I want to share some insights I have about the 3D industry and virtual reality and what it has to offer you. I will preface this by saying this is all my opinion based on experience and conversations with others.
I am in a unique position. I've built a reputation in the MD community and I make myself available so that people can contact me. I hear from lots of folks, some here in the Youtube comments and more private conversations via this website.
I want to share with you some of what I'm hearing, but first let's discuss some background.
I am a huge proponent of virtual reality and have understood its potential for a very long time. If you haven't read the book Ready Player One, you should. That's where we're headed, it is only a matter of time. The widespread adoption of social media, like Facebook, Twitter and Instragram, has shown how easily we accept life over the Internet.
Second Life is another example. It was before its time and it is antiquated now, but has not gone away. It even does a decent job of animating cloth with scripting. Many groups of people find a home there and it is a niche product. When more virtual worlds are created that require less knowledge of CG to participate, everyone will want to be a part of it. Facebook will become old school and people will scramble to become part of the online virtual world.
The size of the US apparel market is $225 billion dollars. People own more clothes now than they ever have. Do you think those same people will settle for one garment in their virtual lives? Or a garment that looks like everyone elses?
Remember, that we are not confined to designs of reality. We can make a dress of fire or cloaks of smoke. The possibilities with virtual clothing only add to the sales potential.
In addition to social media, retail sales are going online as well. People are becoming more and more confident in buying online. Brick and mortar stores are going to start closing and they will be replaced with online stores. This will become particularly true for clothing.
You may think this impossible, but there are many things going on that facilitate this change. The first question is sizing. How will you know if something fits without going to a store? We have the technology to measure people with body scanners. Made to measure clothing is something that has been done in high fashion forever. Our current technology could bring this to the masses. Clothing could be made one-off based on your actual measurements.
Who would buy clothes without trying them on, you may ask. People are working on solving this dilemma. Virtual try-on is being developed by a number of sources including Clo, the company behind MD.
The gentleman behind this video contacted me recently. He's refining his program, but this gives you some idea of its capabilities.
I'm sure you can guess why he contacted me. He's going to need garments. Lots and lots of garments and this brings us to the point of this video.
More and more people are contacting me asking about virtualizing garments. Some of these people want to use the clothes for display in an online catalog. Others are working towards virtual try-on solutions.
In the past, clothing could be modeled or sculpted. In games or display, the cloth was baked to the character and never moved. That's not going to work in the future.
As soon as our devices have the ability to render animation smoothly, clothing is going to come to life. Women twirling on a virtual dance floor will have skirts that behave as they would in the real world. Movies and games will demand realistic cloth draping and animation.
That means that garments have to fit realistically and behave according to the law