Monday, June 27, 2011

Anime Expo 2011 Actual Cosplay Tests

Well this year I still plan on breaking out my Lucky Star/Anime Tenchou Meito Anizawa cosplay again...I will probably continue doing it until I run out of space on the apron to put buttons on...

But I finally done a wear test of my Ika Musume genderbender cosplay minus the blue socks and white tennis shoes...

I am pleased that I found a solution for the tentacle wig using felt, Heat 'n Bond, and craft wire...Should've used a larger shirt as I'm afraid that the blue felt will peel off from the collar whenever I stick my head through the hole...

For my off-the-rack entry, my genderbender?/crossplay? (the shirt and jeans were from the men's section) Saori from Oreimo...

So a tall, skinny, rich girl character cosplayed by a short, fat, middle-middle class guy...My original season of the squid cosplay ideas have turned into a season of gender bending...Interesting...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quick Post: Need Something To Do The Night Before Anime Expo?

We Heart Singing For Japan featuring Stephanie Sheh and Cristina Vee from K-On! Sing karaoke in Little Tokyo and help raise money for relief efforts in Japan! Entry is less than the price of a Petit Nendoroid figure!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Anime Expo 2011 Cosplay Preview 2: Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai

This is why I only remember it by the shorthand title...

Originally, I wanted both my cosplays to be squid related (Ika Musume and Summer War's Mansuke), but after seeing how well received my off-the-(thrift store)-rack Nabeshin cosplay was last year (a kid asked for my autograph thinking I was him...), I thought about trying another off-the-rack cosplay...After watching Comic Party, I knew there seemed to be something familiar with the look to Saori from Oreimo...

Seems like wearing a long sleeve button up green shirt, jeans, and glasses makes you the stereotypical otaku (seriously, go watch Comic Party and tell me that Saori is not cosplaying as the tall guy...)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Field Test of 3D Rig Before Anime Expo 2011

Okay, I needed to test this 3D rig outdoors since most of the cosplay gatherings for Anime Expo will be outdoors. I also needed to test this thing on live subjects such as animals...So my field test of this rig was at Mile Square Park after work...I'm still trying to figure out how to do batch mode with the software, but here are the first batch of 3D pics from the park...

Okay more tree pics..

Squirrels seem either curious about my rig...

Or threatened by it...

Definitely the distance of the subject from the cameras is important, as exhibited by these two pics...

And now a picture of my hand...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Anime Expo 2011 Cosplay Preview 1: Ika Musume

The downside about living in a small apartment is that I can't take a full body pic of myself, but here are pics of one of two new cosplays I have planned for Anime Expo 2011...A genderbender Ika Musume. I wanted to do this cosplay really only because I wanted to wear the squid hat. The original plan was to go for a genderbender Sanae with a squid hat since I wouldn't need a wig, and I only would need to add a lemon patch to a yellow t-shirt and wear my regular black cargo shorts, but that was too easy (though the last minute cosplay I decided to make definitely falls in the super-easy category...)

I made the shirt pretty last minute...and I learned quickly that the v-neck is a little tight after adding the blue...good thing I have an off-the-rack ringer t-shirt in case this doesn't work...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Now How Much Did It Cost? (The 3D Camera Saga Part 4...To Be Continued?)

Approximate costs for major components (actual cost would be higher because of all the mistakes I made when making this, and it's approximate since I tossed the receipts)

2 Identical Canon Cameras - $85.01 on eBay (includes shipping)
2 2GB SD Cards - $15 from Best Buy (I know I can find it cheaper, but I gotta stick with SanDisk. I am also limited by the capacity of the cameras)
Basswood Strips for Frame - $6.00 from JoAnn
Metal Corner Brace - $1.00 from Home Depot
2 1/4" Thumb Screws - $2.50 from Home Depot (if I remember, they come in one per bag)
2 USB A Female Sockets - $2.50 from Orvac Electronics (the best electronics components store in Orange County, CA that I discovered when making this)
2 3' USB cables (I accidentally cut through one, and I didn't want to use the longer cables that came with the cameras) - $6 from Orvac Electronics
3A 125V SPST Normally Open Pushbutton Switch - $4 from Radio Shack
Battery Holder for 3 AAA batteries (cheaper to use and easier to find AAA batteries than a button battery) - $2.00 at Radio Shack
Wire - $0.25 from Fry's (I already forgot what gauge I used)
Box to hold switch components - Free (other ideas for making a switch box: travel size cotton swab box, Altoids tin, duct tape)
Other bolts and nuts - $1.00 from Home Depot

Approximate total cost: $125.26 (with 5% margin for underestimating cost - $131.52)

Retail price of currently available 3D digital cameras at Best Buy (if I can, I would prefer shopping in store than online, unless it's anime from Bandai):
Nintendo 3DS: $249.99 at Best Buy
Fujifilm FinePix W3 Real 3D 10.0 MP Camera: $399.99 at Best Buy

So my rig costs about half the price of the cheapest 3D digital camera available. And the fun part is that if I swap out the SD cards with the Canon Hack Development Kit software with regular SD cards, the cameras operate like regular cameras. I also think it's a better conversation starter than just an off-the-shelf camera.

I guess I should mention where to find the red/cyan 3D glasses...well since I want my subjects to be able to see their pics in 3D, I'll hand them a pair with my meishi (name card) with blog address attached for free. I ordered a couple hundred pairs from Rainbow Symphony. I ordered the over-run/overstock glasses because they were the cheapest, and I doubt anyone cares that there's a corporate logo on them. I remember as a kid reading a science project book on how you can make your own 3D glasses with colored plastic. If you look online, you probably can find a free pair.

Friday, June 17, 2011

How I Did It (The 3D Camera Saga Part 3)

Okay well in Part 1, I realize that the frame that will hold my cameras isn't too great, so I built a new one with some sticks...

Here's the back of the setup with the small red button to push to take the pictures:

I cut up a plastic box that my Moo MiniCards come in to be the box that contains the switch and USB ports:

What I like about the new simpler camera holder is that it is collapsible and can be packed into a small box:

Now I'm only 75% ready for Anime Expo...

I followed the instructions found in the Maximum PC article to make this rig. However, the circuit diagram for putting together the switch was not shown. After some digging, I found a diagram here. And if you're like me and doesn't know what pin on the USB port does what, here's a place. Now I had a friend solder this since I don't have a soldering iron, and my skills are a little rusty. So if you also need instructions on how to solder...well they should be on the soldering iron package. Just be careful not to burn yourself or drip solder everywhere.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A More Anime Related Test Pic in 3D

So busy with preparing for Anime Expo that I haven't spent some time outside testing the 3D rig. However, here's another test pic...

I will eventually show pics and some details about the rig that is making this...

To Do List Before AX 2011...

-Finish cosplays (Ika Musume - 85% Oreimo - 85%...really should learn how to work with wigs...).
-Further test 3D camera rig.
-Actually plan out panel/screening schedule to include cosplay gatherings I want to see and meet & greets.
-Stock up on SD cards, especially for 3D camera rig (the cameras I use for that cannot take anything larger than 2GB.
-Construct the cosplay hunt hit list of must-find cosplays.
-Finalize plans for a Lucky Star-only cosplay gathering (If you got a account, you can find the forum thread here.).
-Go snacks shopping.
-Prepare packing list (make sure I bring a chair and a book to pass the time while waiting for badge).
-Decide what electronics to bring...DS might not be necessary, but Walkman definitely is.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It Actually Works...It Actually $(#*@&^ Works (The 3D Camera Saga Part 2)

Well I got home late after having a friend do the soldering of the circuit for me...It's been years since I soldered anything, so I wanted someone with more practice to do this part...But I wanted to show how the very first picture taken with this rig looks like after I use the Stereo Photo Maker software...

A description of what was involved in making the rig will come some sleep...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cosplay Scavenger Hunt List 2011: School Uniforms Draft 1

So what school uniforms should I expect to see this year?

Angel Beats
Lucky Star (so wanna find a cosplay gathering that has more than 3 cosplayers)
Ouran High School Host Club
Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Nichijou (My Ordinary Life)

Ones I've seen but will probably be surprised to find again:
Full Metal Panic
Azumanga Daioh
School Rumble

Ones that I wish to see:
Air (wanna get the whole Key trilogy)
Venus Versus Virus
La Corda d'Oro (bonus if playing an instrument)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hmmm...I Probably Should Read The Instructions Again (The 3D Camera Saga Part 1)

Okay, I thought it would be neat for this year's Anime Expo to take 3D cosplay pictures. Now I know you can use a Nintendo 3DS or the Fujifilm FinePix W3 Real 3D camera, but I didn't want to spend too much money on a new camera...

The solution is to use two cheap digital cameras. I'm following the instructions I found in the Maximum PC article and two Canon SD400 cameras I bought for cheap on eBay (one of them has a damaged LCD that I got for $20...I got the other in much better condition for $60).

To make the rig, I got some strips of basswood from JoAnn and some metal brace clips from The Home Depot in addition to the other items on the list in the article. For decoration, I used special duct tape...Unfortunately, mine didn't turn out the way it did in the article...

How was I gonna hold this thing????'s back to the drawing board on the frame before I move on to building the synchronizing switch (it's been years since I used a soldering iron...I think I'll get someone with more soldering experience to work on that part...)...