X-Rite/Pantone's Virtual Light Booth creates virtual testing ground for designers

X-Rite Materials Digitization expert Bruce Wright will detail a new system for verifying surface color matches between furnishings, case goods and other interior architectural elements with the original fabric and panel surfaces. 

Developed by X-Rite/Pantone, leaders in verifying color consistency, the Virtual Light Booth helps match colors in surfaces and on objects. It is linked to the Total Appearance Capture Ecosystem, which converts physical materials – fabric, or an engineered panel surface - into digital files. Together these let furniture and interior designers test different design colors and patterns virtually. 

As companies transition to digital manufacturing processes, there is a growing need for physically precise virtual designs that can realistically represent the true appearance of the final product. To date, CAD and rendering software solutions have been limited in their ability to visualize physical appearance characteristics such as texture, gloss, transparency and opacity. The Total Appearance Capture Ecosystem and Virtual Light Booth makes it possible to capture and verify the true appearance of a material in a digital environment.

An Accurate, Side-By-Side Visualization and Comparison

The Virtual Light Booth enables accurate, side-by-side visualization and comparison of 3D digital material renderings with physical material samples under the exact same perceptual conditions – from illumination to contextual to observational factors. It also lets an object be viewed from multiple angles. Motion and facial tracking adjusts the virtual representation as the person using the booth changes viewing angle changes, ensuring accurate evaluation of materials that use special-effect pigments—whose color and appearance change based on the viewing angle.

Presenter Bruce Wright has been involved in the digital print and color management industries for over 30 years, and has been with X-Rite/Pantone for the past twelve. As of 2016, when X-Rite/Pantone moved beyond color management and began to bring a full material appearance system to market. Wright moved from the Digital Print team to the Appearance team for X-Rite/Pantone in early 2018.

Wright covers all of North America with a special emphasis on material digitization in the footwear, furniture, product design and transportation industries. When not in airports, Wright will spend time playing with his dogs, his antique Volvos, and trying not to trip over guitar pedals owned by his 20 something son.

 X-Rite, based in Grand Rapids, has long been a source of measuring tools for color, acquired Pantone, Inc. in 2006. Pantone, based in Carlstadt, NJ, makes the flagship Pantone Matching System, which is the de-facto color standard in many industries, and it provides color standards and design tools for the fashion, home furnishings, architecture, paint, interior and industrial design industries.  

Wright’s presentation is one of more than 20 scheduled speakers. mDesign Live, co-produced by the International Woodworking Fair and Surface & Panel magazine, runs Oct. 28-29, 2019, in DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Patterned after materials events in Europe, mDesign Live brings together fabricators and architectural and commercial interior design specialists. Manufacturers and distributors of design software, panels, components, and hardware will mix with designers, architects and fabricators throughout the event.


Registration is now open for mDesign Live. For more information or to register (registration is free for qualified registrants), visit https://mdesignlive.com/. Room blocks at preferred rates have been reserved for mDesign Live attendees and exhibitors. To reserve exhibition space, contact Ryan Wagner at Bedford Falls Communications (ryan@bedfordfallsmedia.com) or Bill Esler at IWF (billesler@iwfatlanta.com). For the latest mDesign Live news, including announcement of speakers, exhibitors, and more, follow mDesign Live on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Melissa Ripp