Ask Adam Savage: Proportion vs. Measurement in Cosplay

Publicerades den 25 apr 2021
Does Adam enjoy making and wearing costumes equally? ​For people who are a different size than the original character, should accurate cosplay be about correct measurements or correct proportions? In this excerpt from his March 30, 2021 live stream, Adam answers questions from Tested members Aron Jolley-Meers, Tebla and Luna Replicas about cosplay. Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks, like asking Adam a question:
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  • Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks, like asking Adam a question: More Adam Q&A here:

    • @Eddie Asher guess I better download Flixzone so I can watch some good movies

    • @Anderson Kash does flixzone have newer movies or old type movies?

    • @klyana130 thats right sounds good to me

    • The guy who was my guild type master teaching me costume making craft & tech skills created with his friends a Costume TROOP who traveled to the conventions and Halloween competitions so he had people to display his creations. That's what you can do instead of having so much of your work stuck in storage not shown displayed.

    • How you doing Adam learning alot from the videos man great stuff.

  • Love your videos hated the way the mic sounds just for future reference

  • Adam i love the words you said in this video, they were so kind and supportive,. You are always so kind and i just wanted to say that we appriciate that.

  • “Humans are ludicrously variegated in their externalizations!... Does this make you feel how you want to feel?” He is such a gem! So much body positive lingo shoots out of the mouth and through the ears without really hitting home. It’s a gift to have someone so genuinely excited and passionate about inclusivity that their big/creative words come out. :) Thank you for sharing your awesome so well!

  • 3:1 𝐂𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐞 ➜ 》》 𝙊𝙣𝙡𝙮 𝘼𝙙𝙪𝙡𝙩 《《 在整個人類歷史上,強者,富人和具有狡猾特質的人捕食部落,氏族,城鎮,城市和鄉村中的弱者,無`'守和貧窮成員。然而,人類的生存意願迫使那些被拒絕,被剝奪或摧毀的基本需求的人們找到了一種生活方式,並繼續將其DNA融入不斷發展的人類社會。 說到食物,不要以為那些被拒絕的人只吃垃圾。相反,他們學會了在被忽視的肉類和蔬菜中尋找營養。他們學會了清潔,切塊,調味和慢燉慢燉的野菜和肉類,在食品市場上被忽略的部分家用蔬菜和肉類,並且學會了使用芳香的木煙(如山核桃,山核桃和豆科灌木 來調味食物煮的時候%^%^ 1619624144

  • WHERE IS THE LOVE BUTTON???? As a father of kids of varying sizes that enjoy my love of cosplay, this is why I love Adam Savage's viewpoint on Costuming and cosplay! Thank you!

  • I want to bring up what professional comic book artists have done. Specifically, consider all the parody comics of Ironman, Superman, ETC where some other character "dresses up like them". To be more specific, consider the animal versions of superheros that have been done sometimes. At some point, the only details kept intact are the main motifs of the costume. Superman's chest shield, coifed hair, cape and color choice are all you need to sell "this is superman". Ironman works great as a chibi because you mainly need his helmet to be recognizable. I think it's easy for a fan that's trying to get the details right to overestimate how important those details actually are. The creators easily cut and change details so long as it still feels right. Some of my favorite childhood Halloween costumes where made by hand by my grandmother. She made me a spiderman outfit once around age 6-10. Details wise it was imperfect, but it had all the major motifs. A fabric spider was velcro'd on the chest, the colors where right, and it was obviously spiderman. It was the kind of thing Peter Parker might have made for myself early on but it wasn't a recreation of any specific costume.

  • What happened to the dinosaur build??

  • You are building YOUR costume, not for the actor who originally played the part. If someone else got the role, then the movie costume would be different too.

  • What's moving on screen left top corner? Can't tell if it's outside or inside.

  • I have a question Adam, say you didn't have anything that needed to be worked on and had no pending projects but wanted to make something, how would you go about coming up with something. (I think this wording makes sense, sorry if it doesn't. Sleep deprivation sucks.)

  • Looking for acceptance and compliments is all that Adam is about... I get the fact he is basically insecure .. but people can try too hard

  • I tend to make things smaller as im only 5 foot so that it fits in photos. An example is a card cutout that characters hold, it is around half their hight. But to me thats huge, so i made them smaller 😅😅 i will add tho, i am actually too short to be a stormtrooper as i had a suit, altered but it was huge and the shoes were massive 😅 so im a tie fighter

  • I might have trouble identifying a 300 pound Slenderman.

  • Love you granpa 👍

  • At the SDCC 2015 panel for 'Archer', during the Q&A there was a cos-player dressed as Pam who talked about the character being a positive larger character and that she didn't want to just be fat Cinderella or fat Princess Leia. At the end of the conversation H Jon Benjamin said 'but for all you fat Princess Leia's out there... don't stop doing what you're doing."

  • imo creating is the funnest, getting to wear and look at it is where you admire and are proud of what you made, that is also fun but i find the process to funnest

  • Silicon SJ baby! Mayyybe!

  • I think you also answered this question in your Mark I; that Weta's approach and direction for the final filmed design differs enough from your work; that you embraced change and pursued a variant to Weta's Mark I (finding a different tonality that reads how you want it to). It is OK to make your own narrative change. Reshaping canon as need be to make some greater sense or accommodate physical limitations.

  • I dont think it is a super hard question. Like if you line up every batman (drawn, animated, filmed, satire); there are variations which are excellent to embrace. The community helps define canon; in that we inform and transform the work as need be. Harry and Draco are certainly improved upon when you examine other interpretations (specifically their gay tendencies). It makes their dynamic feel more palpable than what was found in the pages of HP (easiest example to draw on, despite the terf) (and yes I'm purposely excluding the films because those lack a specific quality).

  • The size question is the best. I have been working (on and off) on a Monty pythons black knight crossover with mandalorian cosplay that can utilize my one armed awesomeness and a self made prosthetic in red of course.

  • Whenever you search on Joker cosplay, Anthony Misiano comes up most often. And it's interesting to me that he is instantly recognisable as an incredibly expressive Joker who is fully in character, while not resembling any of the movie versions, and only drawing on certain specific comic book versions, while also making it his own. In a way, he's both generic, and definitive. He embodies the character, without slavish accuracy to any one version.

  • I always loved the “Samurai” Star Wars cosplays

  • I'm 6ft 3 in 240 lb retired war veteran. I'm big and 55 years old. You should see some of the helmets I 3d print trying to pick the best costume for me look . I am to big to be a thief ( get the reference) still love the whole thing of trying all things not me.

  • Easy to say until a white guy wants to be Black Panther.

  • I just Googled 'Hello Kitty Darth Vader', and that is sooo wrong that its AWESOME! I love it!!!

  • I remember you did some cos-play with kids with other abilities who were living their dreams. That was a great example.

  • You have a lot of character costumes. You recreate that which already has representation but do you ever create something for yourself in any of these story worlds? Who is Adam if he were apart of the story?

  • Yeah, I gatta fit my fat ass in a C3PO cosplay. Gonna have that badonk storage bay.

  • Measurement vs proportion reminds me of my first house. Things needed to LOOK straight and level. There is no way they actually were.

  • Have you ever made any props NOT from the screen? i.e. from books and other stories/literature? (and of course, this is notwithstanding the fact that most screen stuff IS from books) I have a peculiar fixation with making the various machines of urban legends. No one has ever seen them, which is precisely what drives my intense pursuit of their realization: I get to decide exactly how much license to take, how literal to get, how bold, how "sticky"...I get to decide what mine looks like if the creator is the only other one to have seen it as it really was, and as long as I stay true to what I think the creator is trying to show me, I am invariably satisfied with whatever it is. When it's for an urban legend, it could be argued that everyone who ever passed it along in earnest around a late Summer campfire spoke the truth of it to the lightning bugs and the cicadas. And the shame is that there IS nothing left but the longing for some hot night in the young past of a child long gone. Nothing, that is, but whatever Artefact one can manage to birth into the World with a blowtorch and a lathe and what Balzac called, "clean hands and composure."

  • I can probably fit in a C3PO costume (at 5'8 and 115#) but becoming the character would be beyond me...

    • Yeah, at 5'11" and about 240# I'd have to do a LEGO C3PO to have a chance of it looking right!!

  • But what if you wanna cosplay Darth Vader but you're too short. You wouldn't be a perfect Vader and especially if someone has a perfectionist mentality, it would totally disappoint them whenever they reflect at con pictures. I could never nail a "good" Death Trooper cosplay, because of this and that. I always research and be selective before starting a new project. Cosplaying a stormtrooper or a shoretrooper on the otherhand is proportional decent since they're 5'7" - 6" tall on average. The last resort (also my) solution would be to add insert lifts. I cosplayed Kylo Ren and boosted my height from 5'7" to 6'3" but at a cost of getting my feet hurt at the end of a con.

  • I mean like I think the question about measurements is kinda silly IMHO. How I see it, it's like if you were to cosplay Godzilla and people got mad at you for not making a 100meter tall suit. I think proportions are way more important because as long as you can see the characteristics of that character and say "oh that's [blank]!" then you did a good job. If we are to say that only bigger people can cosplay say Peter Griffin or aliens could only cosplay aliens, it begins to blur lines and excludes a lot of artistic creativity that goes into cosplaying.


  • Hi everybody

  • Great answer to those questions. Thanks Adam 👍

  • As a disabled person who requires prosthetics just to leave the house and wanting to get into cosplay, I loved your answer. It took a long time for me to get over only looking for characters to play as that have my requirements of automotion. It's perfectly cool to be a slightly modified someone or something if that is it takes to take you across the line of stepping into their shoes and transforming yourself.

  • Call it a cop-out but I've always taken the spirit of the costume to be more important than measurement or proportion. I respect people more as cosplayers who adapt a theme to suit themselves and craft a worthwhile experience, than those who make a screen/book accurate piece and wear it like a burden. I respect the latter for their craft, and they can still have a wholesome place in the community say commissioning for others, but if you feel like you're just wearing an outfit rather than being that character, for the sakes of visual presentation, I think you're doing yourself a disservice.

  • Thank you, Adam, for your wonderful words of inclusivity. SF/F fandom prides itself on being inclusive yet, many times, fails. Your words, here, reaffirms one of the reasons why I love fandom, and why I am a fan of you and Tested. Thanks, Tested for providing this content. You all bring joy to all of us. I am so glad I found you guys.

  • Real World example: Gus Grissom's contributions to design of the Gemini spacecraft.. it was built around his 5ft6 height.. 14 of the 16 astronauts couldn't fit into the spacecraft as designed.. so later gemini spacecraft had to be modified

  • Adam is talking about body sizes and body shapes and the auto-subtitles turn "putting on this costume" into "pudding on this costume". That's harsh.

  • Er -- model making is about precision and measurement, costuming is about the human body adapting to a character role. These are different forms of art.

  • I'll never be able to cosplay Sweet Tooth without lighting my head on fire :(

  • Raptor pls😁

  • Adam gives an answer in extreme contrast to those given by "top cosplayers" like Jessica Nigri, who tells people they shouldn't cosplay at all unless they have the bodies for it and that they should be showing more skin.

    • @bosco's world Nigri is one of if not the most popular cosplayers out there. While I agree that she's a terrible person, you can't say she's not at the top of the game even if it's just for showing off her fake boobs.

    • People with opinions like that are not top cosplayers, they are biscally horrible people, with no understanding of what cosplay is actually about.

  • The basic goal of cosplay is for other fans to recognize the character you are playing. Accuracy and quality are a secondary concern.

  • eep eep

  • Adam this is America. We have freedom even tho this government is trying hard to remove our freedom. It is your choice if you want that vaccination.

  • I used to chat with the guy who made the Hello Kitty Darth Vader suit way back on a paintball forum. Good dude.

  • Cosplay is about having fun.

  • Adam, I have a firm respect for how you formulate your processes. Your approach to your projects motivates me to be that way in my life. Watching you on myth-busters knocking out calculations on the spot really drove my interest in physics and the idea of what a "project "is.

  • saying ''body type'' is like saying if youre fat you cannot get slim. being fat isn't a type...

  • With all the controversy regarding the Makiya Bryant case , it might do a lot of good for our nation to see multiple simulations of what did and didn’t happen, or what could’ve happened. We need you Adam! Please!

  • if measurements and proportions would be important in cosplay, nobody would be allowed to cosplay Mario, or Smurfs.

  • For me, it's always the making part that I enjoy most. Case in point, my favorite thing I've ever made (aside from my daughter) is a full length scale mail sleeve. I made all the connecting rings myself, had to learn how to do a basic sheet of scale mail, then through trial and error, I went from making a sheet into a cylinder, and through more trial and error, learned how to taper the cylinder to be a more form fitting sleeve. Once I had all the kinks worked out, one sleeve took 18 hrs, was over 500 scales, and 1000 rings.... It's been in the trunk of my car for over a year now.

  • My father was a woodcarver who mostly carved Diamond Willow Walking Sticks. He always said that he got pleasure in every aspect of carving them. He enjoyed going into the woods to harvest sticks, enjoyed carving the staffs themselves and enjoying gifting the sticks to friends and family because he gave 10x as many as he ever sold.

  • Love how Admaral Akbar is hanging out in the background!

    • @Scott Mantooth Lol

    • *it's his safe space...knowing as he does that most other places would be a... trap* *yeah, i went there*

  • Great idea for a onedaybuild.....Toy Story 2 tool chest (doll repair chest)

  • I’d love a Kratos cosplay where Kratos shows up at a con in full weeb mode. Anime shirt, cat ears and the whole bit, but he’s absolutely jacked in full Kratos makeup underneath and just walks around looking disgusted with himself the whole time.

    • @aserta Bradly Martyn 👍🏻

    • I mean, there's that bodybuilder who did a pretty damned good costume and make-up for Kratos... saw it on reddit recently. I don't have a twitter, but if you do, you could pitch it.

  • Oh am I feeling this today.... I've just completed an OC mermaid cosplay. It has a large skirt, a large tail, an octopus wrapped around my front, a big shell across my back, a bubble machine! It's beautifully painted and sparkly and shimmery. I put it on for the first time yesterday....and I felt like a aquatic cupcake. Great fun to make. Not fun to wear. I don't know what I'm going to do with the thing now.

    • uhm that sounds amazing. show the cosplay community on reddit and ask for assistance. Ignore outright hate if you somehow get any and focus on the people who want to help you.

  • I build functional model airplanes. For me it is more fun to make the plane than it is to fly it. I do love watching them fly though. Which is why these days I've been building more free-flight planes than radio controlled planes. I enjoy building them and watching them fly. Actually flying them IS fun, don't get me wrong, but if I don't need to fly them I enjoy them just as much and is less tiring (yes, flying radio controlled planes can be very tiring just from maintaining focus)

  • Cosplay is an artistic expression of fictional characters. Think of the infinite worlds of spiderman as an example.

  • As a cosplayer, my skills have improved so much. And what makes it amazing is that my life has changed positively thanks to cosplay. Adam ur cosplays are amazing 👏, plz do more. I really appreciate and enjoy them.

    • Cosplaying is a full on gateway for making. You start with the wish, you get to the problem, and you dig yourself out by learning how to overcome it. Textiles, wood, metal, plastics, mechanics, software, and all manner of stuff that you learn.

  • Basically, it doesn't matter your age, size, shape, skin colour, ethnicity, art skills, etc, Cosplay is for EVERYONE!!

    • @Merennulli Why do you want to argue with the person who isn't listening and doesn't care?

    • @fredy gump It may not be your interest, but the point is that you get to decide that for yourself. No one else gets to tell you that cosplay isn't for you. What we're fighting against here are the people who say things like "you're too fat/thin/old/young/black/white/asian to cosplay that character".

    • It isn't for me! I so don't get the appeal...

    • Sadly something that we have to constantly keep repeating. I would also add, never let anyone talk you into competing. My most demeaning and hurtful experiences cosplaying have come from the cons where an organizer at the con went around being "supportive" and telling me I ought to join the cosplay contest or worse, that they didn't have very many people competing and asking me to join.

  • the answer is realy simple comfort and safty are key and the rest should follow suit.

  • We can't repeal videos or this magnitude 😋

  • I'd argue proportion and measurement are supporting ideas that contribute to the main point: sharing a narrative and conversation with your audience. When you inhabit the costume, you want to share a moment of getting the highlights, the visual, the shared recognition, and the excitement of knowing the character with the audience. So if you hit a combination of broad brush silhouette of the character alongside making the rest of it fit and feel good for your body type, I'd argue it makes for a better, more fun presentation than super high fidelity. I'm a broad-shouldered guy. If I were going to make a character costume of a slightly built character, I'd own the contrast and find something that fits my frame really well and play up that difference. That way the audience and I are recognizing and celebrating the character and having a laugh together.

  • Is Adam a process killer or a product killer?

  • *sad no convention noises*

  • What about making a casting mold/mould for a (small) dinosaur, and filling it with expanding foam, for small volume production.

  • I wonder if it was more fun building the raptor than never wearing it again because of legal issues...

  • What happened to the velociraptor costume!?

  • Adam Savage and Yaya Han could have much fun in conversation. A podcast, methinks.

  • See it like this about size, Hugh Jackman is like 6'2" and Wolverine should be arround 5'3"...

  • Another day goes by where I wonder what happened to the Raptor vids... #gonebutnotforgotten

    • Legal action. Pretty shitty thing if you ask me, any maker worth their salt would know how to create these suits. It's not like they revealed some hidden knowledge of the ancients. Heck, i got more information from the CV reel made by the guy who did the physical effects for the recent Alien movies (the torn android head). None of the stuff presented in the collab video struck me as hidden knowledge or otherwise proprietary knowledge. Frankly, if you don't know how to make those things at that level, you're not going to be able to make it as an effects studio. So that's that. And mind you, i'm not in the effects industry. The most tangent i have is through my hobby turned consultant for repairing old dinosaur (or other ancient animals) replicas or upgrading them, which is a thing i do thru/with a friend.

    • @Ennar yet

    • Just like 1984... They can remove the evidence from the world, but not the memory from your mind.

  • Hmmm can we expect an ecto 1 segment soon? Looks like something is happening.

  • Yes, but do you prefer building or wearing? Adam can be so non- committal.

  • As someone who is 4ft 11 I’ve always wondered about proportion or measurements for cosplay and I’ve always been hesitant because of it this was so helpful 😌

    • A number of people love the 1to1 but platforms/stilts are not for everyone.

    • Lean into it! Do an Iron Giant cosplay :D

    • @Stacey Hirshfield-Kohler how did you do the metal arm?

    • You do you. Be whatever character you want, in whatever way you want. I'm barely over 5 feet and barely over 100 pounds, and I cosplay the Winter Soldier.

  • "Each of these are narratives." Each of these is a narrative.

  • I agree with you about cosplay.There is that great satisfaction when you are att the con in the say I did it make it complete.

  • Okay I heard your opening statement Adam Savage. It was a question but in the form of a statement, which is best......? The people don't understand this are the people that just don't understand this. There is a certain feeling of completion to building your own costume oh, and being able to wear that costume. I myself do not build costume or complete anything to the completion that you do Adam Savage but by God we can see the completion in your eyes

  • 🛸     🌎 °  🌓 •  .°•   🚀 ✯    ★ *     °    🛰  °·   🪐 .   • ° ★ • ☄ ▁▂▃▄▅▆▇▇▆▅▄▃▁

  • I wonder if it was more fun building the raptor than never wearing it again because of legal issues...

    • I would like to know too

    • Please explain

    • What were the legal issues? I hadn’t seen that posted anywhere official as to the reasons why the vids are gone

  • This channel is amazing👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🔥

    • It sure is!! I still remember the day I stumbled across this channel, I was instantly hooked. It still remains the only channel that I choose to get notifications for!

    • Yes it is👍

  • I’m ՏᑌᗷᗷIᑎᘜ TO EVERYOᑎᗴ ᗯᕼO ᒪIKᗴ'Տ TᕼIՏ ᑕOᗰᗰᗴᑎT ᗩᑎᗪ ՏᑌᗷՏ ᗰᗴ..

  • First!