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New Partnership with X-Rite PANTONE® Brings Total Appearance Capture Design Virtualization to the Color and Materials Studio of Globally Recognized Footwear and Functional Apparel Design School

Portland, Ore. – May 8, 2019 – PENSOLE Academy and X-Rite PANTONE® today announced that PENSOLE’s color/materials/finishes studio, MLab, is the first educational institution on the planet to receive X-Rite PANTONE’s new Total Appearance Capture (TAC) Ecosystem, according to MLab founder and Director of Color and Materials Suzette Henry.

“I am beyond excited to be creating a comprehensive curriculum dedicated to 3D materialization, and as PENSOLE expands its talent pool to include 3D designers, the MLab will complement this skill through the utilization of TAC technology,” Henry said.  “The future of the CMD role has evolved and the MLab is the creative space to educate the skills needed for this change.”

It is Henry’s goal to create a unique space for the TAC Ecosystem to augment the work of a traditional color and material designer, feeding into the footwear and apparel product creation process, not just for students but also for brands who seek consulting services from MLab. “We will add a layer of expertise with CMF to the TAC ecosystem,” she said. “The MLab will also offer brand 3D scanning services to empower creatives to learn by doing. All in all, our world grows more colorful and tactile but now through a 3D lens.”

The TAC is a seamless ecosystem of sophisticated but intuitive software and instruments that streamlines the creation of dimensional and virtual material libraries and extremely lifelike product renderings, generating physically accurate measurements that ensure that virtual materials match with their physical counterparts under any lighting condition and in any scenario, providing for the reuse of materials across multiple product lines and variations.

“I met Suzette and her staff at the FN Platform footwear tradeshow in Las Vegas,” X-Rite PANTONE North American sales manager Bruce Wright said. “And I immediately knew PENSOLE, and in particular MLab, could benefit significantly from having the ecosystem in-house in furthering the school’s remarkable mission of fostering and elevating the next generation of footwear and functional apparel design talent.”

For material designers at MLab, the TAC Ecosystem comprises three steps:

  • The TAC7 scanner captures and stores color, texture, gloss and other surface appearance characteristics of physical material samples. Scanned results are captured and shared via an Appearance Exchange File (AxF), a vendor neutral file format that is easily accessed by most major Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and state-of-the art rendering applications. The result is highly accurate files and reduced time for manual adjustments.
  • The PANTORA Material Hub is a desktop application that enables a designer to store, edit and share digital files across all PLM and CAD systems applications. The result is consistent material renderings from design to production and point of sale.
  • Finally, the Virtual Light Booth provides an unparalleled ability to accurately compare physical and digital material samples under the exact same perceptual conditions – from illumination to contextual to observational factors. The technology enables designers to make more informed material selections, reduces approval times, improves product quality, and accelerates time to market.

The TAC process also delivers significant time and cost savings due to a lesser need for manual adjustments made to files within most design tools, which ensures realistic, accurate and consistent appearance throughout the design, production and marketing processes.

About MLab at PENSOLE

Suzette Henry created MLab in 2012 as a dedicated resource for PENSOLE Academy, providing color technology and material innovation in customized educational programs. Through vendor partnerships and a culture of creative transparency, MLab has become a global talent pool for color and material design through its curriculum, professional development and mentoring.

The PENSOLE/MLab partnership sets the school apart as the only educational institution in North America that provides this combined skill and training. MLab is always evolving collectively to incorporate both seasonal and future learnings from a variety of industries to bridge communication and connect the threads of design. The goal is to be passionate about CMF and change lives.

About X-Rite PANTONE

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, X-Rite is a global company with locations around the world. Experts in blending the art and science of color, we focus on providing complete end-to-end color management solutions for our clients in every industry where color matters.



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