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Calculating proportions in cosplay (1)

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By ShinjusWorkshop   |   
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© 2014 - 2020 ShinjusWorkshop

This tutorial is about calculating the general size of the costume/prop, compared to your size in real life. It will be followed by another one about calculating the proportions on details.

One important thing before the tutorial itself: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE PROPORTIONS RIGHT IN COSPLAY? Because you will look a lot more like the character/reference and because overall you won't end up having some parts too big or some too small, which sometimes ends up a bit ridiculous. Also, many characters are really tall and thin and if we can find way to "trick" that, we won't look like onigiris dressed up in costumes 

So, my example here is what I did with Lissandra. I was never great at math, except for geometry, long ago, so in time I just ended up picking up a simple option for calculating proportions: cross-multiplication. I either print certain images and measure on the paper the parts of the reference that interest me, or I do it directly on the screen. BE CAREFUL! If it's a model viewer where you can move around the model, do all the measurements without changing the image at all, or you will get really wrong results! Also, try to get your view perpendicular to your reference, calculating different parts while they are in perspective will also give you wrong results.

Let me know if you have any other questions about calculating proportions!

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Comments8
anonymous's avatar
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eisbaerfussel's avatar
eisbaerfusselHobbyist Artisan Crafter
mah, proportions of most anime/game characters suck, they are just so unrealistic... most of the time I do the calculation just like you showed, but still my stuff keeps getting too big i think <.<
my current project is ashlotte from sc4, and her legs in the artwork are just double the size of her head and body together =.=
not to mention her staff has now weird proportions.... XD
ShinjusWorkshop's avatar
ShinjusWorkshopProfessional Artisan Crafter
It depends from character to character if things can be "masked" and "tricked". Underneath Lissandra's skirt, you can't really tell if I wear stilts, platforms, or a box. It doesn't really work with all costumes. But I usually use this for scaling props to my own height. It seems to work.
eisbaerfussel's avatar
eisbaerfusselHobbyist Artisan Crafter
what option did you choose for lissandra? Can you walk in stilts with all that rock stuff around you? ;D
maybe you need weels below your plattform + someone to pull or push you around, hehe.
ShinjusWorkshop's avatar
ShinjusWorkshopProfessional Artisan Crafter
I will actually make a platform with wheels (actually like a tank), that will be remote controlled by my fiance while I just stand on it. Probably I will wear some really high platform shoes when I am off the big platform. 
eisbaerfussel's avatar
eisbaerfusselHobbyist Artisan Crafter
wow that sound really great! So curious how it works out! is there a chance to get a glimpse of you at a convention (maybe gamescom?) soon? :D

and btw, I asked you once about painting lycra thights with acrylics and latex milk. I did it now and till now it looks great! I have to admit that I did not remove it from my leg dummy till now, but I am pretty sure it worked out great! thanks so much for your advice!
ShinjusWorkshop's avatar
ShinjusWorkshopProfessional Artisan Crafter
Oh, I have no idea when I'll finish Lissandra, but I am going to Gamescom! I'll have Vi with me and maybe Edward Kenway, but I'm really afraid of the heat there. I'll be a lot around the Riot area, so be sure to find me there. Please come to me and say hello, since I tend not to recognise people from online photos, especially if they are in cosplay...

I am really curious about how your lycra tights turned out! Let me know if they pass the stress test and how they look. Send me a photo! :D I have never painted tights before and I'd like to know it all turned out!
eisbaerfussel's avatar
eisbaerfusselHobbyist Artisan Crafter
then I will try to find you on friday or saturday, as I plan to wear ashlotte on these two days :D I am sure you will recognize me then ;)
would be really great to meet you there x3
(and for the photo, I have seen you found my fb page, thank you for the like :D There is a pic of my tights, too! would be great to have your opinion to it.)

And till now it looks like it is raining the whole week gamescom takes place, and the temperature will be about 25°C on the outside.
Inside will be still hot, but I guess it cannot be worse than two years ago ;)
So let's look foreward to it :D
ShinjusWorkshop's avatar
ShinjusWorkshopProfessional Artisan Crafter
awesome! see you there! :D
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