Three-dimensional clothing design: new opportunities for the fashion industry

The specifics of the fashion industry require manufacturers to respond instantly to market demand. One of the most promising areas for saving time and materials in the development and production of new products is digital technologies for three-dimensional clothing design. The relevance of these technologies was first formulated half a century ago. But despite a large volume of research and considerable success in the field of three-dimensional design of clothes, the problem of development of 3D CAD has not been completely solved.

A common opinion has not yet been formed on the final goals and tasks of three-dimensional machine design of clothes, on the content of its stages. Nowadays, three-dimensional design is considered to be any computer design in which a three-dimensional image of clothes obtained using natural dimensions is generated on the screen of a monitor. With the help of three-dimensional design technologies solve problems from design and confection of materials to create virtual characters of computer games and defile.

Depending on the nature of the use of images can be divided into two types of three-dimensional clothing design technology. According to the first type of technology, a virtual three-dimensional form of clothing is created on a virtual human figure. On the basis of the volumetric shape of the garment, its flat parts are obtained as a reamer of that shape. The volumetric surface of the product is the primary product and the flat parts are the secondary product. The garment shape is created in order to obtain flat reamings from it. Such a technology can be conventionally called a reamer technology.

According to the second type of technology volumetric shape of the product is not the original, but a derivative product. First, using traditional methods of plane design develop flat patterns for clothing patterns. Three-dimensional design program performs a virtual assembly of parts into a single product and puts on a virtual human figure. This process is associated with a fitting. Therefore, the second type of technology is conventionally called fitting technology.

Each of the presented technologies of three-dimensional design has its own characteristics and scope of application.

Deployment technology

This kind of technology is used in several domestic CAD/CAM systems: STAPRIM, ASSOL, BustCAD.

Sequence of design consists of several stages:

  • Formation of a virtual 3D-mannequin.
  • For designing you can use both the base of standard mannequins of male and female figures and create your own 3D-mannequins by correcting the parameters, already included in the mannequin base. The range of correction of mannequins’ parameters is not limited, which makes it possible to obtain mannequins of non-typical figures, such as pregnant women, athletes, figures with deformities and asymmetries. Shows a mannequin of a bodybuilder-athlete figure.
  • Shaping the shape of the product and the lines of internal members on the surface of the virtual mannequin.
  • The approach to this stage is somewhat different in different programs. So, in STAPRIM program by means of definition of projective additions and values of air gaps between the figure and clothes form a three-dimensional silhouette form of fitting or semi-fitting silhouettes clothes. In the programs BustCAD and ASSOL it is possible to create only close-fitting clothes shapes, such as lingerie, sports clothes, corsets and others by drawing the product lines and design partition lines on the mannequin surface.
  • Setting the properties of materials from which the product will be made.
  • The programs specify the thickness and extensibility of materials that will be taken into account when creating flat patterns.
  • Obtaining the exploded patterns of the garment.
  • Execution of the algorithms included in the program allows to obtain exploded views of three-dimensional clothing patterns, taking into account the given shape of the clothing, the lines of its inner members and material properties.

The advantages of the reamer technology include the following points:

  • “The designer is not required to have any knowledge of garment design. The design process completely excludes the traditional stages of flat garment design.
  • ” The programs are easy to learn and give fast design results – flat patterns.
  • ” The shape of the clothing parts can change depending on the properties of the materials of which the product will be made.
  • “The possibility of superimposing various prints (both mono-prints and rapportor patterns) on the three-dimensional shape of the product and obtaining the exploded view of patterns with the placement of prints on them.
  • The disadvantages of three-dimensional design programs of the first type include:
  • ” Narrow scope for obtaining reamings of only tight-fitting and semi-fitting products.
  • ” Impossibility of designing in such CAD of large volume products, as well as with draperies and pleats.
  • ” The need to refine the contours of the patterns: adding dynamic additions, refining the shape of parts with the technology of production.

Try-on technology

Three-dimensional virtual fitting technology is implemented in many industrial CAD systems:  Lectra (France), Investronica (Spain), Optitex – Runway Designer (Israel), Gerber (USA), Pad System Technologies (Canada), CLO 3D and others.

The sequence of three-dimensional clothing design using virtual fitting technology contains several stages:

  • Construction of flat garment details.
  • First, by means of planar design methods, the patterns for the designed dress model are constructed. Pattern design can be performed either directly in 3D design program (for example, CLO 3D), in a separate subprogram for planar construction (for example, in CAD Assyst), or exported from other programs.
  • Setting the input data.
  • The input data for three-dimensional design includes a virtual mannequin (avatar) and type of material for the product. Designing is possible both for the human figure, and for any three-dimensional forms: animal figures, furniture, furnishings, bags, etc. You can use avatars of standardized figures in the database, create your own by adjusting the parameters of avatars of standardized female, male or child figures, or import into the program 3D shapes created in other programs or obtained by 3D scanning.
  • The appearance of the material can be selected from the electronic material database or loaded by the user. Most CAD programs allow to specify not only the appearance, but also the physical and mechanical material properties (thickness, surface density, resilience, elasticity, etc.).
  • Setting of conditions for forming the virtual image of the garment model.
  • For this purpose, on the screen of the monitor there is indicated a sequence of connection of cut parts in the process of virtual assembling of the product. As a result of virtual stitching, on the screen there is formed a three-dimensional form of the model, worn on the figure.
  • Specifying the types of seams, fittings, placement of logos, prints and other elements of the product.
  • After completing all the steps, the program forms a finished 3D image of the product, which can be used to evaluate the product both statically and dynamically. The avatar can move according to both the program’s own algorithms for movement and the user’s own variants of dynamic movements and poses. With this kind of capability, three-dimensional design technology began to be used to create virtual fashion shows and simulations of real-life fashion shows.

A screen-generated virtual product sample can be used to:

  • ” evaluating the harmony of a model’s design solution, the consistency of its shape and proportions;
  • ” selection of materials for the product with different physical and mechanical properties;
  • ” overlay of drawings, prints, logotypes on the product details; these features enable the creation of patterns that can be digitally printed on the pattern;
  • “Estimation of the product fit both in basic and derivative sizes and heights.

The advantages of virtual fitting technology include:

  • ” reduction of expenses for the development of new clothes models due to the reduction of the number of model elaborations in the material, connected with the specification of the designer’s solution. The program allows for interactive correction of the shape of details with an instant display of changes made on three-dimensional visualization;
  • ” realistic and clear 3D representations of the models. Clothing manufacturers often use 3D visualizations instead of sketches, technical drawings and photos of models to present their ideas or products before they are made, such as Adidas;
  • ” compatibility with other 3D design and animation programs.

The disadvantages of virtual fitting technology are:

  • ” insufficiently reliable simulation of the physical and mechanical properties of materials in both statics and dynamics. Three-dimensional doubles do not guarantee absolutely adequate simulation of real clothes tectonics;
  • ” programs have a limited set of typical avatar figures, as well as a limited range of variation of their parameters. Especially great inconsistency of virtual avatars with real twins occurs when forming figures of large sizes. You can get avatars of all sizes either by importing 3D mannequins generated in other programs or by scanning;
  • ” the programs do not guarantee an absolutely adequate assessment of the proportionality and balance of the clothes on the figure, so the evaluation of the quality of fit must be checked in the real clothes;
  • ” the programs require high speed computer equipment for their functioning.

Thus, we can conclude that three-dimensional design technologies provide a fairly powerful tool for designing, designing, and visualizing the results of developments. Despite this, they cannot be considered as a magic wand, with the help of which a user without knowledge of the basics of artistic design, construction and modeling of clothes can be guaranteed to get a great result. Using these programs does not replace the designer and the designer, but provides them with a modern and convenient digital tool that allows to significantly increase the culture of labor, accelerate the work, reduce the consumption of materials for the design solution of the product and automate routine design processes.