Fashionable Approach to 3D Design
Designer Lui Iarocheski uses advanced CLO3D design software and a powerful workstation that takes advantage of NVIDIA RTX™ technology to create advanced, digital fashion designs.
April 21, 2022
Lui Iarocheski is the 3D Fashion Design and Innovation Director at VALACLAVA, a cyber-physical NFT apparel brand which Iarocheski says was “created at the intersection between fashion and gaming technology.” He is also the Head of Digital Fashion Innovation at PLATFORME, an end-to-end platform solution to accelerate the digital transformation of the fashion industry and on-demand manufacturing.
Iarocheski leverages a software platform called CLO3D in his design work. CLO3D is a fashion design software that can create true-to-life 3D garments, and has allowed Iarocheski to completely streamline how garments are sold. By essentially creating a digital twin of the garment, he has been able to accelerate time to market and significantly reduce waste, while opening up new possibilities for virtualizing significant portions of the entire value chain.
He works on a Dell Precision 7760 workstation equipped with a Dell UltraSharp 27 4K PremierColor monitor, and an NVIDIA RTX™ A5000 GPU.
What led you to this approach to 3D apparel design? What benefits does it provide, or what problems does this approach solve?
Iarocheski: Back in 2017, I was working with my own fashion brand in the “old-fashioned way”, meaning we were working in collections and preparing production cycles at least six months in advance. Not only was the process time-consuming, but also we had a lot of waste with samples and unsold garments.
Then I got back to CLO3D – a tool I first used in 2015 – in order to try to figure out how to use it to our benefit to solve these issues in our process and business.
We merged 3D technology with traditional product development processes to flip our business model to an inventory-less model, through which we sold 3D garments first and only produced what was actually sold.
When you use a digital twin, you don't have to produce your product physically to start selling it in digital channels across all of your points of sale. That is true even in brick-and-mortar retail stores, since you can use interactive screens that enable your customers to experience your products virtually. This means that you can find new and exciting ways to show and sell your product without having to create thousands of product samples for product photography and marketing campaigns to promote it, regardless of what channels you use.
The process of sampling is fundamental to fashion design. It is, however, extremely costly, wasteful, and time-consuming. From concept to final shipment, the sample journey usually takes 11 stages, which can take many months to complete. At each stage, critical approvals and tasks need to be completed. As a result of a fully digital workflow, the apparel product-to-production process is reduced into three stages, which are basically: Design Phase, Evaluation Phase, and Quality Audit Phase.
As compared to the physical sampling process, the 3D digital design process has numerous advantages. Even though both methods use drawing and sewing techniques, the digital way doesn't require any fabric to be cut or stitched once the fabric has been scanned. The process from 3D sketch to on-body tailoring can take as little as one day to as long as four days depending on the complexity of design, the number of layers, and category.
That meant for our business less waste and quicker time-to-market.
Why did you select the Dell Precision hardware and the NVIDIA RTX™ A5000 GPU? Were you using different hardware before?
I was using a different [consumer grade] Intel i9 laptop and NVIDIA RTX™ GPU before the Dell Precision workstation. I needed something more robust, with proper cooling systems and a more powerful CPU and GPU. CLO software requires a CPU with a higher thread count for cloth simulation and a more powerful GPU for rendering. Dell Precision workstations provide more powerful Intel Xeon CPUs and are designed for the heavy workloads we place on the systems. Moreover, the NVIDIA RTX™ A5000 is a high-performance GPU that speeds up our rendering time significantly.
For that reason, the Dell Precision 7760 workstation came in handy as it not only has powerful specs that make our workflow faster and more efficient, but it also gives me the portability that I need when I am constantly visiting factories and meeting up with the team.
What role does the hardware play in accelerating your design activities? What type of improvements or performance have you seen?
From the screen size to the powerful Xeon CPU and an NVIDIA RTX™GPU, the workstation provides me with bundled specs that allow the whole design process to be faster.
Different from other 3D software that use mainly an NVIDIA RTX™ GPU for rendering and processing information, CLO3D relies on a mix of both CPU and NVIDIA RTX™ GPU performance. Cloth simulation is a task that is super demanding and a high-end CPU like the Intel Xeon W-11855M – alongside the 64GB RAM – from the Dell Precision is a must to handle this task in a speedy manner without the software crashing.
Because CLO3D integrates the Chaos VRAY renderer the NVIDIA RTX™ A5000 GPU adds fast and photo-realistic rendering performance with precise light and noise details granting the level of realism that we desire in our 3D outputs.
This powerful mix bundled in the Dell Precision 7760 workstation helped us to reduce our whole design process (for one digital garment) from an average of 24 hours to 8 hours.
Also, when visiting factories, I always take my mobile workstation with me to work closely with the production team, and without my support monitor, the 17.3” screen comes in handy when it comes to sharing the details of projects on the go.
Can you briefly describe how you use the CLO3D platform in your work?
Our team of 3D Fashion Designers uses CLO3D in a 360-degree manner - from collaborating in design decision-making, iterations, and creating social media assets all the way to communicating with our factories.
The process starts with deciding which avatar we will use and then pattern making, where we use CLO to create our precise 2D patterns and simultaneously we start assembling the pieces together in the 3D window. During this stage, we tweak any pattern mistakes and fit issues by checking the stress maps feature that CLO provides.
After that, we start detailing our design with the desired topstitches, trims, and fabrics. With the final fabric decided, we work on improving the textures to bring them as close to reality as possible and simulating to check the drape of the garment.
During the whole process, CLO gathers – almost in an automated way – all the information used to create the garment and we use that to generate our tech pack for production. We use CLO-SET – the cloud-based PLM system that is also a product of CLO Virtual Fashion – to share the 3D file and technical information with the factories. This feature allows us to communicate and collaborate with multiple stakeholders in a very efficient way by providing real-time updates on product development.
Once the factory validates the digital samples with a physical one, we get back to CLO to work on any final adjustments to better match the 3D digital garment to the physical. At last, we render hyperreal images in CLO of all the colorways to use as product packshots for our e-commerce and social media. This helps us to avoid sampling all the multiple colorways for a specific product and doing photoshoots.
What potential do you see in this type of 3D design approach to apparel for your own business and the market in general?
3D fashion design allows to significantly improve time-to-market and reduce sample costs in the Fashion industry.
It is a tool that has the potential to significantly reduce design time and waste since it's possible to edit pieces in a short period without shipping physical samples. Thus summing up the obvious: the expenses that brands incur due to the process will be offset by the increased profit margins that result from the reduction in physical sample waste and expensive photoshoots.
The ability to generate quick and limitless editions, as well as to create completely virtual hyper-realistic goods so similar to the physical samples that can look even more authentic than a photo of the item.
3D technology opens up the possibility to create engaging and interactive ways to connect with customers and get them more than just the usual, providing them with experiences that get them closer to a futuristic and technological stage of fashion. Think here about the rise of web3 and the metaverse – when people will start building their digital wardrobes with the potential to be larger than our physical ones.
The range of possibilities is huge, including AR experiences such as virtual clothing try-on, virtual stores, and showrooms that can be applied in both physical, virtual, or even hybrid spaces.
Additionally, there’s greater value for brands that take a step forward and streamline their digital product into production. Having access to digitally-savvy suppliers and manufacturers allows brands to produce on-demand, which means that production only starts when an order is placed. And, here is where I see the highest value: becoming on-demand operations is the needed step that fashion needs towards more sustainable practices.