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Topics - Enkai

I have a few cosplay-related panels I would like to do this year, and I'm gauging interest in them.  This thread is what I call "An Engineer's Guide to Cosplay."

Conceptually, this is probably the most general (and definitely the most conceptual) of my 3 panel ideas, and is ultimately talking more about cosplay planning and approaching your costume as an engineer would, with the goal of creating sturdier and lighter pieces.  This will apply mostly in props, but some in the fabric construction as well.  I'm a structural engineer by profession, and you'd be surprised how much overlap there is.  As I get more experience in my field, I get better at constructing my costumes.

I see this as being fairly workshop-based.  I'd like to be able to pass out kits so people can see the concepts I'm talking about, particularly.  I also plan on paralleling things in costumes and construction. *I will be minimizing math (other than some basic geometry equations)*

Initially, I would like to get into basic statics in order to illustrate that you need more than one support point to stabilize something.  This will also be the introduction to connection types, which will probably be the focus of the panel.

Second will be basic material properties, and where those come into costumes. (i.e. wood, PVC, plastic sheathing, foam, fabric, etc)

I would also like to go into drawings.  Understanding about plans, elevations, and sections, and sketching part pieces helps a lot with seeing how things go together.  This is where math may actually come into play.

The big brunt of the discussion will be connections.  What exactly do I mean by connections?  What can you do to make sure your joints are sturdy enough?  When do you want a flexible connection?  When do you want a rigid connection, and how do you achieve one.  How should you plan your glued connections?

Other potential topics

  • Weight distribution (aka easy-to-handle swords)
  • Nuts and bolts, aka being able to take things apart
  • Fabric structures and how that works with costuming

Does this sound interesting?  What sounds most interesting?  Thanks for the feedback!
I've got a few cosplay-related panels that I would like to do with my husband this year.  This one, as you can guess from the title is about using an airbrush for cosplay purposes.  It will not just be about makeup, because in our experience, there is a huge amount of skill overlap. Does this sound interesting?

Things that we would like to cover

  • Types of airbrushes
  • Compressors
  • What you need in addition to the airbrush and compressor
  • Basic airbrush application, aka how to keep your airbrush from clogging
  • Airbrush Safety
  • Airbrush Paints, including diluting down
  • Airbrushing for props and armor
  • Airbrush on fabric
  • Airbrush and makeup

Thanks for reading and providing your feedback!
I'm thinking this Fanime will be a big panel-hosting year for me; I have a few ideas (I'll have separate topics for each).

This idea is for a panel I did a few years ago and have meant to do again on fabric dyeing and painting. I've learned a fair bit since then as well.  Is this something people are interested in?  What sort of topics sound interesting?  What sounds more interesting - bare basics, or going into more detail on techniques?

Things that I can cover

  • Solid color dyeing, including fiber types and cool things you can do with blends
  • Gradient Dyeing (and using dye-na-flow paint to simulate a gradient effect)
  • Tie dye, and how that might be useful for characters that aren't straight out of the 1960's
  • General "how to paint cleanly" tips (aka I love my stretcher bars)
  • Using an airbrush for fabric dye and paint application
  • Batik wax method of dye resist
  • Other resists
  • Using stencils
  • Silk-screening

Thanks for the feedback!
I live pretty much downtown, and I found out about a bunch of street closures Saturday that may affect Fanime attendees. If you are driving around the con Saturday, plan accordingly.   It looks like they will be at Cesar Chavez park (across from the Fairmont), so it may be a bit more crowded for Cosplay photos than usual.

See the following. I have bolded closures most immediate to convention activities.


May 23, 2015

1.   Northbound Highway 87 Santa Clara Street off ramp – Closed from 6:00 AM until 12:00 PM on Saturday May 23rd;
2.   Santa Clara Street – Closed between Montgomery and Almaden Avenue from 7:30 AM until 10:30 AM on Saturday May 23rd;

3.   The Alameda – Closed between Race Street and Montgomery from 7:30 AM until 10:30 AM on Saturday May 23rd;
4.   Almaden Boulevard – Closed between Saint John Street and Park Avenue from 7:30 AM until 10:30 AM on Saturday May 23rd;
5.   Park Avenue – Closed between Almaden Boulevard and Market Street from 5:00 AM until 11:30 AM on Saturday May 23rd;
6.   San Fernando Street – Closed between North San Pedro and Delmas Street from 5:00 AM until 11:30 AM on Saturday May 23rd;

7.   West Saint John Street – Closed between Notre Dame Avenue and Montgomery Street from 4:00 AM until 1:00 PM on Saturday May 23rd;
8.   North Autumn Street – Closed between Julian and Santa Clara Street from 5:00 AM until 3:00 PM on Saturday May 23rd;
9.   Stockton Avenue – Closed between West Julian and The Alameda from 5:00 AM until 11:30 AM on Saturday May 23rd;
10.   West Julian Street – Closed between Montgomery Street and The Alameda from 7:30 AM until 10:30 AM on Saturday May 23rd
11.   North Keeble Avenue – Closed between Julian Street and The Alameda from 5:00 AM until 11:30 AM on Saturday May 23rd;

For more information about The Color Run, please visit
I've been interested in running a panel for a while, and I had a realization that probably the more unique panel I could offer would be related to dyeing and painting fabric for cosplay.  Would people be interested?  And would anybody be interested in being a panelist?  Between my husband and I, we've covered a lot of techniques, but I don't have a lot of experience with silk painting (although I'd like to add that to my repertoire).

I'll list what we can definitely go over; tell me if there's something else people would be interested in hearing about.

Techniques I can cover
Basic dyeing - dyeing different fabric types (differences between dyeing cotton, silk, wool and types of dye to use for each of those)
Dyeing synthetics (and the weird things I've attempted for that)
Dyeing fabric vs dyeing whole garments
Dye techniques -
           tie dying/shibori (not certain on that, but I'm considering doing shibori for my masq costume for Fanime)
           Hombre/Gradient dyeing (this is 100% to end up in the panel if I do it)
Fabric Painting
           Paint types and what paint is best for what you're doing
                  includes painting vinyl/leather (i.e. boot covers), painting on stretch fabrics, and other general paint things
           Resists (ties in with Batik to a certain extent)
Screen Printing - this would mostly be my husband's area of expertise

Any thoughts?  Would this be an interesting panel?  Let me know!
Copy-pasta from -

Anybody up for a Sengoku Basara gathering? I know my husband's bringing Oda Nobunaga, and I have a goal of getting Nouhime re-dyed and put back together by then. Saturday's best for us, but we can change that if that's what the rest of the group wants. I know that we spend a lot of time getting my husband into his costume, so Friday *may* work, but Monday definitely won't what with checkout and all that.  Sunday's okay as far as costume prep time.

Time-wise, it *could* be as early as 11 or so on Saturday (again, a lot of time needed getting into costume), but later's probably preferable. If it's on Friday, for us, a bit later (3 at the earliest?). Sunday - again, open for discussion, but we'd prefer to not conflict with the Kuroshitsuji gathering, whose time has not been determined.  This one will take priority over the Kuro gathering however, so we'll make it regardless.

Day: Saturday? (open for discussion)
Time: TBD (discuss!)
Meeting Place: Fountains?  I'm thinking it'd be good to claim somewhere on I think the Hilton side.  The side with all the trees that doesn't have huge traffic coming in and out.   It was a little difficult with all the traffic last year.

Oda Nobunaga - Satoi
Nouhime - Enkai
Motochika/Kanbe - Tenshiryuu (maybe?)
Mori Motonari -Yukari Kaiba
Sarutobi Sasuke - Chaosbark
Date Masamune - Knight of Infinity
Ishida Mitsunari - Varnani

Oh, and FYI, I'm way more active on than I am here, so I may not respond right away.
I've been toying off and on for the past year and a half with organizing a panel all about anime clubs at the college and university level.   Do you think that there would be enough interest in this to be worth the effort?  Also, if I was to go through with it, what sort of things would you like to see?