Importing a shoe last into Gravity Sketch

I think it’s time for me to learn some sort of 3D, was contacted by gravity sketch a few times but forgot to reply (busy season). I already have a lot of digital last files - I develop my lasts and heels at Springline in the UK then get them digitised and sent to whatever factory I’m working with. I’m thinking Gravity sketch or Blender. I love learning new software, but I don’t learn well from courses, I learn better by looking things up, reading advice in forums and teaching myself. How is this taught? If it’s mostly on Youtube then that’s great - I have taught myself software using Youtube lots!

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I’ve messed around with Gravity Sketch @shoenista, there are a lot of YouTube tutorials. Also, Gravity Sketch might have someone in London that can give you some one on one time. They are pretty good about doing that for free.

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Indeed the next generation is learning an entire new set of design methods from the outset. Their neural pathways are completely different from the two dimensional logic and reason of many of the designers on this forum. Are there any “Mavrick Work Flows” left that can save the day? :rofl:

How the GS is going Jessica?

Are you using it with the full VR headset thing?

I tried that for a little bit but didn’t find it very useful in my process of making real footwear for commercialization. You know, actual lasts and molds and stuff.

I’m curious if you work it into your workflow especially since you do more traditional fashion footwear (heels and such) vs more athletic based stuff from what I understand.

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@shoenista Hey Jessica, I’ve recently joined the GS team coming from a long footwear background so I’ve been on the same learning journey as you are on as I pick up the tool and am exploring its benefits.

Whilst 2D is still absolutely relevant, I couldn’t agree more that 3D’s are coming increasingly helpful in the creation journey. In projects where I’ve provided a 3D file I’ve was able to reduce my sample rounds and interestingly, some of the factories began to ask me if I had a 3D for them. So certainly worth exploring…

You might be interested in checking out Anna Kardan’s work on Instagram. She works in a similar field to you and has made pretty good use of Gravity Sketch.

Youtube is one of the best learning resources at the moment for GS tutorials, and there is a lot of good onboarding material in the software itself to help you on your journey.

Feel free to reach out, just shoot a note on the Gravity Sketch Instagram and I’ll pick it up. I’d be interested to know how you proceed and where the team at GS can help you.



I haven’t started yet, I’m flat out at the moment, I also want to upgrade to a gaming laptop and that’s gonna have to wait too. I suspect. It’ll be a Christmas holidays thing. BUT I use Adobe 3D in Illustrator quite a bit, it’s useful when designing accessories and getting silicone emboss/3d shapes and subtleties across to a factory who doesn’t understand the aesthetic of my client. I sent a tech out for an ornament and it came back looking weird, I’ve redone the tech with some Adobe 3D (in Illustrator) for the finished item and the patterns to cut it out and make (it’s bonded leather) and assembly so I’m hoping that this time they do what I want! I hear what you’re saying about real footwear, I develop all my own lasts, heels and platforms with Springline and I will provide paper patterns if they’re not getting something right - eg kiltie on a loafer - I think to do it in paper and then cut in leather and try it on the kit I’m using IRL is probably easier for me to see if it’s going to work and for the factory to understand than sending a 3D image where they can’t see the underlay allowance, or where I want it skived and stitched underneath etc. But the factory I’m working with right now made all the heels taking my wooden models, scanning them and using 3D printing for the samples, before we opened the moulds, so I could ask for that data and have a play? For heel design and modelling, 3D could be super useful because I’ll never be able to carve a heel from wood in 20 minutes like John at Springline can! I’m seeing this as an extra string to my bow, but I also saw the footwear technologist course that SATRA offers and thought, hmm as a technical designer perhaps this could be useful?

And I’d say the more photo realistic my design work is, the better samples I get back from the factory. Whether its worth doing 3d for this - I don’t think so, I do get contact about 3D from time to time, but I’m guessing its more about cutting out stages of prototyping and for presentations? Thing is with footwear, you’re going to have to make it, get it on the foot and fit it at some point aren’t you?

Can I ask a couple quick questions? your experience is really interesting…

Are you getting contacted by the factory for 3D or from clients for 3D?
How long do you feel it takes you to get something photorealistic enough to significantly improve sample quality?

Totally agree, remembering our deliverable is key and footwear is very much a physical product. I guess it’s the process to get there that is an interesting conversation…

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I ocassionally get contacted by potential clients for 3D. They are trade not entrepreneurs, big corporations, in womens fashion. It seems to be to reduce the amount of sampling for sustainability reasons. Obviously it takes more time and these big corps are able to bankroll it. If I’m doing new outsoles (especially leisure/sneakers type then I collab with another freelancer to get the 3D done, I’ll make a blueprint and give it to him to do the 3D - he uses Rhino and after 25 years in the innovation team at Clarks he knows what he’s doing so there’s no point in me offering this because he’s quick and precise.
Last year one of my clients forgot to order samples for her USA sales reps to meet some of the dates and they needed something to show. I made photo realistic 2D images and we put together a look book. It took me about 4 hours per style (apart from the woven ones). I don’t think anyone realised they weren’t real. I did use some photos of existing kits (heels/soles) which made it easier. Nailed it and she was so pleased. I can probably do something in 3 hours, now, it won’t look quite as real as the lookbook images, but it’ll get me what I want when in a tech pack.
I’ve now got quite a library of different leather textures, stitches brushes, hardware etc which speeds things up, but not for 3D. I know from following Paco Planelles (who for me is the best) that it’s the textures that make the render. I also know it’s a slow process but it’s something I’d love to do for the enjoyment of it too.
Factories do use 3D already but it’s pattern engineering/grading software such as Crispin or Shoemaster. I get asked for that too, but I pass that work on.

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Congrats on making that date for the USA sales rep! Interesting… Same story during my time at adidas. digital sampling is a huge deal, especially for new colors and new material models.

Curious to see how you get on Gravity Sketch. When you give it a go, let me know because I’d be happy to jump on with you. I’m no master yet… but already made huge strides over the few days that I’ve been using it.

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