texture files do not have all over texture patterns on them – they are shaped and formed like your avatar. These are custom avatar garments that were created using UV maps of your avatar. If you received some textures or custom garments for free in Second Life – you should take note of the fact that some of the file permissions for these items may be set to no-copy or no- modify or no-transfer.  You can easily see what the file permissions are set to by right mouse clicking on the file in your INVENTORY and reviewing the permissions That is why it is best to create your own content in SL  – because then “you” can set all the permissions. Previously set file permissions are the reason why you may run into a bit of confusion and difficulty if you try to make modifications to UV garments you either purchased or got for free in SL and try to save additional copies in APPEARANCE by making an outfit or try to make a copy of the file from your INVENTORY or try to give [transfer] it to someone else.

New articles of clothing you create in SL are all located in your CLOTHING folder in your INVENTORY. Fashion items you got for free or purchased may be placed into your INVENTORY in it’s own folder. You can mouse-click and drag any other folder containing fashion outfits  to be a sub-folder in your clothing folder. You can easily rename any file you created in your INVENTORY by right clicking on it and selecting RENAME.  You can create a new SUB-FOLDER under your CLOTHING FOLDER by right mouse clicking on your CLOTHING FOLDER and selecting NEW FOLDER and naming it. You can move the files by dragging and dropping them to a new location.

WEAR & TAKE OFF CLOTHING FROM APPEARANCE

To wear an article of clothing from your inventory – right click on the file and select WEAR. There are multiple ways to take an article of clothing off that was created in APPEARANCE. You can go to EDIT>TAKE OFF CLOTHING>SELECT THE ARTICLE YOU WANT TO TAKE OFF; you can right mouse click on your avatar and select TAKE OFF>CLOTHES>SELECT THE ITEM TO REMOVE or you can right click on the files itself in your inventory and select TAKE OFF.

Here is a link to a video I just created that will review for you how to organize your CLOTHING folder in SL. Organize Your Clothing Folder in Second Life.

Next post will provide and overview of TEXTURES in SL.

Virtual Fashion FRI Spring/Summer 2010 Courses

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Multidimensional Fashion Technology I

There is a reason that my posts have not been frequent since the spring semester ended. I have been focusing on developing two on-line courses for fall 2008. One is totally in world and on ANGEL. See post titled: Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08'] I would like to invite Fashion professors from other countries that would like to sponsor a fashion student for an independent study to participate in this class with me. If you are interested – please e-mail me at polvinem@buffalostate.edu. Learning to conceptualize, work and develop in a free 3D virtual application like Second Life will introduce fashion students for the transformative changes that are currently underway in the global fashion industry. If students gain a comfort level working in a virtual world, their learning curve for a multidimensional product development application will be substantially reduced.

I have also been “officially” retooling over to the multidimensional OptiTex technology; it is the next logical step to prepare future professionals for the 3D transformational changes that are currently taking place in the global fashion industry. I have a twenty year CAD/CAM technology background that includes retooling, developing course materials and teaching surface/textile design for industry, computer pattern making, marker making and more recently 3D fashion applications.

The 360 degree rotational images that are possible with this system can be used for marketing or pre-marketing. Perhaps even using the digital 3D imagary for a mass personalization retail marketing application like MVM’s BrandMe. Developing a fashion product in digital format from square one will save time, cut costs and facilitate marketing of the product on line in addition to collaborating directly with the manufacturer in 3D to eliminate costly development miscommunication errors.

I would like to integrate the OptiTex cutting-edge CAD/CAM Marker, PDS and Modulate programs in the curriculum. The reasons why I selected OptiTex to retool on are listed in my blog posting titled: Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions.


I have been working on it for the past three-four weeks now and it’s a totally amazing application! I am planning to develop some basic pattern development and modification tutorials, so I thought I would begin by sharing a bit of the stitching, simulation and 3D viewing for a basic sloper video [posted above] that I created following the instructions from Helen Joseph Armstrong’s Patternmaking for Fashion Design. The Optitex online support Wiki is both an exceptional learning and teaching tool, it will facilitate quick response retooling for educators and industry.

Oh by the way – the fabric pattern in the video above was from a portion of a Second Life screen shot during a visit last evening with Bettina Tizzy [and some close colleagues from FIT] at CHakryn Forest. Bettina founded the working group “Not Possible IRL,” : 1) To identify, showcase and promote content creation in virtual worlds that would not be possible in Real Life; 2) To seek and disseminate knowledge that empowers content creators; and 3) To advocate for better recognition and protection of the rights of content creators in virtual environments. Here are some FLICKER links to NPIRL [Not Possible In real Life]  : Situations Not Possible in Real Life (NPIRL) and Avatars Not Possible in Real Life (NPIRL).

Here is the one screenshot I took…

…and here one of the textures [that I used in the video above] that I developed from the image above in Photoshop.

Here are two more from the same inspiration…

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I stated during my presentation at Technology Day at FIT, RMIT and Ryerson, if fashion education does not initiate the type of quick response solution (that students are taught with regards to the real world) to the unprecedented transformational technology shift that is taking place over to 3D, they run the serious risk of becoming redundant and obsolete and could actually be the driving force for industry to develop private training institutes.”

The primary focus of this Virtual Fashion Technology blog is to document the transition and expansion from 2D traditional to 2D Digital to 3D virtual for apparel textile product design, development and retailing. Retooling on a multidimensional fashion product development application will be a major contribution.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Virtual Fashion – What is it?

June 18, 2008 5 comments

Shenlei Winkler (aka: Shenlei Flashart in SL] has an excellent post titled, “Avatar Apparel vs. the Real Apparel Industry,” clarifying the differences between what FRI [Fashion Research Institute]  terms, virtual fashion that is designed specifically for virtual worlds and gaming and the “1.7 trillion USD apparel industry.”

Actually it’s even becoming even more confusing then Shenlei mentions because the global apparel industry is now transitioning over to multi dimensional product development applications like Optitex [in the video below & see previous posts] that will empower the industry to develop in virtual 3D digital format [using virtual avatars] from square one.

So the term “virtual fashion” can refer to fashion developed specifically for end use in the the virtual world or fashion that is developed “virtually” via a multi dimensional application or “in the virtual world” for the real world global apparel industry. To add to the confusion :) I  have developed a totally in world Introduction to Virtual Fashion online college course that prepares real world students of fashion to think, create, develop and work together and communicate in a virtual world setting. Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08'] I believe that an application like Second Life provides fashion education programs with the tools to teach students a specialized (fashion) conceptual skill set from working in a 3D virtual reality environment that is free and open access for all fashion programs. Gaining these introductory virtual skills will begin to prepare students for emerging employer expectations relating to 3D conceptualization.

Some real life fashion designers like Nyla from the House of Nyla design and create one of a kind real world fashions and replicate them for virtual sales in a virtual world like Second Life.

 

House Of Nyla

 

And then there are the real life fashion designers like KOZMARA that create real world fashions using a multi dimensional product development application like Optitex that enables virtual development of a real world garment that can be easily manufactured.

KOZMARA

What Shenlei is developing with IBM is real world apparel production design and development in a virtual world setting – this is really quite exciting and it takes a bit just to wrap your brain around it but once you do it leads to endless possibilities!

Shenlei goes on to describe how virtual fashion for end use in a virtual world is often developed in a 3D application like Photoshop or Illustrator and is never actually manufactured so the designer does not have to conform to a variety of size, trend, quality, production and time constraints.

She continues with a comparison of funds generated by the gaming industries and the global apparel industries. In her post, she eloquently details the four years of dedicated highly focused multi-faceted cross training involved in preparation to become a fashion designer in today’s global fashion industry.

All of these real world production details that a fashion design student must gain an understanding of are not required for a virtual fashion designer that designs specifically for the virtual gaming worlds. As Shenlei states, “the realities of manufacturability and wearer’s comfort are not even a consideration.”

Her blog post explains that the FRI research is not about fashion designing for the virtual world but working “in” and using virtual worlds to develop real world apparel for manufacture. FRI is,”focused on helping the apparel industry to cut its time to market, slash its development costs, reduce its carbon footprint, and enhance its profitability and revenue opportunities.”  FRI is, “using virtual worlds to insulate designers from technology and to enable them to focus on design.”
 

The real world apparel industry product development research that FRI is conducting is exceptionally exciting and has the potential to have a transformational impact on the global apparel industry. Anyone involved in the real world apparel industry is welcome to visit the Fashion Research Institute [FRI] in SL.  The FRI has made available new resident avatar kits in the welcome area of the FRI corporate sim complex in Second Life tm Shengri La. Here is a link to Shenlei’s post titled “Beautiful People….”

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Shengri La Events in SL: Prim & Proper Finale & Butterflys

Prim & Propers final sale is going on now and will be ending June 21st. The proceeds for the sale will go to Relay For Life. Here is a link to Shenlei’s post, titled, Prim & Proper Final Sale to Benefit Relay For Life.” I visited a few days ago and it was very busy with avatars looking for Shenlei’s exquisite fashions.

Shenlei’s blog has loads of images from a “great large-scale immersive 3D event in virtual worlds in the Fashion Research Institute’s Shengri La sims in Second Life. “The post is titled,” OpenSim Supporters from IBM and Microsoft Rave On in Shengri La.”

If you missed the Rave on Shengri La – don’t worry you still have a chance to participate in the Midsummer’s Day Ode Butterfly Hunts in Shengri La, Saturday June 21st. You will have to hunt down the butterfys to locate Random Calliope’s Ode jewelry set. This jewelry is famous and has many collectors. Not all the butterflys have the jewelry – if they do the butterfly catcher receives it so it may take the catching of several butterflys before you hit the Ode jewelry jackpot. The butterfly hunters will have five sims of paradise to hunt butterflys on. You right mouse click on the fluttering butterflys to try to catch them… good luck!

On June 21, Shenlei Winkler [aka Shenlei Flashart] from the Fashion Research Institute,  will be hosting an Ode hunt in the morning in honor of Midsummer’s Eve.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08']

I will be accepting students for my first totally in-world Introduction to Virtual Fashion in Second Life class. Students can register for credit or non-credit. I have been teaching fashion in Second Life for three semesters now st Buffalo State College as a Web enhanced course. I am working over the summer to develop this special course so it can be taught totally online on ANGEL and inworld in Second Life.

This course will require very basic level one introductory Photoshop and Illustrator skills.

Here is a link to my OpenCourseWare Level One Photoshop functions

Here is a link to my OpenCourseWare Level One Illustrator functions

Course Name: FTT495: Intro to Virtual Fashion in Second Life

Semester: fall 2008
Credit Hours: 3  credits 
Catalog no.: 3347
Location of class Buffalo State Island in Second Life and ANGEL online course

Days: TR 7PM-10PM EST on BSC island in SL 
Instructor’s Name: Elaine Polvinen aka Finn1 FLintlock
e-mail: polvinem@buffalostate.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Learn the basics of the 3D world of Second Life. Learn how to navigate, communicate with others and create fashion related projects. Introductory multi-disciplinary skills for 3D virtual fashion design, brand development, presentation and fashion show production. Research projects focusing on incorporating 2D into 3D conceptualization in Second Life.

Prerequisites: Basic introductory skills with Photoshop and Illustrator. You are required to already have established an Avatar in Second Life and to have worked through orientation island. Second Life is a free application that must be downloaded and installed on your computer. Download Second Life HERE. Information about hardware requirements for Second Life can be located on the download page. Any version of Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop will work for this class.

OBJECTIVES:

At the completion of the Virtual Fashion CAD Project student will demonstrate introductory:

  • 3D virtual organizational skills.
  • 3D virtual creative Thinking skills
  • 3D virtual visual Communication skills
  • 3D virtual multi-tasking skills.
  • 3D virtual creative Problem solving skills
  • 3D virtual collaborative skills
  • 3D virtual technology skills.
  • 3D virtual presentation skills
  • 3D virtual Market trend research skills
  • Flexibility to link existing and learn new concepts.
  • Skills for working and strategizing completion of various assignments in a multiple 3D virtual reality settings.
  • Skills for 3D virtual fashion garment development.
  • Skills for 3D virtual fashion garment presentation and product packaging.
  • Development of a 3D virtual fashion collection.
  • 3D virtual fashion show production videos
  • Web 2.0 skills

If you are interested in registering for this online college credit course FTT495 (3347) - please contact Buffalo State College Admissions

Here is a link to student fashion collections and shows from a spring 2007 SL project.

________________________________________________________________________________

Here is a link to another online course offering this fall ’08 Register for Online Adobe Pattern Development for Industry

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT – Part IV

April 29, 2008 4 comments

Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

David PolinchockSusan RedaPanel Presentation: Preparing the Next Generation of Industry Executives for the next Generation of Marketing Tools: YouTube and More. Susan Reda, Executive Director of Stores Magazine, Kathy Savitt, Chief Marketing Officer, American Eagle Outfitters & David Polinchock, Founder and Chief Experience Officer, Brand Experience Lab.

Kathy savittMs. Savitt began speaking about AEO – American Eagle Outfitters. Their mission is to be generous with their brand. She stated that, “Content is King, distribution is Queen and the Arch Duchess.”

77E is a dedicated unscripted content entertainment platform on A&E. MTV will run the show. It has unscripted content with social community building blocks via Stylehive, a new media application. Stylehive is a social community where users can share and bookmark trends. [note: another similar community is Stylefeeder]

No sharing between divisions was mentioned by David Polinchock as an example of a growth stifling issue within a company. [note: that is also true in an educational institution.] He went on to state that some of the rules are changing with new instant social community media. An example was described about a customer that had a very unpleasant experience trying on clothing at a well-known retailer – the experience was “twittered” from the dressing room and was immediately picked up and amplified by multiple blogs.

YouTube was mentioned as a new media and postings of the The Charmin Potty Party promotion. The Charmin Potty Party was group of custom designed Charmin Bathrooms set up in Times Square as a Christmas gift to New Yorkers in 2006.

An example of a brand that uses new media technology to their advantage is Zappos. They made use of Twitter  as a promotional community marketing and promotional tool by selecting someone from their Twitter community for a free pair of shoes.

The panel mentioned some  top leaders in the next generation marketing and why they stand out.

  • Zappos Twitter channel – they are using new channels and helping people engage.
  • E-Shirts – took an industry that never changed and to rethink how they do business.
  • Nike ID on  Facebook– a consumer destination for designing personalizing and customizing NIKEID footwear, apparel and equipment.
  • Webkinz – building a social marketing community

When something is launched online there is immediate attention. Relevance is now the criteria. Unscripted content like concerts, music, spring break is not vulnerable but scripted content is vulnerable because when you create scripted content you may get comments that you don’t want.

The panelists felt Second Life would evolve into a mixed reality. They mentioned some RL business ventures and why they “dabbled” in SL but then abandoned it after 12-18 months. Many business people walked away perhaps because they did not take the time to truly understand how to integrate the RL and the virtual world experiences. Businesses did not want to get involved if they did not want to deliver a unique and compelling experience.

One of the biggest problems with a brand trying new things is that they don’t understand the media. Unless they really make a commitment and find their voice they will be lost. The definition of success differs from brand to brand. If the focus is “only” on the product or “only” on the brand you could get in trouble with your message but if focus is “only” on the customer then stupid irrelevant material will not be developed if new media is your content.

The panel discussed “standards” on a site. They stated that standards can be limiting but some people go to a place specifically because they have standards. There is room a a lot of different options regarding standards.

How new marketing tools could impact marketing strategies was a topic of discussion. New media is an unbelievable opportunity to get customer data. [note: the new viral marketing tool that MVM has developed for retailers popped into my mind at this point]

New media:

  • offers a way for companies to get smart.
  • empowers companies to directly engage with their customer base.
  • enables creation of a customer community that can be integrated into a company Website.
  • provides branding authenticity.
  • provides companies the opportunity to engage outside of the bricks and mortar.

Because of the new media tools – people are using brands to do more. And finally the most important statement for last  – companies that focus and serve customers will take on a level of honesty that is contagious.

Raymond Yee
Raymond Yee,
Author of Pro Web 2.0 Mashups: Remixing Data and Web Services presented “Create Mashups to make the Web Your Own.”

Raymond gave an excellent demonstration of what is involved in building a customized mashup with the Pipes Web application. He also demonstrated the Picnik application that is integrated into FLICKR  to photo edit images on the Web.

 Raymond also spoke about the Open Source FLICKR viewer in Sl.  Here is a link to an article about it. This is a fantastic development! Up until now we had to upload each image that was needed to present a slide presentation in SL for $10L each upload. Now it will be possible to use our FLICKR images to project into SL.

 …to be continued.

Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT Part III

April 28, 2008 5 comments

Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

Shenlei Winkler aka Shenlei Flashart in SL

 Round Table Discussions: Virtual World Community Gateway for the Apparel Industry presented by Shenlei Winkler, Director of the Fashion Research Institute [FRI]. 

 

 

Shenlei Winkler presents at FIT Technology Day

Shenlei Winkler aka Shenlei Flashart in SL is the lead developer of building a Virtual World Community Gateway, an orientation space developed expressly for apparel industry personnel where they can learn to navigate and use virtual worlds safely and free of any hassles that may exist in the general SL community environment. Virtual world skills will become increasingly more important as new industrial solutions incorporating virtual worlds are developed for the apparel industry.

Shenlei Winkler and Elaine Polvinen meet for the first rime in real life at the FIT Technology Day.

The Virtual World Community Gateway for the Apparel Industry is located in Second Life on a group of five sims (a utopian micronation in Second Life) owned by the Fashion Research Institute. Shengri La is one of the islands, here is the SURL location to visit the Fashion Research Institute in Second Life.

The Second Life Virtual World orientation space is currently open by invitation only to apparel industry personnel. The gateway is open 24/7, 365 days and trained helpers will be available on a limited basis. Individuals will be encouraged to learn at their own pace with tutorials so they can gain a virtual skill comfort level at their own speed. Shenlei’s contact info is Shenlei@fashionresearchinstitute.com.

It is not open to the general public. If you are a member of the apparel industry or fashion educator and are interested in introducing yourself and your faculty/staff contact Shenlei Winkler to gain access to the specialized virtual world orientation gateway she has created for the apparel industry and fashion educators.

According to Shenlei, this virtual world introductory experience will also include a  variety of customization options (provided by some of the top designers in SL) that will include everything a new user will need to develop their own style.

Industrial solutions incorporating virtual worlds are currently in development within the Black Dress Technology (Black Dress) subsidiary that FRI and IBM recently announced to develop an end-to-end enterprise solution for virtual-worlds-based product design for the [real world] fashion industry. This solution will serve small niche fashion product developer as well as mass market private label retailers.

Shenlei spoke about her past experience as a fashion product developer for a multi million dollar retailer. 2D designs are often misunderstood at the factory, presenting the designs in 3D virtual reality would eliminate multiple time wasting errors. A virtual reality product development application will allow real time development. The virtual world design solution that FRI & IBM are currently working on will result in a faster more robust and stable environment for apparel design. It is designed and set-up specifically for [real world] apparel and product designers. This will finally resolve the issue of accurate creative development time as time studies for creative work will be automatically calculated. FRI & IBM are also developing and testing the virtual world platform OpenSim, which is an enterprise alternative to Second Life(tm).

One last note about Shenlei Winkler – to locate multiple posts about Shenlei and the Fashion Research Institute please search within this blog for “Shenlei Winkler” or the “Fashion Research Institute.”

There were plenty of other Discussion Roundtables but alas I could not split myself into multiple personalities to participate in all of them. I would like to invite other roundtable leaders to comment to this post to summarize your discussion. Some of the other roundtable leaders were:

  • [Blogging in Italian] Isabella Bertoletti
  • [Conversations About Design] Leslie Blum [COM DES], Nancy Deihi [TEX/SUR DES], and Gordon Frey [INT DES]
  •  [Education: Product and/or Process] Daria Dorosh from the New Media Institute, University of East London
  • [A Second Life for the Classroom?] Larry Dugan, Finger Lakes Community COllege and Beth Ritter-Guth, Lehigh Carbon Community College
  • [Virtual Astonomy for Hybred Courses in the  Physical Sciences] Joseph Liddicoat [Science & Math]
  • [Online Teaching and Learning in Spanish] Madeline Millan [Foreign Languages]
  •  [Science & Math] [Having Technical Discussions Online]Karen Pearson [Science & Math] Calvin Williamson
  • [Web 2.0: Distributed Creativity and Framing Thought] G. Brett Phares from Marist College
  • [The Information Dimension of the FIT Library] NJ Wolfe [Gladys Marcus Library FIT]

[note: if a college is not mentioned after the name, the person is an FIT faculty member]

Continued on …Technology Day at FIT – Part IV

Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT Part II

April 27, 2008 5 comments

Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

My Avatar Myself - Elaine Polvinen aka Finn1 Flintlock

I was next at Technology Day at FIT to present “My Avatar Myself: How Avatars are Transforming Product Development, Marketing, Retailing and Education.”

My presentation was an expansive overview of how avatars that represent personal representations of the user are totally and completely transforming all aspects of fashion product development, marketing, retailing and how fashion education can respond.

I began my presentation with the OptiTex Red Dress video to illustrate what a multidimensional product development application is capable of producing. I have been totally immersed in researching and retooling on cutting edge technology for fashion/textiles education for the last 20 or so years and I have never witnessed technology transforming as quickly as it currently is now shifting over to 3D and virtual reality.

There is just no way a software application company can keep up internally with the changes taking place in the industry without forming multiple external liaisons and partnerships. In the same vein there is no way that retailers can respond to the mass personalization and customization [MCP] trend that the user centric social community market is driving without shifting to an integrated multidimensional product development and/or retailing application. The user is totally driving the market that is requiring these transformational changes. Fashion education in turn can successfully respond to this transformational technology and market trend by also forming liaisons, partnerships and linkages with industry and other fashion educators on a global level. Sharing resources, knowledge and skills regarding this shift over to multidimensional product development, MCP marketing and retailing will enable a quick and positive response to prepare future entry level professionals for the fashion industry.

Elaine Polvinen and Beth Harris meet for the first time in the real world at the FIT Technology Day.At the time I was researching for a manuscript I was working on last fall, one of the reasons that OptiTex caught my eye was because they were the only apparel/textile application I could locate that had formulated a variety of highly successful partnerships and/or liaisons that resulted in novel and creative  pre-marketing, and MCP marketing applications (in addition to a relatiively uniform level of development of multiple modules). This company was definitely ahead of the MCP social community trend that is currently taking place in the fashion industry. Technology leadership today is a precarious position to be in for any company especially when you have a multidimensional application that requires cutting edge development for multiple modular applications. It’s a high speed, high stakes race to the future – correctly predicting and preparing for future trends at the warp speed that is required for todays software applications. Quick response is a definite stratigic market positioning advantage.

A multidimensional system empowers the user to work seamlessly from 2D to 3D and back to 2D again in real time. And most important to retailers is to develop the product in digital content from square one. This equals BIG $$$ and time savings as well as enabling pre-marketing and MCP options. Why even discuss the lack of global sizing standards when parametric sizing is possible and fit models can simply body scan themselves into becoming the 3D virtual avatar dress forms that are then used to design and create a brands garments on? A brand can focus on developing sizing standards for their target customers. Multiple functions were displayed in the presentation that are mentioned in previous posts:

 Where is this mass customization emerging from? Think Webkinz – a multi-million dollar success story that involves exceptionally cute little furry avatar creatures that young children love. And who knows a young WebKinz addicted child that only has one Webkinz? Purchase of these little avatars enable entry into a very special social community that empowers the owner to do all sorts of things on line. And just to keep the purchases strong there they “expire” after one year, while others are forced into “retirement,” and there are continual introductions to new Webkinz [see video below]. Open your wallets!

Club Penquin is another on line social community that markets to young children leading to Barbie online and the Meez social community. The ability to make the animated Meez gifs in such a variety of backgrounds and movements had led kids to string them together to make some creative videos [see video posted below]. Search for Meez on You Tube. Oh yes I almost forgot all the Meez clothes are available for purchase at Sears. Sweet marketing concept.

The Club Penquin avatars have also inspired some creative YouTube videos

The crème de la crème of this trend for the youth market is the Sims and H&M “Where Fashion Design and the Virtual World Meet,” branding and promotion that created the Sims2 H&M Fashion Runway product. The on line Sims2 H&M Fashion Runway community votes to select the best design that will be produced for the H&M product line – what a creative and unique personalization and social community concept. This is an excellent virtual preparation for an emerging fashion design student.

Where is this social marketing trend moving after youngsters, tweens and teens? Try the MVM BrandMe personalized model trend that is rapidly expanding into fashion products. MVM  develops customized user centric applications specifically for retailers that empower the user to personalize their shopping experience and share it with a social community or “push” it to a blog or e-mail.  Viral marketing strategies for retailers are a reality with the MVM Dressing Room and Home Products Outfitting Solutions. Retailers can track buyer’s preferences and offer promotional items based on those preferences. [note: search MVM and/or BrandMe for previous blog posts]

Duel virtual and real world marketing is already taking place. Examples are House of Nyla and the Playboy line developed in partnership with Second Life fashion designers. Virtual World Product Life Management solutions for the apparel industry are currently under development as evidenced by the Black Dress Technology Subsidiary that represents collaboration between the Fashion Research Institute and IBM. A gargantuan virtual world is currently under development in the form of the Cyber Recreation District in Beijing China that has the potential to impact the world economy if successful. The need to download a virtual world application in order to access it may soon be a thing of the past with multiple developers [MetaPlace and SocioTown] to name a few] racing to release the most successful 3D virtual world that is easily accessible via the “flat Web browser” we currently use.

How can education prepare students for the 3D and virtual transformation that we are currently undergoing? Introduce them incrementally to a virtual experience like Second Life. Getting acclimated to a virtual 3D experience will provide them with the ability to think and conceptualize in 3D. Whatever the application they will be required to work on in the real world will be – they will already be halfway there because they have experienced and achieved a level of comfort by completing simulated fashion related projects in a virtual world. Projects like developing fashion collections, exhibits, brand logos, fashion show production, store layout and design, 2.0 Web applications, simultaneous real world/virtual world marketing and promotion.

If fashion education does not initiate the type of quick response solution (that students are taught with regards to the real world) to the unprecedented transformational technology shift that is taking place over to 3D, they run the serious risk of becoming redundant and obsolete and could actually be the driving force for industry to develop private training institutes.

Avatars are permeated throughout product development, marketing and retailing. Their use has multiple benefits for industry in the form of cost effectiveness and quick response, pre-marketing and MCP options. The use of multidimensional applications provide retailers with digital content to pre-market a product to a social community similar to the MCP Sims/H&M branding/marketing concept on a grand scale.

Virtual worlds hold great promise for product development, just-in-time manufacturing and multidimensional retailing. How will industry, retailers and education respond? This is like a massive multi player game of musical chairs [or Survivor] to see who survives and prospers by responding to the users [that are driving the MCP social marketing trend] and by creating strategic linkages.

continued on … Technology Day at FIT Part III

Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT – Part I

April 26, 2008 5 comments

Steven Zucker and Beth Harris. Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

Kudos to  Beth Harris, Assistant Professor, History of Art at FIT. She carefully sowed the seeds that started this entire Technology Day Conference at FIT yesterday . She did a wonderful job of presenting an overview of all of the transformative 2D, 3D and virtual technology changes currently taking place in the real world and the effect they will have on the educational world.

Steven Zucker and Beth Harris are pictured above. Read Steven’s post on the conference here. Beth Harris started the conference off by introducing Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President of FIT to give the welcoming remarks.

Here is a link to the Bio page for the conference speakers.

The Keynote was The Second Life of Fashion Design: Meta universe as Prototype Platform W. James Au His book is coming out this month — The Making of Second Life and James keeps the blog, New World Notes.

James began the presentation with an explanation of the basics of what a virtual world like Second Life is and how it works on a grid of servers. He spoke of the principles of SL notably: Impression as opposed to consumer. The goal standard in SL is creativity and commercial engagement. Be-bop reality – user created art and mirrored flourishing – the more stuff you do the more important you are in Second Life.

James went on to explain to the group that in SL users make unlikely friendships and alliances based on creative affiliations. He noted that religion, memorials and non-profits are widely represented in SL.  In the area of SL fashion – they are now merging RL and SL brands represented by the Playboy brand that includes SL designs as noted in his article Smart Bunny: Playboy Sells Fashion Created and Co-branded by Second Life Designers.

A novel and relatively new use of virtual reality is the Wickpedia concept for creation of 3D architecture in Second Life.  James mentioned the primary groups in Second Life were: social gamers, role players, fashionistias, capitalists and innovators.

I was kind of disappointed that he did not include educators because from my point of view (as an educator of course) Second Life is expanding on an ever expanding large scale. There are literally hundreds of educational institutions in Second Life. NMC currently has 50 Sims in Second Life and is continually growing. NMC serves over 80 colleges alone in Second Life. Here is a link to NMC’s plans for 2008.

Janine Hawkins aka: Iris Ophelia also presented to the Technology Day Group. She covers fashion for New World Notes and is the Editor of Second Style in SL. She has been a SL fashion journalist since 2006.

Janine spoke about the fashions in SL and mentioned some of the top SL fashion designers as well as the promotional impact that SL fashion publications have by focusing attention on talented new SL fashion designers from all over the world. She mentioned that Japanese designers were very talented but had a language obstacle marking and promoting their designs in SL. The SL fashion publications spotlighted the Japanese designers and drastically reduced and/or eliminated the language obstacle once the SL fashion buying community was aware of their high quality designs. Janine also mentioned that some SL designers are finding success with marketing and promotional strategies for the virtual shopping community. Free items, social events, blogs, virtual community building are all tools of the marketing trade in SL. She spoke about why Sl can be a marketing tool RL businesses and how RL businesses can get it right. Most RL businesses don’t really understand the virtual platform and how to translate their brand values over.

Some SL Designers that Janine spotlighted in her presentation:

Dressing for Two: What Avatars and Their Humans Buy and Wear, by Mary Ellen Gordon, PhD, Managing Director of Marketing Truths.

This presentation was from inside Second Life. Mary Ellen Gordon worked so hard on this presentation and the large projection screen did not seem to do justice to getting a clear view of the various models she had arranged especially for her presentation. On top of that there was a region shutdown 10 minutes into her presentation. She did manage to continue it a bit later in the session.   PowerPoint and/or video link to post Mary Ellen’s research of fashion preferences and buying habits in SL. One strong point I remember from the presentation was that in SL people tend to purchase the reverse of what they purchase in RL.

Pasted below is a link to Mary Ellen Gordon’s Presentation PowerPoint that she  generously is sharing that includes brand new research done by Market Truths.

dressing-for-two-_-what-avatars-and-their-humans-are-buying-and-wearing

Read an interview with Mary Ellen here.

continued on…  Technology Day at FIT Part II

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

FRI & IBM: Community Gateway for the Apparel Industry

April 22, 2008 3 comments

For those of you that do not already know of Shenlei Winkler, she currently is the Director of the Fashion Research Institute [FRI].  She has approximately 30 years experience designing in the RL. Pasted below are some past posts about Shenlei and the work she has previously done in Second Life and is now doing in partnership with IBM in OpenSim virtual product development for the apparel industry.

 Shenlei is a master builder and fashion designer in Sl. She recently closed her Prim & Proper store on Shengri La in Second Life to devote full time to the OpenSim project she is working on in partnership with IBM. FRI recently announced that they broke the 15,000 prim limit in SL.

 Shenlei has announced a recent press release on the Fashion Research Institute site as well as her blog. The information is so important to the apparel industry that I will post most of the announcement here.

 Fashion Research Institute Announces the Formation of Black Dress Technology Subsidiary
posted 4/9/2008

Fashion Research Institute, Inc. (FRI) has launched a subsidiary, Black Dress Technology (Black Dress), to develop an end-to-end enterprise solution for virtual-worlds-based  product design for the fashion industry in conjunction with IBM, FRI’s technology partner. 

 Black Dress will provide a virtual world experience specifically developed for apparel and accessory designers.  This virtual world, expressly created as a product design  environment, will offer a fundamentally new work flow addressing critical issues facing the fashion industry, such as ensuring manufacturability of designs and decreasing substantial sample costs by at least 30%.  In addition, this “green” solution reduces the carbon footprint of the fashion industry.  Users of the Black Dress solution will ultimately be able to enter a virtual world, receive training on the systems, and take a design from concept to prototype – with every step short of actual manufacturing being done virtually.

Black Dress will offer an IBM-backed and -developed enterprise solution providing a simpler and more intuitive user interface than currently existing products, apparel-industry-oriented software, and scalability for businesses of all sizes.  Users of the technology could see sample creation costs decreased by 60% or more and time to market cut by as much as six weeks per collection.  Additionally, management and executive staff can have access to real-time business statistics so they can make immediate, informed decisions. This technology solution was showcased in the IBM booth at the National Retail Federation Show in January 2008.  

A mid-sized design house implementing a Black Dress Technology solution could save millions a year in sample costs and dozens of weeks of development time, enough to put into development and production one full collection or two mini-collections. This, in turn, could allow this company to generate additional tens of millions a year in gross revenue.

 “Black Dress will be competing in a $1.7 trillion global industry, where the rapid turnover of in-house IT systems clearly tells us there’s a huge need for an improved solution.  We intend to deliver that solution, in a way that serves the unique needs of both the creative design staff and executive management.  In fact, we see our solution as finally allowing management to monitor and manage the previously unmanageable design process without disrupting the delicate creative process,” said Winkler.

In the article titled “Alternagrids Offer Choices,” by Phoenix Psaltery published 3/18/08 in the Metaverse Messenger. Shenlei is interviewed about the OpenSim community gateway for the apparel Industry project she is working on with IBM.

 According to Shenlei, “if we want virtual worlds to truly succeed, then there needs to be a robust more stable platform out there. And businesses, in fact, will pay to resolve the technology issues. And once the tech issues get resolved, then we can start to see an Influx of consumers, at which point (Business to Consumer) plays start becoming very interesting. That is the crux of the issue.

 Here is a link to Shenli Winkler’s Blog titled: Shengri La: Utopian Micronation

A group of five sims (a utopian micronation in Second Life) are owned by the Fashion Research Institute. Shengri La is one of them – more information about the sims are in the Psaltery article. The ShengriLa sims are open to the public. Shenlei has welcomed people to visit but has stated that Shengri La has two very simple rules – please be polite and do not leave trash behind.

Shenlei is a big supporter for designers in SL and she has established a Saturday market on Shengri La for SL designers. New designers are welcome to set up tents down on the boardwalk. The rules for exhibition are: no adult content; no charge; 20 prims a designer and keep everything inside the specific tent.

Fashion CAD OpenCourseWare Basic Function Series: Intro to Second Life for Fashion Students

April 21, 2008 4 comments

I am working on the Intro to Second Life for Fashion Students audio/video series on my  Fashion CAD OpenCourseWare site that is now available to anyone for non-commercial use. The level I & II Basic Function Adobe series (TeacherTube, YouTube and BlipTV) videos have already (at this post) had about 23,000 views since I bagan uploading them last December. Educators are more then welcome to use these basic function videos as resources for Fashion Photoshop and Illustrator courses. My own students view the videos that I create directly from the college servers.

When I taught one week customized Adobe workshop for retailers the first two 8 hour days consisted of reviewing level I & II of Adobe Photoshop basic functions and Level I & II Illustrator basic functions. All designers come into a company with differing Adobe skills background and these basic function reviews got us all to the same level to address specialized skill building functions that a company requests.

This spring is the second time I am teaching the Intro to Second Life for Fashion Project as part of my FashionCAD class. This project is only for a 6-7 week portion of my 15 week FashionCAD course. In addition to many other projects involving skill building in Illustrator and Photoshop, students develop several garments in Virtual Fashion PRO. It s a jam packed highly accelerated course.

  from www.teachertube.com posted with vodpod

 My apologies for uploading the raw video of  the Buffalo State Island fashion Project by mistake and linking it here – I managed to get the edited version of the TeacherTube video uploaded and posted to this WordPress Blog with VodPod.

This video will provide you with a tour of the fashion project areas on the Buffalo State island in second Life. It starts out in front of the Research building and shows you how to copy or buy for $0L flexi skirts and use the video tutorials. Then you fly to the students work pier and can copy/or buy for $0L the Franimation Overider. There is an example of the student fashion vendor exhibit there as well as a new Jim Wheeling vendor for you to copy and/or buy for $0L. A student example of a Brand Logo board is also there. Then we fly to Poseball area and pose our avatar to position it for a Snapshot to disk. Next, we fly up to the Fashion Runway and wear the Franimation Overider and practice walk up and down the runway.

 Now it’s time to teleport over to the student fashion collection vendor exhibits from last springs Intro to Sl project. Then we walk over to the Sears Industry exhibit and dress our avatar in one of the garments. Now we visit three of the student fashion boutiques and wear some of the SL items and check out the same items in RL on the students ZAZZLE pages. The tour concludes by showing you how to operate the fashion project slide show in the big black box over the exhibit pier.

The goal for the Intro to SL project is to get acclimated to Second Life as quickly as possible and begin immediately creating fashion garments using the Appearance Menu, then they add their custom textures to flexiskirts [after they practice with the ones on the BS Island] and build simple prims to add to the fashion outfits they create. Students have already researched color palettes and developed a series of print and weave patterns for previous assignments. They can convert these previous assignments for uploading to SL.

Some of the assignments for this project are:

  • Snapshot of fashion outfit created in Appearance
  • Create and upload a T-Shirt using Robin Woods T-Shirt Tutorial
  • Snapshot of T-shirt on posed Avatar
  • Four complete fashion garments w/ snapshots Created in Appearance with a combination of flexi skirts and simple prims.
  • One outfit w/snapshot using a portion of the outfit that was created using Robin Woods UV template.
  • Posed mannequins w/ transparent backgrounds of all fashion garments uploaded to SL Presentation
  • Presentation packages created and loaded with fashion outfits [all permissions opened]
  • Fashion Vendor exhibit (Jim Wheelings SL Vendor) customized with your textures and loaded with Fashion Collection.
  • Develop Fashion Brand Logo and Upload.
  • Create image of entire SL fashion collection.
  • Select music from Creative Commons and practice walking with animation overrider.
  • Place fashion vendor exhibit in display area
  • Create video of Fashion show.

After my first introduction to SL last spring students communicated on a feedback questionnaire that they really liked flying and making fashion in Second Life. They were not too crazy with the file organizational requirements. This is something as an instructor that I find very valuable for students, since organizational skills are critical for working professionally in groups once they are in the real working world. My belief is that one of the most important skills the fashion students gain from their SL experience is to learn to conceptualize, create and work together in a 3D virtual environment. The fashion product development and marketing worlds are moving swiftly towards multidimensional applications.

I have tried to set up my OpenCourseWare Website with a breakdown summary of the sequence we work on with the Intro to Second Life project. I use an ANGEL teaching site with the class and I post notes, communicate directly with students and post grades there. We meet in RL and SL and I do multiple demos during class. This semester I have tried to reduce the stress, increase the student skill levels and also reduce my need for repetition by creating a series of videos with audio for the projects I assign.

I use links to popular SL video tutorials for general Getting Started in Second Life introductory skills. For the specialized fashion skills we work on I have created a series of about twenty videos i uploaded to Teacher Tube. I plan to modify and update them this coming summer but I wanted to get them posted quickly to serve as an aid for others wanting to integrate a SL fashion Project into their classes. My students use video links to the servers at the college.  Here is the Link to my Intro to Fashion Stuff in Second Life Group page on Teacher Tube.

On my FashionCAD OpenCourseWare site I have posted a series of ten modules for Intro to Fashion in SL. I have placed the TeacherTube videos on the appropriate pages in addition to notes and assignments. The flexi skirts, textures, [112,110,25 on BS island in SL] animation overriders [92,13,23 on BS Island in SL] that are used on the video tutorials are all on the  Buffalo State Island in Second Life. Here is a link to a note I included explaining why I created the Intro to SL Fashion series. You are welcome to use the material on a non-commercial basis for yourself or your classes.

Adobe Photoshop Level One Introduction to Adobe Photoshop Basic Function series

Level Two: Photoshop Functions

Adobe Illustrator Level One: Introduction to Adobe Illustrator Functions

Level Two: Illustrator Functions

Practice Assignments: Level One Adobe PS & ILL Basic Functions

Introduction to Second Life for Fashion Students

SURL – BSC Fashion Student exhibit in SL

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