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Infographic: Watchmaker tells design story in 3D

Did you know that “exquisite multilayered watch design” in French is 4N-MVT01? Adventurous fashion and accessory designers have one finger on the pulse of high fashion and the rest on an exciting palette of 3D design tools. Meet FashionLab by Dassault Syst mes. It’s where the industry’s most creative minds unleash their imaginations and expect powerful performance to match. So, what has the “incubator” of 3-D design tools been hatching this time?

In a (bejewelled) nutshell, it’s a glamorous production in fine French design, powered by a new generation of Dell workstations with Intel Xeon processors featuring an unprecedented number of graphic cards. The high-tech supporting cast includes an unusual number of video cameras to achieve a new level of 3D (and you thought all 3D was created equal!).

But let’s start at the beginning: with designer, FashionLab ambassador and creator of the 4N watch brand: Fran ois Quentin. He has designed several contemporary models for Swiss and French watchmakers and amassed a wide range of design skills in the process. Add an avid interest in both mechanics and technology, and his 4N watches were born. These ruggedly masculine, high-tech timepieces house a complex mechanism behind a digital display – so they move beyond typical mechanical watch design with moving hands. And they don’t merely tell the time, but reveal it by relaying time’s rhythmic movement. 4N = four numbers on a unique display.

Quentin wanted to showcase his latest creation, the 4N-MVT01, at BaselWorld 2014. With 122,000 visitors from 100 countries and 1,460 international exhibitors, it’s the biggest and most important event on the watch and jewelry industry calendar. Yet what sort of presentation would do a stand-out design with 514 components justice, while demonstrating the unique intricacies and complexities of its behind-the-face workings? Powerful partners, FashionLab and Dell, brought the design simulation to life with a ground-breaking full HD 3D video

When viewing the video, one thing is impressively, glaringly absent: 3D glasses. The Alioscopy displays show three-dimensional images instantly, without the need for cumbersome eyewear. Each eye sees a different image through a high-precision lenticular lens fitted onto the LCD panel, creating a fully natural sensation of depth.

The solution consisted of:

Dell and FashionLab are long-standing partners and working with Dell has helped cement FashionLab’s reputation as a pioneer in the world of fashion and luxury. “We’re involved in the cutting-edge of fashion design, so it’s important to us that we always collaborate with the best. That’s why we chose to work closely with a Dell expert,” explains Thierry Rouf, Director of Research at FashionLab by Dassault Syst mes.

Creating the lenticular pictures required for the 3D screens is extremely data-intensive. The Dell Precision workstations powered by the Intel technology ran 24/7 for three weeks of rendering, and processed 15,500 images at speeds of 30 frames/second. Dell is the only provider on the market to offer workstations with three powerful graphics cards. To get the 3D effect, five viewpoints were needed, which meant five virtual video cameras and five images per frame.

Quentin was more than satisfied that his demands were met throughout. “Technology works as an extension of me – it’s the tool that allows me to create,” he says in this behind-the-scenes video. “To promote my watch at my stand at BaselWorld, I needed extremely powerful technology. The first time I used the Dell workstation I was really impressed by the performance, computing power and realistic renderings of the synthetic images. And it’s extremely fast. It runs up to 20 times quicker than my previous computer.”

Careful planning and effective collaboration ensured a successful exhibition. After a pilot, the 4N-MVT01’s dramatic design simulation was successfully presented at BaselWorld 2014.

“Luxury means excellence. That’s why, for our luxury designs, we choose Dell,” concludes Rouf, and the partners look forward to further pushing back boundaries in high-speed.

The World Is Watching FashionLab Launches Timepiece In 3D from Dell Enterprise

Read more about the FashionLab story and to learn about other Dell Customer Stories, follow #DellStory on Twitter.

Dell Inc.
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