Virtual tailor’s dummy makes designing clothes easy

[From New Scientist’s One Per Cent blog; more details and a video are available from Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)]

Virtual tailor’s dummy makes designing clothes easy

31 January 2012
Duncan Graham-Rowe, contributor

Creating the pattern for a new dress design can be fiddly, so Amy Wibowo at the University of Tokyo, Japan, is using augmented reality to make it simpler.

Six ceiling-mounted cameras are trained on the dummy and on two tools held by the designer, one for creating surfaces and other for cutting them. The tools and the dummy both have markers, so the cameras can work out where in 3D space they are relative to each other. As the designer draws and works on and around the physical mannequin, this shows up on a virtual onscreen version.

“The idea is to make it easy for people to design clothes,” says Wibowo. Usually you have to choose set patterns, which is limiting, she says. What’s particularly difficult is working out what 2D shapes are needed in order to achieve a particular 3D design.

Her approach, called DressUp, gets round this by using “flattening” algorithms to work out the best shaped patterns to achieve the 3D design. Then you just print it out and cut around the patterns in the material of your choice, she says.

Since most people wouldn’t have this set up in their homes, Wibowo is now thinking about how she might be able to create something similar using Wii remotes. Wibowo will be presenting the project at the TEI conference in Kingston, Ontario, in February.


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