Fabric imaging provides the visual representation of the 3D fabric asset. You can capture the raw image of a fabric using a flatbed scanner, or a specialized machine such as Vizoo's xTex scanner.
For best results, follow these guidelines when capturing fabric textures:
Use a flatbed scanner to ensure the highest quality capture.
Fabric must be a minimum of 2” x 2” (5 cm x 5 cm) in size. For printed fabric, the full repeat in all directions must be present in the scan so the print can be repeated correctly in 3D.
Fabric must be the final treated fabric.
Fabric must be clean and free of:
Iron the fabric if necessary.
Use a lint roller or tape to remove any visible lint or hair on the swatch.
Make sure no bowing or defects are present in the swatch being scanned.
Lay the fabric flat on the scanner, checking again that there are no wrinkles or folds.
For example, the scans shown in the following image are unacceptable scans for 3D material creation.
Scan fabrics at a minimum resolution of 600 DPI. The final image must not be blurry, and the fabric weave/knit detail should be clear and recognizable.
If a fabric has different textures on its face and back, you should capture the image of each side.
Lighting in the scanner must be uniform so the scanned fabric is evenly lit. There should be no shadows apparent in the scan.
Save the scan using your company’s naming convention, noting the location for easy access in the future.
Fabrics with a large amount of depth, such as faux fur, are more difficult to represent correctly in 3D since the depth is uniform rather than varied.
Capturing with a Flatbed Scanner
This is the simplest way to capture the image of a fabric, but you have less control over the final result.
Use a good quality, standard flatbed scanner.
Ensure that you can capture in an image format such as JPEG. Use of PDF is not recommended.
Scan at the highest resolution possible, preferably 600 dpi or better.
Scan the largest area possible. The fabric should fill the scanner bed.
Save the raw (original) scan as a separate file for backup before tiling.
Fabrics with depth, such as fleeces, plush, and some brushed fabrics may become distorted in a flatbed scanner if the cover or lid presses on the fabric.
Capturing with the xTex Scanner
The xTex Scanner provides a more controlled environment to capture the fabric and then seamlessly integrates with the xTex software to create a fabric repeat. A scan typically takes less than 2 minutes and the output is up to 1200 dpi in resolution. To use the xTex Scanner you must have a hardware license and a software license. A small range of cameras are compatible with the xTex Scanner.
For more information, refer to Vizoo's website.
For more information about Vizoo's partnership with Browzwear, click here.
To capture fabric images with the xTex scanner, take the following steps:
Before beginning imaging, use scanner calibration and focus calibration to ensure best results, specifically color and detail. The preferences must also be altered according to the transparency of the fabric.
Download and install xTex software.
Turn on the scanner. The switch for the scanner is on the back, lower, right side of the scanner. There is no need to turn on the camera because the power for the camera is connected to the box.
Connect your computer to the scanner using the USB cable.
Click Material, then Scanner Calibration.
Place the Color Checker (24 C) in the xTex Scanner, then click Color Checker (24C).
A calibration notification appears asking for the calibration chart to be removed.
Remove the color checker, then click Continue .
To do the focus calibration:
Place the Color Checker (24 C) in the xTex Scanner.
Click Material, then Focus Calibration.
The Autofocusing Camera progress bar is displayed, allowing you to see when focus calibration is complete.
To capture with transparency, You must edit the settings before scanning.
To edit the preferences:
Click Edit, then Preferences.
Click Color Texture.
RGB - to scan fabrics without transparency
RGBA - to scan fabrics with transparency
The xTex Scanner has a drawer on the bottom that can be pulled out. This area is where the swatch is placed for photographing.
Place the fabric in the drawer face up and cover as much of the imaging area as possible. If the swatch is large, use the small, round magnets that are on the top of the Vizoo box to hold the fabric in place. Place the magnets on the top lip of the box and on the inner side. If extra fabric is not laying flat, it can create a shadow on the image.
It is recommended to try and maintain consistency by always placing the fabric grain line in the same direction whenever imaging. This should minimize confusion further on.
Once all of the above is done, you can begin capturing your fabric image.
The first icon on the left hand side is the capture preview button. Use this button to take an image preview. A capture preview image loading bar is displayed.
If the image looks good, then click the green check to confirm. If there are some issues with the image, then crop the selection area using the bounding box to select a good image, and then click the green check.
An image can be considered good if the area is free of excessive wrinkles, shading, and lint.
If there are large issues with the image then the capture should be redone after removing any issues on the swatch.
A status bar is displayed as the final image is taken and combined. This involves the camera taking multiple photos and going through synthesis to create the final image. This may take a few minutes.
Save the raw (original) scan as a separate file for backup, before tiling.
Is there a recommended format or setting for maps brought in from Vizoo?
There is no recommended formatting. However, by default Vizoo provide very large maps - including 16-bit color maps - which are larger than needed and may adversely affect performance. We suggest reducing the maps to 2K or a maximum of 4K resolution. Generally, we downgrade 16-bit color maps to 8-bit.