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Virtual Fit Models Bring Real-life Proportions to 3D Fashion Software

Fashion tech company Tukatech is bringing its army of virtual fit models to the fashion public.

The software and garment manufacturing technology platform has created a massive collection of 750 virtual models with measurements and proportions based on real life fit models used by leading brands. Now, Tukatech is allowing all fashion professionals to access its digital library—regardless of which 3D software they use in their development process.

Each digital fit model in the company’s library “is a true representation of a real fit model who was body scanned or 3D sculpted using a proprietary measurement engine and digitized for the virtual world, including their measurements, shape, and posture,” the company said in a release.

According to Savannah Crawford, the company’s chief collaborator, brands and designers adopt 3D fashion software as a means of reducing sample iterations. Still, they often physically approve garments through sampling before sending designs to production—a process that can be both costly and slow.

“We want the industry to use 3D technology for fit approvals, not only for design,” Crawford said, explaining that “it’s difficult for businesses to justify the addition of 3D virtual sample-making to their product development process” if they still have to order physical samples at any point between design and production.

Crawford explained that one of the major drawbacks of 3D sampling software thus far has been the fact that the virtual models are based off of body forms rather than live fit models. This changes the way that the end garment behaves when it’s fitted on a real human body.

“While the specifications may be similar, body forms do not do justice to the human body,” she asserted. “There tends to be a lot of variance in the body shapes and posture, so much so that the drape of the garment is very different between the two.”

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For this reason, Tukatech only develops its virtual fit models from scans of live fit models. The company has scanned hundreds over the past 15 years, with subjects spanning different ethnicities, ages, sizes and body shapes. Tukatech has also developed a proprietary measurement method that allows its engineers to recreate a fit model’s proportions from photographs.

The 3D fit models are brought to life with real-time motion simulation, allowing them to replicate the movements that a fit model performs during an actual sample fitting. The 3D fit models provide feedback in the form of tension heat maps, showing product developers where a garment’s fit is tight or loose.

Ram Sareen, Tukatech’s chairman and CEO, said the product would help promote standardized sizing across brands and retailers worldwide.

“Since 3D is now getting more traction with designers, we wanted to help the industry with the foundations of digital development,” he said. “These models were already created for large global brands and retailers. Having a consistent virtual fit model between the brands and all vendors is the first step to seeing a correctly fitting product.”