Virgile Biosa on making virtual fashion models with Character Creator

French collective Unexplored Fields has been drawing on the new Headshot 2.0 feature in Character Creator to make it easier to design digital humans. Co-founder Virgile Biosa shares the inside details.

Not sure whether you’d like to work in fashion or 3D? Unexplored Fields is a collective of 3D artists who decided to do both! Based in Lyon, France, they’re at the forefront of combining art, fashion and CGI, crafting digital fashion campaigns that seamlessly blur the lines between reality and the virtual realm.

They’re experts in 3D software and harness a full range of advanced tools, from Houdini to Clo3D. And recently, they’ve got interested in Reallusion software because although it’s a great for total beginners, it also has a lot of sophisticated features that fit in well with professional pipelines.

Through their partnership with Reallusion’s Pitch & Produce programme, Unexplored Fields has been harnessing the power of Character Creator’s Headshot plugin, enabling them to create ultra-realistic digital humans for their 3D virtual fashion creations.

Virgile Biosa

Virgile Biosa

Ilyes Taïebi

Ilyes Taïebi

Etienne Kawczak-Wirz

Etienne Kawczak-Wirz

This groundbreaking technology, they say, has revolutionised their workflow, allowing them to push the limits of what’s achievable in the digital fashion space. So, we were keen to chat with collective member Virgile Biosa to learn how they’ve been using Character Creator and why they chose to integrate it into their pipeline.

Expressive and experimental

First, though, I ask how Virgile’s passion for fashion came about originally. “It was a happy accident,” he responds.

“After exploring various paths, including studying biology at the university and attending a design school, I realised that I needed to do something more expressive and experimental but also grounded in craftsmanship,” he recalls. And I discovered a sense of liberation in the domain of fashion, particularly during my time at St Luc Tournai, an art school in Brussels, and The Duperré School of Applied Arts in Paris.”

Virgile Biosa on making virtual fashion models with Character Creator
Virgile Biosa on making virtual fashion models with Character Creator
Virgile Biosa on making virtual fashion models with Character Creator

After graduating in 2019, he teamed up the following year with Etienne Kawczak-Wirz and Ilyès Taïebi to found Unexplored Fields, a collective of artists and crafters known for their meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of fashion design fundamentals.

That first year involved work for Helsinki Fashion Week and Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. He’s since collaborated with Coco&Rico, Vogue x Versace, Dr Martens, and Lacoste, to name but a few.

Smoother workflow

Virgile first discovered Character Creator around three years ago in a YouTube video, and the first time he used it for a client project was in this short video he made in 2022 for Dr. Martens’s Tarik Boots release.

“After experimenting with various software options like DazStudio, I found myself more satisfied with the interface and software compatibility of Character Creator,” he says. “The features like the GoZ button and Character Creator Auto Setup tool for Blender make my workflow smoother.”

Virgile Biosa on making virtual fashion models with Character Creator
Virgile Biosa on making virtual fashion models with Character Creator
Virgile Biosa on making virtual fashion models with Character Creator

“I would highly recommend Character Creator to anyone who works with Clo3D, Blender, or ZBrush,” he adds. It’s accessible not only for beginners who can experiment with sliders and basic options but also for advanced 3D artists who wish to sculpt intricate details in ZBrush or create custom blend shapes for animation.

“Additionally, the new Headshot 2.0 feature is super intuitive and produces clean results from scanned data, which is satisfying.”

The next level

That’s exactly the feature that Unexplored Fields used recently when they joined Reallusion’s Pitch & Produce programme and took things to the next level.

Virgile explains that the team leverages Character Creator’s anti-enhanced Headshot 2.0 plugin to create ultra-realistic digital humans for their 3D virtual fashion creations. Starting with high-resolution scans as a base, they use Headshot 2.0 to generate the initial human model, serving as the foundation for their creations.

From there, a world of possibilities unfolds as they meticulously customise the avatar’s proportions and textures, drawing on the Character Creator’s suite of tools to achieve the desired look.

Intricate details are sculpted to perfection using ZBrush, ensuring that every nuance is captured with breathtaking realism. Then, once the digital human is ready, Unexplored Fields brings it to life using iClone’s character animation features, including the iPhone’s Live Face tool for facial animation and dynamic wrinkles.

This cutting-edge technology allows the avatar to come alive with subtle yet realistic details, adding an extra layer of authenticity to the digital experience.

Virgile Biosa on making virtual fashion models with Character Creator
Virgile Biosa on making virtual fashion models with Character Creator
Virgile Biosa on making virtual fashion models with Character Creator

And the magic doesn’t stop there. Unexplored Fields’ expertise extends beyond avatar creation, encompassing the intricate art of modelling and simulating cloth and accessories. And so Clo3D, Blender and Houdini are integrated into their pipeline, allowing for precise cloth simulations that mimic the behaviour of real-world fabrics.

The final step in this digital fashion odyssey is assembling and rendering all elements in Blender. Here, Character Creator’s Auto Setup tool for Blender ensures a smooth transition, automatically importing textures, rigs and blend shapes, empowering the team with full control over the avatar’s rig and expressions.

You can see the full walkthrough in this article or the video below.

New possibilities

Through their collaborative efforts and mastery of these cutting-edge tools, Unexplored Fields is redefining the boundaries of what’s possible in the digital fashion industry. From immersive short films to captivating visuals, their creations are a testament to the power of combining art, fashion and technology in new and innovative ways.

As the lines between reality and CGI continue to blur, Unexplored Fields stands at the forefront of this revolution, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and inspiring the fashion world with its visionary approach to digital storytelling.

Character Creator is now firmly established as part of their workflow. As Virgile explains: “Typically, I generate a basic avatar in Clo3D, ensuring it has the precise dimensions needed, and then import it as a 3D asset into Character Creator. This allows me to seamlessly align it with my avatar and maintain consistent proportions throughout my work.”

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