A new visual software tool that can help fashion companies communicate garment fit issues with their suppliers has been launched by Shapely Shadow.

Inspired by flip books first introduced by the Victorians in 1868, FastFit360 cuts up to 99 frames out of 15 seconds of digital video to create an image of a garment rotating 360 degrees.

The resulting 1 MB file is not a large video or Flash file, and eliminates the need to take multiple photos of a garment from different angles, or to create video files that are too large to e-mail.

Not only can a garment be captured from every angle, but written comments can be inserted into the images, and fit revision directions communicated without a separate written comment.

The FastFit360 application comes as part of a hosted solution that allows workers in any part of the world to access a new product in development so that they can track changes and view the thread of comments from all those involved in the project.

This also eliminates the need for every worker to store large number of e-mail messages since they are all in one place.  

"Web-based interactive communication...reduces the scope of errors in interpretation of fit comments and provides a good understanding of silhouette issues," explains Roxy Starr, chief technical officer at Shapely Shadow.

To create a FastFit360 file, users import video into a computer using a digital video camera, then use the application to create rotating images of garments.

The tool is a configurable, software as a service (SaaS) application that integrates with PDM/PLM.