3D Visualisation: The Transformative Power of Fashion as a Means of Personal Expression

3D Visualisation: The Transformative Power of Fashion as a Means of Personal Expression

In this article Beatriz del Pino shares her passion for creating expressive 3D Fashion designs.

Join 3D Artist Beatriz del Pino on her creative endeavour as she explores the remarkable synergy between memories, passion, and the expressive world of autism-inspired fashion, through her Rookie Awards 2023 entry using Marvelous Designer.

In this project, I embark on a heartfelt journey down memory lane, weaving together two vital aspects of my life: my past and my current profession. With the goal of entering the prestigious Rookies Awards 2023, I delve into the challenging task of exploring a theme that holds deep personal significance.

Amidst a myriad of ideas, I found myself compelled to honour and acknowledge my past, leading me to choose Autism as my inspiration. Beyond its significance, I recognised the transformative power of fashion as a means of personal expression. Thus, these designs strive to pay homage to the unique sensory experiences and interactions with the world that define autism.

Drawing inspiration from a remarkable young autistic woman who graciously welcomed me into her world, I learned invaluable lessons about meeting her specific needs and expectations. The dominant hue of pink in these designs stands as a heartfelt tribute to her indomitable spirit. Contemplating how a young lady might express herself through fashion, I envisioned a collection that embodies her essence.

Creating a word-board

To come up with ideas for designing a fashion piece, I begin by creating a word board that evokes the theme I have in mind. Next, I brainstorm other words that are associated with the original words on the board. For instance, if "Routine" is one of the words on my board, I might think of words like "graphic" or "organize," which in turn remind me of concepts like lines and squares.

Creating a mood-board

I then create a photo mood board to shape the word board, which gives me a visual of possible shapes, textures and colours.

This is where my ideas started taking shape. I knew I wanted to incorporate lines and leverage technology, recognising its potential as a powerful tool for individuals with autism. The overall composition aimed to convey a blend of varied textures and shapes, while also including elements that would evoke sensory experiences. Additionally, I wanted to incorporate accessories reminiscent of those used by children, adding an extra layer of meaning to the designs.

Start drawing

At this point, I have a lot of ideas in mind. In fact, I usually have them right from the beginning, which helps me orient myself towards what I want. However, it is important to take the first two steps to organise your project, as it is easy to begin blending concepts and lose sight of where to direct your attention.

As you can see I had some other ideas, but I didn't have enough time to develop all of them with the quality I like:

These designs embody sensory hypersensitivity through the use of fluffy textures, while their fighting spirit is represented by leather elements. Straight lines and angles capture the innate inclination of individuals with autism to seek order and structure in their environment, reflecting their strength and resilience.

In creating this collection, my aim was to capture the determination and strength of a young woman who has reached maturity and feels empowered in her life. She no longer sees herself as a child and seeks to express her authentic self through the garments she wears.

These designs pay tribute to the unique beauty of how individuals with autism interact with the world, embracing their individual characteristics. The contrasting black and white colours symbolise literalness and rigidity, while also evoking a sense of order and simplicity. These colours provide a striking contrast to the fluffy textures and cheerful pastel tones that serve as a reminder of the characteristic hypersensitivity associated with autism.

To advocate for the practical benefits of advancements in technology for individuals with autism, I have incorporated intelligent textile materials into the designs. For example, glasses that provide information to reduce confusion, gloves or socks that provide heat or cold to aid in relaxation, and colour-changing elements to indicate potential stress states. These examples showcase how the intersection of technology and fashion can contribute to improving the quality of life for individuals with autism.

Technical steps

I applied for digital fashion Rookies Awards 2023 because it is what I most enjoy, but I was sure I wanted to reveal all my skills in one project: grooming, cloth creation, and shading.

First of all. I started creating the clothing. The design is quite basic but the overall stands out because the textures and the colours complete the outfit. Buckles are made out of fabric as well.

The sleeves and the  straight shoulder feature a squared design, reinforcing the concept of resilience and determination.

Throughout the design, you will find several buckles that symbolise freedom from confinement, highlighting the concept of structure. Additionally, the straight lines on the texture of the top and skirt create a striking contrast between the two colours, further accentuating this idea of structure and freedom.

To me, the most interesting of all patterns is the top.

Here you can see a sleeve base pattern, but I had to deconstruct it to achieve the straight hard shoulder shape; the sleeves are not made out of a common pattern, but it started as such.

I divided the sleeve into three primary sections in order to transform its curved form into straight angles and lengthen the shoulder. on the image I painted on a regular base sleeve pattern, what parts would be linked.

To create the skirt in Marvelous Designer I first modeled a crinoline in Maya to then import it to Marvelous and used it as an avatar to shape the skirt on top. I started with the basic pattern of a flared skirt and then molded it according to the shape of the crinoline.

For securing the socks at both the top and bottom parts of the leg, the "Basic Circumference Measure (avatar)" tool from the 3D screen proves to be highly useful. By attaching it to the avatar, the socks stay in place effectively.

To achieve the desired look for the skirt and the head, I utilised Maya Xgen and converted them to Xgen Interactive. This allowed me to easily manipulate and style the hair for dynamic expressions based on the pose.

I made use of the avatar provided by Marvelous Designer, isolating the head to optimise the scene's performance. With two distinct sections, the fringe and the mane, I created two separate descriptions for the hair groom.

The skirt is made out of hair, using Maya Xgen. This was a bit more complicated because as I added different noise and curl parameters the hair started to penetrate the bottom of the skirt.

The hair appears intentionally thick, which is done with the purpose of subsequently applying a gradient in the opacity channel to achieve the desired spongy look in the final result. All textures are created using Substance 3D Painter.

My idea was to maintain unity among the designs, so I utilised a leather texture throughout all of them to convey a sense of strength and a battle atmosphere. Additionally, this approach helps to explain why the patterns appear so straight.

Pants are created using a texture from my references, which I applied in the height and base colour maps, then I mixed it with some fabric texture to achieve small details.

The Geo of the boots and safety headphones are downloaded from Sketchfab. Thanks to the creators, I just added the groom and the textures to these objects.

Creating a complete final look that aligns with my thoughts and emotions has been a challenging journey. Achieving the original idea requires attention to every detail, from crafting patterns and combining textures, to manipulating lighting and capturing the ideal pose, among other considerations.

This has been an immensely gratifying experience, as it allowed me to express myself and share with all of you that we are all individuals with different needs.

That is why, throughout this project, I've come to appreciate the indispensable role played by a wide range of software programs. It has become evident that while my passion lies in the creation and conceptualisation of garments, the realisation of my vision is impossible without attending every aspect separately and in conjunction: patterns, physics, textures, lighting, grooming among others. I gained valuable insights into the complete creative process.

You can find more of Beatriz' work on The Rookies.