Something Completely Visionary: Fashion, Tech, Innovation: UVW & XYZ

Armed with our initial vision of a base garment that could essentially play videos or images on its surface, let’s explore some of the challenges that need to be addressed before this could become reality.

Last time we looked at possible power sources for such a garment, including bettery textiles and other possible sources of power.  This time, let’s look at how a video playback garment might be actually work.

The human body is a 3-dimensional object, where we occupy a certain volume of space.  The space we occupy is defined by Cartesian coordinates, X, Y, and Z.  Cartesian coordinates begin at a ‘center point’, the precise placement of which is usually predetermined as a standard.  For most body scanners, the X, Y, and Z axes are oriented so the scanned figure stands on the XY plane (the floor), and the Z axis extends vertically from the feet to the top of the head, so that X = the width of the body from side to side, Y = depth, from front to back, and Z = height from the ground to the top of the head.

This is the sort of stuff that can make your brain explode but it’s also important, because in developing a video garment, the designer will need to be able to create a flat, 2-dimensional image (texture) which can be mapped to the X, Y, Z coordinates of the human body.

That flat, 2-dimensional image is also called a U, V, W map, where U maps to X coordinates, V maps to Y coordinates, and W maps to Z coordinates.  A designer needs to understand the ‘high points’ of the human body (e.g., the point of bust, shoulder, hip, and so on) so that as she develops a flat image to play on the video surface, she can begin adjusting the image in such a way to make sure the image wraps itself onto the video garment correctly, which will then, we hope wrap itself around the human body in such a way that it is both attractive, and yes, flattering.

And this is where the fun of it all comes in because at this point, the designer can begin to really play with her art.  Years of couture experience have taught us how to fool the eye with seam and trim placement; a good couturiere can make her client look 20 pounds lighter, and certainly feel like a princess. Imagine then, if you will, a couture designer being able to simply and easily create digital images that play on the video garments that allow their wearer to have access to the skills of the couturiere and to have their ‘off the rack’ digital designs easily adapted for their unique bodies.

Nest time, we delve in further to the importance of the avatar in developing for a video garment.

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Lights, Camera, Action! Runway 3.0 Models Take the Catwalk Take 2

We worked with Brittany Chonka, one of our student interns, over the last two semesters  helping her develop her physical and her virtual collections.  All of this effort culminated at Runway 3.0, with hercollection shown on both the physical catwalk with her avatar models walking the big screen behind her live models.

After Missy’s demi-collection, which was shown earlier in the event, Britt’s collection closed the group of senior collections with her collection of six pieces.  Britt used an array of materials, including lace, leather, taffeta, suede, fur, and fiberoptics.  Inspired by the steampunk and neo-Victorian trends, Brittany’s work incorporated special buckles as her closeures and had a decidedly theatrical feel.

Britt’s work is shown here, both on the physical Runway 3.0 catwalk and on the Virtual Runway™ catwalk.

Accredited Virtual Fashion Summer 2010 Courses

ACCREDITED 3- CREDIT VIRTUAL FASHION DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES

Designed for the currently matriculated student or for the returning, nontraditional student, FTT495 is a 3-credit college course taught through Buffalo State University.  Taught completely on-line, students from around the world may register for this summer course that will be offered in Session A : taught June 1-June 26, 2010; Session B: taught  June 28 -July 24, 2010;   or Session C: Taught July 26-August 14, 2010.    Teaching is focused on using Photoshop to develop fashion for virtual worlds.

Tech requirements: Fast internet connection, hardware suitable to run Second Life, Photoshop, scanner, account on ScienceSim.com and Second Life, Skype account

Previous experience: Exposure to Photoshop. Users must know the overall PS menu and be able to access the Tool menu.

Duration: 2.5 hour class times TBA by instructor [2-4:30pm EST M-F].

Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (Per Credit Hour)

NY State resident
Tuition (per credit hour) $207
College fee (per credit hour) $.85
Activity fee (flat fee) $5
Health fee (per credit hour) $9.60
Athletic fee (per credit hour) $10.50
Technology fee (per credit hour) $13.50

Out-of-state resident
Tuition (per credit hour) $536
College fee (per credit hour) $.85
Activity fee (flat fee) $5
Health fee (per credit hour) $9.60
Athletic fee (per credit hour) $10.50
Technology fee (per credit hour) $13.50

Register at the Buffalo State University web site: http://www.buffalostate.edu/summer/

Session A registration begins April 7 through June 2, class starts June 1.

Session A [1980] FTT495 VIRTUAL FASHION: VIRTUAL WORLD

Session B registration begins April 7 through June 2, class starts June 28.

Session B [1981] FTT495 VIRTUAL FASHION: VIRTUAL WORLD

Session C registration begins April 7 through June 2, class starts July 26.

Session C [1982] FTT495 VIRTUAL FASHION: VIRTUAL WORLD

This course follows a collection-oriented design sequence, in which the class is expected to develop a mood board, color story, and concept boards for 6 outfits which will be developed for inclusion in a virtual fashion show, which will be designed as a group project. The course includes class work and home work and follows an aggressive schedule successfully piloted with real life fashion design students.  Students have full creation privileges in the online classroom as well as an assigned space for use for the duration of the class. Students receive virtual tool kit resources as part of their tuition.

All texture work is expected to be accomplished off line as part of the homework assignments.  Extensive resources and documentation are provided in the classroom, and students have full access to the classroom during their course.  All work is graded and receives feedback from the instructor. Students will complete 3 outfits, develop an initial label concept, and complete an initial showroom/store design. They will show their work on a runway at the final class, using their avatars as models.

Students must provide their own computer, internet connection, scanner, and image editing program(s) as well as have Second Life and Skype accounts.

Recommended text book: Designing Dreams, Shenlei E. Winkler, available on Amazon.com

About the instructor:

Shenlei Winkler (Shenlei Flasheart in SL) is a 30 year veteran of the fashion industry.  Her work spans both couture and mass market design and development for the real life apparel industry.  A successful designer, her lifetime sales of her real life apparel designs have now reached more than $70 million USD, with more than 25 million-dollar styles in her portfolio.  Her couture work has appeared extensively on stage and movie screen.  Winkler has also enjoyed success in Second Life, where she has designed fashion since 2005, with three popular brands including Prim & Proper (one of the top 400 Second Life earners in 2006), Flash & Trash, and Debutante. Her educational background includes three design degrees, including two from the prestigious Fashion Intitute of Technology.  Currently, she is the CEO and founder of the Fashion Research Institute which is focused on researching and developing virtualization technologies with particular emphasis for the apparel industry.  Her research areas include content licensing for virtual goods, virtualization of enterprise in immersive workspaces, OpenSim enterprise application development, and user immersion in virtual worlds.

More details on the Fashion Research Institute’s Blog: Spring/Summer 2010 Courses

To see work from previous students, please see: http://blip.tv/file/2057206

Lights, Camera, Action! Runway 3.0 Models Take the Catwalk

After the swirl of the backstage, it was almost a relief to find our seats and watch the show.  FRI student intern Heather Sloma (she did some great work with us this semester which we’ll show very soon) joined us after pitching in to get Missy’s models properly bedazzled.

Missy’s demi-collection of three pieces was shown early in the show, with Britt’s senior collection closing the senior group.  We’ll start with Missy’s models, with her Virtual Runway avatar models shown on the large screen behind her live models.