Shirtdress from Nordstrom's

Making Money Using Marvelous Designer

My Virtual Clothing Predictions

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.

The dress in the video is on the Nordstrom’s site.

You can get the MD project file of the completed dress in the Fearless Maker’s store.

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. Read a recent article on what Clo3D is doing.

Watch this video on virtual try-on.

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 laws of physics. You can’t sculpt that.

I have always said that poorly fitted garments are a mistake in MD. When you animate them, they don’t behave properly. They ride up or fall down. They don’t follow the body when they should, or they follow the body when they shouldn’t. It just isn’t real.

When I decided to make PatternMaker Pro for drafting patterns, I had this in mind. If you want a garment to look real, it has to be real. It has to be created using the same principals as real clothing. This was a large part of the reason I spent the time necessary to create the program. I didn’t just create it for you, I created it for me. I knew that I’d need these patterns to meet the needs of the future.

Most of you are just hobbyists in MD. I know that some of you have MD on your wish list and don’t even own the program right now. You need to decide how much you like working with fashion and cloth and if you want to do this for a living. I’m quite confident that you will have this opportunity in the near future.

There are people who contact me looking for someone to help them with their projects. I have taken on a couple of these and turned down others. I do not have a list of people to refer them to. Few people do what I’m doing in MD and those that do are just beginning. They need more experience.

If you are interested in pursuing the ability to meet the needs of the people asking, you need to get started now. You will become part of an exclusive list of people with unique skills and will be sot out.

I really like to help people and provide them resources. I may develop some sort service where I could qualify others for referral. I’ll have to think about that some more.

In the mean time, you can get started improving your skills.

It is important that you practice making all kinds of garments and watch what happens as a result of the drape. You need to learn what causes a gather or a wrinkle. Why some clothes look light weight and others heavy. Pick some of your own clothes, put them on and take some pictures. Then create the clothes in MD. This allows you to touch the fabric, feel the weight and watch what happens as you move around. You’ll soon learn to translate what you see into what you create.

6 thoughts on “Making Money Using Marvelous Designer”

  1. There is many way of making garment in Marvelous Designer, just as it is in real life. Aside from pattern making you can use the drape method, as I understand almost exclusively used in Haute Couture. And MD is very well suited to that method. It can use ways that do not even exists in real life such as freezing, inactivate and “Cut & Sew”. The draping method in combination with digital only tricks makes MD a totally different animal. The finished and elaborate cloth in the MD store are just unpractical in each and every way. They were made by importing real cloth from cutting cad programs BTW.

    That Gotch said that he used MD up to 80% was only in occasionally single cases with very simple cloth, 60-70% is the normal. I agree that Gotch was not totally at home in MD but he don’t need to be.

    I do collars very different from in real life. I always make the collar first as it is the most important. I form it the way I want it one way or other and then freeze it into place. Then I build the whole garment around it using the collar as scaffolding, holding everything. But when I finally release the freeze it almost never moves, in 9 of 10 cases. And in the 10th case I just let the freeze stay. The obj export don’t care about freeze or not. So can I avoid the ugly flap curve on a man’s suit for example that you see eveywhere, even on the MD Teams.

    The best way to use MD IMO is the Haute Couture method. If you make digital cloth for selling there is almost no demand for simple casual garment they are used but not paid for.

  2. I agree with most of what Lori says, with a but.

    “That means that garments have to fit realistically and behave according to the laws of physics. You can’t sculpt that.”

    But most of the enhancements outside MD results in Normal and Displacements maps that will follow the motion exactly.
    And real geometry is impossible either, as you can attach them to the cloth so they follow.
    Finally, if you are not very careful you can overdo (overcomplicate) your MD garments so they became impossible to animate. (almost standard practice by some no names mentioned)

    The pro 3D artist works in MD only to 60-70%, and the rest in zBrush or other programs.
    As demonstrated by John Gotch here,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l712Hb0TFCw&feature=youtu.be

    As you can see the difference in quality is dramatic.
    An “MD only” artist would be left behind.

    You can learn MD by taking a crash course in a month or two..
    Learning Maya and zBrush and all the other tools take years. It is like a medical education or a PhD academic degree

    So therefore, MD is not a quick and easy way to make money.

    1. Hi Ralph, I completely agree that you need to use a “finishing” 3d graphics program to really bring the garments to life. I watched Gotch’s webinar live when he did it. You’ll notice that he said he only used MD for 30% of the work when he first started out. Now he uses it up to 80%, he said. That means that he’s learning to use it more efficiently over time and it has value to know how to use it properly. He still doesn’t use it to it’s full potential. For example, he draws out a collar and shows how he places it. That collar shape is not correct by drafting standards. That means it will not drape well and he was really fighting to get it in place. He’s still not using the program to its fullest potential.

      I’m sure you’re correct about too much detail, particularly for games. But there is another industry that demands high detail. People are creating garments for virtual try-on and online catalogs. Those garments have to be as real as possible. People will not be happy when they buy them and they don’t match the illustration that was provided. There are more and more opportunities for MD creators in this field.

      1. Since I have started I will also describe what is the best workflow with IMO, based upon that real cloth also need high-res photorealistic renders to use in promotion. To achieve such results, holding for even very close inspection the mesh needs to be worked upon, both before and after simulation. In other words it is not so different from digital cloth. A quality promotion image of a piece of real cloth demands just as much attention, in fact it have to be a digital item. So the workflow in future become as follows,

        1) The designer gets an idea and goes to her employer with it
        2) The design is approved and the fabrics are decided upon.

        Thus, the dress is first made in Marvelous, BUT WITH THE REAL FABRIC that are going to be used for the finished dress!
        So when you, as a “realizer” is hired to make a photoreal version of the designer idea you have quality scans from the real fabric…
        When you have a virtual dress made with the fabric you already have, and after your design..and it should be easy to make the real thing.

        In that way you can use the virtual version to take pre-orders, so you know how many to manufacture. Before you have invested a single dollar, you know how many to produce.

        Almost as a byproduct you now also have a digital item you can sell.. 😉

      2. There is many way of making garment in Marvelous Designer, just as it is in real life. Aside from pattern making you can use the drape method, as I understand almost exclusively used in Haute Couture. And MD is very well suited to that method. It can use ways that do not even exists in real life such as freezing, inactivate and “Cut & Sew”. The draping method in combination with digital only tricks makes MD a totally different animal. The finished and elaborate cloth in the MD store are just unpractical in each and every way. They were made by importing real cloth from cutting cad programs BTW. That Gotch said that he used MD up to 80% was only in occasionally single cases with very simple cloth, 60-70% is the normal. I agree that Gotch was not totally at home in MD but he don’t need to be. I do collars very different from in real life. I always make the collar first as it is the most important. I form it the way I want it one way or other and then freeze it into place. Then I build the whole garment around it using the collar as scaffolding, holding everything. But when I finally release the freeze it almost never moves, in 9 of 10 cases. And in the 10th case I just let the freeze stay. The obj export don’t care about freeze or not. So can I avoid the ugly flap curve on a man’s suit for example that you see eveywhere, even on the MD Teams.

        The best way to use MD IMO is the Haute Couture method. If you make digital cloth for selling there is almost no demand for simple casual garment they are used but not paid for.

      3. If you prefer to work only in MD you should be a designer. A beautiful and original design is always worth something, despite being not finished, only half finished or only a sketch.

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