Monday, February 12, 2018

The importance of effective costume renderings

EDIT: I added an addendum here!

Costume renderings serve two important purposes;  (1) to visually “sell” the conceptual idea to the creative team, and (2) to provide enough details for the costume department to create this costume.  If a design is not rendered well, it can give the creative team the wrong idea about the costume which could cost them the job if they’re pitching ideas, or leave the creative team with differing expectations. 

Unlike technical designs in the fashion industry, renderings or illustrations in costuming are usually the only visual representation one will see in order to create this costume.  There is no technical package with flats detailing proportion, stitch type, etc. to tell a draper how to exactly construct this particular outfit, most times, the draper is in charge of working together with the designer to make this happen.  

Catherine Martin: Australia 2008_Nicole Kidman

A few good points to an effective costume rendering:
  • Shows character
    • This can be conveyed through the model/figure, pose (the importance of body language), and facial expression
    •  The costume itself should also fit the character (consider also movement and stage directions)
  • Accurate fabric and detail depiction
    • If you're planning on having costumes made, be sure to have actual swatches of the fabric you intend to use and to render these fabrics onto your illustration accurately. 
    • This includes scale of print, color, texture of fabric, and any fabric treatments (ie. pleating, distressing, beading, etc.)
    • Remember, you can't make a fabric do what it's not made to do.  If you draw a fur cloak that looks like transparent lace, no draper would want to touch that project.  Also, you're essentially selling a product that can't really be done. 
    • Seamlines should also be included to give the draper an idea of how it's made.  
    • The same thing for buttons, zippers, buckles, etc.  
    • Is there something special on the back of the costume? Draw a detail of it next to the figure
  • Scale of illustration
    • The size of your rendering is important to not only show to the creative team but to also effectively depict details.  If your design includes a lot of detailed beading or large scale pieces, it would be a good idea to work in a larger scale so these details are accurately illustrated.
    • Renderings that are too small are too difficult to see and can lead to miscommunication
    • Renderings that are way too large can also be too difficult perceive and also a pain to pack and travel. 
Gregg Barnes: Follies

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