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Posts Tagged ‘Virtual Fashion’

Virtual Retail Sales are Hot, Hot Hot!

December 28, 2009 1 comment

This week there is a MUST READ article by By Jayne O’Donnell, USA TODAY titled,” Unlike reality, virtual retail sales are hot, especially for avatars. ” The article verifies the trends that the Fashion Research Institute has previously concluded. Millions of people are buying virtual fashion items and sales are booming.

There is a section that illustrates CEOS’ AVATARS: What virtual-world execs find fashionable. Mark Kingdon CEO of  Linden Lab, Neil Edwards CEO of Cellufun and Cary Rosenzweig CEO of  IMVU are pictured along with their customized avatars.

Second Life CEO Mark Kingdon states that perhaps the bad economic conditions in the real world are positively impacting sales in the virtual worlds.

“Virtual goods cost a fraction of what goods cost in the real world,” Kingdon says. “You can get a beautiful pair of white ice skates for … less than $2.”

The USA Today article has a short explanation of how the buying and selling process works in a virtual world but if you want to know how it works in Second Life – listen to Missy’s virtual internship interview. Missy’s SL Virtual Internship Interview I ask Missy to explain the entire buying and selling process of virtual fashion goods in Second Life.

The USA Today article goes on to state that:

“IMVU, a social-networking site and virtual world that caters to 13- to 24-year-olds, does more than $2 million in sales each month. Almost all of the virtual goods sold on IMVU are made by users, who keep the proceeds. IMVU makes its money selling the credits used to buy virtual goods. Overall December sales are expected to be up 20% over November, and sales will be about $22 million this year, mostly from the direct sale of virtual credits to users.”

In an earlier guest post FRI: Virtual Fashion Internships by Shenlei Winkler [CEO of Fashion Research Institute], she summarized current retail fashion trends for the virtual world:

“we think the virtual goods marketplace will burgeon rapidly. In 2007, virtual goods accounted for $2.6 billion in sales.  Although the total value of virtual goods pales in comparison to the $1.7 trillion apparel industry, this market compares very favorably with the accessories market which generates about $1.8 billion in sales.  Various analyst reports indicate that the virtual goods marketplace is set to double in 2010.  Fashion designers are often encouraged to move into handbags and other accessories to add a new revenue stream and enable brand extension.  With virtual goods slated to open up further in 2010, designers should definitely consider this new niche market they can readily move into which can help them generate more sales in a completely new area.”

The growing trends of virtual fashion sales and the translation into real currency for this market translates into viable reasons for fashion education to begin addressing the niche market of virtual fashion.

Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection

December 9, 2009 2 comments

Here are the images from Missy Lavecchia”s Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection. These are the fashions created for Missy’s first solo show in Second Life last Monday evening titled “Jewels of Winter”.

You don’t actually have to be in-world to purchase these virtual garments. You can go to the Xstreet SL Marketplace, purchase them there and they will automatically be delivered to your inventory in-world or if you purchase them as a gift they will be delivered to your gift recipients inventory in world.

Here is a link to Missy’s Bella Fantastique - Midnight Sparkle collection at Xstreet. If the link does not work correctly go to Xstreet SL Marketplace and search for “Bella Fantastique – Midnight Sparkle.”


Links to other related blog postings about Missy:

Missy Lavecchia First Solo Show

December 7, 2009 4 comments

 

Missy Lavecchia had her first solo in-world show and exhibition this evening from 7-8pm ET with Jewels of Winter. The show was well attended and the fashion model exhibits were exquisite. I tried to catch some snapshots but I was having technical issues – I only caught a  few images. I was having difficulties with my video capture as well  - what I did manage to get was choppy but it will give you can idea of the exhibits. [UPDATE: Here is a link to Missy's Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection that was exhibited at her first solo show.]

The setting was a magical winter wonderland. You teleported in to a circular boardwalk that spanned around the exhibition area. The outside perimeters of the boardwalk had mini exhibits with Missy’s fashions and the central area of the boardwalk had multiple models skating and continually moving about. All exhibits had large wrapped presents and the tags contained the fashion garments that were for sale. The prices were exceptionally reasonable.

Kuddos to Missy and also to her in-world mentor Shenlei Winkler from the Fashion Research Institute.

Here is a link to her XStreet fashion items.

Other blog postings related to Missy:

  • Missy’s SL Virtual Internship Interview
  • Virtual Fashion Internship Follow-Up Questions
  • Missy Lavecchia in Jewels of Winter
  • Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection
  • Missy Lavecchia in Jewels of Winter

    December 5, 2009 3 comments

     

    Please try to attend the student fashion installation in Second Life this Monday, December 7th from 7-8PM ET [4PM SLT/PT] for Missy Lavecchia, a Buffalo State fashion student. Missy has been interning for the past 9 months with  Shenlei Winkler [aka: Shenlei Flasheart in SL] from the Fashion Research Institute. This installation will represent Missy’s first solo show in Second Life.

    Shenlei Winkler, CEO pf the  Research Institute states that:

     “Missy will be showing formal gowns developed in rich jewel tones in honor of the holiday season.  Her gowns, fittingly enough, will be presented in an opulent winter wonderland of snow and ice.  A dozen gorgeous models and 4 handsome gentlemen callers will showcase Missy’s romantic gowns in a tableaux befitting the set.

    Please join us on Monday December 7th, at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT in Shengri La Second Life to celebrate the outstanding work of this star performer as her models show her work with aplomb.

    Here’s the SLurl Link to teleport you into SL for Missy’s show: The set will not be open to the public until 7 pm ET promptly – early arrivals will just end up wandering aimlessly around in our marketplace so please wait until 7pm ET to teleport over.”

    Missy has the Bella Fantastique boutique in Second Life. Here is a SLURL link to her boutique.

    Other blog postings related to Missy:

  • Missy’s SL Virtual Internship Interview
  • Virtual Fashion Internship Follow-Up Questions
  • Missy Lavecchia First Solo Show
  • Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection
  • First (Ever!) Virtual World-Based Fashion Design Conference

    December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

    Head on over to Shenlei Winkler’s [FRI] post detailing last minute preparation for the Threading the Needle Fashion Design Conference

    Patterning History:
    Preparing for the First (Ever!)
    Virtual World-Based
    Fashion Design Conference.

    I visited the conference area in the images below. Shenlei orientated my avatar and provided it with clothing, hair, skin and shoes. Thank you Shenlei! Here is a link to the FRI orientation page. I visited the conference area where I will be presenting.

    I managed to snap an image of Steven Zucker obsessing about his avatar’s nose. It look just fine to me Steven! :)

    Threading the Needle:The Future of Fashion Design Conference

    November 28, 2009 2 comments

    Fashion Research Institute  will be presenting and sponsoring the first virtual world-based fashion design conference in history. It is titled: Threading the Needle: The Future of Fashion Design. This is a free conference for for fashion design students and new designers it will run will run Thursday, December 3rd from 8 am – 5 pm EDT.

    Conference speakers include Kerry Bannigan (CEO, Nolcha Fashion Week); Fiona Jenvey (CEO, Mudpie); Beth Harris (Director of Digital Learning, MOMA-NYC); Crosby Noricks (Founder, PR Couture); Suzie Norris-Reeves (FHEA, Head of School, Southampton Solent University); Elaine Polvinen (Professor & Coordinator – Fashion Textile Technology, Buffalo State University); Michiel Thissen  (Founder, Mythos Consultancy); Shenlei Winkler (CEO, Fashion Research Institute); Steven Zucker (Dean of Graduate Studies, FIT).

    The conference is free for all attendees – simply create a user account on the ScienceSim grid at sciencesim.com. Then download the software, and log in. It’s that simple, and both the software and the conference are free. 

    You will need to make a simple change to the viewer to ‘point’ it to ScienceSim:

     When you start the Hippo viewer, click on the “Grids” button to select one of the grids. The first time you run Hippo, you will need to click on the “Grids” button. Click on the “Add” button at the top, enter the URL http://grid.sciencesim.com/ in the Login URI field, then click on the “Get Grid Info” button to fill in the details. If you will be using Hippo exclusively to access the ScienceSim grid, then make sciencesim the default.

    Attendees will want to log in a little early and customize their avatars, so they feel comfortable with their avatar representation and with the interface.  There are 45 minute orientation sessions which will be provided on November 19th and 26th from 1-2 pm EDT, and November 29 from 9-10 am EDT.  Experienced mentors will be on hand to guide you through the orientation, which takes about 30 minutes, with 15 minutes to customize your avatar.

    For more information, please visit http://needlethreading.com/ or contact admin @ fashionresearchinstitute.com.

    FRI: Virtual Fashion Internships

    November 24, 2009 2 comments
    Shineli Winkler, CEO of FRI

    [Note: this is a guest post by Shenlei Winkler, CEO of the Fashion Research Institute, Inc., 419 Lafayette, NYC, NY 10013 [ph 646-688-4042] [fx 646-688-4043]

    • Author, Designing Dreams: Best Practices for the Art & Business of Avatar Apparel Design & Development
    • Author, Shengri La Spirit: A Designer’s Perspective of the Making of OpenSim

    Fashion Research Institute has been working in virtual worlds for the past few years, exploring them as platforms and tools for use by the $1.7 trillion apparel industry.  We have since developed a design application, Black Dress Design Studio, which is currently in closed alpha. Black Dress shows promise of being a disruptive technology for the industry, as well as a game changer for the way product is developed in both apparel and in the much larger soft consumer goods industries.

    As we worked in the virtual world space, our understanding of both the potential power and range of the platform, and our understanding of how to educate fashion designers using virtual world platforms grew and changed.  We knew that understanding how people learn is as critical to our success in bringing our application to market as making sure the application is ‘right’.  With that understanding as a basis, we launched a series of educational programs, which currently include our Shengri La Marketplace program and our student internships.

    Both of these programs focus on educating designers and helping them achieve their dreams.  There are critical differences: the Marketplace program is intended to help designers of virtual goods, or ‘virtua’, develop their label in these virtual spaces.  These designers have varying educational backgrounds and they have a burning desire to create within virtual worlds.  Their product is not intended to ever be manufactured in the industrial complex, nor will it be sold through usual apparel industry retail channels.  This product is sold to the users of avatars for some of the same reasons we buy real life apparel – we want to customize our appearance in a way that sends a message to people who see us.  Obviously in a virtual world we don’t need to be concerned about fit or function, nor on manufacturability, which can be very freeing for the creative spirit.  The Marketplace program has a rolling admission deadline.

    The internship program, in contrast, is designed to teach fashion student designers how to go through the process of developing a collection from original concept to final runway show.  Using virtual worlds as the platform, we take our interns through a fast-paced development sequence where they learn about both the art and business of design and development. 

    Our internships run about sixteen weeks.  In that time the interns are expected to develop marketing concepts for their label, which include logo, showroom, storefront, customer service policies, packaging, and an overall look and feel for their line.  They use these concepts to present their actual collection to the virtual goods marketplace in Second Life.  The interns are expected to create all components of a collection during their internship – we have them create a mood board, color stories, and materials story, which we keep displayed in their workspace for reference. 

    The interns are taught to develop product using the in-world content creation tools.  We maintain presence on several grids, and we usually have them prototype their designs on one of our OpenSim grids because there is no cost for developing on our grids.  When they are ready to develop for the marketplace, they develop their product on the Second life platform, package up their outfits, and place them in vendors.  They receive immediate feedback – either their outfits sell, or they don’t!
    Our interns are expected to complete one look a week from their original sketches, developed in 3-6 colorways.  Our goal is to help the interns produce a visual ‘story’ for their portfolio that shows they understand how the product development cycle works in the real life apparel industry.  Using these low risk platforms enables us to take our interns through the process at a nominal cost. They are encouraged to explore the full parameter space of their own creativity. 

    Our final project with our interns is to help them produce a full virtual runway show with live models presenting their designs to a general audience.  These shows are group shows where the interns collaborate to define their theme, name the show and determine the run order for the models.  The interns are all individually responsible for styling their models and determining makeup, hair, and accessories to complete the look.  They must also select pre-determined poses for their models to strike at the end of the runway.

    FRI has a team of dedicated volunteer models who generously offer their time for fittings and the show.  They also provide needed moral support and encouragement.  The FRI team builds the runway and make sure that all of the models are correctly styled.  We also manage the overall show including media and marketing.  In addition, we have an audience of supporters who are gracious enough to come to the shows and demonstrate their support of our student designers by blogging about their work, buying their work, and simply being present and giving these new talents a bit of an ego boost.  

    At the end of the runway show, our interns have a chance to be recognized for all of their hard work by taking a bow on the runway.  They depart with valuable experience in the real life development process.  We stop short of pulling physical samples but the design cycle is the same and when the time comes for them to enter the work force, they will recognize the design process because they have already been through it. The educational process is fast-paced and demanding, and we set very high standards for them to reach. 

    Virtual Goods Marketplace Trends

    We’re particularly excited to be working with our student interns from Buffalo State university because we think the virtual goods marketplace will burgeon rapidly. In 2007, virtual goods accounted for $2.6 billion in sales.  Although the total value of virtual goods pales in comparison to the $1.7 trillion apparel industry, this market compares very favorably with the accessories market which generates about $1.8 billion in sales.  Various analyst reports indicate that the virtual goods marketplace is set to double in 2010.  Fashion designers are often encouraged to move into handbags and other accessories to add a new revenue stream and enable brand extension.  With virtual goods slated to open up further in 2010, designers should definitely consider this new niche market they can readily move into which can help them generate more sales in a completely new area.

    Not only is there a business case to be made for providing design for this niche, but designers can also use the low-risk OpenSim platform to explore new design ideas, and to show their work 24/7 on special runways, where models can walk the catwalk at a touch of the button and show off designs as they are meant to be: in 3D and moving.

    Virtual/Real Runway 3.0 Project

    We are very excited to be working with the talented students designers from Buffalo State University, and we’re very much looking forward to our Spring work with them.  Working virtually, we will be helping them develop the exact same looks to present on our virtual runways as they will be showing in real life in their graduating senior runway show, ‘Runway 3.0′.  Our work with them will extend even outside of our virtual space. We’ll be taking a day to tour them through the fashion district in New York City, the home of fashion.  And finally, we’ll be working with them as technical fashion designers to help them create real world apparel with a decided technical bent: we’re going to help them add motors, lights, and more!

    Virtual Intern Applications Being Accepted

    We’re accepting new applications for our next internship cycle from Fashion Programs, which begins at the end of January.  Admission is highly selective.  For more information, please visit www.fashionresearchinstitute.com

    Virtual Fashion Internship Follow-Up Questions

    November 21, 2009 5 comments

    I would like to include a link to the Bella Fantasique blog that Missy started when her virtual fashion brand concept was developed in the summer of 2009. If you would like to visit Missy’s Bella Fantasique store in Second Life to see all the virtual fashion garments she has developed for yourself here is a SLurl to teleport you there. If you do not want to visit in-world yet but would like to see Missy’s fashions here is a link to her fashion products on the XSTREET Marketplace. You can purchase something there and have it delivered in-world to you or to someone else as a virtual gift.

     After  Missy’s SL Virtual Internship Interview ended and I uploaded the podcast, I thought of some additional questions others may have for Missy regarding this entire virtual internship experience. I sent the questions to Missy and her responses are below.

    1. Are your Second Life experiences relavant to any of your fashion education classes? If so in what way? 

    My Second Life experiences are related to two fashion classes I have taken at Buffalo State college thus far, FTT208:Introduction to Fashion Technologies and FTT308: FashionCAD. Both are fashion CAD classes, using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Once I learned the basics in those two classes, I was able to learn so much more about those programs.
     
    2. Do you feel that the experiences that you are simulating in second life regarding developing a brand and coordinated fashion lines, presenting and merchandising your brand integrates and simulates the knowledge and skills that you are learning in your fashion education classes?

    If anything else, Second Life inspires me. I am eager to create and design garments and have the ability to change what I am making with a simple click of a button, instead of having to completely redo a sewn garment. I am faster at finding ways to get things done more efficiently in my fashion classes.
     
    3. Are your fashion design and merchandising related experiences in Second Life providing you with a clearer  picture of what is involved in the real world design and merchandising process? If so how?

    Second Life is making having a fashion line real to me. It’s a fast pace enviroment and putting your ideas into Photoshop and Illustrator and then into Second Life virtually shows an image of what my designs would look like on a body, without the cost of materials and sewing time. I like seeing the progression of sketches to actual garments, and it cuts time so much shorter to see it on a virtual body first to make sure everything looks they way I want it. I also have always had a love for marketing and the business side of fashion, and I get to do this in SL by running my store and modeling. So it’s the best of both worlds… literally. [note from e.polvinen: Missy really does mean this literally because the Lindens $L she makes from selling her virtual fashions are easily converted into $US dollars.]
     
    4. Would you recommend a virtual fashion design and merchandising experience to other fashion students?

    I absolutely would recommend virtual design to other fashion students because that is where technology is taking us. If we have the programs available, it doesn’t hurt to get familiar with them, in order to make presentations and amazing concept boards. So many things are done now with the computer, so why not make fashion with it too?

    From my own experience as a professor teaching fashion students introduction to fashion concepts in Second Life for the last three years, it is an ideal platform for developing unified fashion garment/line /brand concepts,  building presentation skills, organizational skills, fashion terminology, business and marketing skills…and it’s an opportunity to makes real $$$.

    Other blog postings related to Missy:

  • Missy’s SL Virtual Internship Interview
  • Missy Lavecchia in Jewels of Winter
  • Missy Lavecchia First Solo Show
  • Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection
  • Missy’s SL Virtual Internship Interview

    November 21, 2009 5 comments

     

    Missy’s Virtual Fashion Internship

    In this Virtual Fashion Internship podcast I am asking Missy questions regarding the virtual internship PowerPoint she submitted to me upon completion of the project. Missy aka: Missy Lavecchia in Second Life  is one of two Buffalo State Fashion Technology students that completed a virtual internship with Shenlei Winkler aka Shenlei Flasheart from the Fashion Research Institute in the summer of 2009. We are viewing the PowerPoint as we are discussing the internship.

    We have been attempting to schedule this interview since September. After multiple postponements we finally managed to complete it in my campus office last Wednesday. I did not even notice the traffic noise in the background [including an ambulance] until after the interview was completed. We were viewing Missy’s PowerPoint as we discussed her reactions to the entire virtual internship experience.

    You will hear in the interview that she developed a concept board for her brand, a color palette for her collection, presentation  boards and packages as well as a customer service policy. Once her collection was completed she participated in a well attended virtual fashion show titled Fluid with two other interns.

    Other blog postings related to Missy:

  • Virtual Fashion Internship Follow-Up Questions
  • Missy Lavecchia in Jewels of Winter
  • Missy Lavecchia First Solo Show
  • Bella Fantasique – Midnight Sparkle Collection
  • Here is a link to The Fluid Fashion show event that was the culmination of the internships for three fashion students.

    Virtual Fashion Education

    November 21, 2009 Leave a comment

    Buffalo State Fashion in Second Life

    In the spring of 2007 and 2008 I had students participate in a Second Life fashion project that involves developing a series of garments and participating in a virtual fashion show. Here is a link to that 2007 project. We did a similar project in the spring of 2008 but I never had the time to organize and upload it to the Web. The virtual fashion class [link to post below] took place in the fall of 2008 and involved more advanced works in Second Life from students that completed the intro to Second Life class project that I presented in the second half of the FashionCAD class. I have developed an Intro to Second Life for Fashion Learning Module Series that anyone can use.

    You can visit the Buffalo State island in Second Life to see all the student collections. Here is a SURL link to the student exhibit area.  All of their virtual garments are available for free. There is an exhibit remaining from a virtual/real marketing project students did with Sears. Students created replicas of Sears catalog items available free in Second Life and linked to the real item for purchase. The real items are now discontinued so only virtual items are available.

    Part of a real/virtual series developed as part of a virtual fashion project in the fall of 2008. They are located on the Buffalo State island in the fashion exhibit area.

    MueMeu's Fat Cat Tee

    In the student stores that  still remain –  items that are available virtually in Second Life are also linked to real items from the ZAZZLE site.  MeuMeu was a student designer that created a series of virtual tees in her SL store that linked to real ZAZZLE versions of the shirts. Here is a SURL link to teleport you to her store. See video below to illustrate how you would view the real life version from inside SL. Her virtual tee image [right, free in SL] links to her blog posting from the project.

    Some links to previous posts:

    Virtual Fashion Internships

    Yes you are reading the heading correctly, virtual fashion internships are happening in Second Life. How do I know about them? I know about them because two of my fashion students recently completed virtual fashion internships and three students are currently working on a specialized virtual/real world project in Second Life. Who are they working with? They are working on the virtual portion of the project with Shenlei Winkler aka Shenlei Flasheart in Second Life from The Fashion Research Institute. 

    In my next post I will be interviewing Missy, a FashionCAD student that completed a virtual fashion internship in Second Life.

    Shenlei Winkler [Fashion Research Institute in Second Life]

    This all started in the spring of 2009 with students from my FashionCAD class. Last spring I was having a meltdown helping to prepare for the big Runway 2.0 production at Buffalo State college. Shenlei Winkler filled in for me with the FashionCAD students by working virtually with them on the Second Life project. Students signed on to Second Life and met up with Shenlei at the fashion Research institute. Students were teleported to the Fashion Research Institute

    She guided them through various exhibits where they learned how to walk, fly, place items into their inventories, they were able to get skins, accessories, clothing hair, etc. Once they familiarized themselves in Second Life she teleported them up to a special fashion instructional area where all students were provided with a studio/office of their own. You can see a birds-eye view of the studio/office rooms that were created for each student in the images above. Each student was expected to decorate their office/studio room.

    The images above [The instructor] show Shenlei Winkler aka Shenlei Flasheart in Sl gathering the FashionCAD students around her for their lessons in Second Life.  She instructed them during class in the central area and assigned homework.

    There was a  central instructional area and students were posing to be photographed in their new outfits that they created. The Second Life project lasted about 6 weeks and concluded with a fashion Show. Below  is a group photo taken just after the fashion show ended,  Shenlei’s avatar is on the right front wearing a suit.

    Group pose of FashionCAD student and Shenlei Winkler

    Shenlei invited the best students to participate in a virtual internship with her. Missy was one of those selected. In my next post I will interview Missy and we will learn about her virtual fashion internship. 

     
    Here is a link to my FLICKR photo set that shows some of the FashionCAD students being instructed by Shenlei in Second Life.

    FRI offers courses, orientation programs, textbooks, and complete programs available as OAR files, ready to license to other institutions. Individuals are welcome to register for courses directly with FRI Here is a link to learn more about virtual fashion educational opportunities in Second Life.

    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.

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