How a New Digital Workspace For Design Teams Turns Sketches into Lifelike Shoes

Dining rooms have become the new sample room for many designers as the COVID-19 crisis continues to separate creative teams. To meet the challenges of designing long distance, technology firm 4D ShoeTech is launching a digital platform that allows product developers to ideate, prototype and showcase their designs in photorealistic digital 3D.

The process mimics a lifelike shoe sample, allowing viewers to “visually feel” the full texture as the virtual shoe moves and spins to create a 4D effect. “It’s like 3D on steroids,” according to industry veteran and co-founder Michael Su, comparing it to traditional .JPEG  and .PNG image reads that are flat and dead. “It’s a 3D dimensional image that is moving and alive.”

Designers can create individual elements of a shoe build including heels, outsoles, bottoms, lasts and mold-making components, turning it into digital sample. For the full effect, a photo realistic capture showcases a range of materials including textiles from fur, embroidery and embossed leathers to metallics, glitter and iridescent finishes. Seamless pattern creation will also be implemented, including Adobe Illustrator technologies.

The platform also has a sustainability side, said Su. “There’s been a lot of waste when the [product] teams want to change things and toss samples aside,” he noted.  “It’s like a shoe is living virtually in front of you.” In addition, the technology is also available for handbag creation.

According to Su, it also eliminates the need for product teams to travel overseas to work on-site at factories. And, brands can create digital line sheets and online showrooms to exhibit new collections in lieu of attending trade shows and visits to retail accounts.

The service is available on a subscription basis, said Su, with a fee of several thousand dollars to get started. A single user can access the platform, with more participants added at an additional fee. Companies, however, can allow visitors to enter the site for viewing, but cannot create or alter images.

Those interested can contact Michael Su. Additionally, an event showcasing the technology will be held on June 19 at an event in Nancheng, Dongguan, China, at the Kande International Hotel. Registration is available online at customer1@4dstc.com.

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