Why 3D Modelling Will Not Improve Garment Fit

Advances in 3D modelling have made it possible to virtually replicate bodies as 3D avatars but translating that data to 2D patterns has been problematic.  Different methods for 3D modelling exist and all have had only limited effect on improving garment fit.  For a time, the lack of improved fit was attributed to inaccurate measurement data but while the collection and finessing of measurements has been perfected,  true customized fit remains elusive.


The image here illustrates 3D modelling of the body as a series of polygons which are then flattened to produce a type of 2D garment pattern.  In essence the pattern reflects the skin of the person it was constructed for.  The body skin pattern requires very complex math to first calculate the polygon mesh surface and then to flatten that surface to a 2D pattern.  The result however is a pattern that is only suitable for creating body hugging garments such as wetsuits. (see image below)

Fabric (unless it is a skin tight knit) does not fit the body in the same manner as skin does.  While a fitted fabric garment can hug the body, it does so by bridging one area to another and not necessarily hugging each curve and bulge.  A garment pattern must be made to shape unique curves while maintaining strict regard for the vertical, horizontal and diagonal threads in the required garment fabric.  Attention must also be given to garment ease, which determines how the fabric moves on the body.  The images below illustrate close fitting 2D patterns geometrically generated from customized measurements.  Compare these 2D patterns to the patterns derived from polygon mesh above.  Flattening a 3D image does not produce a pattern that considers fabric grain and ease.  Quite simply, the math involved to create a 3D avatar, while complex, is not the same math required to build a 2D garment pattern.  2D patterns require much simpler math but still contain complex nested logic that must balance customized shaping with fabric grain.  Pattern girth must include ease, darting and truing as well as body measurements.



As a platform for virtual fittings, 3D modelling technologies are a key component of the solution to costly and time intensive physical garment fittings.  3D modelling can assist in identifying poor garment fit but it does not directly solve garment fit problems. Without customized shaping methodologies virtual fittings will encounter the same fitting issues as physical fittings.  Garment fit problems are solved by producing better fitting patterns.  Intelligent Shaping™ balances customized shaping with fabric grain and ease, resulting in improved garment fit.  Intelligent Shaping™ can improve pattern fit.

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