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Tell us your costume creation tips!

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What tips do you have for those currently in a creative rut? Are there costume pieces that work well together? Are there costume pieces that look horrible together? Or perhaps there are some underrated costume pieces no one uses much or knows about?

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Well, for a while I was using the retro sci-fi top, (under the armored torso category), with the justice pants, (under the regular tight bottom category), as a sort of "flight suit", then layering other parts over them, to create various looks.

 

I also like the look of the cybertech 1 top, (under tops with skin), combined with the talons skirt.

 

There's also a metallic top/tank top that goes well with the metallic mini-skirt.

 

Another approach I sometimes take it to pick something simple - like the regular tights top, using one of the basic stripe patterns, and just pick random colors until I get a combination that I find striking, then work from there.

 

Another I've used a few times is the "Olympian Guard" option under tight tops & bottoms - it's a nice texture, and you can apply any of the regular tights patterns to it, which makes for an interesting bit of detail as the base layer for various costumes.

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3 colors is a minimum requirement.  I know some people completely disagree with me on that, but its true.  I have seen some "acceptable" costumes that only feature 2 colors.  Usually they either had a very classic design, or actually had a 3rd color through auras.  I have never seen a great costume with fewer than 3 colors though.  Any color can be used as an accent color when done right, but the easiest ones to use are typically Black, White, Gold, and Red.

 

Bright colors are less appealing than dark ones.  Now, before you yell at me.. im not saying dark COSTUMES.. im saying dark colors.  The colors on the left side of the pallet look more realistic and can actually make a brightly colored costume more noticeable than the colors on the right side.  Spider-man used the left side of the pallet in the 70s and 80s, but the spider-man you know today..and pretty much every other hero.. is rocking that right side.  It just looks better.

 

All the best costumes are layered.  When I say layered, I mean you make use of pretty much every available costume "attachment" to some degree or another.  You may only have a small belt, or minimal shoulder pads...but everything is used.  Exceptions are the head, and tail.  You may not always use every slot on a helmet, for example, and tails are only useful on specific types of costumes.   Using every slot, when done right, lends texture to your costume, and makes it look less like you just threw something on to get into the game.

 

Auras are some of the most striking options you can place on your costume.  They give it some "movement" and make them eye catching..however, they arent always right for your look.  Dont be afraid to skip the auras.. but also remember that most every aura can be set to only appear while in combat.  Maybe you really want to have the fiery eyes..but dont want to look like an avenging angel when your standing under atlas reading the paper.  So use those combat only options.

 

 

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The glowing piping on the Cybertech jacket matches the glowing piping on the Retro Sci Fi pants.  Together they can make a Tron-esque look that I'm fond of.  Also makes one's rump look marvelous.

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Posted (edited)

(Edited to correct terminology)

I think the best tip I can offer is:  be willing to experiment with "clipping", that is, two or more costume elements that should not occupy the same space but do.  Lots of clippings are just annoying, like capes that flow into legs (literally), or hair that pushes through high collars.  But some of my best costume results, especially helmets, are the result of one or more clippings that, with the proper use of color, blend to look like the developers had intended their interaction.  Here are a few of mine to give finished product examples, as well as an enlarged false-color image on the beak-like helmet of Watch Commander to show you what parts were blended to achieve the result :

 

image.png.d5d7db742dc93d1807b2ec1135e20bdf.pngimage.png.c7a1028c74417abdc3874b4e3b8bdfed.pngimage.png.08541ba82f61cddaa4efd017eb48c554.pngimage.png.ae5a8e27c10bab14dfbf313bd26168a8.pngimage.png.9fbb840c6d5cf00cf167241f9344a9b3.png

 

image.png.0272a0f36feb486b3ac94b08cd2725f3.png

Edited by Techwright
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On 6/7/2020 at 8:31 PM, Damoklese said:

3 colors is a minimum requirement.  I know some people completely disagree with me on that, but its true.  I have seen some "acceptable" costumes that only feature 2 colors.  Usually they either had a very classic design, or actually had a 3rd color through auras.  I have never seen a great costume with fewer than 3 colors though.  Any color can be used as an accent color when done right, but the easiest ones to use are typically Black, White, Gold, and Red.

 

 

Building on that I'd add a few points:

 

1.) Black & White with Red is a power tri-color set.  Don't believe me?  Go watch the famous "rose" moment in "Shindler's List".  The film is black & white, and those tones make a backdrop that just makes that single red flower completely arresting.  I was told a looong time ago, in either my art composition classes or my adolescent psych class (or both) that black, white & red are the first colors our growing infant eyes are tuned to see, and as a result it remains one of the most powerful color combinations to even our adult minds.

 

2.) There can be too many colors as well as too few.  I was reminded of this myself recently when trying to do a makeover for a character whose look was pretty lackluster.  I dove into the forums for inspiration and noticed a similar-looking character but whose look "popped".  I came to realize it was because the fewer colors & patterns he sported created a much cleaner look.  So I went back and stripped out two colors, keeping 4, got rid of a couple of costume pieces that had a lot of visual busy-ness about them, and the character's look really caught people's eyes after that.

 

3.) minimalism can be a key.  Back to that "Shindler's List" red rose:  One of the reasons that worked is that it was singular, minimalistic.  There wasn't red all over the screen.  Try it with a build.  Build an all black and white costume, then go get that belt with the large jewel in the center, and make the jewel blood red.  You'll see the costume really "pop".  It need not be black, white, and red, but don't feel you have to use any 3 or 4 colors in equal portion all over the costume.  

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With respect to the 3-colour theory, depending on how different you want those colours to be, you can pseudo-achieve the effect of 3 colours using only 2 plus creative use of "light up" costume pieces (e.g. Ascension bits, Fire/Ice "veins", Bioluminescence). Great when you want a look that emphasizes two "shades" of the same colour without having to actually fight with the colour picker.

 

In a similar vein, a number of pieces tend to include either (uneditable) blacks and greys in them, or segments that take the base colour but significantly darker (Ascension again, particularly the boots and gloves). So again you can gain that third colour without actually choosing 3 colours.

 

Finally, don't be afraid to experiment with colour combinations that you wouldn't typically use. They're not always going to be winners, but I guarantee you'll surprise yourself!

 

Snippets of some of my several palette-swapped cow costumes as examples. Each one only uses two colours (plus brown for the fur), but thanks to brightness and baked-in shading, appear to use more without being overwhelming or jarring.

image.png.9be20a818b7c4f1b1789d629277febe6.png

image.png.d51727a5af192199a239252d81764fd4.png

image.png.eca99e26976f04028833c018a9474e5b.png

 

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@Cutter everywhere

 

Tanks: Electric Daisy Elec/Staff | CryoForge Fire/Ice | Armoogeddon Rad/Fire | Misadventure Shield/Elec

Not Tanks: Splash Damage Water/Regen Sentinel

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Posted (edited)

I have to agree with @Techwright regarding 'clipping'. Use it to your advantage. This seems most doable with head items because of the degree in which you can adjust sliders.

 

I just threw these together to show the differences adjusting sliders can make, if it were for one of my own character I could spend a great deal of time just on the facial sliders alone. <.<

These are just something a quickly threw together and used the random button on facial sliders.

 

Slider_adj.thumb.jpg.e0fa07e5294f1cdecf2311d5d23e5cdc.jpg

 

Hats and helmets work well with judicious clipping, Hoods too to a lesser degree. One thing I will recommend is always rotate your view to check your adjustments from profile or the back as well since the look from those angles may not be appealing.

 

Edited by Oubliette_Red
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Dislike certain sounds? Head down to Silence/Modify specific sounds in Guides. Looking for modified sounds? Check out Solerverse's thread.

"You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means."

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Two things:

1. Create a costume, save costume, then proceed to use costume for all characters. RP where necessary when people get confused

2. Hit the auto button, change one thing, done

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6 hours ago, Oubliette_Red said:

I have to agree with @Techwright regarding 'clipping'.

 

"Clipping", right.  Not "cutting", like I was spouting.  I've no idea what I was thinking, but lack of sleep was probably a factor.  Thanks for getting the right terminology out there.  I've corrected mine and documented the correction.

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Posted (edited)

I don't know if this is a "tip" or a useful comment. but my opinion is that it depends a lot on what you want to create and the background of your character. Personally I prefer to use 2 colors, I have few costumes in which I use more than 2 colors

For exemple:

image.png.a58c0da5f3214f88962b1b3615cf1dc0.png

 

 

 

Edited by Agent Archer

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44 minutes ago, Techwright said:

"Clipping", right.  Not "cutting", like I was spouting.  I've no idea what I was thinking, but lack of sleep was probably a factor.  Thanks for getting the right terminology out there.  I've corrected mine and documented the correction.

I wasn't trying to correct you, I was just using the term I am used to hearing and that I agreed with your tip of strategic use of it.

 

🙂

 

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Dislike certain sounds? Head down to Silence/Modify specific sounds in Guides. Looking for modified sounds? Check out Solerverse's thread.

"You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means."

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1. Regarding the number of colors, it depends a lot on the look you’re trying to achieve. Also, using different shades of the colors for different pieces (moving left and right on the color scale) can give you rich and contrasting effects. 

 

2. If you use two colors, a third, contrasting color really pops. (I’m not advocating using two colors instead of more, just making a point about visual impact.)

 

3. Take a look at a color wheel. "Complimentary colors" are called that because they are (complimentary). Shades of blue often look good with shades of orange, etc.

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On both male and female characters, Hostile faces with Clown makeup are golden. 

 

The less assuming they are, the more versatile the pieces.  Nothing particularly sciencey or comical about this fellow.  1930253342_williamshakespeare.thumb.JPG.268fc09031ac36074df3a2fe6162f5d2.JPG

I am always on the lookout for pieces that can be repurposed.  Pay no attention to the names; this is one of the samurai chest details given a different recoloring to match the blue jeans, and behold, you have overalls.  IMPETUA.JPG.e90e4c626200e51514521ddee4f4a305.JPG This too can be done for male characters and works just as well. 

 

I think the Roman 'toga', more like a tunic, is a bit too short for an actual Greco-Roman themed character.  On female characters I usually augment it with the Talons skirt, which has a compatible draped effect.  Colored rthe same, they mesh fairly well.  The Talons skirt is also a good foundation for slightly more formal and textile looks, espeecially when confined with Gunslinger or Steampunk parts:

 

iceminstrel.JPG.c5032e9d3f0f2e3c9dcd82825cb1bc47.JPG

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QVÆ TAM FERA IMMANISQVE NATVRA

TB ~ Amazon Army: AMAZON-963 | EX ~ The Holy Office: HOLY-1610 | EV ~ Firemullet Groupies: FM-5401 | IN ~ Sparta: SPARTA-3759 | RE ~ S.P.Q.R. - SPQR-5010

Spread My Legions - #207 | Lawyers of Ghastly Horror - #581 | Jerk Hackers! - #16299 | Ecloga Prima - #25362 | Deth Kick Champions! - #25818 | Heaven and Hell - #26231

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If you are creating an alternative costume for an existing character - and the costume starts to stray too much from the original character? DO NOT THROW THE COSTUME AWAY. Save it! It might become an entirely NEW CHARACTER! 

 

I was noodling around in the CC a few years ago - and thought - "I wonder what it would look like if my Praetorian former Loyalist Cop Sassinak became an Ouroboros Mender?" 

Here's the original costume: 
Omp2eAj.png

 

Here's some progression: 
n9aLujC.pngFM6gJPL.png

 

At this point I thought - "let's bring the original palette back". 

Wd8iMnj.png

 

It's at this point I started to think I was onto something entirely different.  Let's make the hair black and use the tech "Pirate" eye crystal and an aura: 

BJBHLUK.png4PbQLa1.png

 


"Okay..." said I to myself, "... this is NOT the same character. I've got something new here. Instead of Sassinak, I picked a new name for the file - Captain Azure Dupree." 
 

A little more tweaking - throwing on a high collar and a red cape liner under the skull and crossbones cape and I've got the finished character: 

Eq8q0lX.pngxechiAB.png

 

 

Also - save costume files with an eye towards the future. Sometimes inspiration drops happen MONTHS apart. 

I had this knocking around for awhile both as a character and as an experimental water blaster:

YSNjOqG.png

 

Yeah... pretty bland, eh? 

A palette change was all it took to start the gears turning: 

S1lM7qk.png

 

But it still took a few more weeks before my subconscious finally clicked on the solution: 

 

tp6UBPJ.png

 

 

So - save, save, and save again.
Don't be afraid to put something aside and play something else for awhile and then come back to it.
Established character tweaks can become entirely new and different characters!  

Sometimes color is everything. 

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20 hours ago, Dynamo-Joe said:

If you are creating an alternative costume for an existing character - and the costume starts to stray too much from the original character? DO NOT THROW THE COSTUME AWAY. Save it! It might become an entirely NEW CHARACTER! 

 

So true!  I've created a couple of characters that way.  Excellent point.

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If you're really, truly, absolutely, incredibly stuck on a costume, which inevitably happens from time to time, hit the 'Random' costume button! And don't just hit it once, hit it 5-6 times in rapid succession. It throws out a lot of dorky looking things, but if you spin it many times in a row and so quickly that your brain can't keep up - you may find bits and pieces stick in your mind. You'll see a hood you like somewhere, and then a face that you've never used before, a backpack that you forgot about, and a color palette you never would've thought of. And while those may all be on different spins, you've then had those stick for you! And so you get to start picking and choosing the best bits 🙂

 

Another game I like to play with the random button is "how little can I change from a single roll while still getting this to a point that I like?" Get rid of an aura here, add some spot color there, and change the face up, and you can get really close to some good-looking ideas that you'd never thought of before.

 

Maybe most importantly, a really simple tool to get a costume to work is to just change the color palette. Don't tweak it, change it. Divorce yourself from the costume that was giving you trouble. Pick another color, unify the palette, and keep the costumes the same but erase the colors you thought you had locked in. And this goes doubly for powers - if your costume is feeling monotone, your accent color can be in your powers! I've had characters' schemes go from white and gold to black and red; blue and yellow to bright magenta; blue and purple to red and white. Make a mental list of colors you don't use a lot and maybe make a conscious effort to change that. Green is maybe my favorite color but for whatever reason I don't default to it a lot in costumes. I have to push myself to use it. I'm very happy every time I have. Pink is another color that I've had a very lukewarm relationship with that I have grown to really like due to pushing myself to use more of it.

 

Also, on the color note: don't feel locked in to the "obvious" colors. I've tried making a gazillion ice-based characters, and always fell back on the white and, ehm, ice blue pairing. Because it fit my notions of what I wanted my ice character to look like. So eventually I started trying to break that pattern. I made black-and-green ice characters. All orange ice characters. What I settled on in practice was less of a dramatic departure - red and white - but red is still very unorthodox for an ice character. Point is, act against some of those connotations you have. Pick weird colors. You might like em.


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19 hours ago, Crater Kate said:

All orange ice characters. What I settled on in practice was less of a dramatic departure - red and white - but red is still very unorthodox for an ice character. Point is, act against some of those connotations you have. Pick weird colors. You might like em.

Why do I suddenly have a craving for an orange creamsicle? :classic_wink:

 

I'd no idea you were going to bring up red as an unorthodox selection for an ice character, but that's exactly what I did in early June for this one, so here he is as example. I got the idea to not focus on the ice, per se, but on a product known for being ice cold.  The white had nothing to do with ice and everything to do with product recognition.  The "ice green" was chosen less for being about ice, and more for being similar to the green tint of the classic cola bottles.   The result is something that I hoped would resemble (slightly) a real-world product known for being served ice-cold in America. 

 

image.png.10fa035ac40bbb8fbfcb968158865ae7.png

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For me, I try to think keep a character in mind rather than just a costume. I don't have a specific workflow, but in the past I've started with a primary color I've wanted to explore, then Googled personality traits and word associations with that color (there are many opinions out there--choose the ones that you like). I pick about 3-5 words and start thinking of a personality around them. Then I think about what goals that character is trying to accomplish, and how they want the world to see them. That's usually when costume ideas start coming to mind. Of course, this is a very general "character creation" strategy and not necessarily costume specific.

 

I do, however, have a costume creation TIP that I've used when costume ideas just aren't jiving. First I save the costume I'm working on, then Link Colors and set everything including Skin to pure black. Then I set the brightness of the background to maximum white. That way, I get a silhouette version of the costume I'm working on. According to many animation guides, if your character is recognizable in silhouette, it's probably a sign of a strong design.

JBl9lOL.jpg

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