The metaverse is part of a digitally enabled future we’re seeing evolving at a rapid pace. It’s the Next Big Thing not only for the tech world but also for creatives who can share their concepts without the limitations of the physical world.
Although metaverse design is still in the early stages, this giant digital platform is unlocking a new creator economy along with a new way of storytelling. The metaverse isn’t static - it’s a naturally 3D world. With its inclusion of interactive experiences and the ability to craft virtual worlds, the metaverse requires designers and 3D artists to go beyond what is simply visually pleasing. They must create a different approach to the communication between design and its audience.
Visualising utopia for fabrics
As a business born out of a desire to innovate in the textile industry, Twinbru sees the potential of the metaverse as a way of taking fabrics into a new realm. Inspired by what is possible with the development of the metaverse, we set out to push the boundaries of fabrics and how they could be showcased.
We want to inspire the textile industry as well as related businesses to connect with the digital world in a meaningful way. Fabric digital twins have fantastic potential and it was vital to not just say it but show it. With the rise of trends like dreaming, digital authenticity and escaping to digital worlds, the idea was born for digital utopian scenes.
The right partner
The concept was simple: A building with four rooms. Each room would be dedicated to one of the key brands within Bru Textiles. In this room, the brand would come to life through colour, texture and practical examples of the use of its fabric digital twins.
I imagined a futuristic building with large windows, with amazing dreamy nature landscape views, looking towards the world and being curious, and what is happening in this new world. - Nancy Claessens
Twinbru already has fabric digital twins and tens of thousands of scene renders. With the right partner, these assets could be transformed into a unique digital showcase. We chose to collaborate with Nanopixel, a highly acclaimed international company. As a market leader in high-end 3D visualisations and groundbreaking digital experiences, Nanopixel shared Twinbru’s value of partnerships as well as imagination. They understood the vision and intention of the utopian scenes and created the imagery and animation to bring the project to life.
Specifics for virtual spaces
For each of the four brands - FibreGuard, FibreGuard Pro, FibreGuard Out and FR-One - their distinct personalities needed a set of characteristics that shape the scene. To unify and simplify the choices, the focus was on a specific colour mood, the type of fabric and how to use the fabric in the ideal environment for which it's designed. The scenes were inspired by nature and complemented with beautiful decor. And, each room features a perfect futuristic chair model, chosen specifically for the brand.
What makes for good design is accessibility. For the utopian scenes, they couldn’t feel far away or inaccessible to the viewer. This is why the scenes have dreamy nature landscape views and an inherent sense of curiosity. The decor also isn’t too futuristic and still gives a welcoming feeling.
This utopian vision was a technical challenge for Nanopixel. Animating the scenes couldn’t diminish the beauty of the 2D images and elements such as lighting had to be perfectly consistent. To assist the 3D designers in capturing the character of each brand, they had access to the Twinbru digital twin library and could also experience physical samples of the selected fabrics. It meant the artists could use their experience of the physical fabric to optimise the look and “feel” of its digital twin.
Innovating for the future
The result is four breathtaking utopian scenes that could easily become a virtual environment in the metaverse. While it would have been easy to monetise the scenes or even make them an example of commercial design spaces, that was not the goal. Instead, the scenes serve as inspiration for 3D artists and designers to reimagine their visualisations and explore the possibilities of digital assets like Twinbru’s digital twins.
Design, especially 3D design, is entering an invigorating era. Partnerships and collaboration are expanding ideas with the combination of different skills, talents and perspectives. The digital tools available are also improving at increasing speed and a little help from AI is giving designers time to focus on creativity. Now is the time to embrace design as experiential creation - bringing dreams to life, igniting the senses, and evoking emotions. What creating the metaverse is showing us is that imagination has no limits. So, let’s go boldly forward.