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A behind-the-scenes look at a digital fashion show

Volumetric video brings eternal virtual value to fashion

In een earlier blog we mentioned Screenwear – Exploring Digital Fashion, the exhibition in Design Museum Den Bosch that allows visitors a unique insight into fashion’s future. By turning digital couture into a three-dimensional experience through volumetric video, 4DR Studios delivers an extra dimension to the exhibition. How that works? This blog takes you on a journey behind the green screens of this extraordinary production. 

For Screenwear – Exploring Digital Fashion, Design Museum Den Bosch and New Order of Fashion, the international platform for fashion talent, asked 4DR Studios to create a miniature fashion show using volumetric video and augmented reality. Without models of flesh and blood models, without tactile textiles. Two outfits from the award-winning collection ”NO PAIN NO GLAMOUR” by Finnish designer Leevi Ikäheimo were selected to shine as three-dimensional holograms. Full of fluid, natural movements of the model and materials, executed in a virtual fashion.

Production Screenwear

Green bucket packed with cameras 

A challenging task as well as a fascinating experiment to illustrate the power of volumetric video. Because if there is one technology that relatively quick can breathe convincing digital life into Ikäheimo’s fashion, it is volumetric video. Thus, we transformed our volumetric capturing studio into a fashion studio. For a layperson, this studio can come across as a round, empty tank. Nothing could be less truthful. This green bucket is decked with 32 cameras, filming all activities from all angles, creating a comprehensive three-dimensional overall picture. By the way, the green color isn’t selected haphazardly. This color is the least common in human colors, making it most suitable for realistic images.

Screenwear production

Lifelike illusion

We chose a ”safe” and a ”daring” outfit for this production. The safe choice was made of leather, a fabric we were almost certain would look fabulous in volumetric video. The main challenge lay in the outfit made of hair and spikes: distinctive materials that are harder for the cameras to capture than the more straightforward leather. Our model performed a short capoeira choreography to capture both outfits’ natural flow as smoothly as possible on camera. A smart move: the gracious movements of this Brazilian fight dance make the beautiful colors of both creations virtually pop out. Especially the tactility of the leather outfit comes into its own. The leather suit moves fluidly with the gestures of the model. Even without touching the garment, you can tell exactly how soft and supple it feels. This lifelike illusion demonstrates the power of volumetric video perfectly. 

Two outfits

Infinite experience 

After filming, the outfits were improved and fine-tuned in postproduction, allowing the volumetric images to be used in the augmented reality scenery of the exhibition. Initially, the plan was to only digitally present one of the outfits in Design Museum Den Bosch. However, the result of both designs was so exceptional we decided to show both. To blend both outfits into a smooth continuum, we used morphing. An additional advantage of this technique is the infinite experience due to the created endless loop: perfect for a continuous exhibition. 

During the digital exhibition, at first, you’re looking at an empty stage where nothing is happening. Though, as soon as you focus the iPad, the model starts its sophisticated dance, and the action becomes visible through the iPad. Dressed in Leevi Ikäheimo’sIkäheimo’s extraordinary designs that naturally go with the flow. The designer is also very impressed by the result: “It looks really detailed; even the eyelets on the mask are very sharp!”. 

Eyelets on the mask

Sustainable fashion statements

For 4DR Studios, this challenge is an exemplary test case showing volumetric video can also add value to the fashion world. The smooth movement and tactility accurately captured by volumetric video are suitable for numerous fashion statements. Sustainable statements to turn fashion shows into purely simulated happenings or to create virtual couture without meters of valuable, often not that sustainable, produced fabrics. Plus, virtual fashion can be preserved for many years to come, bringing long-lasting value to today’s and tomorrow’s fashion. 

Come gather, come explore

The exhibition Screenwear – Exploring Digital Fashion is on show until 26 February 2023 in Design Museum Den Bosch. Come and experience it! We are curious about your review and are very interested in exploring more of these new possibilities. We would love to join hands with the fashion industry to experiment more with the virtual power of expression of many different textiles and materials. So, don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to further develop this new side of fashion! 

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