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Posts Tagged ‘Second Life’

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.

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.

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 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.

Second Life II: First Virtual Fashion Class

April 20, 2008 3 comments

 Last Spring 2007 I had several posts relating to the first BSC Introduction to Fashion in Second Life Project on this blog.

I am currently working with a new Intro to Second Life class this spring [Intro to Second Life: Part I]  and I will share more of that in the next post, but I also completed a class last fall 2007 that I would like to share with you in this post. [note: see Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08']}

I finally got a chance to document the assignments and links to some student work from a class I held in the fall of 2007 titled Virtual Fashion. This class was a continuation of the Introduction To Fashion in Second Life Project that I incorporated into my FashionCAD class the previous spring. The class began with introducing students to various Web 2.0 applications that they could incorporate into the virtual fashion class. I have posted a series of assignments that students completed in the class.

Assignment #1:
Establishment of a WordPress Blog: Student set up free WordPress bolgs to document the project we worked on in the Virtual Fashion class.

Assignment #2:
Establishment of a FLICKR sites. Students set up free FLICKR accounts to upload Second Life images that would be linked to their WordPress blog.

Assignment #3:
DEL.ICIO.US accounts Students set up DEL.ICIO.US accounts to keep a record of the Web research they conducted.

Assignment #4:
BLOGHUD accounts Students set up free Second Life BLOGHUD accounts to document their Second Life explorations.

Assignment #5:
The first assignment (and WordPress entry) involved visiting some Second Life fashion establishments. We all had an excellent in-world treat visiting Sheliei Winkler’s [aka: Shenlei Flashart]. Shenlei is the director of the Fashion Research Instituteand is on the cutting edge of integrating virtual world product development for the fashion industry.  Shenlei who is a master builder and fashion designer in Sl and RL was an excellent presenter to the fashion students that were new to Second Life.

Assignment #6:
Each student set up a free Zazzle account and upload designs to it. ZAZZLE is a site where you can upload your designs and potential clients can choose custom items to purchase with your design. The designer earns a percentage of the total cost of the item. It’s a wonderful intro to mass customization and personalization business experience with no overhead costs to the designer. They posted an entry on their blog.

Assignment #7:
Students uploaded about 10-12 repeat pattern textures to Second Life. Students could also use high resolution versions of these designs to place on various ZAZZLE products. They posted their texture collections on to their blogs.

Assignment #8:

Go and purchase a Loop Rez Deluze in SL and sue it to develop your own flexi skirt designs. Here is a link to ged’s anti-blog, there is a link to a link to a tutorial there.

Assignment #9:
Virtual Store Layout and Design Project – Students developed their own virtual world fashion boutique concept and built their customized version in Second Life. An example of MeuMeu’s fashion boutique in different stages of construction is displayed below, beneath that is Jade Seilings fashion boutique and under Jade’s is Fausto’s Boutique. Student posted these entries to their individual blogs. SL locations of individual student boutiques in SL on the Buffalo State island are:

Jade Seilling [aka:Christina Jade]: 210,47,37MeuMeu\'s SL Fashion Botique
MeuMeu: 212.24,31
Fausto: 242,15,34
Sleena Ivory: 205,72,38

SURL – BSC Fashion Student exhibit in SL

Go to the Buffalo State island. Open the MAP and click on it to activate the red circle location icon. Type in the coordinates listed above for the different boutique locations and teleport over.

 

Chrintina Jade's botique

 

Assignment #10: Simultaneous real world virtual world marketing project.
Students developed their custom ZAZZLE page to include 10-12 designs and replicated these RL designs in SL to place into their customized SL fashion boutiques. They created product presentation packages in SL that included a pose of their avatar wearing the t-shirt they designed. The permissions were set on the SL presentation packages so that anyone could get a free copy of the t-shirt for their avatar to wear in SL. Each presentation package also included a Web link to their ZAZZLE page that had a RL version of the same design that could be purchased in RL. The presentation packages are displayed in their customized SL fashion boutiques. They posted this entry on to their blogs. Below are examples of MeuMeu’s SL ZAZZLE packages [larger images are on MeuMeu's Webblog.]

 

 

 

Assignment #11:
Industry Project – During the course of this class we had an opportunity to collaborate with a contact from Sears. Each student located two RL items for sale on the Sears Web site and developed replicas of those items for SL. Web links to the RL item were added to the SL item. Since this project was completed in the fall of 2007, all the RL items from the Sears pages were sold out – all that remains are the SL items. All completed SL items were sent to the Sears contact to conduct some in world marketing research on simultaneous virtual and real world promotion. The location of the Sears student exhibit on the Buffalo State Island in SL is 228,82,38

 

Sears Project in SL with Buffalo State Fashion students

Assignment #12:
Virtual Fashion Pro and POSER – the last project in this class involved developing custom garments in Virtual fashion Pro and exporting them to Poser. In Poser student posed the fashion and photographed them for their professional portfolio. An example of MeuMeu’s poser example is posted below.

 

Here are the WordPress blog links for some of the Virtual Fashion Students that participated in this project:

 

Intro to Second Life: Part I

March 24, 2008 1 comment

Sorry it has been so long since my last post but I have been very busy with teaching and traveling to a conference. I will try to make up for that this week during spring break.

A new beginning Second Life Class project in my current FashionCAD class is starting every Tuesday on the Buffalo State Island. I will try too post what we are doing week to week. During the last two hours of the four hour class on 3/18/08, I demonstrated what it was like to walk, fly, text and look around in Second Life. I teleported to the Buffalo State island and showed students what other students have completed in past Second Life projects.

Then I asked students in the class to sign up for Second Life and their assignment for the next class  [after the spring break 3/31/08] was to complete the self-tutorial on Orientation Island and send me (via-email) their real name and their SL avatar name.

Here is a link to the last Intro to FashionCAD project post in my spring 2007 FashionCAD class.

To be continued in this post… Fashion CAD OpenCourseWare Basic Function Series: Intro to Second Life for Fashion Students

On another note, there was a recent article printed in Buffalo Business First March 17th by Tracey Drury about the Second Life projects at Buffalo State titled, “High fashion, virtually with cyber designs.”

Teaching and Learning in Four Dimensions, April 25th, 2008 at FIT

Teaching and Learning in Four Dimensions will be the theme of Technology Day at FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology] in New Your City on April 25th, 2008.

 The deadline for submitting a proposal is March 15th. Proposals should be no more than 250 words. Possible topics include innovative approaches to online learning, teaching with technology in a specific discipline, hybrid (blended) learning, collaborative teaching models, best practices in using instructional technology, faculty support models, assessing student learning with technology.

 Here is the Technology Day at FIT link.

I will be one of the speakers, my presentation is titled, My Avatar Myself: How Avatars are Transforming Product Development, Marketing, Retailing and Education.

Also presenting will be:

  • W. James Au & Janine Hawkins, “The Second Life of Fashion Design: Metaverse as Prototype Platform”
  • Shenlei Winkler, Fashion Research Institute
    Leveraging the Power of Virtual Worlds for Product Design
  • Raymond Yee, Author of Pro Web 2.0 Mashups: Remixing Data and Web Services
  • Mary Ellen Gordon,
    Dressing for Two: What Avatars and their Humans Buy and Wear
  • Louise Guay, CEO of My Virtual Model

FIT @ SL VIDEO

December 9, 2007 Leave a comment

This is the FIT@SL video post from the presentations at FIT 12/4/07.

Watch the Video!

It’s a MOV file that needs Quicktime and it takes a bit long to download but I think you will enjoy it.

Fashion + Virtual + Technology

December 8, 2007 4 comments

I received an excellent link about virtual technology and the fashion industry from JeanRicard Broek this evening. It’s called Tech and fashion just off the runway, posted by Candace Lombardi, 12/04/07.

One of the links was all about the meeting at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Boston this past Tuesday. The event was hosted by Moda e Technologia.There were some big players there including Linden Labs and MVM.

The talk there was about the fashion industries virtually developing worlds that focus on the themes and lifestyles that they try to develop with their fashion collections and brands.

The hope is that infusing fashion into the virtual worlds will pull in shoppers that otherwise would not even think to venture into the virtual worlds. I respectfully suggest that they focus primarely on the tweens that are already addicted to the various proprietary virtual worlds. The only way you will get the masses to shop in a virtual world on a mass market level is through the Web Browser – get busy developers…..Linden Lab? IBM? MetaPlace? MVM? Free the Avatars for all of us!

Boy oh boy do I agree with the quote from Dennis Valle, director of media interaction at Dolce & Gabbana, who said that “the move to digital is a big jump that will require teaching a whole industry a new vocabulary and explanation of context.”

Hey Dennis – the move to digital was 20 years ago – the move now is to 3D virtual reality – I believe that is what you were referring to. The move to virtual is now rapidly converging from all directions and if you think it’s going to be a big job to teach the industry how would you like to try to change the monolithic educational system to respond to today’s fast changing virtual technology advances?

I loved the question that the audience asked of Louise Guay from MVM, they must have delighted her.

The other article in CNET News titled, ” CAD software is the new black
By Candace Lombardi, 12/07/07

Now this is an area (CAD for textiles & apparel) I definitely have expertise in because I have been researching, teaching, retooling and developing coursework in this area for about 20 years now. In fact, the title of my M.F.A. thesis was “CAD Applications for textiles,” (are you ready?) in 1989!

Actually the article was quite through with mentioning the major CAD players except for the BIG exclusion of OptiTex – the top of the line unparalled 3D product development application and of course SymmetryWorks and ClicDesign plug ins for Adobe. Here is a link to my previous post on Optitex: It’s a Reality: Optitex Enables Total Integration 2D>3D>2D Fashion Product Development

avatar-jeans-dress-444x548.jpg
Do you believe this?

Lectra and Gerber are very, very big players but their 3D applications are late comers and are behind the application development and upgrading of OptiTex.  Did you see the promotional Gerber 3D virtual images above with the ragged white pixels  around the virtual figures? I don’t even believe that one. They both have loads of other fashion/textile/product development related software though.


I don’t get it?

I must say I downloaded and explored the (Lectra) Kaledo 3D Trend application (pictured above) several months ago and for the love of me I could not figure out why someone would want to do 3D virtual trend presentation in a proprietary application (that they pay $$ for) when they could do exactly the same thing and much more (trend presentation and product development) in Second Life (which is free) and actually present it to your clients in a virtual setting similar to the product lifecycle management solution that the Fashion Research Institute is developing with IBM.

The article concludes with the Lectra Americas President David Rode stating that “he’s very interested to see how fashion executives respond to the idea of designing for avatars and extending their visions into the virtual space.”  Quite frankly, so am I. Good luck David getting the fashion executives to wrap their 2D minds around that virtual vision, you should journal that research project.  You will have your work cut out for you as I am sure some of them are still struggling with the digital transformation that took place 20 years ago. I hear from various industry sources that the need to continually upgrade hardware/software just to keep pace with the rapid advances currently taking place in the industry is not always welcomed or understood…in this country at least.  I think you may have more luck with the product lifecycle solution or the 3D virtual Web Browser that will surely come soon…. FREE THE AVATARS!
 
Thank you JeanRicard.

Today’s Post on FIT @ SL Blog

December 5, 2007 2 comments

Here is my post from the http://fitsl.wordpress.com/ summerizing my Presentation at FIT last Friday 11/30/07 and today 12/04/07 along with Beth Harris, Shenlei Winkler, and Nyla Kazakoff. Here is a link to some Flickr images from SL. Hopefully Beth or Shenlei will add some RL images.

FITat SL POST: ELaine Polvinen:
Teaching Fashion in a Virtual Environment
 

shenlei_nyla_elaine.jpg
Left to right: Shenlei, Elaine and Nyla in SL
Elaine is wearing one of Nyla’s fashions

Buffalo State Fashion Student Exhibit SURL 

Beth spoke about her first experiences in SL and that she too was questioning the value that a virtual world could provide to educators. She spoke about how excited she felt when she arranged to meet up with a RL friend that she had not seen in a long time in SL. The emotional connection she experienced meeting that person in SL was totally new to her and far more connected then she thought could be possible in a virtual world. She has been researching the teaching possibilities every since.

Nyla [House of Nyla] spoke about how her virtual SL development is extending her RL designer brand on an international level and Shenlei Winkler [FRI] spoke about her research with the speed and cost effectiveness of product development in a virtual world. Shenlei is a RL fashion design product developer on a mass market level.  She stated that the entire fashion product development process is currently undergoing rapid transformation over to virtual development. Development in a virtual world will enable fashion product developers to instantly “connect virtually” to work on design, develop and prototype a new product in a fraction of the time it take in the RL. Here is an article titled, ” Will your SL wardrobe soon be coming to a closet near you?” by Scarlett Qi that was posted today about her work in the SLNN Business News.

Nyla and Shenlei will be posting their summary on the FIT @ SL soon.

Beth and Shenlei were there in person and Nyla and I were in Second Life. This was a real experience for me especially since I was in the middle of a SUNY Project LIVE presentation at Monroe Community College last Friday and I left to participate virtually in the presentation at FIT. Talk about multi-tasking! At the same time my BSC students were watching audio/videos that I made to cover our weekly class scheduled at the same time. Whew! Technology is wonderful ….when it all works.

When it doesn’t you must always have a plan A, plan B, plan C, etc.

Part 1: Avatars in Second Life for Retail Marketing? It’s Not Only Coming – it’s Here!

September 10, 2007 1 comment

 There is an emergence of the virtual avatar as a fashion marketing and product development tool. An avatar is a graphical image of the viewer that is widely used in massively multi-user online virtual reality environments and games.  Avatars are currently emerging in the retail sector as an idealized generic and/or customized marketing tool for an expanding variety of fashion products. The combined marketing promotion of H&M and The Sims to integrate H&M into the Sims game as well as the Sims and H&M Virtual Runway Fashion Design Competition represents the branding impact of fashion in virtual worlds. According to the recent article in the International Herald Tribune titled “Fashion Giants are Venturing in Virtual Worlds,”  the world is not big enough for the global fashion community.”

Real ballerina, left, and virtual ballerina.

H&M is at the forefront of virtual branding with this promotion and it is only a matter of time before other retailers will really catch on to the marketing power of virtual fashion competitions and brand identity. Check out the Virtual Value” trend from the 2008 Trendwatching Report.  

Every virtual marketing strategy requires careful research to analyze the target demographic but Second Life teen grid and main grid is overflowing with interest in virtual fashion. A carefully planned virtual marketing campaign for the Harry potter IMAX movie resulted in 15,000 contacts in the target demographic. 

A number of retailers are paying attention to the marketing/branding potential that virtual worlds like Second Life can provide. A real life version of the virtual Second Life firstbling™ necklace emerged just before the recent SLCC 2007 convention. The integration of the virtual world and fashion can only add up to strategic virtual promotional and marketing campaigns, and embedded virtual branding potential for retailers on an international level.

Lacoste recently ran a virtual modeling contest in Second Life for L1$ million. The House of Nyla has a Second Life link on her Web site to promote her virtual fashion location in Second Life. Nyla is a Vancouver Designer who creates one of a kind clothing from Bridal to Avant Garde. She has an excellent link on her site to a video aptly titled “Tex 100 Brand Building in Second Life.” A recent short U-Tube video titled “Brands in Second Life,” reviews some of the branded builds in Second Life.

The British branding firm Rivers Run Red is working with real-world fashion firms and media companies inside Second Life, where they’re creating designs that can be viewed in all their 3D glory by colleagues anywhere in the world. According to Business Week, the branding firm is working with a consortia of more then 200 companies (including retail giant Wal-Mart) to present how virtual worlds can be used for training marketing, collaboration and product development. So convinced of the value of the virtual presence and future marketing impact of Second Life is the Rivers Run Red firm that the CEO, Justin Bovington has set up shop on the virtual island of Avalon. He claims that the virtual presence has saved his company big $$$.  The company recently collaborated with Scarlett Johansson, to release a new line of real-life clothing that will also be offered in Second Life. Inspired by real world collections some virtual Second Life versions are available and can be viewed at Mrs Jones Love, Set & Match.

Bershka (a Spanish brand) has a virtual fashion presence in Second Life and promotes it on the Website.

To be continued….

NMC 2007 Learning Exposition Exhibit

September 9, 2007 Leave a comment

Learning Exposition Exhibit, originally uploaded by finn1flintlock.

This is me posing (on a poseball stand) in my booth at the NMC 2007 Symposium on Creativity this past August. Here is the post from the NMC 2007 Learning Exposition.

SLCC 2007 Education Track

September 9, 2007 1 comment

Last week the Buffalo News Link published an article “ Second Life Attendees Gather in Real World,” (9/3/07) about The recent Second Life Community Convention (SLCC2007)  August 24-26th, 2007 that was recently held in Chicago. I was disappointed to see that the primary focus of the article was on the “work hard – play hard,”  “large attendance,” and the “masquerade ball.” It was obvious to me that the article (and many articles articles on Second Life) are written by writers that appear only to have a narrowly focused real life (RL) perspective of what Second Life (SL) is about. There was no real mention of involvement of the SLCC2007 Business Track, the Machinima track or the Education tracks in the article.

Finn1 FLintlock

As representatives from Buffalo State College, I went to the convention with the Associate VP of Library and Instructional Technology. I am the coordinator of the Fashion Textile Technology Program.  The presentation room was overflowing with interested educators; it was standing room only for the presentations. The atmosphere was open, sharing, and collaborative from educators working in a variety of disciplines from around the world. As an educator it inspired hope for the future of education on a global level. There was no sign of educational quagmire anywhere in the room! All educational disciplines were eager to explore linking possibilities or share information.We both presented there and links to the Proceedings to the entire Educational Workshop as well as individual links to our presentations are posted below. The preface as well as the varied educational projects in the proceedings puts the rapid growth and potential for building international educational communities Second Life in perspective.

  

One last note about the SLCC convention, the Sunday morning general meeting included a preview of Douglas Gayeton’s new documentary, “My Second Life: The Video Diaries of Molotov Alva.” The Machinima clip was really good and they announced that HBO picked up several episodes.

NMC 2007 Symposium on Creativity in Second Life

September 9, 2007 2 comments

I want to let anyone reading this blog know what a wonderful, enriching, educational, and creative experience my week at the NMC 2007 Symposium on Creativity, August 12-18th, 2007 has been. I only regret not being able to spend more time there. I was quite stressed in the beginning because this was all still somewhat new to me and I wanted to do my very best for the NMC Symposium on Creativity in Second Life.  The entire staff as well as the participants was exceptional with their openness and willingness to assist, facilitate and help everything to go as smooth as possible. Meeting and connecting with so many others that believed in sharing, learning together, and everyone helping each other to move forward towards their individual goals was a total joy.  

I participated in a booth display at the Learning Exposition in the NMC Conference Center. My display was titled: Innovative Pedagogical Techniques for Fashion Education in Second Life.” I also presented an hour in-world session titled, “Expeditious Fashion Basics with a Creative Twist.”   This 60 minute session expeditiously introduced and provided materials and information to participants for developing (and organizing) an inventory of basic fashion outfits.  The session included several basic fashion suits, shoes, ties, wigs, and flexi skirts for m/f avatars (w/all permissions opened) that could be modified during the session.  The session also included several large original texture collections that participants were free to use to expand and modify their current clothing folders. The original texture collections included with the session are compliments of Fashion and Fiber Design students.  The entire session had a link to a web-site with video tutorials.  

Here is a link to some images I snapped during my week at the Symposium.  If you look over the images I posted on Flickr, you will notice the virtual images of DanCoyote’s  ZeroG SkyDancer Performance. It was an indescribable experience for me to be able to view this virtual live performance from any one point of an xyz 360 degree angle as it was actually happening! It was aesthetically and technically stimulating to the senses. After experiencing a full virtual week’s participation at the NMC Symposium I can definitely agree with many others that the real value of second life is building many types of learning communities. The networking possibilities are spectacular and unlimited. The primary focus should not merely be replicating things from the real world but making contacts, building new learning communities, exploring and experimenting with the potential of this new virtual world where anything “is” quite possible.closing session at NMC 2007The closing session was excellent, it included an amazing  video titled “Watch the World’s),”that perfectly exemplifies all the unlimited exciting creative possibilities a virtual world can provide for networking, education and creative expression, a keynote address by Larry Johnson (aka: Larry Pixel) on “Why Creativity Matters” and a Virtual Panel Session from participants located all over the globe titled,” Reflections on Creativity in Second Life.”
Here is a link to the week’s events at the NMC Symposium on Creativity:
Here are some audio/video links from the Symposium
Please tell anyone there interested in Second Life to have their organization join the NMC in  RL as well as joining the NMC Guest group in SL to visit this amazing collaborative educational complex in SL.
Many colleges appear to have a primary educational island sim and several attached specialized learning sims for different generalized areas of study. Hopefully we are starting to create a base foundation for that with the initial establishment of the Buffalo State Island. We still have to surmount the hardware/security issues but we work very hard to accommodate anyone on campus that wants to research and explore the possibilities in SL. 

NMC is a wonderful mechanism to link internationally to others with similar interests. This is an area that can be really be developed for faculty as well as to encourage students to meet others, experience other cultures virtually and follow-up with a RL exchange that was initiated by an NMC International Linking initiative.

Virtual Fashion Project Spring 2007

September 9, 2007 3 comments

It’s been far too long since I posted to this Virtual Fashion Technology Blog and much has happened since I traveled to Toronto to participate in the IFFTI concerence at Ryerson. I will try to catch up with the last several months of activity this weekend.In the last 7 weeks of the spring 2007 semester, my class completed a Virtual Fashion Project that led to some exciting discoveries of how virtual simulations can enhance and expand fashion education.As soon as I returned from the IFFTI 2007 conference, my class started really getting into the Virtual Fashion project that we had planned for the second half of the Fashion CAD course in the Fashion Textile Technology Program at Buffalo State College. The project involved Second Life and Virtual Fashion PRO®. It was purely an exploratory undertaking. I first heard of Second Life last fall (2006) when I saw an article by Andrew Lavalle published in the Wall Street Journal online about a virtual fashion designer making a living on designing virtual clothing. The entire concept was hard for me to take serious as virtual worlds were not in myt “digital relam” up until that point. But It peaked my interest and I began to think about exploring the possibilities of simulating fashion education concepts in Second Life.

That initial curiosity lead to formulation of a BSC SL Campus Pilot Group and the SUNY Research Foundation sponsoring an educational island in Second Life for campus projects. We set up a WIKI to document our exploration. Here is a link to a video clip the campus group created this past summer.

The results for the multidisciplinary field of Fashion were exciting to say the least. Multiple aspects of fashion design, development, merchandising, advertising and promotion can benefit from developing custom project simulations in the virtual world.
For example, the virtual world would be an excellent environment for simulated development of a virtual business plan, theme, store layout and design, branding, product development and marketing. All the aspects involved in real world production of a fashion show can be simulated in the virtual world as well as fashion product design, development and presentation.The virtual world of Second Life provides students with the advantage of gaining a specialized conceptual skill set from working in a 3D virtual reality environment that is free to access. This open source virtual world will begin to prepare students for emerging employer expectations.3D virtual reality course materials and development in Second Life will also pave the way for exploration into the possibilities of development of long distance shared courseware and student/faculty/program collaborations.

 
 

Virtual Fashion PRO Fashion Layout

I have placed extensive documentation relating to the process of the Virtual Fashion Project on the BSC WIKI.  I have also compiled a FAQ page to address the many questions others have asked me about the project.

The final projects from the students for the 7 week virtual fashion project involve a SL virtual fashion show video (example above) from each student, an in world virtual fashion vendor exhibit and professional portfolio layouts created in Virtual Fashion PRO® (example above). Students designed the garments and surface textures.

Virtual Fashion FRI Spring/Summer 2010 Courses

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