Archive for March, 2008

OptiTex#1: Outside of the Box Technology

March 29, 2008 16 comments

When it comes to rendering, cloth simulation and animation OptiTex is a company that places a high value on developing strategic partnerships and/or linkages with the leaders in the rendering and animation industry.

One such company is Mental Images. According to their Website Mental Images:

“- is the recognized international leader in providing rendering and 3D modeling technology to the entertainment, computer-aided design, scientific visualization, architecture, and other industries that require sophisticated images.”

Mental Images is the company OptiTex worked linked with to develop their Cloth Simulation to “breathe” life into the fabric. Watch the Dancing Dress video below…

New technology linkages are taking place and developing every day that result in new products and services that were unimaginable just a short time ago. User response is inspiring more new technological partnerships and linkages. Users are also the driving force of the mass customization and personalization trend. Technology is advancing and changing so fast today that it is literally an impossible company mission to try to develop all technological advances in-house. Thinking and linking “outside the box” really is a requirement for new technology based products and services today.

Judging by the partnerships and/or collaborations and/or linkages already developed by OptiTex – this is a company that continually reaches out to create mutually beneficial relationships with other companies in a multitude of other areas.

Enter DAZ... in May of 2007 OptiTex bridged the 3D animation and rendering worlds with the fashion product development world by partnering with DAZ to develop a 3D dynamic clothing solution which will be included as part of the version 2.0 release of DAZ|Studio, the free 3D art software.

 For those of you that are not familiar with DAZ, they are a “developer of professional quality 3D models and software.” The DAZ application is free to download – the user pays for the content as it is needed – it’s a great concept. Here is the DAZ download page

Here is a link to the press release announcing their collaboration. DAZ also offers premier 3D software programs such as Bryce 5 (a 3D environment package), and Mimic Pro (a 3D lip-sync program)

Another “thinking outside of the box” partnership you may have heard of is the integration of the OptiTex multi dimensional product development application into the Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style show on Bravo. Here is a link to the Tim Gunn Guide to Style video. uses the OptiTex application as a pre-marketing  custom fit tool for their customers. Potential customers can select a body type and try on several bodices and skirts to get a visual feeling for what the garment style will look on their body type “before” they order.

An outstanding example of creative integration of OptiTex and mass customization and personalization marketing technology is the Nike custom shoe Designer and team uniform builder. Here is a link to the Nike Women’s Shoe Designer -and don’t forget the Nike Team Uniform Builder.

Just look over the OptiTex partial client list and you will see clients from the aeronautics, upholstery, automotive, industrial fabrics, and apparel industry as well as a growing list of educational institutions.


 A creative collaboration has recently been announced bewteen OptiTex and  international fashion designer Kozomara  [link to press release 08.02.2008 Kozomara and OptiTex Spark Creative Partnership]

One of the most recent new product successes that is the result of an innovative new product partnership is the Bernina MyLabel. This new product has the potential to transform the home sewing market. I will detail it more in a future post in this series.

This post is the first in a series that focuses on new technology developments currently taking place at OptiTex.

Other OptiTex Posts:

Virtual Product Presentation [VPP]

March 26, 2008 4 comments
VPP Home page

Virtual Product Presentation [VPP] is using the multi dimensional OptiTex system to create customized industrial patterns and market them directly to the public using the custom avatar imagery that was created in the product development process. [note: Second Life Fashion Designers – here’s your chance to make your fashion garments a reality in the real world] VPP is a service bureau specializing in the development of patterns and virtual sampling.This company illustrates a perfect example of what is possible for a company using the OptiTex multi dimensional product development application.

All virtual samples are “stitched” and draped in 3D from real 2D patterns. This animation is actually part of the pattern development process and can also be used for marketing and promotion of the product as is being done for promotion of industrial pattern development by VPP.
Pattern development steps:

Step One:  you send them a sketch or a painting of the fashion item you would like developed along with body measurements.

Step Two: from this information they will create a 3D virtual mannequin form.

Step Three: they will make a 2D flat pattern and show you the pattern in 3D on your customized virtual mannequin form.

Step Four and Five: They will send you the illustration of how your 2D pattern drapes on to your customized 3D virtual mannequin form.

Step Six: When you receive the customized 3D virtual mannequin form with your garment – you give your comments and sketch any modifications and adjustments you would like to have completed on the pattern and return the form.

Step Seven  & Step Eight : VPP makes adjustments to the 2D flat pattern and sends you the 3D virtual mannequin form with the modified garment on it for your final approval.

Step Nine: Completed pattern is sent to you.

Garments are not the only product that can be created with the OptiTex multi dimensional product development application. Look at these images of handbags created at VPP…

VPP bags

Are they totally amazing? Think about the premarketing possibilities by having the product images available instantly on a 360 degree rotation.

Speaking about having product images available instantly on a 360 degree rotation – this is a very cost cutting and quick response aspect of having an integrated multi dimensional product development application like OptiTex. The product images can be used to pre-market the product or can easily be used for customized try-on’s if the product is being retailed online via a personalized fashion avatar.

Previous post: It’s a Reality: OptiTex Enables Total Integration 2D>3D>2D Fashion Product Development


March 25, 2008 4 comments


I recently attended and presented at the  International Foundation of Fashion Technologies (IFFTI) annual conference IFFTI 2008 held at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia.

The name of my presentation was “Is It Virtual Or Is It Real?
The conference it self was very interesting there were many excellent presentations. I felt very fortunate to meet and listen to presentations from many exciting and creative educators and researchers from all over the world. Here is a link to the official abstracts from the conference.

Here is a link to the two fashion programs at RMIT
School of Fashion & Textiles
 Fashion Program from The School of Architecture and Design

The facilities I visited were at the School of Fashion & Textiles on the Brunswick Campus. The Brunswick Campus is about a 10 minute Tram ride from the City Campus in Melbourne. The campus is very beautiful and the fashion & textile facilities are quite impressive in 4 or 5 buildings. I was told that the enrollment is about 800 students. If you are a college student – make sure you take the opportunity to spend one to two semesters studying here at RMIT, the college, the city and the country will provide a rich and rewarding experience for any student.
I had a chance to upload my photos to FLICKR here is a link to the FLICKR slideshow
The first 6 images are Storey Hall auditorium where I had one of my presentations – it was at the RMIT City Campus.

Here is a link to Storey Hall – is was really something – like being inside a beautiful work of abstract art. It was built in 1887 as a meeting hall and has a new wing added to it. The hall is original as it was built in all it’s green Irish glory.

The place we had the cocktail reception was in Federation Square in Melbourne in the Champions: Australian Racing Museum & Hall of Fame.
The keynote speakers were: Sue Morphet, CEO, Pacific Brands (Australia)
and Cameron Lamperd, Product Manager, Wetsuits Rip Curl (Australia)

On the last day of my stay in Melbourne, I took a walk around the City Center area. Here is a link to the photos I took on my walk.

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
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