To study 3D data, researchers usually need to view the data in a two-dimensional format, such as on a computer screen or as a printout. The 3D data that are captured and assembled by the body scanner take the form of hundreds of thousands of XYZ points in a Cartesian coordinate system. When these points are displayed in two dimensions, they appear as a point cloud with no easily discernible features. To make visual sense of these data, researchers use software that triangulates them (connects the points) and then adds a virtual surface to the triangulated data. Finally, virtual light sources are applied, giving the image shadows and highlights that create the appearance of a 3D object.
The study of measurement of humans, used in anthropology for classification and comparison, and in apparel and equipment design for identifying size and shape variation in the population. Formal anthropometry studies make use of calipers, special pressure sensing tape measures, and highly machined and precise measuring tools called anthropometers. Many other measurement procedures have been developed by tailors and dressmakers to measure individuals for custom clothing, primarily using regular tape measures. 3D body scanners are the newest tool for anthropometry.
The first pattern made in developing a set of sizes for ready-to-wear clothing. This pattern is usually designed for a fit model who is on the smaller end of a range of sizes, generally an 8 or 10 in Misses sizes. The base pattern is perfected on the fit model and then graded to make patterns for smaller and larger sizes in a sizing system.
The three-dimensional body scanner is a tool that captures information about the surface of the body using multiple laser or white lights and CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) cameras. Electronic circuitry and a microprocessor unload the data which are processed, saved as a file, and visualized as a three-dimensional image on a computer monitor. This image is a full, dimensionally accurate replica of the scanned object that can be viewed, rotated, and measured on the computer screen. Scanners differ in their number of cameras, footprint, and light source, and in the sophistication of the software they use for visualization and analysis.
Computer-aided design is a broad term that refers to software that assists in a variety of tasks in the design of products, buildings, landscapes, etc. In the apparel industry, CAD systems are used for artistic rendering of products, many technical processes such as patternmaking (both standard graded patterns and custom patterns), and file storage.
Custom apparel is made to individual specifications, either in functional features, style choices, size, or all three areas. In the past, custom-made products were generally crafted by a skilled person (such as a tailor) using a process of consultation and fittings. New technologies allow a person to make size, feature, and style choices, often via the Internet, to create their own unique piece of clothing. This is called mass customization.
The amount of fabric in a garment beyond what is needed to fit the body exactly. There are primarily two kinds of ease. "Wearing ease" is the amount of ease needed to be able to move and breathe comfortably in a garment. "Style ease" or "design ease" is the extra amount added to create the desired silhouette for the garment.
The person hired by an apparel company to assist with the development of the base size patterns by trying on samples for every style. A fit model is generally very different from a runway model, who is hired to show the garment in a fashion show. The fit model is chosen based on her body size and proportions with the goal of representing all of the people in the target market. Generally the fit model is one of the smaller sizes in the size range, for example a size 8 or 10 in a Misses size. A good fit model can tell when the base pattern does not feel correct, even when the garment appears to fit from the outside.
A pair of numbers that tells patternmakers how to change key points in a base pattern when grading it up or down to other sizes. A grade rule defines the distance and direction to move a single point on a pattern (for example to widen the shoulder point). This scaling is repeated for each size at each critical fit point on the pattern to generate a whole set of graded patterns.
The process of changing a pattern shape incrementally to create a new size. Patterns are increased and decreased (or graded up and down) from the base size to make a set of different sizes. Most grading is done proportionally, so that the basic proportions are kept the same across the full range of sizes.
Clothing that is made to an individual's measurements. Made-to-measure clothing can be made using many different technologies, and can refer to either custom-made or mass customized clothing.
A business strategy that involves customers in decision-making through the design, production, or distribution processes using technology and flexible manufacturing processes. The goal is to individualize products and services at a low cost and in a short time period. In apparel, the size, design features, and delivery method can be chosen by the consumer, often using the Internet.
Creating a high volume of products using an assembly line process in which each operator is responsible for a specific step in the process. Mass production reduces the manufacturing costs of apparel by making many items of the same size, style, and fabric. Most ready-to-wear clothing is mass produced.
3D body scans usually have some missing data that will appear as holes in the scan. Holes generally occur in areas that are out of the view of the body scanner's light source and cameras (under the arms, the crotch area), areas that are parallel to the ground (tops of heads, shoulders, feet), and areas where the light is scattered (dark textured objects, hair). Most of these holes do not pose any problem for generating linear measurements for apparel, but patching is necessary before shape or volume can be measured. Patching can be a difficult process to automate because of the complex curves involved. Cornell's body scan research group uses special CAD software to patch body scans.
Clothing manufactured in size sets, designed to be purchased in an appropriate size and worn without further alterations. The great majority of clothing made today is ready-to-wear.
The information captured by the body scanner. Scan data take the form of XYZ coordinate points, about 300,000 points per body scan. The resolution, or accuracy, of the data is about 1 mm in the horizontal plane and 2 mm in the vertical plane. Each of the scanner's cameras transfers the data for one section of the body, and the different sets of data must be aligned to form the full figure. The combined data are triangulated and surfaced so that they can be visualized on a computer screen, rotated, panned, zoomed, and measured.
Size categories are generated to suit different portions of the population, and these provide some variation in proportions in the size sets. Examples of size categories are Misses, Juniors, Petites, Plus Size, and Big and Tall.
The size range defines the smallest and the largest sizes available for a garment. Some apparel companies will provide clothing in a wider range of sizes than others; for example, high fashion apparel may only be available in sizes from Misses 2-14 while other Misses ranges may go from 2 to 20.
The method or system used to create a set of clothing for a variety of people in the target market. The most common sizing system in the apparel industry today uses a base size designed for a fit model and a graded set of proportionally similar sizes derived from this base size. A different sizing system developed for mass customization might include a size for every waist and hip measurement combination. These two sizing systems are created differently, include different numbers of sizes, and require different methods of production and distribution.
The set of people from the population to which a company wishes to sell. Target markets are typically defined by demographic information such as age, income level, ethnicity, or interests, and not by body size or shape.
The process of joining the point data from the body scan in order to create a curved surface and visualize the scan data as a solid object. This process is automated, but choosing the correct points to be joined can be difficult. For example, incorrect choices will link points that are on different parts of the body, and can create the appearance of webs between fingers, or from the torso to the arm.
A method of testing fit by putting a virtual garment on a virtual body or "dressing" a scanned body image with clothing on the computer screen. Virtual fit can provide a method of seeing the fit of the clothing without actually trying it on.
A set of numbers that locate a point in a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. XYZ coordinates are used to define the set of approximately 300,000 data points from a 3D body scan. Often, the X, Y, and Z axes are oriented so the scanned figure stands on the XY plane (the floor), and the Z axis extends vertically from the feet to the top of the head.