Digital art is a visualisation of garment designs in a paperless manner using technological tools, which are now being rapidly upgraded amidst a global lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreak. Today, there are modulations of software which can establish a communication with the powerlooms and machines regulated by a server.
Whether it’s creation of woven or knitted fabric or colouring of weft and warp threads, or intricacies of knits, these programmes give the freedom of practical use to the designers. On the other hand, software for draping allows the designer to reproduce textures on surface grids, and make sketches livelier.
Digital clothes are new age innovation, which don’t require physical garments. This could be a possible solution to a lot of ecological issues of the world that are being attributed to fashion industry. These three-dimensional high-end garments are a zero-emission alternative for the world, currently plagued with alarming waste generation and pollution. Taking a ride to the year 2016, when Bergdorf Goodman and Bitmoji joined hands to design and offer new virtual looks for renowned labels like Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen, Zac Posen, to count a few.
The first digitally designed and structured garment collection was launched in 2018 by Carlings, a Norwegian fashion retailer, which was called ‘Neo-ex’. The collection launched in collaboration with Perl, a fashion influencer, showcased a genderless clothing line of 19 pieces at affordable pricing within a range of about US $ 11 to US $ 33. The collection was aimed to boost awareness regarding zero-waste clothing and sustainability. On this concept, Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer stated, “The signals are (that fashion is) on the same trajectory as plastics and forests and alternatives to meat.”
In 2019, The Fabricant, a Dutch retail start-up and an entirely digital fashion house, came up with its state-of-the-art digitally designed collection. The founder of the Fabricant, Kerry Murphy was inspired by the idea and projects of Amber Slooten, a fashion student whose graduate portfolio was laden with all-digital holograms. “I was attracted to her passion and openness to try new things. I knew I could visualise her fashion designs in a much more scaled and technically-enhanced manner,” said Kerry Murphy.
They say, competition is a fuel for development. As conventional digital design software programmes continue to dominate the technical world, several newer software programmes are being launched every day, with even better features. Here are some of the best digital art software options that are being widely used:
Virtual Reality At Play
Today, Virtual Reality is no more a fantasy, as there are more than 180 million active users of VR across the globe. Since the beginning of 21st century, virtual platforms have revamped cyberspace for designers and artists. For example, ‘Second Life’, a VR avatar by Linden Lab, was used by Cao Feiis, a Chinese artist to showcase his creations under the collection ‘China Tracy’. 3D spaces are also being used by exhibition attendees to interact with the designers, and present their collections without physically meeting. Moreover, recently Intel joined hands with Sansar and the Smithsonian to introduce their collaborative exhibition.
Software like Artweaver 7 are laden with fully featured art tools, a large number of pre-configured brush stroke choices. Added to that, the software comes with a customisable selection of brushes which are user-friendly and make a great tool for beginners as well. Advanced features are being introduced by Adobe photoshop as well. Adobe has introduced new features in Photoshop CC 2021, which presents automatic selection of brushes, warp capability, and a series of interface changes, being appreciated as more productive and user friendly.
Recently, a century-old manufactory was transmogrified into the first-ever digital museum dedicated to fine arts, named as ‘L’Atelier des Lumières’, in Paris. The museum currently hosts extortionate number of art and design exhibitions. An article published in the journal, The Guardian, reads “Using state-of-the-art visuals and audio, artists’ works are transformed as images of their paintings are projected (using 140 laser video projectors) on to (and across) 10-metre-high walls over the vast 3,300 square metre surfaces of the renovated 19th-century building”, describing the one-of-a-kind digital interface.
Furthermore, HTC Vive along with Tate Modern, got on the news for inaugurating a combined digital interaction using virtual reality, titled ‘The Ochre Atelier’ for their aesthete audience. With built-in multiple headsets and eye trackers, the majestic show was a consequence of Modigliani Studio located in Paris. Ken Gail Kato, from TeamLab, a group of ultra-technologists whose collaborative innovations have guided the confluence of digital art, said “Digital technology has allowed us to liberate art from the physical and transcend boundaries.”
Today, applications are changing the way digital art was perceived a couple of years ago. Already a buzz for digital artists, Android, Mac and windows applications are making it possible to bring a museum at the fingertips. At a lenient price, Berlin’s first-ever digital museum, known as the Kremer Museum, can be downloaded on virtual reality platforms such as STEAM VR, Oculus, Google Daydream and more. The museum project started by Abhijit Parmar’s ‘Delivering Change’ foundation in collaboration with Architales and Moyosa Media, is meant to bring kids of India closer to VR and cyberspace. On this initiative, Kremer stated, “If big tech was serious about VR, they would end up pushing headset sales for the consumer market, which meant that one could reach a large audience in a meaningful way.”