Saturday, 31 December 2016

Supanova Brisbane 2016, Recon Report Part 2 - Creative Arts at Imagineer's Playground

Continuing Part 2 of our convention intel from recent trip by the Outpost Movie Recon Team (M.R.T.) to Supanova Brisbane last month. Supanova includes educational activities for creative arts conducted at the Imagineer's Playground. Although it sounds rather fancy, the actual playground comprised of a cordoned area on the main expo floor with about 30 seats setup for presentations by industry players, experienced cosplayers and fan communities. Topics covered in Imagineer's Playground include cosplay design, script writing, sewing, and more. Here's the lowdown on just a few of the presentations:

Introducing your Cosplay Ambassadors: Echoing Artemis and A.K. Wirru

So what is a cosplay ambassador? A cosplay ambassador is the voice of the cosplay community to event organisers. The cosplay ambassadors' objective at Supanova is to be able to give back to the community in whatever way possible. In Echoing Artemis's case, she is a clinical psychologist and helped create anti-harassment rules at Supanova to ensure that cosplayers and guests alike do not cross a certain line. A.K. Wirru on the other hand was nominated due to his informative tutorials on crafting cosplay props. The cosplay ambassadors will rotate after a year of service and anyone can be a cosplay ambassador as long as they are able to put something on the table to give back to the community. Unfortunately A.K. Wirru was unable to attend as he was occupied with judging the preliminary Madmen cosplay competition.

Echoing Artemis (left)

Workshop #1: Picking up Patterns: A Beginners Guide to Sewing with Echoing Artemis

Do not let the title fool you. In actual fact some basic knowledge in sewing is needed before patterns could be created. A sewing pattern is essentially a recipe for making an item of clothing that could either be store bought or drafted by hand. What is typically included in a sewing pattern is the information on what you will need to compete the garment, pattern pieces (strips of paper to be used as templates when cutting fabric) and instructions for sewing the pieces together.

Echoing Artemis cosplaying as Supergirl speaking about sewing patterns

"Do we really need sewing patterns?"

Guideline on where to purchase patterns. Spotlight is available in Malaysia.

Tip on Choosing Patterns

Easy & Tricky Alterations

The Envelope Pattern

Important notes regarding The Envelope Pattern

Echoing Artemis' Choice of Weapons When Sewing

Sizing Is Important

Getting Started on Sewing

Layout & Cutting Fabric 

Example of a Finished Cutout

Workshop #2: Hackerspace - Electronics For Props

Hackerspace is a community-operated "Not For Profit" work space for people with common interests to socialise and collaborate. These interests include computers, machining, technology, science, digital art or electronic art. In this workshop,  representatives from Hackerspace shared about using electronics to light up props. The most commonly used lights are LED lights. For more elaborate lighting, there are NeoPixels, programmable LEDs. By using an Arduino circuit board (micro controller) it is possible to program LEDs for use in cosplay. For instance, NeoPixels can be programmed to write words or draw patterns. A switch may be added to start/stop programs for more control or just conserve battery power. Devices like a ball chamber can function as a switch in the weapon prop to trigger light and/or sound effects with each swing.

Hackerspace speakers demonstrating their programmed LED word strip

Power Supply

Micro Controller Board Used to Program Lights

Workshop #3: Costuming for Conventions - A User Guide with Reverend Armageddon T Cosplay

This talk focused mainly on the planning out of a costume and the considerations needed when choosing, making and maintaining your costume. An emergency repair kit is also really important to carry around as it would save you a ton of time if something goes wrong with your costume.

Starting A Costume
Here are some questions to ponder about before making a costume:
  • How often will I wear this?
  • Will it be heavy? If yes, can I use any substitutes to reduce the weight?
  • Will it be bulky? If yes, conventions tend to be very packed and wearing a bulky costume might cause you to have a wardrobe malfunction or leave you stuck outside the convention.
  • Will it rip off or break easily? Choose the material wisely to ensure that pieces will not break or rip.
Using Worbla
Worbla is a type of thermoplastic that can be molded and shaped after applying heat. Since Worbla is very expensive, the most efficient method is to first apply layers of foam then place Worbla as the final layer. Another tricky part to using Worbla is that if you make a mistake, it can be glaring and easily seen. Therefore, shaping the Worbla to the shape of your choice is important before setting it on a piece.

Essential Items That Makes The All-Important Emergency Repair Kit

Cosplay Can Be Impractical In Certain Aspects. Choose Your Build Wisely.

Workshop #4: Balancing Cosplay - Making Quality Costumes on Budget with A.K Wirru

Instead of talking about making props on a limited budget, Ameno Kitarou Wirru, or simply known as A.K. Wirru / Wirru switched around the perspective in making use of the budget available. Wirru suggested to separate types of cosplay into a big budget major cosplay, where costs is “no limit” , or a small budget casual cosplay to work with limited resources / time and money.

A.K. Wirru Cosplaying As A Team Instinct PokemonGo! Trainer.
Not forgetting his Dabdos lurking in the background

Goals Of Cosplay

Approaching Cosplay With A Budget

Defining "Budget" in Your Personal Context Is Important

Major Project Vs. Casual Project
Standard Procedure Cosplay Vs. Experimental Cosplay

When proceeding with a major project, try to stick to the standard procedure (know what you are doing) to ensure that the quality is maintained. The experimentation procedure is coming up with alternative more cost saving measures to get the results that you want (be prepared to waste materials)

Planning Is Essential!

A.K. Wirru was a cosplay guest at AniManGaki Malaysia 2016 held in Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre so aspects of his presentation may be familiar to some Malaysian readers.

Supanova Brisbane 2016, Recon Report Part 1 - Event Hall & Cosplay Sightings

Coming Soon:
Part 3 - Celebrity Guests.

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