Today I’ve looked at some Overwatch cosplay pictures and it made me think how we can take cosplay and bring it to augmented reality. AR can serve as an alternative or also an addition to the cosplay itself.
For those who don’t know what cosplay means. It’s a portmanteau of the words costume play. It’s a practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or a video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga and anime.
I’m sure people who create their costumes really enjoy the process of making it. Unlike a virtual costume like one that can be used in augmented reality, doesn’t require any 3D modeling skills. However, having 3D modeling and animation skills can allow people to create a cosplay costume that can be shareable, easily modifiable, change and enhance some physical body attributes, customizable, doesn’t wear out, animated with cool effects, interactive and in some cases, even cheaper to make.
To view the augmented cosplay you’ll need to use a piece of equipment that will allow you to view the augmented costume on the person (or persons) who wears it. It can be AR glasses or using a mobile phone or tablet through which the viewer can see the augmented cosplay costume with.
It’s something similar to Disney Research AR costume. Disney Research Hub actually did in-depth research on this subject related to 3D custom matching that matches for the proportions and poses of the subject upon taking a single RGB image. It uses computing methodologies of mixed/augmented reality; motion capture, image manipulation, and image processing to achieve this (source).
When I talk about augmented cosplay costume, I refer to a solution where the costume continuously adapts to the user’s body motion and head pose like a cloth. Of course, the modeler of the cosplay can add different types of visual effects, sounds effects, and even interaction like buttons for saving the cosplay to your library, share a video or picture online on social media, upvote, rank, buy it, link to the artist’s profile/website, donate button, change color, etc.
There are many advantages that Costume Augmentation brings to the cosplay field that standard cosplay just can’t. As I mentioned, there is an option to enhance the cosplay costume by using an image recognition (marked or not) to digitally enhance the physical cosplay viewing experience and provide other digital features and services that can enhance the experience for both the viewer and the person who made the costume
I didn’t come across any cosplay-specific apps in augmented reality, but I am positive that we’ll see some in the near future. This type of app for Mixed Reality glasses or phones can be used in Gaming events, Festivals, Cosplay specific events (I’ve been in one in Osaka, Japan), etc.
It’s an interesting topic that I am interested in learning more about, and I am very interested in hearing what you guys think about this idea. Thanks for reading.