The folks at The Neo Tokyo Project got me to do a shoot of some of their cosplay friends in their RWBY costume. I’ve never seen a single episode of RWBY prior to this shoot but it looks pretty interesting. Had a crash course in their fight scenes on Youtube just to get an idea what this anime is really about. Turns out, it’s an awesome web animation by Rooster Teeth about gravity-defying girls and boys and oversized weapons and massive monsters… and a professor obsessed with a mug, apparently :P I’ve gotta start watching the series now that I’m finally done with Game of Thrones (for now).
For this shoot, we found an aisle somewhere in Singapore and set up two Bowen Esprit Gemini GM500s. I wanted to get the shots during the golden hour but that also meant we were running out of daylight. We had only a few hours to do the shoot and it didn’t help that the traffic that evening was exceptionally busy. We had vans and cars passing through this back alley every half an hour or so. At one point, a police car drove past with its lights flashing, causing the Bowens to trigger (it was funny!).
To soften the lighting on the cast, I attached a 95cm octagon softbox to one of the Bowens. The other Bowen faced the background to light up the surrounding area so I can separate the cast from the backdrops if I need to. Truth be told, I feel the need to invest in another Travelpac battery unit as the cables for the Bowens are ridiculously short (3m each) and they do not sell the 8m versions in Singapore anymore. As a result, the Bowens couldn’t be separated far apart.
A lot of post-processing was done to ensure that the cast look like their anime counterparts. The biggest challenge was getting Penny to look right as the cosplayer initially came with a few swords which were used by the character in the anime to display her powers. Unfortunately, there was no way we could make the sword float like in the anime. Another tough challenge was getting the swords to behave like they should – the swords had to be precisely placed in a circle around the character before she fires her green beam at her enemies.
The only way to do this was to Photoshop those swords in. I wasn’t really keen on finding images from Youtube captures as they would definitely suffer a drop in resolution so I had to craft a PSD image of a sword and clone them so they could look like they should and could be placed so they would behave like they did in the anime.
Overall, the shoot was fun – a little uncomfortable as some of the vents from the kitchens in the surrounding cafes blew hot air at us. It didn’t help that the day was quite hot and humid also (but that’s expected here in Singapore). But the results paid off! Monty Oum himself shared our shots on his Facebook page.
Trivia: We shot this on the eve of Monty Oum’s birthday, and released the photos of Team RWBY on my Facebook page on Monty Oum’s birthday.
Now, that’s amazing!
Photography by The Art of Mezame
R: Hibiki Xtyl
W: Chang Xuan Hui
B: Max’s Derps
Y: Eugene Lim
J: Koh Kai Jian Leon
N: Akari XOnpu
P: Esther Evangeline Au
R: Yuuno XMegane
Penny: Yan Li
See more at RWBY by The Art of Mezame