A great cosplay production cannot be achieved without the combined efforts of cosplayers, makeup artists, photographers, and post-production image processors. Many people have become cosplayers, cosplay makeup artists, etc. because they identify with and enjoy the culture of cosplay. What do we need to do to become a good cosplay post-processor?
First of all, we must understand and love the secondary culture. cosplay is a kind of act of post-acting, playing a character, not yourself. So, whether you are a cosplayer, makeup artist, photographer, or post-production image processor, you have to do the same. If you don’t understand the field, the work, and the characters, it’s hard to understand the characters, and it’s hard to get good pictures.
Secondly, it is important to understand the positioning of the character, and the focus of Cosplay post-production is on restoration, which is not just about restoring the character, but sometimes also about restoring the background. What kind of facial features does the character have? What is the character’s personality like? What locations might the characters typically appear in? Usually, a responsible cosplayer will tell you in advance about the character’s set-up, what she thinks of the character, and what she wants from you in terms of retouching, and then it’s up to you to understand the character. Only by grasping the character’s characteristics will you be able to complete the cosplay image processing. Because most cosplay is so far from the real world, many of the images need to be drastically altered, and you need to be patient enough to do so.
Finally, you need to keep practicing your skills and develop a retouching system of your own. No matter what, there is no shortage of technical support for retouching a good-looking picture. If you are a newcomer to cosplay post-production, then I recommend that you first get to know retouching software and learn about image post-processing as a whole. Here is a summary of some of my years of retouching experience that I hope will help you.
- Exposure Correction. The main concern is the overall exposure of the photo, and the light and shade of the skin of the person. Generally speaking, this part of the correction can be done by using tools such as curves/gradient, etc. with neutral gray and imitation stamps for facial processing.
- 2, color grading. On the basis of the color mixing tools you have mastered, just find a few more groups of popular shades and practice. If you are in the inexperienced stage, I recommend that you learn to imitate first, i.e., your direction of color mixing is to imitate colors. It’s worth noting that there are often some very different tones, such as day to night, green to pink, etc., and you need to build up your knowledge and skills in this area.
- 3, Skin treatment, usually consists of two aspects: skin tone and peeling. The skin tone includes the correction of skin pigmentation, skin clarity, skin tone uniformity, etc., and the skin tone is harmonious and consistent; dermabrasion can create smooth skin with the combination of plug-in and manual dermabrasion.
- Finishing the wig, the wig is an item that must be modified. In the photo, the wig usually appears messy believe. At this time, you need to modify the wig of the photo, which includes repairing stray hairs, transforming the type, adding wigs, etc. You can also repair the wig, high-end players can directly draw the wig with hand-painted board.
- Makeup alterations. In this section, the latter is often done by adding eyelid stickers, false eyelashes, modifying lip color, and making up the character’s face pattern totem. Usually, this is done with some beauty plug-ins, but high-end players can paint directly on the drawing board.
- 6, Modify vulnerabilities. This mainly refers to the background of the photo and props. The background of the photo may have debris that does not fit the character and some passers-by may be photographed. In terms of props, look out for those that are crooked, forgotten to be added, of questionable shape and size, and so on.
- Liquefaction, face liquefaction, and body modification. The face should focus on the shape of the eyes and the shape of the face, and be close to the character’s prototype. The body should not only be slimmed down, but also the head and body proportions, the chest, and muscle building.
In addition to the retouching techniques mentioned above, you also need to master image compositing techniques. In addition to the retouching skills mentioned above, you also need to master the art of image composition, which generally includes the following steps:
1. finding materials that fit the character’s setting;
2. retouching capabilities, focusing on modifying details such as wigs, flowers and leaves;
3. building the scene, which is generally the background of your modified image;
4. perspective relationships;
5. light and shadow reshaping;
6. overall color grading. (Does it feel like we’re back to some of the steps mentioned above?)
In cosplay, the retoucher plays a crucial role. When the retoucher finishes retouching the image, it is usually the last step in the process of completing the cosplay piece. I know that some cosplayers neglect the post-processing of their images, believing that the logistical work is simply beautifying the characters in their photos, and they don’t recognize the value of a retoucher. Believe it or not, good retouchers can surprise you. Take heart from everyone who works behind the scenes in retouching. Finally, I would like to recommend Cosplaylab. You can buy cheap cosplay costumes on Cosplaylab, which is a great site for cosplayers.