How to Design Your Own Clothing Line in 3D Software

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Today's fashion designers are now using 3D fashion design software. And there are several reasons why. One is that new virtual fashion design tools are easy to use. You can design, drape, cut, trim and color your clothes all on a virtual model. 3D fashion design programs have models whose figures can be specified to match every curve, every pose and every look you need.

Set up group specific 3D fashion libraries for your clothing line. Create libraries of fabric swatches, pattern and models for each of your different line groups. Also build up a library of backgrounds that match your line. The backgrounds should match the colors and the theme for your line groups. For example, sailboats and island beaches are good backgrounds for summer lines.

Define your line model groups. For each of your groups, select models that match your clothing line. Match skin tone and hair color to the colors in your clothes. Also select partial model forms for your line. Often you may just want an arm or leg, or just the upper or lower torso. A partial model will accent specific fashion product features such as a zipper or pockets.

And this can help you critique your clothes, and envision how they will display in a store window. However, also consider hanger models. The hanger model will help you see how the dress will flow and curve on a clothing store rack.

Create the 3D design of each item in your groups and lines. Select the model, background and fabric for each item from your libraries. Follow your software's instructions to draw the clothes over the model. That is first, drape the model with a plain colored fabric. Then cut away excess fabric to customize collars and sleeves.

Add buttons, pockets and zippers from your line group libraries. Or create a new button, pocket or zipper to include in your library. Color and color match each of the primary sections of the item. Or select a print to use. Then texture the color with a fabric-texture tool. Texture with cotton, wool, silk, denim or any one of a number of others. Repeat for each item, and then save each item in your item library for later reuse.

Simulate your designs for different poses. Use your 3D software to pose your models and make them move and sway. Make your models walk the walk and look the look. And as they walk, look and even talk, do a motion critique. Ask yourself questions: do the clothes flow smoothly and move with the model?

After your first prototype is ready, have a special invite virtual fashion show. Invite potential customers, friends and those in the know about fashion. Get their comments and criticisms. And then evaluate whether or not to make any alterations.