Armstrong, Barry (2013) Sketching in digital clay:digital sculpture for costume design visualisation and pattern making. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

‘Costume Illustration in the Digital Age: Creating a Costume Technical Sheet’ (Bradley, 2009)
explores the benefits of using 2D digital character templates and drawing software to improve
the visual quality and accurate communication of costume designs. My practice-based research
expands upon Bradley’s work through the creation of 3D digital costume templates for use
within 3D digital sculpture software. Although digital sculpture tools are commonly used in the
film and video games industries and 2D digital visualisation tools have been used in costume
design for many years, (French, 2001), (Kirk, 2004), (Keeley, 2009), the use of digital sculpture
in theatrical costume design is an emerging subject, with little academic research surrounding
this specific area.
Problems are identified within existing costume visualisation methods. Solutions are investigated
through the design and testing of digital sculpting tools and working methods. Digital
mannequins and costume templates are created for the designer to sketch upon. Costume
templates are designed to enable colour and pattern to flow over their surface contours.
Resulting costume visuals are assessed for improvements in quality and utility. Digital 3D
costume sketches/sculpts can be created within minutes. Interactive manipulation of the digital
costume sketch promotes rapid, playful, iterative costume design explorations. The use of a
pressure sensitive pen tablet creates the feeling of sketching on the surface of the costume sculpt.
The designer virtually strokes the surface of the mannequin/costume template to create the
desired costume shape. Designs can be viewed and manipulated from any angle, improving
design communication. Digital 3D costume sketches can significantly enhance the look and feel
of a designer’s illustration work when combined with anatomically accurate digital mannequins
and traditional artist media simulation. (Armstrong & Unver, 2011) The costume shape can be
coloured and textile designs effectively flow over the 3D costume surface. Costume designers
gain transferable skills valued within the film and video game production industries, as costume
sketches/sculptures can be refined and modified to create ‘production ready’ digital actors, or
video game avatars.

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