Those of you who follow my Blogress Report have seen me talk about "the magical girl photo project" for almost an entire year.
That's just how long I've been talking about it. This is two and a half years of planning, eight months (off and on) of shooting and reshooting, over five years of collecting, and heaven only knows how many hours of Photoshop editing... including eight hours today alone. This is forty figures, dozens of individual shots, and easily over a hundred layers all together.
THIS... is THE Magical Girl Photo Project™
Though I may be a shameless self-promoter, and all five series represented here are part of it, this isn't necessarily connected to Shattered Skies. In fact, this project has been sapping a lot of time and energy away from both that story and Tasakeru, which somewhat explains the slow updates. Now that this is finally done, though, I plan to go back to writing full-time after I crash for a couple days. XD
This picture was a labor of love in the truest sense of the phrase. Getting all the pictures was arduous enough; most of the special effects you see here are a result of teaching myself innumerable Photoshop techniques and tricks through trial, error, trial, and more error. I've learned a hell of a lot, though, and I look forward to putting my new skills to good use in the future. I couldn't have done this without the help of Deviants and Photoshoppers far more talented and experienced than I am... there's a long, long list of thank-yous down below to people who provided brushes, tutorials, and other stuff. If I left anyone's out, I deeply apologize and I'll add you as soon as I can.
Now for the fun stuff! The figures and props in this photo are, by series (hang on, this will be a long list too):
- S.H. Figuarts Super Sailor Moon
- S.H. Figuarts Sailor Mercury
- S.H. Figuarts Sailor Mars
- S.H. Figuarts Sailor Jupiter
- S.H. Figuarts Sailor Venus
- S.H. Figuarts Sailor Saturn
- S.H. Figuarts Sailor Uranus
- S.H. Figuarts Sailor Neptune
- S.H. Figuarts Sailor Pluto
- S.H. Figuarts Sailor Chibi-Moon
- PROPLICA Moon Stick (Silver Crystal)
- Figma #244: Sakura Kinomoto
Futari Wa Precure Max Heart:
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Black (Max Heart ver.)
- S.H. Figuarts Cure White (Max Heart ver.)
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Peach
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Blossom
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Marine
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Sunshine
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Moonlight
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Melody
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Rhythm
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Happy
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Sunny
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Peace
- S.H. Figuarts Cure March
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Beauty
Go! Princess Precure:
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Flora
Precure All-Stars New Stage:
- S.H. Figuarts Cure Echo
MAHOU SHOUJO LYRICAL NANOHA:
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha THE MOVIE 2nd A's:
- Figma #185 Nanoha Takamachi (Exelion Mode ver.)
- Figma #186 Fate Testarossa (Blaze Form ver.)
- Figma #188 Hayate Yagami
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha STRIKERS:
- Figma #039 Signum (Knight Armor ver.)
- Figma #052 Vita (Battle Jacket)
- Figma #043 Shamal (Knight ver.)
- Figma #064 Subaru Nakajima
- Figma #073 Teana Lanster
PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA:
- Figma #110 Madoka Kaname
- Figma #115 Homura Akemi (with bow, arrow, and ribbon parts from Figma #EX-009 Homura Akemi [School Uniform ver.])
- Figma #118 Mami Tomoe
- Figma #124 Sayaka Miki
- Figma #128 Kyoko Sakura
- Figma #219 Nagisa Momoe
- Nendoroid #183 Mami Tomoe (Tiro Finale Cannon)
- Turn A Gundam MG Expansion Effects Unit "Moonlight Butterfly" (Super Sailor Moon's wings)
- Tamashii Effect Wave Clear ver. (Shockwave parts for Cure Black and Cure White's Marble Screw)
All pictures were taken with an Olympus SH-2. All the special effects save for Sailor Moon's butterfly wings, the Silver Crystal, the Tiro Finale cannon, the Marble Screw shockwave parts, and Nanoha's Starlight Breaker runic loop were added in Photoshop CS5. The runic loop was built in SketchUp. My figures were acquired from multiple sources, the primary ones being Hobby Link Japan, Nippon-Yasan, Amazon, eBay, and a few from private collectors on MyFigureCollection.net.
And the really scary thing is, this isn't even my entire collection...
If this doesn't prove to you all that I'm one of the most dedicated and obsessive fans of the magical girl genre on Earth... well, I'll argue it after I get some much-needed sleep.
*SUPER LONG LIST OF THANK-YOUS AND CREDITS AHEAD, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*
This project would not have been possible without loads of help from the following. All your efforts are deeply appreciated, and I'm in all of your debts.
BJankiewiczOfficial for making Sailor Moon Symbols Font
aramantmol for Madoka Magic Circle Vector
Chronorin for the reproductions of the symbols from the Madoka Magica PSP/Vita games (all except Nagisa's, that one's mine)
nikicorny for numerous high-quality photo shooting tutorials
muffet1 for Bentley Snowflake Brushes
redheadstock for Pressed Garden Flowers Photoshop and GIMP Brushes, Rose Petals Photoshop and GIMP Brushes, and Light Beams + Rays Photoshop and GIMP Brushes
kabocha for Doily Disaster Brushes
Shiranui for Lace
buki for Doily and Lace Brush Set
Kalisama for Anime Style Sakura Petals Photoshop Brush Set
monib for Bubble Brush
NelaNequin for Magical Girl Transformation Brush Set
GENAYNAY for Musical Note Brush Set
Wikimedia Commons for the Earth photo
Hearts Brushes (#1 and #2)
r0man.de for brush compilations
sweetclipart.com for the sunflower vector
photoshoplady.com for providing the starfield tutorial
Cardcaptor Sakura Wiki for Sakura's Card artwork and magic circle pattern
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Wiki for the Nanohaverse spell circle patterns and runic loop samples
And a HUGE, MEGA, EXTRA-SPECIAL BHS THANK YOU to Photoncube Tutorials for the best tutorial I've ever seen for making kick-ass giant laser beams. You are godlike. End of story.
Everything else in the picture is my own work.
I of course do not own Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, the Precure franchise, the Nanoha franchise, or Puella Magi Madoka Magica. They belong to Naoko Takeuchi/Kodansha/Toei Animation, CLAMP/Kodansha/Madhouse, Izumi Todo/Toei Animation, Masaki Suzuki/Seven Arcs, and Magica Quartet/SHAFT, respectively. This was done as an act of love and fandom for the works that have inspired me so much.
The title was actually one of the last things I came up with. I was thinking specifically of the primary virtues of each main character(s). Love is Usagi/Sailor Moon, Kindness is Sakura, Frienship is Nagisa/Cure Black and Honoka/Cure White, Compassion is Nanoha, and Hope is Madoka.
Precure's is Friendship because that's the foundation of the whole franchise. Black and White (and several others since) had to hold hands to transform or attack, meaning that they needed each other. Every Precure series has the development of friendship between the Cures second only to the monster-fighting, ass-kicking, and giant explosions in terms of importance.
Nanoha's is Compassion because she absolutely refuses to give up on her enemies. It may take blasting your ass into next week, but she will befriend you. It worked on Fate, who thought her only worth was in collecting Jewel Seeds for her abusive mother. It worked on the Wolkenritter, who were living weapons trapped in an eternal cycle of bloodshed. It worked on most of the Numbers, who were created as WMDs by a mad scientist. Nanoha has a knack for seeing humanity in people even when they can't see it themselves.