Five questions on VR design with Geoff Deas from Anta

Continuing with our Five Questions series: Geoff Deas, Creative Director at Anta, discusses the history of footwear design processes and integrating 3D design and Gravity Sketch into his workflow.

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Five questions on VR design with Geoff Deas from Anta
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Following up from our last blog post with Anta US Design Studio Director Sean O’Shea, we are sharing the answers from Creative Director, Geoff Deas.

Over the past three years, we have grown an amazing community of professional designers, artists, and students. We work closely with the community to further develop Gravity Sketch to better fit their workflows. Every day we speak with customers and users to gain insights and a better understanding of how they work, what motivates them and what we can do better as a team.

We wanted to share the answers from Sean and Geoff because we were blown away by their enthusiasm for Gravity Sketch. When we first spoke to them, we were impressed by how quickly they had picked up the tool and integrated it into their process, with very little support from our team. As we have now been working more closely with the Anta team, and they are now utilising our collaboration feature, we are even more excited to see what they do next.


Watch the video below to hear directly from Geoff about the history of footwear design tools and workflows.


How did you first discover Gravity Sketch and what drew your attention?

Our design studio is always looking at how we can push the limits of our creative process. We’re fortunate to have the support of Anta corporate, they look to us to discover new techniques to help the overall design process. We’ve tried to implement other 3D software and failed repeatedly. We saw our design intern, Tommy Oleson, producing amazing 3D renderings and later find out it was all Gravity Sketch work. After some research and purchasing of virtual reality hardware we flew Tommy down to teach us how to work with the tool. We thought it would take us months to learn how to use Gravity Sketch but once inside the program we quickly realized how intuitive it was and immediately recognized it’s potential. Either Tommy is an amazing teacher or this programme is super intuitive; it took us a week to become comfortable and productive with VR and Gravity Sketch.

How do you integrate 3D into your workflow? How was this different from the 2D workflow?

Gravity Sketch has enabled us to implement 3D into the ideation phase, our first ideas and early concepts are created directly in 3D from the start of the design process. Having the ability to explore shapes and different design languages quickly in 3D has been tremendously beneficial and empowering; in addition, you can try a few different options quickly in great detail. We problem solve earlier and deliver detailed 3D work to make sure that we communicate the concept to stakeholders who are not familiar with reading CAD drawings. Rotating and navigating around a digital 3D model is easily understandable by the wider team and the factories; there is no mistake in exactly what your intent is. What’s great is that this process is just as fast and often faster than other techniques.

Where do you feel Co-Creation could have the biggest impact in the entire design process and what excites you about virtual collaboration?

We’ve always been a remote team to the wider company. Anta corporate is based in China so having the ability to collaborate with them in the same digital space is helping speed up the creation process. With this process all of the participants can understand the design with their own perspective. This process is so clear and efficient that one day we might not need to sample anymore. All the time and money wasted on samples as well as development trips back and forth to China could be drastically cut down. We can then focus more time and energy on creativity and innovation to get a shoe that looks exactly like what we want as we solve all the problems the design may pose as we get closer to production.

What was the most surprising / enjoyable part about working in 3D?

You have such an emotional reaction when you’re submerged in your creation, you can’t not be passionate about what you’re creating at that point. I was really surprised how intuitive it was when I first started working in Gravity Sketch. Now after having a quick brainstorm session with the team I get into VR and knock out five or six different 3D forms which move the process forward faster. We can take these early forms into KeyShot for some quick renders pushing the process forward even further – we were not expecting this level of spend and creative accuracy. We are getting things so well developed in the tool that it’s getting to the point where we are showing buyers 3D models and renders and they’re writing orders from the 3D work. Eliminating the need for rounds of sampling is on the horizon which is an unexpected surprise of integrating digital 3D design into the pipeline at the front end.

What words of wisdom would you share with people who are considering diving into VR design for the first time?

To any designer, I would first and foremost tell them to enjoy the process and have fun. Gravity Sketch allows you to explore complex shapes in 3D without needing to have a PhD in modeling. I’m for sure proof that ‘you can teach an old dog new tricks’. Designing digitally in 3D in an intuitive creative way is now possible and resulting in a turning point for the future of design, everyone needs to be here, companies are going to start demanding it. I’m in design because I like to find solutions for things and this is so clearly a solution to so many challenges in the current process. At the end of the day if you’re a designer and want to keep up, you’ve got to adapt or die.

Design created in Gravity Sketch and rendered in KeyShot


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