Archive for April, 2008

Technology Day at FIT Part V: MVM Louise Guay

Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

This brings us to the closing remarks: Virtual Identity and Visual Search was to be presented by Louise Guay, PhD., Founder and President of My Virtual Model [MVM].  I was extremely disappointed that Ms Guay was unable to make it to the Technology Day conference but she did manage to send a video of he presentation. I am including it here .

Louise mentions and illustrates how the Virtual Model and Virtual Home applications augment the users power to extend themselves. She mentions some of the ever expanding brands that MVM works with. She speaks about how the BrandMe application provides the user with access to mix and match (and save) multiple brands as well as post the virtual model to e-mail, blogs or a variety of social sites including FaceBook.

She is very excited about the new MVM Visual Search application and explains when and where it will be released. The video illustrates the data base visual search application that will enable the user to try on literally any product.

Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT – Part IV

April 29, 2008 4 comments

Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New media:

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

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

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

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

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

 …to be continued.

Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT Part III

April 28, 2008 5 comments

Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

Shenlei Winkler aka Shenlei Flashart in SL

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



Shenlei Winkler presents at FIT Technology Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continued on …Technology Day at FIT – Part IV

Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT Part II

April 27, 2008 5 comments

Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions

My Avatar Myself - Elaine Polvinen aka Finn1 Flintlock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Club Penquin avatars have also inspired some creative YouTube videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

continued on … Technology Day at FIT Part III

Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Technology Day at FIT – Part I

April 26, 2008 5 comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some SL Designers that Janine spotlighted in her presentation:

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

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

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


Read an interview with Mary Ellen here.

continued on…  Technology Day at FIT Part II

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

FRI & IBM: Community Gateway for the Apparel Industry

April 22, 2008 3 comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 21, 2008 4 comments

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

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

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

 Vodpod videos no longer available. from posted with vodpod

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

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

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

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

Some of the assignments for this project are:

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

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

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

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

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

Adobe Photoshop Level One Introduction to Adobe Photoshop Basic Function series

Level Two: Photoshop Functions

Adobe Illustrator Level One: Introduction to Adobe Illustrator Functions

Level Two: Illustrator Functions

Practice Assignments: Level One Adobe PS & ILL Basic Functions

Introduction to Second Life for Fashion Students

SURL – BSC Fashion Student exhibit in SL

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