Janis Sne is a 3D sportswear designer based in Germany who takes the art of apparel to new levels. His mastery of garment construction gives him intimate knowledge over every stitch and seam, and his love for product design brings new approaches to sustainability, ergonomics, and form. He uses KeyShot to explore his experiments and visualize his final design. Here, he shares more about why that is so important and why he loves what he does.
What sparked your interest in becoming an Apparel Designer?
Some of the best things in life are mistakes. It all started as a coincidence because I always wanted to be a product designer. By accident, I ended up in the Fashion Department. Purely because of my passion for snowboarding and technical outerwear. The love for product design always followed me and I wanted to reflect it in my apparel concepts. I think these two fields are actually pretty connected in bringing together the visual storytelling, functionality, and final usability. An as an apparel designer, I use a lot of fundamental design principles as any other product designer would.
What was the turning point in your career?
Growing up as a snowboard photographer in this highly creative scene, I was inspired to look at the world from a different perspective – the light, the movement, the composition. This inspired me to explore other creative fields. Later, when studying Fashion, I always felt like I was doing two completely different things – Art and Photography. Sounds pretty obvious, but the magic happened when I realized that every skill and experience of my life could be combined. The simple truth about mixing all my skills made me realize that it is such a powerful thing to master many things in your life, rather than focus only in one corner. Ever since, and over the years, I remain curious and learn as much as I can. But the biggest turning point happened when I started to blend my photography skills, my art direction, and my apparel designs with 3D software. It was a place, where I could finally express everything I had in my head. This is why I really love 3D technology — it provides a fresh perspective and so many new possibilities for creatives.
What is unique about your approach to a project?
My approach puts a strong emphasis on quality. There are usually two types of people 1) technical 3D designers, who are very strong in understanding the software but lack the creative and design background and 2) the creatives, who are full of ideas and always look for something fresh and exciting but lack the strength in technical fields and engineering. Both have strengths and weaknesses so they depend a lot on each other.
Over the years, I realized you can be as creative as you want, but if you can’t make your ideas work, it means nothing at the end of the day. So, I set out to master multiple skills outside of my field just so I could be a more confident, stronger individual artist who could deliver every concept idea.
I believe that, finally, I have reached the level where I can freely come up with any idea and also technically execute it. All my projects are done almost completely by myself from start to finish. I don’t depend on other people, which is a hard skill to master, but very valuable in the industry.
What is your primary 3D modeling software?
Since I mostly create 3D apparel concepts, I use Clo3D. If I create sneaker concepts, I combine Clo3D with ZBrush. These softwares are very powerful and give me great control over the creation process.
Where in the process do you use KeyShot?
I use KeyShot for the final visualization of my projects. I usually start with different design explorations, experimenting with colors, textures, branding, and lights. Next, I’ll pick the best ideas and move forward to the final rendering. It’s really crucial to my process to perform these quick experiments and explore all the different ideas. This ensures I am not missing something with great potential. Visualization is everything nowadays! Many times, I see designers who go straight to the final rendering without deeper exploration. It’s not awful, but sometimes you can miss unexpected design solutions with more potential and a stronger outcome than you would expect.
What makes KeyShot an important tool to have?
KeyShot is such great software for any creative person. It’s super easy to master and so easy to use. I don’t think there is any other software out there, that is so simple, yet powerful.
I am one of those people who doesn’t like to waste my time and energy trying to learn simple things buried under deep technical terms and specific places in the software. And the old-fashioned interfaces just disrupt the creative process. I can really sense the effort from the KeyShot team to simplify everything but not lose the quality and depth of detail. I always look for the most spontaneous and fun experience when it comes to digital creation tools. KeyShot is all about that and more. Drag and drop, copy, paste. It has a great library of assets ready to access with few clicks. Can it be any easier? KeyShot has had a major impact on my work ever since I started to use it.
What advice would you give to someone interested in doing what you do?
We live in a world, where it’s so easy to find information about everything. Yet, people are always finding excuses to not do what they really love. I believe that great ideas take a lot of time, dedication, and patience. Ask any great person — an athlete, designer, or scientist — they all have a huge amount of work and experience. I would recommend learning and mastering your focus, dedication, and energy. Practice these human abilities as you would a muscle, every day. I see a new generation growing up with a lack of focus and big excuses for laziness. If you can fully commit yourself to work every day and push yourself through personal development, sooner or later, you will gain the knowledge and skillset you desire.
Very simple, but yet crucial truth! Don’t look for the easy way out. Read and learn daily, find your inspiration, deconstruct everything that you see and learn from it. It is a long and bumpy road to be a master in your craft. Don’t count the likes, but fulfill yourself with passion doing what you love! Embrace your individuality and love what you love without worrying about the judgment! Every morning you have two choices — continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them.
More at janissne.com