Virtual knitting software simulates details down to a single stich

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cornell university 3d knitting 1
We’ve all been there, staring fervently at our computer screens as we use 3D imaging software to design our dream clothing. How can we know what it will really look like when finished? Spending 1,000 hours on a particularly difficult cross-stich only to find it makes your belly hang out can be quite a drag. Luckily, the ever-burgeoning world of textile-simulation software will come to your rescue. Not on the beer gut thing. You are on your own with that one(Try cardio.)

Scientists at Cornell University have been busy putting the finishing touches on some one-of-a-kind software that puts the third “D” in 3D imaging software. Presented at the 39th International Conference and Exhibition of Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques earlier this month in Los Angeles, the program creates a 3D model of a single stitch before combining multiple copies into a mesh, much like tiles in a mosaic. The computer then projects the mesh onto whatever shape you please, treating each stitch as a miniscule, flat polygon that stretches to accommodate the 3D construct. Then the image “relaxes” to give the fabric a relaxed, realistic looking fit. Voila! You now know what you’d look like in that pizza sweater you’ve been eyeing.

The technology is being funded by Pixar so it’s best to think of this as a way to make CGI clothing more believable. However, it could make great inroads in the fashion industry, giving designers a realistic template before they spend all of that money on manufacturing. Making stuff aint cheap, after all.