I have been trying out a piece of software called Marvelous Designer. This is a specialised application for making simulations of clothes. It seems to be following ZBrush’s approach of attempting to draw on studio practices to make an interface that can be intuitively understood by those who are skilled in the art of making prototype clothes. This is great for fashion designers- but requires of ‘outsiders’ like me to learn the terms and practices of the trade.
The process emulates the normal progress of making clothes. Starting by drawing out patterns for the panels of cloth the will make up the garment. then you pin the panels to a dummy avatar (a model). You tel the program which seams are to be stitched and. like magic, it does it for you. and simulates the behaviour of the cloth. Now it gets interesting- You can adjust the cutting patterns and the effect of this is updated live on the model.
I am using this software to make the clothing for the Patrick Stewart Portrait. This involves researching cutting patterns for clothing from the period and adapting these for the characterisation in my portrait. I am trying to achieve a high status Elizabethan man in his downtime.
Back in ZBrush, have started to bring in images as backdrops for modelling. This is only really useful for checking profiles, and not for understanding volumes.