Home Press release swatchbook extends 3D visualization of materials and introduces visual asset management

swatchbook extends 3D visualization of materials and introduces visual asset management


80+ 3D assets, interactive graphic placement, real-world lighting, Augmented Reality (AR) and asset management are taking exploration and development of materials to the next level

Irvine, CA, December 4, 2018 – swatchbook announced the immediate availability of an expansive feature set that will take 3D visualization of materials to the next level. In addition, swatchbook’s cloud-based material management platform has expanded to also manage assets such as graphics, color, 2D and 3D assets, as well as documents, taking a significant step in the direction of becoming a true visual asset management solution designed for designers and creative people of all kinds.

Building on the recently introduced, patent-pending “capture to manufacture” technology and workflow which allows any designer to accurately visualize material mapped onto a 3D object in real-time without the need of any 3D skills, these latest developments give users even more confidence in the representation of digital materials, thus reducing the dependency on physical samples even further. Furthermore, designers have now, for the first time, a platform that allows them to manage all of their creative assets simultaneously.

“This latest update marks yet another significant milestone in our MLM (Material Lifecycle Management) strategy,” says Yazan Malkosh, CEO of swatchbook. “The new visualization features will make the transition from physical to digital, and from 2D to 3D much easier, which will speed up the development but also the sourcing of materials tremendously. Being able to manage all other digital assets in parallel with materials, swatchbook now offers a complete solution when it comes for material management, development, and sourcing.”

80+ predefined or custom 3D assets – through smart tags

With the introduction of smart tags earlier this year swatchbook users are able to tie a 3D asset to a material by selecting the desired smart tag in the browser or in the iOS app. The latest update to swatchbook introduces over 80 3D assets in various categories. Whether you work in apparel or footwear, browse through the smart tags and select the one for your material. swatchbook will use the assigned smart tags and load the associated 3D model, wrap the material around it, and prepare the 3D scene. The 3D scene is stored with the material and can be shared with anyone involved in the design process, including suppliers.

swatchbook will continue to expand the collection of 3D models in many categories on an ongoing basis.

For organizations who already have an established 3D pipeline, swatchbook subscribers can now upload their own 3D assets, and share them with their organization through smart tags in addition to or instead of the predefined swatchbook assets.

Interactive graphic placement

Graphics are managed as separate assets in swatchbook. Users can browse them independently from materials, and also put them into collections, or share them. Graphics can be placed interactively on top of a material applied to a 3D object. In the realtime viewer, the designer can move the graphic on top of the garment or shoe, resize, rotate and even swap out the graphic. This also works in conjunction with material ranges to visualize graphic in combination with different colors of a material.

Working with color

Rather than tying a seasonal color palette for example to each material in a collection, swatchbook allows users to manage their colors separately by either entering or uploading colors individually, or in form of a color library. Color ranges for materials can then be created based on selected colors or entire color collections.

Managing assets

With swatchbook you can manage any 2D or 3D asset for easy re-use in the material and product design process. Swatchbook will host Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop files, trim, lasts, 3D fit avatars and more. Any digital asset you can think of that is part of the digital process can be managed inside swatchbook.

Real-world lighting – change with a click

To evaluate materials with even more accuracy and get an understanding on how a material behaves under different lighting conditions, swatchbook offers 5 real-world lighting environments that can be changed with a simple button push. Whether in your desktop browser or on your iOS app, you select the lighting scenario and swatchbook does the rest. Lighting, shadows and reflections will update instantly.

Augmented Reality (AR) for materials

AR is now in integral part of the 3D viewer inside swatchbook on iOS. Directly from the 3D environment you can launch your 3D asset with the current material AR. Objects and therefore materials are true to size so you can get a perfect understanding of the material on the object, in context to the real world. Place the shirt on a table, the shoe on a floor, the accessory on a shelf in a store, spin it, move it, get close to it, or even walk around it. And all that while the material is realistically represented on the object. In addition, with the introduction of ARKit 2 objects, the AR scene is using lighting and reflection of your current location.

“As the apparel and footwear industry is transitioning into 3D, having confidence in the digital representation of materials is of the utmost importance,” says Thomas Teger, CPO of swatchbook. “When people can see their material, mapped onto an object, exposed to realworld lighting, placed in front of them, that’s when they start to believe and trust.”

Even more features and improvements

The new update to swatchbook features a total of 350 improvements. Some other noticeable improvements include:

  • Pinned filters: quickly make filters sticky to work only with a subset of materials in the library.
  • Duplicate: create a copy of your material, and use it develop a brand new material using and existing material as a starting point.
  • Branch and break: create a branch from an existing material allowing you to develop derivatives of an existing material while maintaining a link to the original material. At any point you can break the connection and make it a standalone material without any ties to the original material.
  • Improved materials: materials inside swatchbook have undergone a serious makeover to have an even more realistic realtime representation. Metal has been added as a new material, ideal for materials with that metallic look.
  • Faster capture to manufacture workflow: rather than waiting until new material and graphic captures have been uploaded to the cloud, users can instantly display their concepts on the 3D object of their choice.


swatchbook’s latest update is immediately available to all subscribers on both iOS as well as through the web browser. The iOS application (version 1.3) for both iPhone and iPad can be downloaded through Apple’s app store.

To request a trial please contact sales@swatchbook.us, or select “request access” through the website or app.

Learn more

To learn more about swatchbook’s capabilities, integrations and partners visit www.swatchbook.us.

About swatchbook, inc

swatchbook is a design & software company that develops applications that make you smile. Founded in 2017, the company focuses on the development of cloud, desktop & mobile software applications that help integrate the creative community within an organization into the product development process.

swatchbook is located in sunny Irvine, CA. Its founders share a deep passion for good design & workflow, as well as a deep understanding of the challenges in the digital product development process & the future needs of companies in many industries.

Lydia Mageean Lydia Mageean has been part of the WhichPLM team for eight years now. She has a creative and media background, and is responsible for maintaining and updating our website content, liaising with advertisers, working on special projects like our PLM Project Pack, or our Annual Publications, and more.Joining mid-2013 as our Online Editor, she has since become WhichPLM’s Editor. In addition to taking on writing and interviewing responsibilities, Lydia has also become the primary point of contact for news, events, features and other aspects of our ever-growing online content library and tools.