I’ll just come out and say right now that I didn’t make anything in my Toru cosplay, hence the quotations in the title. I did, however, have to do a lot of self-shooting and editing to create this awesome invisibility effect!
I participated in a fun April Fools cosplay group online this year, which used the common anime trope of a student running late to class with a piece of bread hanging out of their mouth. It made for some great photos and was super accessible to everyone, since cosplaying was as easy as getting the school uniform and bread of your choice! I knew I didn’t want to make a uniform from scratch, so I opted for buying one online. I chose Toru Hagakure AKA Invisible Girl from My Hero Academia because I thought it would be really fun and creative photos.
I originally had scheduled to shoot these photos with a friend, but then covid-19 reared its ugly head. That meant I had to keep socializing to a minimum and would have to self-shoot in my apartment.
The cosplay itself was super simple: a My Hero Academia school uniform ordered online. I also bought a green morph suit, thinking it’d help making editing easier. As it turns out, wearing the morph suit just made things much more difficult. I could accomplish the same thing using a headsock, so I opted for that instead.
I also bought some fake bread because I thought it might be easier to photograph. So that I could create the illusion it was floating, I hot-glued some popsicle sticks to the fake bread so that I could hold the popsicle sticks in my mouth instead of covering part of the bread.
I tried a few different locations in our small 2-bedroom apartment: on the couch, by the front door, and in the apartment hallway. The last two locations ended up being the ones I used, since editing myself out in a sitting position proved much tougher than editing myself when standing.
To ensure I had a good clean background photo, I made sure to use a tripod when shooting. I would first frame up the shot, take a few test shots with myself in them, then take a few photos with the tripod of just the background.
Self-timer is your friend
Then, using self-timer, I would hit the button, run into frame and pose. I unfortunately don’t have a remote for my camera, so this required a lot of running back and forth between the camera and my “set.” After taking about twenty of these photos in each location, I uploaded the photos to my laptop.
Editing: A whole lot of masking and cloning
With my photos now on my laptop, I could begin editing myself out of the photos. I’d start with the background photos first as a base layer. Then, I’d add in the photo that has me in the foreground. I’d carefully mask out any parts of myself that had skin. Wearing the headsock during the shoot made masking my head out much easier since I wouldn’t have to worry about all the details my hair would have.
The hardest part by far was cloning back in parts that were missing, most of the times the hands. I had to use a lot of trial and error to add back in parts of the uniform (sleeves, the blazer, etc)
Below are some collages that include 1) the background photo 2) the unedited photo 3) the final edited photo.
This cosplay was both low-effort and high-effort at the same time. I loved getting to play photographer, model, and editor all in one shoot and the reception it got more than made up for the hours I spent in front of my laptop.