The 2020 decade will be known as fashions Tech revolution. It will be the decade that apparel didn’t just live in a tangible space, but it could be virtual. We will have more micro factories copping up with the aid of technology interfaces between 3D design platforms, photogrammetry, gaming, and CGI.
With this transformative decade, we will also see more of a need for engineer skills, coding, and technological architecture between all the systems that a brand might use. Brands need to become aware of the skills needed to thrive in an efficient technology driven environment. I see many brands are pushing the head of design to shoulder this division, yet many of the Heads of Design don’t even understand basic coding, rendering engines, and hardware used to sustain this lifecycle. This approach can only lead to poor budget management, problems in manufacturing contracts, and unclear expectation due to lack of skill set knowledge needed for the ideas on the table.
I have been working in 3D for the last 7 years. During this time, I was able to understand the strong points of use, budgets, and the need for a uniform set of computers that would need to be used on a global scale. Of course, there are different details to be considered and a language unique to 3d. This is why hiring a consultant to train HR or department heads is essential.
The following are examples of the problems that can plague a company due to a Head of Design that lacks 3D skill sets.
Brands are hiring freelancers and asking them to shoulder the cost of the software and the computers, but this only generates inconsistent images. Many hiring managers don’t even know the tech a freelancer uses should be a piece of the hiring criteria. Let alone the time it takes is dependent on the tech. This can cause a great talent to be overlooking in a productivity review, simply based on a slower system.
Rendered images are also dependent on the GPU or CPU of a system, the ones needed are about $1,250-$3,500. If a fleet of designers are rendering images, the output will always be inconsistent, since there is no set spec the brand has required. A 3D expert would understand the power of investing in rendering farms, or group renders. Render engines for the platforms are different and if you want a commercial runway video, that will cost thousands as the rendering time alone can take days, depending on the length. Often times these commercial driven images are created in platforms outside of an apparel design software like CLO3D, Browzwear, or Optitex. Majority of the cool fashion videos online take 24-48hours to render. The below is an example different rendering engines within low cost easy to use programs. The render quality for Keyshot, Redshift or Arnold is different, so outcomes will look more realistic depending on surface programing and etc. Below is an example of IRAY render with different lights.
The next issue is file sharing needs. If a company wants to create items that can be used in VR/AR or tested in gaming, the art files, and pattern files must be shared. All levels of design will need access to the forms, sewing patterns as we use them in design, and all images. Factories that develop patterns may have a hard time understanding why a brand wants the pattern. Many factories feel like brands are getting ready to leave them, when they ask for patterns. This is where a head of 3D Development & Technology can relay proper collateral needs.
Watch the video presentation to learn more about the issues. It will give a basic roadmap to understanding some of the issue. Apologies for the audio, it was done as a conference call.
Overall, my experience over the years has shown me that we need the PIXAR/ Disney approach. The 2D is always necessary for 3D to occur. Disney was firing all 2D artists to hire 3D animators, but they were unaware of the workflows to make a PIXAR film. Pixar knew this was going to hurt Disney and reached out to make one of the top 10 most lucrative mergers to date.
Brands will require this same approach within their companies. Technical design and ideation can occur under the Head of Design, while the Head of 3D Digital Design can handle the massive workload & system architecture that 3D requires. This would inevitably lead to clear communication and strong budgetary goals. While allowing the creative nature of apparel brands to thrive.
Feel free to reach out and connect if your brand needs a consultant to educate Human Resources or Department heads on the structure that maybe best for the company size and products.