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Metail's mission is to use technology to accelerate positive change and sustainability in the apparel industry. With over 10 years’ experience and over 20 patents granted internationally, Metail is pushing the boundaries in the areas of 3D body modelling, virtual model imagery and more.
As such, it helps brands and manufacturers embed and harness their digital product creation and selling capabilities using compelling visualisation to communicate better. As a result, teams experience better collaboration, quicker decision making and less waste in taking their products to market.
Metail’s clients design and retail face masks, creating new patterns and colours is important for generating repeat business and engaging customers. The face masks are designed using 3D pattern-making softwares (Clo3D, Browzwear VStitcher) and Metail wanted to create a proof-of-concept going from those tools into Instagram. The aim was to show absolute scale reliably, provide the consumer with a choice of three sizes, and switch between different fabrics as easily as possible.
Jim Downing, Metail CEO: "We've traditionally aimed for high fidelity experiences in a retail context, which is great, but even a compelling feature might achieve 10% adoption of shoppers. Downing continues...
The rapid penetration by Augmented Reality (AR) filters in Instagram and Snapchat made us want to explore what could be achieved in a social / marketing context. Because we thought our clients would be most interested in Instagram we chose face masks (SparkAR doesn't yet support full-body tracking)".
Working with Blend Media and its recommended immersive creator, the project was implemented through to the point where Metail can deliver it to a brand customer.
A series of AR face masks were created by Alessandro Straccia, Blend Creator, using Facebook's SparkAR platform. Having received 3D files and textures, they were adapted to run on AR with accompanying workflow and templates enabling the Metail team to build what was needed.
The AR-powered Instagram filter stimulates Metail customers to imagine what AR/VR tech, and Metail, could do for them, the benefits will mainly be commercial.
"Working with Blend, the brief submission and vendor selection process was amazingly rapid. I posted the project on Thursday morning, had 9 offers with estimates within 24 hrs, selected a vendor by close on Friday and the creator started work on Monday. I would work with Blend and the creator again," Jim Downing.
Alessandro Straccia, Blend Creator: Working on this project was amazing, Jim and his team are very friendly and collaborative. I found it very easy to work with them and it was very important for the final result of the work. The client is very open to new ideas and they really trusted my experience to deliver the best results.
Since completing the project, Metail has proved the concept works and has gone on to hire a full-time technical artist who'll develop and support the product further.
Jim Downing, Metail CEO: We're turning our attention more heavily to Snapchat, who are clearly investing in becoming the best platform to showcase fashion AR. So we're hoping this will be the first step in an epic AR adventure!