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“Designing your collection in 3D is an eco-friendly act”

One of the new tools revolutionising the way clothes are designed is the agile

CLO 3D software program, which makes it possible to design an entire

wardrobe from patterns. A short training course offered by ESMOD PRO and

delivered by designer Guy Pontal offers an introduction to the many

possibilities that the software offers. This teacher is unequivocal: a virtual

collection of collections is part of an eco-friendly approach.

“New technologies are doing a lot for CSR”, explains Guy Pontal, who trains people to use the Clo3D software, a 3D design tool that allows you to create photorealistic garments and simulate ultra-detailed prototypes, making it the ideal tool for reducing time-to-market while keeping a firm handle on fabric production and material waste.

The screen displays two windows, the one on the left showing sketches of fabric

yokes expressed in their simplest form, flat and two-dimensional, the one on the right

showing these same fabric pieces seemingly brought to life through the addition of an

extra dimension that gives them depth, volume and perspective. Thanks to the fluidity

of expert animation (made possible by tools resembling Photoshop and Illustrator),

these same yokes are positioned on an avatar (i.e. a virtual mannequin) where they

can be modified and adjusted until a realistic and more importantly credible rendering

is obtained that immediately allows the beholder—be it a decision-making customer

or a manufacturer—to get a real feel for the garment being created before their very

eyes. With the flick of a wrist you can move a seam or add a motif to an imported

pattern, instantly transforming the piece accordingly. A masterclass in design

requiring styling and pattern-making, reinforced by the incredible resources provided

by new digital tools.

We’re looking at the CLO 3D software interface. Often described as the “software of

the future”, this Korean program is a textile-oriented version of the famous Marvelous

Designer software, well known in the world of video games and cinema; it’s been

used, for example, to dress characters that have become legendary on the big

screen, such as The Hobbit. Its aim is simple: to allow you to create a complete

wardrobe, including graphics, prints and accessories, from patterns, with flexibility

and ease, and on a modest budget. Modifications, whether in terms of colour or

projected view, are instant, with obvious time savings when it comes to prototyping

and commercial presentations. It also offers countless creative possibilities thanks to

a myriad of parameters that allow patterns to be graded according to market

standards and make it possible to test all product sizes on a specific body type and

give the physical properties of the fabric tangible form. The weight and elasticity

options, meanwhile, convey the particular fall of a jersey or woollen cloth with

amazing realism. One final click and you can view the collection on the runway.

The CLO 3D training offered by ESMOD allows the student to work on their own

personal project

“The ESMOD group has always been keen to offer teaching that is in line with market

needs”, explains Marine Escurat, coordinator of short courses within the ESMOD

Paris group. “This is why our schools have always ensured that they teach model-

making in conjunction with fashion design, in order to meet companies’ demands.

The CLO 3D software program is now used by many fashion professionals, including

the major luxury, sports and ready-to-wear brands, and its specific features require

dedicated training to use. We therefore put together a week of training for novices,

which took place online, via Teams, from 6 to 10 February 2023. The course was

aimed at professionals such as marketing experts, designers, graphic designers, print

designers and developers, as well as our own alumni, with each participant getting

the opportunity to work on their own personal project and enjoy tailored support. The

mornings were set aside for theory while the afternoons were dedicated to practical


Guy Pontal, the passionate educator who delivered the course, was certainly not

short of enthusiasm for it: “CLO 3D is an intuitive solution aimed at designers looking

to express their ideas in 3D, whereas the Lectra software is dedicated to the highly

complementary development and production of industrial garments. The CLO 3D

solution is easy for fashion designers and pattern-makers to grasp because its user

interface is similar to that of the Adobe suite with which they are often familiar, and

the great advantage of this software is that, on the one hand, it’s in tune with the

needs of today’s fashion world, in that we’re virtually converting the students’

drawings into three-dimensional clothing. The software has everything covered, from

creating the avatar (skin colour and hair cut right down to nail size), which gives a

certain sense of direction and echoes the idea of artistic direction, to the choice of

measurements and even the preferred pattern-making method, depending on the

garment. And ultimately the final rendering of the textures, including any pleats,

stitching, zips, buttons, imported patterns and fabric properties. The whole thing is

infinitely adaptable and the expertly lit end result is a very high-quality photo”.

3D develops CSR-related thinking

CLO 3D is also about the industry of the future. “3D helps galvanise traditional skills

in terms of precision, speed and understanding fashion, but the virtual world doesn’t

replace traditional crafts; it simply helps enrich them. If you want to make a tight-

fitting garment, for example, you’re going to use the 3D moulding technique in exactly

the same way as you would traditionally do with the usual pattern-making methods.

The 3D technology also develops CSR-related thinking, not least by making it

possible to depict a garment in a photorealistic way, enabling a customer or

employee to view your project in 3D on a virtual mannequin carefully crafted based

on the brand’s artistic direction. This visualisation, complete with the desired

modifications, allows the right decisions to be made to enable a garment to

immediately go into production and be launched on a specific market while avoiding

errors of judgement based solely on an examination of a 2D drawing that doesn't give

a comprehensive understanding of the final rendering. This helps establish a virtuous

circle of production. What’s more, the 3D technology applies not only to fashion

designers and designers in general but also to agencies that will allow brands to

develop their operations in digital environments, thus allowing them to draw various

benefits, such as avoiding the production of superfluous stocks and better assessing

the feasibility and relevance of a product based on the target territories.

The future is taking shape before our very eyes. “Those who learn how to create

photorealistic garments can then enhance their knowledge of digital animation

through other courses, making it possible to incorporate these collections into digital

showrooms created from start to finish without the financial risks traditionally

associated with building this type of space. The development of the 3D technology,

right through to virtual reality, shows us an entirely new creative process that is

already of huge interest to leading brands, and luxury brands in particular, and of

increasing interest to ready-to-wear labels. These new skills will be, and indeed

already are, the prerogative of what I would call “super-designers and super-pattern-

makers”, professionals with the ability to convey their work and their vision in any

medium and any dimension”.

Details of all the possibilities that the software offers and the training options offered

by the ESMOD group can be found at the following address:

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