- 18th May
- 14th May
- 29th April
- 27th April
- 16th April
tayloriusrex said: it looks like you’ve really perfected putting on the petals, or did you use photoshop to help you out?? No judgement, I’m just so curious about your process for everything ._. especially because I remember you being sad about the head showing a seam?
Yes, absolutely, there was photoshop done on the seam for the headpiece. The latex edges that I added to blend the seam ended up not working out so well, and then wrinkled on top of that as I moved my face around, and it looked messy. I’m absolutely not ashamed to admit that it was cleaned up at all!
While we’re here, this might be a good time to discuss photoshop in cosplay, just because it seems to be the new hot topic critique. This is obviously not what tayloriusrex was getting at AT ALL (bby, you are my friend and I love you, I know what you were asking and why, and I’m not offended), but the truth is that people are throwing around “photoshop” like it’s a bad word nowadays and it bugs me.
Sit down, kids. We’re going to have some real talk, because I’ve been holding this one in for a while.
These are my feels on the use of photoshop on cosplay photography:
A- Something broke on the spot and I can’t fix it, but I don’t want to showcase broken work.
Every cosplayer has been there. Something breaks on the way to the convention. Something breaks at the convention. Something breaks in your suitcase before you even get to the hotel where you’re staying for the convention. (true story) It’ll be something stupid like someone ramming into you and snapping off part of your armor (true story), or the glue wearing down on something that’s making it not as sturdy and together as it was when you first made it (true story), or your wig starting to unravel a bit (true story), or someone slammed into you and some of your body makeup rubbed off (true story, twice)…. Things break. Cosplay is cosplay—it’s assembling something that isn’t always made to be real, and at any point in time, whether you had the opportunity to do a trial run or not, things go wrong.
A cosplayer shouldn’t be faulted for fixing that digitally.
“But shouldn’t they be able to fix that physically?” I hear someone ask. Yes, point, but you’re missing the point. If it happens at a convention or at a photoshoot, and you don’t have glue or a sewing kit or the time to fix it, why would you want to put broken work in your portfolio? Unless my costume is literally falling apart (see: Aria’s headpiece, NYCC 2012), I’m not going to leave the convention just because a bit of my armor chipped off. No, take the picture, we’ll clean up the broken piece so that things look the way we’re supposed to, moving on.
B- I spent two months and god knows how much money and energy on that costume, so why on earth would I want to leave that little thread hanging off of my shirt?
Sometimes your bra strap pops out for the world to see. That loose thread or thread end you missed? Yeah, those are annoying. Oh yeah that thing just got folded down or that other thing popped out from behind your ear and did I mention that cowlick on your wig or the bit of corset lacing popping out from where you’ve tucked it?
A good photographer will usually stop you and let you know if something’s gone drastically wrong, but they don’t always know the costume well enough to let you know: “Hi, that came undone a bit, you might want to adjust that.” Plus, when there are so many other factors, like light and framing and making sure that your head is tilted the right way and your arm is showing off as much of your costume as possible, they might not notice that your choker twisted a bit and is now off-center. (true story)
Like with point A, why would I let something that’s just going to be distracting in a photograph stay? Like in real life, sometimes your shirt becomes untucked or your panties hang out of the top of your pants a bit. If a photographer is cleaning up the color balance in a photo and notices it, or I notice it later, damn straight I’d like to hide that bra strap. (true story—especially because there’s one that I let stay that I’ll never forgive myself for leaving)
C- I’m sorry my head isn’t actually an alien head, so can you please forgive me for cleaning up the seams of my prosthetics?
Something like a prosthetic, or any kinds of special effects makeup, can be a bit finicky, and can be severely affected by your environment. There were times with Aria’s headpiece where the sweat gathering in my hairline would help the glue become unstuck, causing the piece to start, tragically, lifting from my face. Again, NYCC 2012.
Sometimes, a seam just doesn’t clean up the way you want it to. I may have blended in those latex edges really well, but as I move my face, they are going to wrinkle. It’s unfortunate and really heartbreaking when you’ve spent so much time putting it together, so tell me, as with points A and B, why would we let that stay when showing off our work? “Hi, I worked really hard on this, here’s the wrinkling latex.” Yes, that’s what it does in real life, Photoshop is ~*~a lie~*~, but mistakes will always be more distracting. I would rather you look at my tailoring than at my wrinkled latex edges.
(As for Asari specifically, buying as opposed to making a headpiece also means that it risks not fitting you as well as it did for the original model. For those of you buying The Mad Masker’s v2 Asari headdress, she’s corrected many of the issues that those of us with v1 have experienced, so you’ll have better luck of it.)
D- Safety should always come first.
Have you ever worn a contact that dried out or had a tear in it? I have—briefly, while doing my makeup. It was painful and dangerous and my friends told me to get that shit out of my eye immediately before I did damage to my cornea, accuracy be damned. Are we really at fault for tweaking our natural eye color to match the character’s when things like that happen?
Alternately, maybe you’re cosplaying a character with a fully colored eye—Homestuck Troll, for instance—and you’re scared to wear a scleral contact. Yeah, I don’t fucking blame you there. Go ahead and photoshop that shit in because it’s better to be safe than wind up with an eye infection.
E- I can’t actually throw fireballs. (I also can’t light things on fire in a convention center without pissing someone off)
SOMETIMES YOU COSPLAY CHARACTERS WITH CRAZY POWERS
SOMETIMES IT WOULD BE AWESOME TO INCLUDE THOSE CRAZY POWERS IN A PICTURE
IT’S NOT A CRIME
F- It’s cool, photographer, you can clean up my skin.
I mean don’t erase my pores or anything, but if my makeup smudged and it looks like I got as little sleep as I did, you have every right to hide that dark circle, because I’d rather not look like a zombie. Hey! Is that a zit? GET THAT SHIT OFF OF MY FACE RIGHT NOW WE DON’T NEED ANY OF THAT THEY DON’T HAVE PIMPLES IN SPACE
Just don’t change my actual face, please. Don’t recolor me. Don’t tweak my bone structure. That bump on my nose is small but it’s there and I’d like you to leave it there.
Do whatever you feel comfortable doing to make your pictures look pretty (because the photographer is creating the artwork here—the cosplayer is just the subject). I just still want to look like me, or me if I were a redheaded alien murderer pirate puppy harvester with a hook and without pants. That’d be nice.
G- Hey! Hey! If I put this thing here, and have that background thingy here, maybe some filters, it’ll look like I’m actually in the game on this planet killing things! Blood splatters! Fake injuries! AWESOME!!!
KNOCK YOURSELF OUT
JUST DON’T REDRAW YOURSELF AND WE’LL KNOW THAT IT’S YOU AND YOUR WORK UNDER THOSE FILTERS
YOU KNOW WHAT
PEOPLE CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT WITH THEIR PICTURES WITHOUT GETTING HATE FOR USING PHOTOSHOP
You can honestly disapprove of someone’s photo all you want, but it’s not your call. I do feel (and this is my personal opinion) that there is a point where a photograph becomes more photoshop than actual cosplay. My rule of thumb is that if the photoshop is adding things to or altering the structure of the costume, or if there are really too many filters, or (and this is a bigger one with me IMO) the model’s actual physiology has been altered, often to unrealistic standards, it’s probably too much. That said, there’s no clearly defined line as it really varies on a case-by-case basis.
I’ve seen pictures photoshopped to all hell getting a lot of love, and others getting shit on for doing the same or less. If you think a picture has too much shop done on it, maybe you can politely let the person know that it’s a little overworked and you aren’t really seeing enough of the costumes by themselves. Maybe they’ll let you know that x, y, and z was done, and that’s about it really—in that case, just accept it. Don’t start a fight. It’s not worth it.
At the end of the day, your opinion is your opinion, but you should never shame someone for retouching something differently than you would have done it. That’s just not okay. Get your hate out of my cosplay community, please.
H- We’re getting mixed signals and it’s confusing.
Whether we photoshop our stuff or not, people are assholes. There’s someone telling us that we’re ugly or our costumes are messy or the colors are wrong, and then there’s someone else telling us that this is “real cosplay this is how it’s done everyone else go home”—and this could be on the exact same fucking picture. Everyone is a critic, everyone has different ideals, and we can’t make everyone happy.
To be honest, prior to a month or two ago, photoshop really was all the rage, and it seemed like the only photos that really got love were ones that had 700 filters and a rainbow ninja riding a griffon playing a trumpet that’s on fire in the background—so what changed?
The truth is that everyone photoshops, and you can’t always tell how much from a picture alone. A really innocuous image may have been shooped to all hell, but the person who did it is good enough that it’s hard to tell what or how much they’ve done unless you really have an eye for it.
And—okay, call me crazy here—but have you ever considered that maybe that awesome picture of an accurate costume in a badass location that’s really dramatically lit … just looks that way because everyone involved is doing a fantastic job, and the photoshopping is just cleaning a few things up? That big flourishes of magic on a cosplay photo or a big glowing thing that obviously doesn’t belong there, don’t necessarily mean that someone went in and repainted the entire thing?
Say someone did all of the above points on a cleanup. So what? Is that overphotoshopped? YMMV. Sometimes a cosplayer is just having a bad day and nothing is going right and they need a bit of help. We’re people, actual people, not the characters on the screen. Get it out of your heads that people can magically look like unrealistic, fictional characters by just rolling out of bed and showing up at a con. It takes work, and 99% of the time we’re happy when the photographer cleans something up that we missed.
Give people the benefit of the doubt and enjoy yourself. We need to get over the urge to pick everything apart and just … have fun, damn it.
Also, credit your photographers and anyone who adds a cool effect to a photo you’re in. Just … credit people who help. Always.
- 12th April
- 4th April
- 31st March
- 21st March
- 19th March