Cosplay research is one of the most important steps in the cosplay process. It helps to form a game plan of how you will create props and garnets, what techniques you will need to learn, what materials you will need to buy. Ultimately, this research will give you a better understanding of how much time you will need to set aside in order to create your costume.
Even if you are not making your cosplay from scratch, taking the time to do cosplay research can also save you money if used to look up different prices of different shops to find the best deal.
Cosplay research is the first step needed to bring your cosplay idea into reality. Here are some tips to help you get started on your cosplay research journey.
1. Find Reference Photos
Ideally, you’ll want to find reference photos from various angles (front, side, back) to give a clear picture of how different elements are designed. For myself, a Google image search will suffice. Sometimes I’ll go back and watch the series my character is in and take screen captures from that episode.
I like to save my photos on my mobile phone, creating a photo album dedicated to that character’s reference photos. Saving the photos on my phone allows me to always have them on hand. A cosplay planning app that I also like to store my reference photos in is Cosplanner. This is a fantastic app where I can store my reference photos, as well as track my progress on my costume.
If you don’t have a smart phone or your own laptop, do not fret! Printing out my photos and keeping them in a physical folder works just as well. 🙂
There will be times were you won’t be able to find a sufficient amount of reference photos, whether that be because you are working off a piece of fan art or because there just genuinely aren’t any photos available at a particular angle. When this happens, don’t be afraid to take some creative liberties and interpret what your own design into your costume.