Wild Capture Digital Human Technology Catapults Fashion Influencer Lily Gatins Into the Virtual Realm
For more than a decade Lily Gatins, renowned international conceptual fashion designer, stylist, model, and visionary, has been mesmerizing audiences with her relentlessly individual street style that defies the traditional standards of beauty and fashion. Her global, boundary-pushing collaborations with designers, especially independent and upcoming talent, musicians, and creative performances, have gained recognition at major events, including New York Fashion Week 2023, Paris Fashion Week, Beijing Fashion Week, Tokyo Week, and in worldwide editorial print publications.
Wild Capture recently teamed with Atlanta-based Gatins to augment her avant-garde fashion performances for the immersive space. This collaboration was led by Candice Alger, a board advisor to Wild Capture and a supervising producer at their partnered volumetric capture stage at Georgia State University's Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII).
After a series of discussions with Gatins to understand her vision, style and approach, it was decided that shooting a series of live-action performances using Wild Capture’s end-to-end volumetric processing suite to streamline digital human workflow would allow Gatins to fully express her creativity in the virtual world.
The Case for Volumetric Capture
The Wild Capture team led by Will Driscoll, CEO, and creative technical director, Louis Normandin, COO and on-set director, and Evan Pesses, Head of Studio, and producer, supervised a one-day shoot with Gatins on the CMII volumetric capture stage.
The production featured Gatins in various uniquely stylized wardrobe garments featuring mixed fabrics and textures, hair pieces, facial coverings, and accessories, all combined with theatrical movements and music.
Wild Capture used its Outfit fashion tool, featuring real world cloth simulations and dynamic fitting to capture Lily’s performance wearing a simple base layer of clothing.
The result was the creation of lifelike, customizable,and bespoke digital character models as well as a collection of curated 3D cloth and hair assets that will be used for a variety of marketing purposes, including real-time experiential activations, social WebAR pieces, and on e-commerce platforms.
"Lily is a visionary fashion artisan and influencer possessing a remarkable sense of style, complemented by an awe-inspiring stage presence," states Driscoll. "We were thrilled to join forces with her and showcase the potential of our powerful volumetric technology to bridge the gap between digital humans and the world of fashion while elevating her presence in the virtual realm."
“Collaborating onset with the Wild Capture team gave me the freedom to move fluidly in my designs and enter the virtual dimension," said Gatins. "Their Outfit tool empowers designers, especially newcomers and independents, to harness tech innovation to create virtual fashion concepts with a high level of realism, without the usual limitations and costs of physical garment production. Moreover, volumetric video capture provides creators with new opportunities to showcase their talents and earn income by repurposing fashion assets on digital marketplaces.”
Lifelike Digital Fashion Assets
With assistance from its CMII production partners, the Wild Capture team used 4DViews Holosys 32 camera system yielding a 2 meter spherical volume to capture Gatins' performances. Wild Capture utilized the Outfit tool to streamline and customize the clothing pipeline. “Throughout the shooting process, our objective was to accurately capture the subtleties of Lily’s varied wardrobe and movement so our system had precise representations of intricate textures, contours, and fabrics that she incorporates in her designs,” explains Normandin. “The real power of Outfit lies in how it applies computer-generated lifelike physics and surface textures to deliver infinitely customizable live human performances. Combined with our Unify Solver technology that automates procedural 3D animation, content creators can produce endless unique, interoperable 3D humans that exhibit unparalleled realism and automated environmental interaction.”
Pesses noted the crew’s collective sense of awe and excitement as they witnessed Lily’s imagination come to life on stage. “Our exclusive approach allowed us to establish an onset environment that fostered Lily’s boundless creativity, free from technical roadblocks,” he said. “Not only were we able to realistically capture her artistic vision through the physical garments that she created, but also the carefully orchestrated movements of her body with and without these extraordinary and intricate outfits. This level of realism to deliver both physical fashion and CG fashion in the same pipeline sets,also known as phygital. which could never be achieved using a traditionally rigged character setup.”
The Gatins project involved a total of three volumetric video captures. Two of these were focused on the artist’s custom wardrobe and accessory designs, featuring the items she personally brought to the set to creatively express her unique style. The third capture involved a collaboration with Wild Capture, Gatins, and a select group of 3D fashion designers from their user community. In this instance, she was filmed wearing minimal clothing that took advantage of the Outfit pipeline. The resulting performance assets were made available to the artists for digital character customization and will also be used in an upcoming product demo for a new Wild Capture release and for use by Gatins on Gumroad and other e-commerce platforms.
Driscoll supervised the robust rendering technology pipeline to achieve the highest fidelity possible. Based on the USD format, the Solaris suite within SideFX Houdini provided look development, layout, and lighting capabilities. Maxon's Redshift Hydra Delegate imaging framework and hair shaders were combined with Wild Capture's custom Subsurface scatter shaders to achieve digital human skin and hair realism. Cloth exports were handled in Adobe Substance 3D Painter software, while Redshift's tri-planar projection capabilities provided efficient clothing texture, material, and pattern control for adding detail to environments and objects. Additionally, the Open Shader Language (OSL) libraries were helpful in generating shaders and procedural mask tools for human feature segmentation. The final polished assets were made available in Alembic, glTF, USD and OBJ file formats as well as holographic displays and 3D projections to ensure widespread accessibility.
“Our collaboration with Lily was a deeply gratifying experience to strengthen relationships with our growing creative community and empower them with assets to create distinct and personalized moments while supporting our ongoing product development," states Driscoll. "The outstanding interoperability in our technology to transform footage into animated characters provides artists and creators with unparalleled flexibility to create and easily share customizable assets across a wide range of platforms such as the Web, media, VFX, and gaming pipelines to drive user engagement in new ways.”
Lily Gatins Volumetric Video Capture Credit List
Lily Gatins - Featured fashion artist
Will Driscoll - Wild Capture CEO and creative technical director
Louis Normandin - Wild Capture COO and onset tech supervisor
Evan Pesses - Wild Capture Head of Studio and producer
Candice Alger - Supervising Producer, Creative Media Industries Institute