Virtual Reality Ventures, an Australian VR consulting firm, is working with a client to produce a VR fashion show which could put you at center stage. Their proof of concept demo for the Oculus Rift is now available for download.
There are certain uses for virtual reality that are obvious. Gaming? Check. Training? Check. Communication? Check. But there’s so many more places that VR can and will impact. The fashion industry could be the next place to get a dose of this far reaching technology.
“A size 8 is not always a size 8… the benefit by using the same patterns that would go to a tailor and draping them over a digital manikin is that we don’t have to talk about size anymore. We just say ‘that’s this fit’… ‘yes it fits’, or ‘it’s a bit too tight’, or ‘it’s a bit too lose’, ‘let’s go up one notch in the scale or down one notch in the scale’,” said Stefan Prenar, Managing Director at Virtual Reality Ventures.
Virtual Reality Ventures has produced a proof of concept demo for the Oculus Rift which they’re simply calling ‘VR Fashion’. They’ve integrated an industry-level program called Marvelous Designer which allows for a pattern-based approach to creating outfits. The software wraps patterns digitally around a character, physically simulating the drapes, folds, and wrinkles of each garment. Marvelous Designer has been used in production of movies like The Hobbit (2012) and The Great Gatsby (2013), and in games like Metal Gear Solid V (2014) and Madden ’25 (2013).
In the VR Fashion demo you can see the realistic cloth simulation as runway models pose at the end of a virtual runway. Virtual Reality Ventures collaborated with artists from the Marvelous Designer community for the garments and patterns seen in the demo. They plan to release a broader demo later this summer.
The concept behind VR Fashion is that a user could import a 3D scan of themselves and see exactly how a garment would look and fit on themselves. Prenar told me that they could even produce heat-maps on a user’s avatar which would show exactly where the garment was too tight or too loose. Don’t like what you see? Move on to another pattern. Like it but it doesn’t fit? Adjust it on the fly until you’re happy. At the very end of the process, hit the ‘Buy’ button and you can have that exact pattern, in that exact fit, sent to your door.
Prenar told me that there’s a chicken-and-egg problem in the fashion industry.
“Labels don’t want to produce garments until they have received pre-orders. Retails don’t want to pre-order until they’ve seen the garments.” Prenar believes that the VR Fashion solution could subvert this issue entirely.