Archive for the ‘Optitex’ Category

The Ultimate Guide to Wearing a Chambray Shirt

January 14, 2014 Leave a comment

UPDATE (Feb 27 2013): If you like this article – you should ‘Like’ Confessions of a Product Junkie’s brand new Facebook page to get updates when there are more fashion how to’s and articles like this one.

Chambray and denim shirts have been popular for quite a few seasons now, and for good reason. They are, hands down, one of the easiest trends to wear. They’re also the glue that ties many other spring trends together (as you’ll see in this guide).

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the chambray. Some of my favorites are from J Crew (I have this one), Lauren by RL and Urban Outfitters.

More options…

However, I’m sad to see that many women have avoided purchasing a chambray because they’re just not sure how to wear them. That’s where I come in. Because one of the questions I get asked most often is how to pull off the chambray (or I get asked how to wear other things and the answer is always “with a chambray!”), I decided it was time to put together a guide. So here are my tips for wearing a chambray or denim shirt. Enjoy!

Image on left via See Jane. Image on right is me.

So if you add one thing to your wardrobe this spring, make it a chambray or denim shirt. In fact, make it two – because if you follow these tips for wearing yours, you’ll get so much use out of it that you’ll want to own both.

UPDATE (Feb 27 2013): If you like this article – you should ‘Like’ Confessions of a Product Junkie’s brand new Facebook page to get updates when there are more fashion how to’s and articles like this one.

You might also like:

Dress it up a little

10 of-the-moment styles and how to wear them

10 Ways to Wear Jeans and a T-Shirt
Categories: avatar, Blogroll, Bodyscanning, BSCRUNWAY, Digital Fashion, Fashion Education, Fashion in Second Life, Fashion Project, Fashion Technology, IFFTI, Mass Customization, MCPC 2007, NMC 2007, NMC Symposium on Creativity in SL 2007, OpenSim, Optitex, Professor, RUNWAY, RUNWAY 2.0, Runway 3.0, Second Life, Second Life BLogs, SLCCedu07, TC2, Technology, Uncategorized, Virtual Fashion, Virtual Fashion Branding, Virtual Fashion Marketing, Virtual Fashion PRO, Virtual Fashion Student Blogs, Virtual World Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“[TC]2 , Textile Clothing technology Corporation: 3D Body Scanning Technologies

The mission of TC2  is to elevate the level of technology, manufacturing systems, and business processes employed in the global soft goods industry through research and development, education, training, and outreach.  [TC]2 is a provider of direct and indirect technology products and services to industry.

Their Web site offers information on multiple types of body scanners for the global soft goods industry. 3D body scanning is just one research area of [TC]2.

Some end uses for 3D body scanning are: • Health/medical and fitness management • Body shape analysis • Sizing surveys • 3D product development for fashionable and functional apparel • Made-to-measure clothing •  Clothing size and style recommendation • Virtual Fashion

An overview of some of the technologies used in the apparel industry are referenced in this article titled, “Sewn Product Technology.” by Kerry King Director of Product Development and Sustainability Initiatives at [TC]2 , Textile Clothing technology Corporation. According to Sally Aitkin on her Exploring the World of Sustainable Fashion blog article titled ” Innovative Technology–3D Body Scanning.

” The first two scanners were deployed by Levi Strauss and North Carolina State College of Textiles.  They had a footprint of 180 square feet and had a price tag of $200,000.”

The price has been reduced dramatically since then and continues to drop. The current [TC]2 version of the Image Twin full body scanner uses white light and has a 4′ by 5′ footprint and scans in 6 seconds.

Image Twin Full Body Scanner

The  [TC]2 KX-16  [laser] is similar to the [TC]2 NX-16 body scanner [white light] we have at Buffalo State college. We have it linked to the OptiTex application and we can easily create customized body scanned avatars to use directly in the OptiTex garment pattern application. Here is a link to the post: Body Scanning and OptiTex

[TC]²’s scanning technology scans the whole body in seconds and rapidly produces a true-to-scale 3D body model.  The measurement extraction software package features capabilities for Virtual Fashion visualization with links to 3D garment pattern making applications from major industry CAD packages. Just a few end-uses for body scanning are at the beginning of this post. Link to a recent Textile World article: [TC]2 Introduces KX-16 Body Scanner

An email quote from David Brunner [] Vice-President, Technology Development at [TC]2 states:

Our “16 depth sensor” machine the KX-16  though is overall equal to full body scanners like our own NX-16 or laser scanners, and supports hundreds of measurements with better than 1/4″ accuracy.  In fact, it is better on 8 of 10 technical points of comparison (3X more data, scan any color garment or skin, good hair coverage, faster scan, etc).   It is only $10,000 (portable) or $12,500 in the booth version.  I have attached a picture of the portable version just taken at an installation in Portugal (it can scan in open air with no problems).  The booth version is much like the NX-16 booth.

TC2 Image Twin Single Windows Kinect Body Scanner

TC2 Image Twin Single Windows Kinect Body Scanner Accurate human avatars for all applications including size selection advice, virtual fashion and weight loss visualization. Retail uses for Kinect – to create your own personal avatar including face for size selection, virtual fashion [try-on], and weight loss simulation end uses for home, Web-based, retail or smart phone use.  TC2 Kinect

TC2 offers Virtual Fashion System and V-Dresser: Web-based and Smart Phone Virtual Fashion

One of the unique and best features about this [TC]2 mobile smart phone system is that the user can either input manual measurements, upload a body shape scan from a home based Single Windows Kinect set-up, or upload your actual bodyscanner data from your own scanner or from a registered partner scanner! This is really great. It would really be great to be linked to the Me-Ality scanners that are being installed across North America or any other publicly placed bodyscaners.

 [TC]2’s Virtual Fashion System  – makes lifelike natural pose avatars and can show them with clothing, and can predict sizes or provide custom clothing specficiations.  The TC2 system can utilize 3D clothing generated from V-Dresser, CLO3D/Marvelous Designer, OptiTex, Lectra, Maya, etc etc etc.

V-Dresser – TC2 is the world-wide distributor for V-Dresser. Leveraging recently released low cost scanning devices for home use, [TC]² has combined that low cost power and availability with its Size Selection, Avatar Creation, Virtual Fashion, and Weight Loss Visualization technologies developed over the years for use with high-accuracy 3D full body scans. The result is an extremely high value-low cost solution for retail, at-home, and web-enabled smart phone applications.

For more information on personal avatar creation email

 Portable Body Scanning: Spacevision Cartesia

[TC]2 offers Spacevision Cartesia the first portable body scanning system. Space Vision Incorporated is a venture company based on the results of research undertaken at Nagoya Institute of Technology and Keio University. Julia Haselhorst, strategic manager of The Textile & Fashion Hub stated that The Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA) Textile & Fashion Hub has the Spacevision Cartesia, which uses software from TC2.

“It is much lighter, more portable, accurate and price accessible than many of the other scanners on the market.”

It is light, portable and can be set up in 15 minutes. It can scan a body shape in 2 seconds.

2D/3D Fashion Product Development Prototype Flamingo Pua III

– Garment pattern development in OptiTex,  garment sketch development, engineered garment pattern surface design development, OptiTex 3D simulation test.

palette, print pattern and garment sketch development.

Garment patterns were quickly developed and simulations were visualized using OptiTex PDS.

Ideas for graphics were added to basic silhouette sketches (above) and used as a guide to develop final surface patterns/graphics (below).

Garment patterns were exported from OptiTex and imported into Adobe Illustrator full size (above).  All garment pattern lines were set to invisible except perimeter cut lines. Graphics and surface patterns were developed inside the cut lines for each full size garment pattern piece.

Engineered garment surface patterns were tested in the OptiTex PDS 3D application (above).

Next post: 2D/3D Fashion Product Development Prototype Flamingo Pua IV : Clo3D – virtual fashion show

note: If you are an educator and have a 2D/3D apparel/textile product development prototype project that either you or your student(s) created and would like to share with readers of this blog, please contact me at

Previous posts:

2D/3D Fashion Product Development Prototype Flamingo Pua II: color palette, print pattern and garment sketch development.

2D/3D Fashion Product Development Prototype Flamingo Pua I: inspiration, initial research for concept & silhouette development

copyright © 2012 by Elaine Polvinen all rights reserved.

2D/3D Fashion Product Development Prototype Flamingo Pua II

– color palette, print pattern and garment sketch development.


Color palette, print pattern and garment sketch development Color, styling and silhouette direction were researched using WGSN (Worth Global Styling Network). It is the leading online global trend and sourcing network.

“WGSN is the leading online trend-analysis and research service providing creative and business intelligence for the apparel, style, design and retail industries.” History of WGSN

All WGSN reports are downloadable and fully editable. My favorite category is Design and product Development –   inspiration, influences  research color key items, silhouette, styling and graphics 2 years in advance for every fashion category you can think of.

Pasted blow are the color and print patterns developed for the Flamingo Pua series.

Pasted below are the basic garment silhouette shapes developed for the Flamingo Pua series.

Next Post: 2D/3D Fashion Product Development Prototype Flamingo Pua III – Garment pattern development & engineered garment pattern surface design development.

note: If you are an educator and have a 2D/3D apparel/textile product development prototype project that either you or your student(s) created and would like to share with readers of this blog, please contact me at

Previous post: 2D/3D Fashion Product Development Prototype Flamingo Pua I : Inspiration, initial research for concept & silhouette development

copyright © 2012 by Elaine Polvinen all rights reserved.

Body Scanning & OptiTex

February 8, 2012 4 comments

The School of the Professions, in conjunction with the Technology Department and Fashion and Textile Technology (FTT) program (at Buffalo State College) hosted a reception to demonstrate how the NX-16 3-D body scanner works in conjunction with OptiTex PDS yesterday. The short video below shows you how the body scanner operates.

The video below demonstrates how the custom body scan can be easily integrated into the OptiTex PDS program.

The Acquisition of the body scanner will increase technology capabilities for FTT program curriculum, research capabilities and collaboration opportunities.

OptiTex for Handbag Product Development

July 11, 2011 2 comments

Garments are not the only fashion items that can be developed using the OptiTex multidimensional application. It can also be used for 2D/3D fashion handbag development. I have pasted  some video clips and photos of handbags that were developed using the OptiTex 2D/3D application. For more information about the variety of industries that use the application visit the OptiTex site directly.

Handbag developed using OptiTex

Buffalo Loves Cotton: OptiTex Project

The students in the Fashion Technology program at Buffalo State College working on the collaborative Buffalo State Loves Cotton project [sponsored by Cotton INC]  recently completed computerized flat patterns for garments that were designed by students in another class. Once the garment patterns were developed using the OptiTex PDS application they were stitched together and the repeat designs that were developed by another class were applied to them and then simulations were created using the OptiTex 3D module. Pasted below is a four-way image of a 3D garment simulation using the OptiTex system.

To see many more of the OptiTex students designs and video rotational views of their garment simulations CLICK THIS LINK to access the FTT Adobe Student Gallery Buffalo Loves Cotton OptiTex post. These garments will be featured in Runway 4.0. The April 16th, 2011 Runway 4.0 event tickets are currently on sale. CLICK HERE to get ticket info.

Optitex has an online 3D virtual clothing application where you can try on garments and view them in 3D mode. CLICK HERE to link to it.

Buffalo Loves Cotton Posts:

OptiTex at Buffalo State College Update

July 8, 2010 1 comment

We have successfully integrated the OptiTex multidimensional application at Buffalo State college. The company is wonderful to work with. We had to integrate the application first with 2d only due to the initial hardware limitations in our lab. The students had no trouble learning the 2D applications but they were anxious to work on the 3D aspects of the OptiTex system. 


Our OptiTex instructor, David Brinson has been preparing for full integration of the 3D aspects this coming fall 2010.  According to David,  his goal “was to see if there were any limitations  to the program. It ‘s based on a virtual gravity field that the operator can control. The operator must place the pattern pieces so they will drape over the areas where clothing naturally hangs on the body.”

I am attaching some OptiTex draping images that he has created this summer from 2D patterns. The fashion students at Buffalo State college are very fortunate to have an opportunity to work on this exceptional  multidimensional application.

Search “OptiTex” on this blog to review past posts.

OptiTex at Cornell: Kudos to Susan Ashdown

 Susan Ashdown, Professor from the Fiber Science & Apparel Design Departmentat Cornell University  is a former collaborator that I was recently very happy to see again in person. Susan is an expert researcher in the area of FIT body scanning technology. During my visit to Cornell [4/29/09] I had a chance to see the exciting integration of the multidimensional OptiTex system that is taking place there.

In the past I posted an article titled “OptiTex#2: FIT Technology” I wrote about the critical importance of developing accurate real life fit when working with a virtual avatar form as well as the creative strategic partnerships that are in continual development at OptiTex.

I stated that :

“The benefits of using 3D avatar/ mannequins for fashion product development are perfect fit, mass customization, cost effectiveness for design, development, prototyping and e-commerce marketing. “

I also wrote about the partnership that OptiTex developed at ALVAFORM but Susan has immediate access to a  body scanner so she can develop customized virtual avatar dress forms for the OptiTex application or work from the measurements of the ALVAFORMS she has.

Susan is teaching the OptiTex system at Cornell and I observed first hand how she has creatively integrated the use of ALVA dress forms into the OptiTex class. Students print out the patterns that they created on the OptiTex system in half scale. They then construct the half size garments and fit them on to a half size ALVAFORMS that they have at Cornell. The half scale forms were made from the 3D file created for the full size dress forms, so rescaling the full size patterns by 50% results in an accurate fit on these small dress forms, with half the materials, time, and space that it would take to make full scale garments. This is really an exciting OptiTex accurate real VS virtual FIT project for students to work on. I am posting some images of Susan holding up some of the OptiTex garments that students developed, constructed and fit on to the ALVAFORMS.

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[UPDATE: I asked Susan why she selected the half size ALVA forms to experiment with and not just any other half size dress form. She replied that the difference is that the Alva forms are  1) body shaped, they have realistic breasts and buttocks, since they were made from a scan of a real person (not a scan that Susan made, but one that they did at Alvanon), 2) they are all identical, and all a precise half scale of the full forms as they all come from the same forms that are used to shape the fiberglass (the Wolf forms are shaped by hand and vary a lot), and 3) they have legs – Susan stated that she has never found another half scale form with legs!]

Here is a link to the ALVAFORM Academic Series Web page.  

CLICK HERE for ALVAFORM academic information and contact information for Susan Ashdown.

Multidimensional Fashion Technology I

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the one screenshot I took…

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

Here are two more from the same inspiration…







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

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

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

Virtual Fashion – What is it?

June 18, 2008 5 comments

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

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

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

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


House Of Nyla


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

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.

OptiTex #6: What Else and Why?

April 19, 2008 1 comment

There are several more videos I will share with you in this final post of this OptiTex Outside of the Box Technology Series.

The integrated collaboration and development goals of the OptiTex product have resulted in a unique multidimensional  product development tool for the Fashion industry that is leading many to ask is it real or is it virtual?

 The OptiTex cloth rendering and animation engines are exceptional. I will share two more videos [posted below] to demonstrate that in this final post of the series.

 In a past post I mentioned that companies and/or brand could use the OptiTex multidimensional application to develop their own set of sizing standards either by inputting body scans of the fit models or using a plug-in for standardized industry dress forms.

Companies and/or Brands can also globally centralize the fabric/material testing and  input the individual cloth properties such as bend, stretch, shear, damping, shrinkage, weight, thickness for the OptiTex fashion product developers.

3D Chalk/Vector Tool

Another upcoming development in a future version will be the OptiTex 3D Chalk Tool [see video above]. It is another example of expanding communication options by working simultaneously in a multidimensional 2D>3D environment. It enables the user to sketch notes anywhere on the 3D image. More important to me then the 3D Chalk tool is the vector Pen Tool. This handy little Pen Tool enables the user to position the 3D image in any rotational view so that a technical vector flat sketch can easily and quickly be drawn over the 3D fashion product. This is an exceptional technical spec tool. The user can very quickly develop front, back and side technical specs from the 3D rotational views. This feature will be available in Version 11.


This brings us to the end of the most recent OptiTex series. You may be wondering why I have focused so much on the OptiTex product?  Quite honestly I an a fashion/textile technology addict for the past 21 years. I started out transferring all my traditional, aesthetic and technical skills over to 2D technology in 1987 and have been retooling ever since. I love all aspects of Fashion Technology and the OptiTex product is the first product I have come across over the years that truly integrates all the separate aspects (on an equally high quality level) of fashion technology ( first 2D and more recently 3D) that I have been working on for the last 21 years like garment pattern development, marker making, technical specs, texture mapping, print,  weave and knit surface CAD design, [and more recently] 3D fashion product development, simulation and animation.

Yes, there are many other excellent high quality widly used industry flat pattern development and marker making applications like Gerber, Lectra, Assyst, PAD and 3D applications like Maya and 3D Studio MAX.  Quite honestly some of the most widely known fashion applications in the industry have only recently realized the critical necessity of integrating 3D technology into existing 2D applications and the highly significant impact the resulting quick response, cost effectiveness, global fitting standardization, pre-marketing and marketing uses this multidimensional application will provide for the fashion industry. In house development on some integrated 2D/3D integrated systems has been uneven. Not all companies embrace external partnerships and collaborations like OptiTex has with established leaders in industry.

I can tell you from many years of first hand experience in fashion education with struggling to integrate different technology applications that there is nothing like a turn-key integrated equally high quality multi-application system for all aspects of fashion product development. It is an exceptional educational tool for visually teaching students how their 2D flat-pattern designs will look on a 3D form.

I wanted to share the results of my years of hands on experience and research with you. If I run across another similar high quality integrated system I will share the results of my new research with you…

OptiTex#5: Flattening Technology

April 11, 2008 2 comments

OptiTex has developed a new flattening and stitching technology. Here is a link to a flat pattern to 3D video. How you may be asking is this flattening technology different? The difference is that you can trace directly onto the 3D virtual avatar/mannequin form to create a 2D flat pattern piece that can then be stitched together.

This powerful feature is possible because of unique partnerships and/or linkages that OptiTex has formed with leaders in the 3D rendering, simulation and animation industry.

When I first reviewed this video I had to watch it several times. Each time I watched it I was looking at it from a different perspective. Try it – review the video three times, each time you play it wear another hat. First wear the hat of the product developer, then the retailer, and finally the educator.

This flattening technology really powerfully illustrates the fact that the OptiTex product is the first fully integrated multi dimensional product development package that empowers the user to work in real time from 2D to 3D to 2D again is a smooth seamless back and forth workflow. Change the measurements in the number fields and you will instantly see results on the 2D flat pattern of on the 3D virtual model avatar form. The 3D rendering, cloth and animation engines are just as advanced and high quality as the 2D Marker making and flat pattern development applications are.

As a fashion product developer think about how much an application like this can shorten the development time and cut costs as a result. As a retailer think about the 3D imagery created during the development process – and how this 3D imagery can be used to market (and pre-market) the product online using a personalized avatar. Remember how Virtual Product Presentation was using the imagery? Here is a link to that VPP stitching process that they also are using to market their pattern making service. You instantly have access to a 360 degree rotational view of the product to use on your marketing Website. Instant access to this digital 3D imagery will eliminate steps and cut costs. You can even pre-market your products using this technology. As an educator this application will teach students how to conceptualize their 2 patterns being pieced together and sewn into a 3D garment right in front of their eyes. What an educational tool!

  1. Start by directly tracing the patterns pieces you want directly on the 3D virtual avatar/mannequin form.
  2. When you have the desired number of pieces, make any changes to your lines or add notches or buttons.
  3. All you have to do to create your 2D pattern pieces from your tracing is click directly on the traced pieces that you created on the 3D virtual avatar/mannequin form.
  4. Your 2D flat patterns will be instantly created in real time on the opposite side of the same screen.At this point you can make any modifications you would like to the 2D flat pattern.
  5. Once your 2D pattern is complete, click on the 2D pattern seams that you want to have stitched together.
  6. Once the pattern seams that are to be stitched together are identified and marked, simply place (click place icon) the pattern pieces into the 3D window.
  7. Stitching process is completed.

The Flattening Technology will be available for sale in V11.

OptiTex#4:3D Digitizing Directly on to the Avatar?

April 7, 2008 3 comments
3D digitizing


The OptiTex multi-dimensional integrated product development application has developed a feature to enable the user to digitize styles directly onto the 3D virtual avatar/mannequin form. It is currently being tested in V10 and will be available to the public very soon.

Do you know what a digitizing table is? A digitizing table is a big flat table that you use to input your large pattern pieces into the computer. It’s kind of like a glorified scanner. In fact I have seen big drum scanners that people insert large pattern pieces or  images into to input them into the computer. 

BSC digitizing

Students carefully tape their basic pattern pieces onto the digitizing table then they use a mouse type tool to click the grain line, the notches, the darts and all around the perimeter of the pattern piece to input the points into to the computer. You click a specific code when you are done and voila – your pattern piece has been transfered into the patternmaking program on the computer. You are now ready to input grading/sizing rules and/or make styling modifications to your basic pattern.
Once the 2D flat pattern is in the computer patternmaking program the user is not really able to make freeform intuitive styling lines easily onto the 2D flat pattern.

As a computer  flat pattern designer did you ever wish you make some changes to your 2D flat pattern by drawing/digitizing directly on to the 3D avatar/mannequin form – say maybe to visually add a graceful styling line to the neckline in real time and at the same time actually “see: where and how the line will appear on the  sample size 3D avatar/mannequin form? Well now you can. This new 3D Digitizing OptiTex feature will empower the user to digitize lines directly on to the 3D virtual avatar/mannequin form and the pattern modifications on the 2D flat pattern will instantly be generated for you in real time. This is an amazing feature for creative pattern development.

Many computer pattern design programs have a function that will allow the user to  “digitize” directly onto the 2D flat pattern piece, but up until now you were not able to digitize directly onto the 3D avatar/mannequin form and see the results in “real time” on the 2D flat pattern on a split screen.

Watch the video below to see how the user can simultaneously work in 2D and then 3D and back again to 2D. All pattern modifications are taking place in real time.

This 3D digitizing is currently in beta testing and will be available in V10 in 2008.

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