While being an anime or manga artist takes a huge amount of artistic talent, they do at least have the advantage of complete control over the mediums in which they work. Making one person taller than another is just a matter of drawing longer lines. Want more people in a crowd scene? Just pencil them in. In a 2-D world, everything, even laws of physics like gravity, exists at, and can be bent to the whims of, the creator.

Cosplayers don’t have it so easy, though, and trying to recreate their favorite characters and scenes under real-world constraints can be a tricky task. These clever costumers have figured out some simple yet ingenious techniques for getting around those obstacles, though, and another behind-the-scenes peek at how they put their shots together reveals that sometimes an awesome final product only comes after some pretty silly-looking cosplay setup.

Let’s start with a simple problem: relative height between characters. With the current trend toward diminutive anime heroines, the male lead often towers over his female costar. But what do you do if your model looks the part in everything but height?


Simple: you just “shrink” your female cosplayer.

As we mentioned, getting your photos to look just right can be tough without the power to levitate or call up dramatic gusts of wind at will. As a result, these Ghibli fans relied on a little bit of off-camera help in their Howl’s Moving Castle and Castle in the Sky Laputa projects.


An assistant timed the drop of Sophie’s pigtail to give it the proper angle when the image was captured…

…and it’s not the levistone keeping Sheeta gently floating, but a hidden Pazu and one other helper.

Don’t have enough people to spare to hold you up as you ”fly?” Having a trampoline just out of frame can also do the trick.


Manga artists also enjoy much greater freedom with their choice of perspective, since they don’t have to worry about whether or not a camera could physically be placed in those positions.

Cosplayers have found a workaround in accentuating the long legs that have been a staple of Japanese comic design for generations, though.

While cosplay has been becoming steadily more popular over the last decade, it’s still largely an amateur hobby, meaning that most photographers aren’t working with the sort of budget that allows them to hire extras to fill their shots with. That’s why this team decided to digitally add in some passersby for a more dynamic shot of the stylish subject.


Likewise, time is often of the essence, especially since a lot of cosplay photo shoots are done guerilla-style in public (although there are awesome cosplay photo studios in Japan), meaning they have to be set up and carried out as quickly as possible. So if you’re shooting a character from behind, there’s no need to waste time getting them to look like the intended character from the front.

Although sometime things can look pretty surreal even when everyone is full costume.


And if you’re going for maximum efficiency, why set up a whole classroom full of desks…

…when all you really need is two or three, plus a strategically positioned camera?

But while some models have the fortitude to go it alone…

…there’s really no substitute for the supporting strength of a fellow cosplayer.

▼ Except, maybe, the supporting strength of a stepstool.

Source: Togech