Germia - gaming world

Auriel - Diablo III + Heroes of the Storm - Cosplay by Germia

Auriel picture by A&B Photography

1) Why I chose to make this costume:


Auriel is one of the few support heroes in Heroes of the Storm, that can have a great healing ability and in the meantime deal a lot of damage. It is a versatile choice for someone like me, who wants to be useful for the team (support) and enjoy the game by myself by killing the opponents (offense).
I simply fell love with the character.
From the cosplaying point of view, she is just perfect. She has majestic wings, that are really challenging to be well made and organicly flowing like in Heroes of the Storm (the Diablo version makes her wing white and flowing to all sides), she has full armor and a lot of sewing work for her bodysuit, cape and skirt with a lot of embroidery. She offered few challenges, with covering her face to be able to see, over making her wings articulated so it can be transfered by plane to embroiding the fabric and fitting all the fantasy armor pieces well together.

ORIGINAL CHARACTER:




















2) How I made this costume


From the look of this Auriel skin in the game, I decide to go fo the blue-yellow version of her, since I really disliked her white-greenish-gold combination. I was going for the matte look of her armor, since it doesn't really look shiny at all in the game.



0) Patterning

I'll just show you some pics of my pattern and how I made them, but more about how to make patterns in my patterning article HERE.

Most of the time I freedrawn the patterns on the paper and tried them on my body or figourine. For the wing covers, I cut the picture of the wing from the game in Gimp free graphic software and printed it out in scale to have a perfect referrence.


1) Bracers 

Auriel's bracers have really special shape and it was really hard to get all the details from the referrences I had, so I had to improvise a little in matter of shape and decorations. I thought of very elegant shape, that required the bracer to be made from 4 different parts.I glued them together and left one side open for the velcro connection. I trasnfered my paper pattern onto the foam (using poly-props.com/craftfoam 0,5cm), cut it with exacto knife and glued with chemoprene extreme glue. I decorated it with an arrow piece, that covered my wrist and part of my hand and I used 0,5foam and 2mm moosgummi for all the borders and small flowery decors. I addedtwo leather straps decorated with foam, that go over the velcro connection of the bracer. I painted it with black matte acrylic (LUKAS), then I mixed few different shades of matte blue acrylic colors from Lidl and all the borders are painted with 2 shades of Pebeo gold.- I used those colors for the whole build and for some gold shading, I also used brown.










2) Gauntlets

For the gauntlet base I bought just simple long black ball gloves from e-bay and made a paper pattern for the gauntlet parts, that you CAN DOWNLOAD HERE. According this pattern I connected two layers of black worbla to make it stiffer and cut it according my pattern. For the palm part I've used 0,5cm EVA foam from poly-props.com. I heatformed the worbla around my fingers and glued it with hotglue to my glove. I made moosgummi decorations on top of it and it was ready for painting. I painted it the same as other pieces (see Bracer).









3) Boots





The boots are really high an are decorated with wings. They are quite bulky and kinda uncomfortable to walk (she's flying, right). But since she is wearing high heels in the game. I've used high heeles leather boots, that go under the knee and I made paper patterns on them in shape of the boot. The top of the boot are just rectangular pieces glued on eache other, then it required more advanced patterning in the ankle part of the boot and the boot is connected under the shoe with 3 velcros and around my heel and ankle from the back also with velcro.
Then I made four-part shin guards (similar to bracers but bigger) with heel covers, that connect with velcros to the boot and glued knee part onto it. The patterning was made from few rectangles and two round peices similar to the pieces for pauldrons. I decorated it all heavily with moosgummi (0,2-0,3 cm thick) and some parts are decorated with 0,5 cm foam and engraving tool.
I painted it with same colors as bracers.










4) Breastplate

I started with boobcups, that I made from 2 connected layers of normal worbla and heatshaped it around an acrylic ball, sanded it down and glued it to the foam base made from 1 cm thick EVA foam, added small borders from 1cm foam and side covers from 1cm foam and the bottom border from 2 layers of 1cm foam.Then I added collar piece that goes around my neck from 1cm foam. The collar piece was made from 3 layers and it connects on the back into tha backpack with velcro. Then I decorated it heavily with moosgummi and 0,5 foam and smoothened out my boobcups with latex cement and water. The part that goes around my cheest is connected with velcros to the inner part of the backpack piece.










5) Pauldrons


I designed the pauldron only from two round pieces with spiky border.
I made them from 1cm foam and decorated with engraving tool, moosgummi and 0,5 foam.
It is connected to the collar with velcro pieces and with another velcro piece to the biceps armor.




 

   

6)  Biceps armor

Biceps armor is just a piece of foam connected with velcro together in a wave shape decorated with 0,5 foam dremmeled into round shape..






7) Belt and belly armor

The base for all those pieces was EVA foam. For the belt it was 1cm foam and for the front armor and belly armor it was 0,5 foam. All the pieces are decorated with moosgummi and/or 0,5 foam. and some rivet shapes are engraved with engraving tool. The whole construction connects with velcros to the corset (belly pieces with 4 velcros, other pieces connect to the skirt).

For the crystals in the fron of the skirt, I've used dark yellow chandelieur glass teadrop faceted beads, I put a wire through the hole in them and inserted the wire inside two layers of foam and fastened it with hot glue inside.



















8) Corset and trouser piecesI wrote a whole article about corset making HERE if you're interested!
I made the trouser pieces and the corset from denim fabric with metallic print, that remind me the most of the fabric on Auriels bodysuit. I've designed my own pattern on a paper and transfered it onto the fabric. I cut the fabric, sewed it together and sewed the around 1cm thick line around the seams to make a small compartment for the plastic corset reinforcements. I made holes on the back, that I reinforced with special metal holes. Then I just sew around the corset to hold the reinforcements inside it and prevent the fabric from ripping itself.
Then I sew velcros for the skirt to hold, for the trouser pieces and for the belly armor.



9) Cape and skirt

 I've started with the pattern I made from paper and transfered it onto the dark yellow-ish fabric I've chosen according the referrence pictures. It is a woolen stiff fabric.
I cut two pieces for the front and back of the skirt, two big triangles for the left and right side and two rectangle pieces with looooong straps for the cape.
The skirt is all double layered for better stiffness and I sewed both parts of the cape together. I made decorations from 0,5 foam and dremmeled them into perfection and colored them blue.Then I emroided this whole stuff by hand on both sides. I also inserted little rainbow gemstones called Opalites in the front and back of the skirt. I made a base for it from moosgummi, glued the stone with chemoprene glue to the base and fastened it with moosgummi strap wrapped around the stone.

The cape and the skirt hold on their place with velcros. Skirt with velcros on the corset, cape is fastened to the collar on the sides and back.

I made also a veil, that covers my face. It is a light blac fabric, that is woven very rougly, so it has a mesh structure, that is see-through from the point of view of the wearer, but black from the pint of view of others. It is sewn inside the cape on one side, on the other side, there are velcros, so I can open the veil and eat or drink or talk.




10) Wings

The wings were really hard to make since I wanted them to  fit in my luggage. I decided to make them from 2 pieces, that would allow them to move.

I started with a plywood base, that I cut into the shape of the backarmor Auriel has. I made a hole into it, where I inserted a plumbing knee-joint and glued it with hot glue inside. There is also a plumbing clip there screwed inside the plywood to hold the wings on it's place. I formed Apex aluminium tubes into desired shape and lead a cord through the tubes. I fastened the cord on the end of the tube and led it through a pulley made from a furniture wheel. I connected both tubes together with a long screw with brass pads. The cord goes through the whole construction and allows the wings to be pulled downwards behind my back to bring the wings in motion. I first thought about  a construction with a lot of pulleys, but decided to go for a simple ride.
I also inserted wires, that will connect the battery to the LED lights glued to the second tube. The switch goes through a hole in the base and is sewed inside the backpack strap. I took the backpack straps from a cheap backpack and glued and screwed them to the plywood base.
 When the construction was done, I had to make it more beautiful and cover all construction parts.
I started with the backpack, Where I glued a thick low-quality foam inside to be more comfortable to wear. Then I glued 1cm foam pieces around the whole construction and onto it I glued a solid part from 0,5 foam decorated with moosgummi.
Then I photoshopped the solid part of the wings from the referrence picture and made a blueprint in my computer with the help of freeware graphic programm Gimp. I trasfered the blueprint on 4x 2 layers of 1cm foam, I cut it, dremmeled the inisde for the tubes to go in I glue part of it together and part of it left open and glued only velcros inside, so it could be dettachable. Then I dremmeled it into the right shape (omg the mess from the dremmeling was horrible).
Then I painted with acrylics.

 I wanted my wings to be very organic and very light. I've never seen realistic Auriel wings and I think the magical effect of them i really hard to make. I tried it like that: I installed the LED light strips on the upper tube and glued around 15 meters of different shades of blue organza straps, that I had to cure with fire or else it will rip on the borders and leave a lot of mess. I used hotglue for gluing and I tried to mimic the shape by using different shades of blue and different lenghts of the organza.
The result is quite satisfying, but if I would do that again I would use a different way of lighting the wings up, since the organza fabric doesn't lead the light as I expected it it would.


Photo by Milos Mlady photography


And here are some pictures of my done cosplay :)


This article was made with support of my Patrons on my Patreon! There will be no time doing this without them!
I hope this article will be useful for someone and if yes, you can follow my work on cosplay (and other stuff) on my FACEBOOK PAGE or TWITTER or INSTAGRAM.



and if you like this stuff I do, you can support my work by donating on my PATREON.




Yours


Germia
Cosplay vs. character

Photo by Forever from Magic International Masters in Monaco

Photo by Milos Mlady




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How to get the most from a (cosplay) photoshoot

Výsledek obrázku pro meme photographer
Learn to pose, I guess? :(
This article is not meant only for cosplayers. It is also for photographers or models to be always satisfied with cooperation with a photographer and get the most from a photoshoot.

I also included several experiences into this article, that could help you in your future projects ;)





1) Learn about a cosplay character

Cute chatacter?
Think again:
Even you made a cosplay, it is not always, that a cosplayer knows everything about a character. And the photographer is in even worse postition in that regard.

It is the duty of a cosplayer and the photographer to learn as much about the character as they can. If a character looks cute, that doesn't always mean it should be cute on the pictures, you should know some of it's backstory and abilities and try to find poses and locations that suit the character.
Also, search some referrences for your character and try to mimic the poses on the picture ;)







2) Learn to pose

There are sooo many posing guides on the internet!
  • Just google some of them and learn some basic poses for start. And if I say basic - try not to learn anything too difficult like the one on the picture. Try to look into the mirror while you're learning to pose and try to find several poses that you feel comfortable in.

  • Try to find poses  you know your cosplay costume will allow you to do. (Or try it while wearing your cosplay).

  • If you are a cosplayer, try to do more with your pose - cosplayers are not perfect models and we have to learn how to hide our flaws and show our virtues. For example I know my waist is slim and my hips are big, so I always try to pose from a side and do the X shape with my body to accentuate my curves and hide my large butt :D Those tips are also available on the internet - just know, what you want to show and what you want to hide and search for it! (A good/experienced photographer can help you with it too).

  • Also, you have to think about facial expressions - a lot of models have around two or three "sexy" facial expressions and I hate this trend in cosplaying community. Try to fit your facial expression to your costume, don't do just your badass face and nothing else. You can scream on your pics, you can frown, you can luagh, you can wink, you can do a lot, that normal models cannot do! Take inspiration  from my friend Mary or from my picture below:

Just kidding, this one is better:


  • This was just a joke, but even if you have a veil or a helmet in cosplay and you are doing a photoshoot or a cosplay performance, you are not able to act with your face (and it takes A LOT of actual acting away from the character), so you have to really overuse your gestures and movement to have readable roleplay/acting. Look on this cosplay performance of mine, where I tried to make a performance fun and active without using any facial expressions:




  • Also, as a cosplayer, you really have to know your character well to be able to choose the best poses and tell the story with your character. You can roleplay even on the picture. You have to be able to say sometimes: "That is something my character would never do, that is why I can't do this pose, or smile, or anything else...". But if you say you can't do something, always have a solution for photographer to work with. It's hard to work with models naysaying everything, that the photographer offers.

3) Settle up the conditions


This is the basic thing on every photoshoot - you have to settle down the conditions of the photoshoot and also conditions of the use of the picture.

About the photoshoot itself:
Settle down time, location, feeling of the pictures, referrence materials, the amount of effects and post-processing and if you are in a cosplay - info about the character and price and use of the pictures. Settle down also the amount of pictures the photographers will send you, and the amount of pictures he will edit.
These things make it possible for both parties to be on time, prepare the route to the locations, photographer can prepare his equipment properly and cosplayer can take spare boots or a blanket to be warm.

About the use of the pictures:
Always try to speak with the photographer before taking a picture about the use of it. It's really hard on events or conventions, but regarding a photoshoot, you have plenty of time usually to speak about that before the photoshoot itself.
The use of the picture is really important, try to ask:

  • Can I make prints or merch from your pictures? If not, how much should I pay you for the photo - the same should be asked by a photographer even when doing a TFP shoot.

  • Can I use your picture for promotion of other companies or events?

  • Can I share you picture in arranged state (you both agree on the picture's look) on my social sites? That is kinda normal, but if you are shooting naked stuff or some cosplayers do patreon-only stuff, it should be clear. This can also regard the time of release of the photo.

  • Even when not arranged, always give credit to the cooperator (photographer, model, MUA)

  • As a photographer, tell your model BEFORE taking a picture, that it is not free and that you are gonna want some money to process and publish the picture.


4) Communicate


- frequent, don't be rude, be direct, try to view the photos on photoshoot/before posting
Výsledek obrázku pro communication memeThe communication is the key:

  • speak frequently with the photographer to avoid any misunderstandings.

  • Always be direct to him - if you tell him you are not comfortable with some pose or you don't like some picture, it is better to tell him (politely!) soon and spare him a lot of post-processing work than let him do all the work on the photo, have an argument and after that stop working with him because you were not satisfied with the outcome.

  • Try to speak about all the things in point 3 - use of the pics, details of photoshoot, ...  ...it is really important!

  • Try to view the pictures in the camera to be able to adjust your pose or your costume and see the pictures before posting on social sites to give your opinion about them.

  • Don't be rude - there is always a better or smoother way how to say uncomfortable stuff or how to say no. It is really important for both sides to be able to get the most form the photoshoot.


5) Other tips and tricks

As a cosplayer (or model) - try to take a helper with you:

    Výsledek obrázku pro helping meme
  • a photographer is not a costume designer - he can adjust your costume wrong or it can bother him or distract him from his work.

  • a helper can help you carry and guard your stuff and relief a lot of stress, so you can be much more focused on posing and "looking good".

  • a helper can avoid any unwanted things happening on photoshoots - especially when doing lingerie stuff or shooting on deserted locations (don't be scared, such unwanted things happen extremely rarely)

  • a helper can offer new ideas about the photoshoot or sometimes serve as a critique of the art of both sides (photographer nad cosplayer)

  • Helper is a carrywitness, guard, support and critique with opinions or ideas 

Do you want to have photos of you/your cosplay and you don't know any good photographers? There are several different ways you can took:
  • Ask a professional photographer and pay for his work - Be careful by choosing a non-cosplay photographer. A non-cosplay photographer - even with high quality pictures of normal models, kids, animals, landscape or products - can do a poor job by capturing cosplay. Try to find someone with some experience with cosplay, who knows how it works in cosplay community, knows more about the character he is shooting and can do a good post-processing. 

  • Ask more experienced cosplayers/models and let them connect you with some good quality photographers.

  • Try to find TFP groups on facebook or other sites - TFP means time for prints and it is a group for photographers (mostly unexperienced) to search for models for their pictures (and vice-versa) . Usually it servers for the models to get some pictures for their portfolio or to get better in posing and for photographers to get better in shooting or search a particular model for their portfolio or project. The outcome can serve for promotion of both photographer and model and there is no money involved. Other conditions are up to photographer and model (commercial use, promotional use of naked pictures, how many pictures are outcome, ... ad 3). Be aware, that you don't have any certainty of outcome - I was once on a TFP shoot and since the photographer tested new equipment and he just started learning with it, I had no useful pictures from the whole day of travelling and shooting with him.

  • Try to cooperate with photographers on events. On events with lots of cosplays there is a big chance to meet a lot of cosplay photographers. Try to look into discussions on facebook regarding those events or special discussion groups for those events, where a lot of photographers offer their work. And if you get asked by a photographer on event, there is a chance he likes your costume and wants to take pics of you for free - but always ask about those conditions in advance (ad 3)

  • Try to participate on photographic events, where it is usual to get your pictures without any money involved like Fotocon in Poland. More about it here.

  • Try to find and ask some good cosplay photographers on their social sites and negotiate about photoshooting with them - if you can't offer a decent promotion of their work, count with paying money to them. Always ask friends about experience from shooting with them. Always choose only those whose work you find totally flawless, not some with only one pic you like - I can explain this point further: It can happen to you, that your picture could be among the ones you just don't like, so more work of the photographer you like, better chance your picture would be awesome too.

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