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Caped Crusader
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How To Airbrush Shading On a Bodysuit


  This halloween I am going the comic book style route. I have a nylon unitard from the costumer,(I would rather have a lyra/spandex, but this will do for this year)Anyway, I have a muscle chest to wear under the unitard.
  My question is, how can I shade the unitard (with fabric paint, etc???), so that the muscles are more defined?? Please chime in with any advice!!!
Thanks,
Jon emoticon

Last edited by Deadly Lemur, 3/5/2006, 8:49 pm
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TimDrakeRobin Profile
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Caped Crusader
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Re: How to shade a unitard so that muscles are more defined?


I would suggest mounting the suit on a mannequin or volunteer with the muscle chest under the unitard, light it dramatically so the deffinition shows and with a color just a few shades darker than the unitard follow the lines. but thats just how i would do it, im sure there are more pro idas if you wait lol.

> Tim emoticon
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thuth Profile
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Re: How to shade a unitard so that muscles are more defined?


I am not speaking from experience, but here is my 2 cents.

I would get a couple of cheap long sleeve grey tees or something to practice on and see if you can achieve the look you desire before commiting your unitard to it.

Try various colors, shading/highlighting amounts, application methods, etc. to find what works best.

IMO, shading is most effective when done on costumes that are still-photographed, where the light and viewing distance is controlled, rather than "live."

I am not saying it can't be done well but I have seen it done badly more often than not. Plus, you can't easily UNDO it. So I would definitely do some "dry runs" first unless you are a very accomplished airbrush artist.



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Re: How to shade a unitard so that muscles are more defined?


You would definitely want an airbrush for this. You wouldn't be able to achieve the proper results without it.

Yes,put the suit on a mannequin/person to fill it out properly. You would want to use at least 2 darker shades of the original color. Spray the center of the deepest area of the muscle with the darkest shade and fade out slightly at the ends. With the lighter shade,go over the whole thing and expand the outer edges slightly.
 Don't go crazy with it or make shadows too thick or wide. You're only slightly enhancing it.
 You could use more colors for a more dramatic effect,but consider this a quick fix. emoticon

John emoticon

---
"Wile E. Coyote is my reality,Bugs Bunny is my goal."

10/21/2004, 6:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to Blackwood Bat   Send PM to Blackwood Bat
 
The BlackBat Profile
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Re: How to shade a unitard so that muscles are more defined?


[sign in to see URL] really hope this goes well for you and fully expect to see pics of your results emoticon

~Tim emoticon

---
"We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light."

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Caped Crusader
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Re: How to shade a unitard so that muscles are more defined?


I see this as a great tutorial thread. If someone can donate their time, some cloth and paint to show us how this is done. I am sure alot of us can learn a great deal from it!

10/22/2004, 11:27 am Link to this post Send Email to stampedemag   Send PM to stampedemag
 
troilluss Profile
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Re: How to shade a unitard so that muscles are more defined?


My friends and I did this for the HAl Jordan Spectre at DragonCon this year. I'll be posting pics soon, I have to find good ones of the finished piece. We used airbrushing. Here are the basic steps:

1) Put the whole costume on the person who's going to be wearing it making sure everything is positioned comfortably the way you'll want it to be worn.

2) Use a fabric pencil that shows up well on the material. We used a white pencil on dark gray. Fabric pencils are water soluble or can be painted over so here's where mistakes are fine. Mark the areas you want to shade. The benefit of a pencil is you can erase and redraw until you get the pattern you like.

3) Stretch the shirt over an airbrush shirt form. It's just a piece of corrigated cardboard that supports the garment. You could make one but they're pretty cheap (under $5 from a paint store or art and craft place).

4) Place the shirt on an easel and airbrush away. We started with a thin stream allowing for any mistakes to only be subtle. It helped my friend is an art major who's been pushing paint for a while but it doesn't seem that hard.

We used acrylic paint because of it's ability to stay flexible. Most fabric paint is simply a form of acrylic. I just picked up some bottles last night for another project and realized we could probably have brushed on the paint to achieve a similar effect, just use a pretty thin or diluted paint.

5) Cover with a clear coat. We used a clear acrylic top coat after the first had dried. This allowed the garment to be washed wihtout fading and also helped keep any of the paint from coming off while moving in the garment.

I'll post pics soon.

---
Chris
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JBrown437 Profile
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Caped Crusader
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Re: How to shade a unitard so that muscles are more defined?


Wow!!! emoticon
   Thanks guys!!! That was a great tutorial troilluss. No only did you post a great way to do this, but a cheap one!! A big help. I don't have an airbrush, so I'll have to look into finding one. Don't know if I'll get to doing it before Halloween Black Bat, but I'll most definatly have new pics of the rest of my suit updated on my pics page soon!!! Once again Tanks!!!
 
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