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26 Nov 2008 - 10:147865
Simple ways to have a successful cosplay
James's Golden Rules of cosplay

1. Only do cosplays you can realistically pull off. Sorry insanely huge fat guy does not look right as Sailor Moon. Anyone who has seen Sailor Buba will know what I mean. If you have the proper body for certain cosplays good. If not push and train yourself to work out so you can look good while cosplaying. You will look and feel better in the end.

2. Take some time and put some passion and love into your cosplays. You know you have done it right when you get mobbed for pictures. Or you get that one person that comes up to you with a tear in his or her eyes.

3. Whenever possible keep your cosplay realistic. No use cosplaying some one if no one can understand or figure out who or what you are.

4. Cosplay something you know and love. Every cosplay I have done is from Anime’s and shows I know and love. Without that I could have not pulled the cosplay.

5. Always have a backup plan if your cosplay does not go to plan or falls apart. I always carry two other cosplays with me when I do an event. My main back up now is my photography equipment. If my cosplay does not work I pull out my camera gear for the day.

6. Pace yourself when cosplaying. I am a Medic as well as a mechanic. I have scraped many cosplayers up off the floor at conventions I have staffed. Many forget to eat, drink water or take care of themselves. Some even injure them self’s quite badly. Whenever possible eat a big breakfast and carry water and snacks on your person if your cosplay allows.

Feel free to add your own tips to this list.


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James Fedora
Cosplay Photographer & Cinematographer
Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
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Last edited by nadesico81 (05 Dec 2008 - 16:12)
26 Nov 2008 - 11:307867
Quote nadesico81:
3. Whenever possible keep your cosplay realistic. No use cosplaying some one if no one can understand or figure out who or what you are.

Unless I'm misinterpreting you, then that's nonsense. By an odd quirk, I tend to cosplay as lesser-known characters and get markedly fewer photo requests than people cosplaying as characters from, say, Kingdom Hearts or shounen-series-du-jour. But I wouldn't say that there's "no use" in me cosplaying. I enjoy it, and I cosplay as characters I like, from series I like. So as nice as it is to have people ask for photos and pay me compliments, I'm not hugely bothered about having lots of people know who I am.

If anything, I like being under the radar. Keeps my pictures from being posted on 4chan.

I agree about keeping things realistic, but more in the sense of "don't try to do a Trinity Blood artbook costume if you've never so much as picked up a needle before". Cosplaying to be recognised should be down to the individual cosplayer.


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Cara bell', cara mia bella, mia bambina, o ciel!
26 Nov 2008 - 12:137869
Quote Sillabub:
Quote nadesico81:
3. Whenever possible keep your cosplay realistic. No use cosplaying some one if no one can understand or figure out who or what you are.

Unless I'm misinterpreting you, then that's nonsense. By an odd quirk, I tend to cosplay as lesser-known characters and get markedly fewer photo requests than people cosplaying as characters from, say, Kingdom Hearts or shounen-series-du-jour. But I wouldn't say that there's "no use" in me cosplaying. I enjoy it, and I cosplay as characters I like, from series I like. So as nice as it is to have people ask for photos and pay me compliments, I'm not hugely bothered about having lots of people know who I am.

If anything, I like being under the radar. Keeps my pictures from being posted on 4chan.

I agree about keeping things realistic, but more in the sense of "don't try to do a Trinity Blood artbook costume if you've never so much as picked up a needle before". Cosplaying to be recognised should be down to the individual cosplayer.


The key words to that is Understand and realistic

It all depends on the person honestly. I have seen some people who have honestly tried and other who have not. If you’re cosplaying a lesser know person that’s fine however try to keep it within reason. I once cosplayed as a Tokyo Police officer from You’re Under Arrest. I confused a lot of people including the local Police Department.

I once saw a guy in a tan suit wherein a football helmet and green cape? Could not figure out for the life of me what the cosplay was till I asked. The answer the cosplayer gave me left me speechless. He said something to the effect of "I’m Borat playing in the Super bowl" Then he asked me which way to the 50 yard line? I would of never guessed that in a million years.


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James Fedora
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Last edited by nadesico81 (26 Nov 2008 - 12:16)
26 Nov 2008 - 13:357870
Some people like to do stupid cosplays just cuz they can tho ^^
I think what you mean is if you want to be seriously recognised in your cosplay then keep it realistic

As in dont make a bright green version of X and expect people to realise its them
Or dont cosplay a wedding dress version of generic anime girl and expect people to know ur this person and not the entirely similar wedding dress version other random girl from anime~

Id probably say practise poses always fun do do a pose when people want a photo XD


26 Nov 2008 - 17:397879
Sometimes it can even be more fun cosplaying as someone lesser known! The first cosplay I made was Amaterasu from Okami. It wasn't perfect, but it came out far better than I thought it was, considering I made it during the week before expo. I got recognised... maybe twice, as the only Amaterasu cosplayers that get largely recognised are those that don a fursuit and go as her normal wolf form. But you know what - those 2 people who recognised it meant more to me than multiple screaming fangirls would!

I have one big cosplay motto I go by:

The costume is for you, not the character.

Take a look at the build of you, and of the character. If they wear a jacket, don't look at a picture of them, quickly measure yourself, and sew a jacket that size. Go put on a jacket, zip or button it up perhaps, and look at how ACTUAL clothes fit. Anime lies so much when it comes to that kind of thing, I've seen costumes go to the wrong from people forgetting that they unfortunately have to abide by the laws of physics.


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26 Nov 2008 - 20:377889
haha im gunna start making my first cosplay soon and iv chosen a lesser character and its really complicated.. its the spirit of fire off shaman king haha


26 Nov 2008 - 22:377898
Quote power576:
haha im gunna start making my first cosplay soon and iv chosen a lesser character and its really complicated.. its the spirit of fire off shaman king haha


Looking forward to seeing that! And good luck xD


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27 Nov 2008 - 00:207908
Quote diphenhydramine:

The costume is for you, not the character.

Take a look at the build of you, and of the character. If they wear a jacket, don't look at a picture of them, quickly measure yourself, and sew a jacket that size. Go put on a jacket, zip or button it up perhaps, and look at how ACTUAL clothes fit. Anime lies so much when it comes to that kind of thing, I've seen costumes go to the wrong from people forgetting that they unfortunately have to abide by the laws of physics.


I couldn't agree more with this! So many of the "bad cosplay" photos have been picked simply for the fact that the person has made the costume to fit the character not themselves.
Also applying this to body shape/size even if you're not the the same size as the character you can still look good in the costume if you fit it well to your own measurements. I'm certainly not as thin as someone like Belldandy but I'm pleased with how the costume turned out and was recieved by others because I made it to fit me.
Again for shape/size tip; think about if the costumes is going to flatter you. No matter what size you are if a piece of clothing doesn't suit you then it's not really going to look great. Eg if you have an hourglass figure then use it, don't smother yourself in something like a baggy shapeless uniform like in some school animes.

For my own wiggy tip; party wigs = evil
Unless you're amazingly lucky to find a half decent one avoid party wigs like the plague! The quality is terrible and you'll have major problems with matting. I generally don't go for anything below kanekelon. A costume can be completely ruined if your wig doesn't look good. This applies to styling and colour too. A DBZ character isn't going to look right if you're using an unstyled flat wig.


27 Nov 2008 - 03:057914
Quote SephNoir:
A costume can be completely ruined if your wig doesn't look good..


Couldn't agree more with that. When making a costume, if you are trying to save money, don't skimp on the wig. And first priority is the costume - if planning to cosplay Sora, the very first thing to do should NOT be to go out and buy keyblade-making materials. If for some reason your costume goes under, you'll be left with a random keyblade, which might be left to solely function as a potential burglar weapon. (Everyone has one xD)


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27 Nov 2008 - 04:227916
Quote SephNoir:
Quote diphenhydramine:

The costume is for you, not the character.

Take a look at the build of you, and of the character. If they wear a jacket, don't look at a picture of them, quickly measure yourself, and sew a jacket that size. Go put on a jacket, zip or button it up perhaps, and look at how ACTUAL clothes fit. Anime lies so much when it comes to that kind of thing, I've seen costumes go to the wrong from people forgetting that they unfortunately have to abide by the laws of physics.


I couldn't agree more with this! So many of the "bad cosplay" photos have been picked simply for the fact that the person has made the costume to fit the character not themselves.
Also applying this to body shape/size even if you're not the the same size as the character you can still look good in the costume if you fit it well to your own measurements. I'm certainly not as thin as someone like Belldandy but I'm pleased with how the costume turned out and was recieved by others because I made it to fit me.
Again for shape/size tip; think about if the costumes is going to flatter you. No matter what size you are if a piece of clothing doesn't suit you then it's not really going to look great. Eg if you have an hourglass figure then use it, don't smother yourself in something like a baggy shapeless uniform like in some school animes.

For my own wiggy tip; party wigs = evil
Unless you're amazingly lucky to find a half decent one avoid party wigs like the plague! The quality is terrible and you'll have major problems with matting. I generally don't go for anything below kanekelon. A costume can be completely ruined if your wig doesn't look good. This applies to styling and colour too. A DBZ character isn't going to look right if you're using an unstyled flat wig.


i couldnt agree more with liz(HAHAH LOVE YOUR BELLDANDY LIZ as i always tell you lmao) but yea i agree with liz on dragonballz wigs and stuff,people can make awsome costumes then get a half arsed wig, my ffirst dragonballz cosplay was my first ever hand made costume,the wig i personally styled in 10 mins, wasnt great or 100 percent accurate but it sure looked better and more unique then the dbz ones tht u buy from ebay tht are half assed, so wigs are a definate essential, ive started to use little bits of makeup on cosplay and i find sometimes it works, i have self consious about my spots so i sometimes use a tiny bit of foundation in a costume and maybe a thin layer of eye liner sometime to get tht sharp eye look, makeup isnt really needed for guys but it sure goes a long way in photos and makes you tht much more perfect in cosplay sometimes


27 Nov 2008 - 10:097918
Quote diphenhydramine:
I've seen costumes go to the wrong from people forgetting that they unfortunately have to abide by the laws of physics.


Yes clothing from anime has a habit of defying the laws of physics. Collars tend to be higher and stiffer. Clothing tends seamlessly adhere to certain upper body parts of female anime characters to enhance the fan service of a series.

Or many time people will buy a cosplay from ebay and not spend the time tailoring it to there body. The extra 10 pounds spent at the tailor will pay for its self.


__________________
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Cosplay Photographer & Cinematographer
Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
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Facebook & YouTube Groups- Otaku Punch Pictures & Media
27 Nov 2008 - 10:217919
Quote ryaoki:

makeup isnt really needed for guys but it sure goes a long way in photos and makes you tht much more perfect in cosplay sometimes


I couldn't agree more! Makeup really does make a difference to getting the two-dimensional perfect-featured anime/game look - and comes out sooo much better in photos! Also, wigs tend too look far more natural if you're wearing makeup that's appropriate to them (e.g the right colour eyebrows!)

Yay for eyeliner/guy-liner!


27 Nov 2008 - 10:297920
All i have to say is:

Iron your cosplays! You don't want to be a crisp packet all day X3


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27 Nov 2008 - 11:447924
Quote Nocturnal Blossom:
Quote ryaoki:

makeup isnt really needed for guys but it sure goes a long way in photos and makes you tht much more perfect in cosplay sometimes


I couldn't agree more! Makeup really does make a difference to getting the two-dimensional perfect-featured anime/game look - and comes out sooo much better in photos! Also, wigs tend too look far more natural if you're wearing makeup that's appropriate to them (e.g the right colour eyebrows!)

Yay for eyeliner/guy-liner!


GUY LINER LMAO now i wnt feel like a man whore buying makeup haha, thing with makeup is i usually get friends(who are girls) to do mine for me LMAO


27 Nov 2008 - 11:507926
There's a makeup book called Making Faces, written by Kevyn Aucoin, and I would heavily recommend it to anyone who wants some ideas on good cosplay makeup - especially if you're a bit of a makeup noob. I hate makeup and never wear it usually, but I've had to learn for the sake of cosplay because my skin looks horrendous under camera flashes. Making Faces has been a brilliant tutorial book, really clearly set out and easy to understand.

And it does have a section on makeup for men, too.


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Cara bell', cara mia bella, mia bambina, o ciel!
27 Nov 2008 - 11:507927
Quote nadesico81:
Quote diphenhydramine:
I've seen costumes go to the wrong from people forgetting that they unfortunately have to abide by the laws of physics.


Yes clothing from anime has a habit of defying the laws of physics. Collars tend to be higher and stiffer. Clothing tends seamlessly adhere to certain upper body parts of female anime characters to enhance the fan service of a series.


Boobs are the curse of the cosplay world >_< Not all of us have E-cups with their own gravitational pull.


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27 Nov 2008 - 11:547929
Quote Uni:
All i have to say is:

Iron your cosplays! You don't want to be a crisp packet all day X3


I'd also say make sure you store them safely. Currently my Ice Climber parka is on a strong hanger under one of those protective bags you get from dry cleaners.

If you are wear a costume that features some form of traditional clothing, make sure you learn how to wear it properly. Not only will this make the cosplay look better but it could spare your blushes (say if you're wearing a hakama for example).

Another hair related tip; if you are using your own hair make sure you are using a good styling product and keep it with you. It's annoying if you are about to go on stage and your hair has gone flat.

Also don't use spray on dye. That stuff comes off on everything and does not bond onto gelled hair.


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27 Nov 2008 - 11:587930
Quote Ice-climber:
Also don't use spray on dye. That stuff comes off on everything and does not bond onto gelled hair.

And it looks horrid, too.


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Cara bell', cara mia bella, mia bambina, o ciel!
27 Nov 2008 - 12:047931
Quote Sillabub:
There's a makeup book called Making Faces, written by Kevyn Aucoin, and I would heavily recommend it to anyone who wants some ideas on good cosplay makeup - especially if you're a bit of a makeup noob.


*adds to christmas wish list* ^____^


27 Nov 2008 - 12:047932
Quote Sillabub:
Quote Ice-climber:
Also don't use spray on dye. That stuff comes off on everything and does not bond onto gelled hair.

And it looks horrid, too.


Yeah. That was spoken from past experience for me.


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27 Nov 2008 - 14:497936
Quote Ice-climber:
Quote Sillabub:
Quote Ice-climber:
Also don't use spray on dye. That stuff comes off on everything and does not bond onto gelled hair.

And it looks horrid, too.


Yeah. That was spoken from past experience for me.


Seconded. I sprayed it on my hair, all it did was completely matt it. And when I tried to brush the knots out, the dye brushed out.


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27 Nov 2008 - 15:097938
Quote Nocturnal Blossom:
Quote ryaoki:

makeup isnt really needed for guys but it sure goes a long way in photos and makes you tht much more perfect in cosplay sometimes
Yay for eyeliner/guy-liner!
Yes 100% to makeup, especially contouring makeup! And for guys don't forget it's not mascara, it's MANSCARA hahahah!! XD

Quote SephNoir:
Again for shape/size tip; think about if the costumes is going to flatter you. No matter what size you are if a piece of clothing doesn't suit you then it's not really going to look great. Eg if you have an hourglass figure then use it, don't smother yourself in something like a baggy shapeless uniform like in some school animes.
I think kind of against this point (yet at the same time agreeing?!) is don't feel limited by your body type. I have an exaggerated hourglass figure but with the right tailoring and binding etc, the bodyshape can look completely different so in my case I can through this method pull off more manly characters

Also anime/manga characters often have bodytypes that could not exist in the real world, so sometimes it's best to convey the feeling of the character, perhaps and not beat yourself up over body shapes. (Like the people who think they are "too old" for Cardcaptor Sakura costumes but then look adorable in it!)

I think for me the most important and simplicst way to have a successful cosplay is to have FUN with it! And to not mind looking completely laughable! I've had no eyebrows (Isabella), missing eyes and teeth (2D), a phallic nose (Usopp), bright orange tan (Wakka) and stubble and a goatee (Tulio). So let yourself go and enjoy, haha!


28 Nov 2008 - 13:237968
Some great tips there. I think some of them can be seen differently depending on the type of cosplayer you are. Like for example the choice of being understood or reconised will depend if you are a 'Impact' or a 'Creative' coslayer

Over the years that I have been cosplaying I've noticed that cosplayers fall in to a few catergories.

(note - the names given are ones that are used occasionally in sci-fi con circits)

'The Impact Cosplayer' - These will be the Ones who love the response that they will recieve from a cosplay. Will look for more challanging cosplays and will look to do crowd pleasing cosplays. Will most likely wear costumes for short periods of time due to the nature of the cosplay.

'The Creative Cosplayer' - These are cosplayers who love the more creative complex cosplays. They will choose challanging cosplays but unlike the Impact cosplayer they won't worry too much about fan reaction. They may do lesser known characters if they feel it will challange their creativity.

'The Fan Friend cosplayer' - These are ones who choose cosplays based solely on audience reaction. The costumes dosen't have to be challanging or home made. Just as long as they can be reconised. They will most likely be part of a group.

'The Team Cosplayer' - Will only cosplay as part of a group or team.

I think which ever cosplayer you are its always worth noting to have fun and to have back up plans.

I agree with also practise posing, make sure that the wig (if needed) is a good one) and have make-up to match.


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28 Nov 2008 - 16:067975
Ha! I think I'm a team -Impact cosplayer.

I don't like doing obscure things because I like having a well know character with a personality. This means I can roleplay a lot better.

And groups always look more impressive than me on my own. Plus there's skit potential!


05 Dec 2008 - 16:078251
Quote Uber-Nerd:
Ha! I think I'm a team -Impact cosplayer.

I don't like doing obscure things because I like having a well know character with a personality. This means I can roleplay a lot better.

And groups always look more impressive than me on my own. Plus there's skit potential!


Depends on the kind of cosplay you do. Some single person cosplays have a paparazzi effect on people. Things like Mecha and other elaborate cosplays tend to draw HUGE crowds around said cosplayer.


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