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Unread 08-01-2012, 03:21 PM   #31
evaunit01berser
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Originally Posted by Eurobeat King View Post
Well, the picture was taken from a higher vantage point. Perhaps if the photographer took the picture from a much lower angle, we wouldn't be able to see his collared shirt. I know I would've asked the cosplayer to lower his head to hide said clothing.
The shirt is just the first in my list of things that why that cosplay is not competition classed. Even if it was from a higher vantage point, if you want to compete, you make sure your outfit does not have such glaring faults from any angle.
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Unread 08-01-2012, 05:32 PM   #32
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I came in here with stuff to say and now I don't remember 'cause I've been reading about all you guys arguing.
First of all, I know this isn't my place to say it, but evaunit01berser, I think you were a little harsh and you could have continued that with PMs. And there IS a novice category for a reason.
Secondly, I do think that armor is a bit controversial like you all are saying here, but I think people would be able to see how clean things look, how they're attached, etc. Feel free to disagree with me, but that's what I think.

Alright. Anyway.
Overall, I was a lot happier with the way things were run this year than last year. But then, I think it's just because I was waiting a lot longer last year (I think you said there was a reason, so that's forgiven) and neglected to take into account any photoshoots. Everything seemed very smoothly run and I didn't have any problems. Staff was nice, judges were really nice (the first thing someone said was "Nice Mytho cosplay!" but it was all in good humor :P), and I had really nice conversations with a lot of other contestants even though that's fully out of your control. I want to give a personal thank-you to Melissa for letting me change in the back, because public restrooms and trying not to let my tutu touch the ground was incredibly hard all the other times that day, and also for letting me pick up my prize after Masquerade since I wasn't there on Sunday.
Like everyone else, I hadn't known about a feedback session until someone had told me after masq backstage.
Uuuummmm I think the one thing I didn't really like was the time limit. I put a lot of thought and effort into my cosplay, and I'm a little bit sad I didn't get to talk about a lot of it, plus I just like to talktalktalktalk.... I'm really grateful I got an extra minute since I was towards the end, and I know that there's probably a reason for the time limit, but I still would've liked at least five minutes or so. I recall reading about a warning a minute before you're out of time, but I never got a one minute warning....I'm pretty sure.
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Unread 08-01-2012, 05:40 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by SakuraxTsubasa View Post
Uuuummmm I think the one thing I didn't really like was the time limit. I put a lot of thought and effort into my cosplay, and I'm a little bit sad I didn't get to talk about a lot of it, plus I just like to talktalktalktalk.... I'm really grateful I got an extra minute since I was towards the end, and I know that there's probably a reason for the time limit, but I still would've liked at least five minutes or so. I recall reading about a warning a minute before you're out of time, but I never got a one minute warning....I'm pretty sure.
Time limit is there because otherwise we'd never finish! Figure if every group gets 4 minutes and we have a full contest, the minimum amount of time is 4 hours, assuming we don't get behind at some point for various reasons (bathroom breaks, judge breaks, things happen, and so on.) I think next year we're going to have to drop down to 3 minutes per group simply because we're having so a hard time staying on time the past two years, but I will put it in the notes to remind the score person to make sure she gives a one minute warning.
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Unread 08-01-2012, 09:25 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by SakuraxTsubasa View Post
I came in here with stuff to say and now I don't remember 'cause I've been reading about all you guys arguing.
First of all, I know this isn't my place to say it, but evaunit01berser, I think you were a little harsh and you could have continued that with PMs. And there IS a novice category for a reason.
Secondly, I do think that armor is a bit controversial like you all are saying here, but I think people would be able to see how clean things look, how they're attached, etc. Feel free to disagree with me, but that's what I think.

Thats fine, my judging style is different. I don't coddle people and get straight to the point, especially if you want to attack someones credibility to judge. If he wasen't attacking the judges and trying to discredit them, I would not have come at him as brutally honest as I was. I also believe novice or not, if you are going in a competition, you better bring your A+ game and you work on your outfit to win, not to enter to screw around as he admitted. As far as PM's, trust me, I am pulling my punches on what I can say about that outfit just from that photo. He wanted to step into the kitchen, now he has to deal with the heat that comes with it. I judge myself just as harshly as I would anyone else, that is why I will not enter a competition with any of my current cosplays until I feel that they will give others a run for their money and not show such obvious faults.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 05:32 AM   #35
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Well to take this in a totally different direction, i was the yukimura that won overall friday. i was waaay to hungover from celebrating to remember what any of the judges said to me to make things better >.> BUT i will agree with a few of the comments that i read about how being judged for armor by seamstresses is kinda backwards. There were somethings that having a time limit forced me to omit to judges that could have very well made the last bit of difference between overall friday and weekend. like howeverytime two fabrics touched that werent the same color they were satin stitched together, and on this cosplay there was a ton, i spent 7 seasons of how i met your mother just doing satin stitching. not to mention the tediousness of fabric painting or deeper details in prop creation. Either way id like to still see maybe a way to get ahold of the judges even now for more feedback on what i could improve. Other than that in the decade ive been going to cons , and my first time at ota, this was very well run , the staff was incredibly helpful with props guiding us seating, water, etc. It was the best experience ive had. No con is perfect, but this came i think about as close as you could get. Thank you again judges and staff for the most memorable con experience ive ever had.~
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Unread 08-03-2012, 10:44 AM   #36
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It's still a costume. That's why we need a more varied panel of judges. Someone who can properly evaluate the costume,who themselves specializes in such costumes and offer insight within the panel of judges when comparing it to costumes of other medium. I'm sorry if I actually CARE about how this is run.

We need a more varied panel of judges so that more creative approaches to costuming can be properly judged. That is all. It's just a suggestion, it's not much! I understand this is probably going to be hard and nothing is going to be perfect. That's fine. Just some food for thought for future competitions.

I'm not sure how the judges are selected but if possible, try reaching out to the scifi con costumer crowd for judges (If this hasn't been brought up before). They have existed far longer than we have and have a whole lot more experience in costumes in general than we do.
I had already said this before, but I might as well note it again here so that you can understand the standpoint of an organizers side.

Getting judges is hard. Getting great judges is sometimes impossible. The only judge I know that actually specializes in props and armor making is a Anime North judge up in Toronto (Which is an ICG convention- the only anime convention in North America with ICG status). I know there are a few judges west coast that may work West Coast cons, but its borderline impossible to get them here. At the same time many conventions will not even have a judge that specializes in armor work simply because it may be 5:1 when it comes to garment cosplay vs armor cosplay, and usually prop judges fall very short and even into borderline useless when judging a non-prop piece.

The biggest problem with finding a selection of judges for a particular group of creation is the fact that there aren't many, and even if one is found they must be bribed to participate. Many judges do not want to sit through 12+ hours of judging Friday, have to pay for their own room or pay for their own convention badge. Some judges are stuck in a room almost half of con and have to pay to do so, so the limitations on judges choices is strictly limited to the budget of the Cosplay department (Which in many cons, even Otakon, is very very low.)

Hall Craftsmanship Contests are still an ever growing thing and possibly in a next few years you will see more and more judges that specialize in more than simply garments and props. But at the moment it is a very limited audience so the only advice I can give is continue working on your skills and grow with it. Continue practicing your craft and maybe sometime in the future you will have dedicated your skill enough to be recognized and be the prop/armor work judge.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 10:48 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Emerald_Star View Post
Time limit is there because otherwise we'd never finish! Figure if every group gets 4 minutes and we have a full contest, the minimum amount of time is 4 hours, assuming we don't get behind at some point for various reasons (bathroom breaks, judge breaks, things happen, and so on.) I think next year we're going to have to drop down to 3 minutes per group simply because we're having so a hard time staying on time the past two years, but I will put it in the notes to remind the score person to make sure she gives a one minute warning.
Ohayocon this year did a 3 minute judging (they told us 5 but we got 3...) and I have to say it was a -disaster-. It became borderline pointless to explain the cosplay and just let the judges throw their questions out because there was no time for either.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #38
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Obviously there is only so much time during the day, but I cannot imagine being able to discuss anything with only 3 minutes. Perhaps a change in the set up is in order if the coordinators want to continue to keep the competition so large. For example, the acting/dancing industry use a callback system. Judges can generally tell quickly who makes the cut and who doesn't, which allows them to spend more time on the finalists. I've also seen systems where the judges split and only 2 (for example) will see each person the first time around, but in the call back round, all the judges would be present. I could see a callback system working really well - maybe first round Friday, second round Saturday? I don't know if that would interfere with Masquerade too much, but it might help alleviate the time crunch.

Also, in terms of diversity of judges, I meant more than just specialties. I think that older judges, younger judges, male and female judges, heavy-set judges and thin judges would all bring different perspectives to the judging. The same concerns in availability might apply, but a girl can dream, right?

Finally, the reason I would like to see a rubric of some kind is because I cannot manage to have a very specific question answered: Which is preferred - a visually perfect product, or a product created with a more unique and/or realistic method? Case-in-point, for my Yuna costume, I created the design on the skirt using a batik dyeing method. I think the result was really cool, but the judges criticized the lack of clean lines. Now, clean lines are practically impossible with this method, as you're spreading hot beeswax on the fabric to create the design, and once it is dyed, there's really no way to clean it up. So I tried to find out from the judges if in the future going with a more simplistic method (like painting) was preferable, but I never got a straight answer. A rubric with points delineated for creativity vs. accuracy or other similar categories would answer that question.

Just throwing around ideas. I hate being critical without offering suggestions, so I hope this helps.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 12:00 PM   #39
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A callback system sounds good in theory, but I can't imagine having to get back into a costume, at least an intricte one, on the spot. Not to mention the havoc of contacting all of the finalists and getting them to come back at a specific place and time for a second examination. And every time I've been judged, there's at least one thing I forgot to mention. This time around I managed to get out almost everything because the judges didn't make me feel uneasy (some do, depending on the vibe they give and how attentive they are to me when I'm talking and showing the costume).

I do know if I enter again next year, I'm going to try with a costume with more elements than mostly sewing. I think that was what overall might have kept me back, though really there's no props you can have with a tutu that would make sense, aside from the tiara which you may or may not consider a prop piece lol. At the Craftsman level I do understand that the different techniques you show can affect the overall impression - it's becoming more and more tough to compete at any of the levels, though. But yeah, for those with frustration in stressing just how much work they put into their costume, esp. under a tight time constraint, I feel you 100%. But the judges really do only have so much time to review each contestant and I know they try to be fair and keep the same amount for everyone.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 12:58 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by rosevicious View Post
Ohayocon this year did a 3 minute judging (they told us 5 but we got 3...) and I have to say it was a -disaster-. It became borderline pointless to explain the cosplay and just let the judges throw their questions out because there was no time for either.
What I'm thinking is 3 minutes plus a final statement. It would still end up being about the same 4 minutes as this year, but it would hopefully help keep things more on track.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 02:35 PM   #41
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Added the winners list to the first post
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Unread 08-03-2012, 10:53 PM   #42
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The HCC was fun as usual. I entered my sister in as Da Qiao from DW7. When it came around to judging, the judges seemed a little stressed because they kept asking me the same question or they didn't say much at all. The only question that I can remember is "How did you make those buttons?" Of course like any other loser, "points at me", we are upset that we didn't win and we ponder the reason for the judges' choice.
It would be nice if scoring cards with judges' comments were emailed to the contestants so they have a little insight on their decisions. Then again this is only ideal because everyone is "soo busy."
Either way I'm still upset, but that's not gonna stop me from entering the HCC! May the odds be ever in MY favor! lol...
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Unread 08-03-2012, 11:23 PM   #43
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As one of the judges this year (and after reading everyone's posts) I will tell you now that although we have a time limit with each person, we try to get as much information in as possible while examining the costumes and looking at reference/progress images that are given to us.

I personally think it would be a great idea if there was an online after-con feedback session because that way we can give our full attention to each contestant and to give a more detailed feedback session than what we were able to give on Sunday morning.

Please remember that between Friday and Saturday, we have seen around 100 costumes and we will NOT recognize you during a feedback session unless you are in the costume we judged, so please forgive us for not giving a fully detailed feedback session as it is difficult to remember all that we have seen from all of the other costumes.

Also, I would like to point out that this year we had a LOT of novices - well over 30 and that makes things extremely difficult. A lot of our novices had fantastic costumes and simply because you didn't win anything, don't feel as if your costume was horribly made! We have to choose 2 winners out of 30 people and it is a very difficult thing to choose.

I am willing to give personal feedback for anyone who wishes to send me either a PM or to e-mail me directly at euphorialuandestil@gmail.com - all I ask is that you provide a picture of the costume you entered into the HCC (preferably a front, back and side view). If you have progress images, I would love to see those as it would help to jog my memory as well as a reference image!

I do not have possession of the score sheets, so I cannot tell you what scores were given, nor do I remember the scores I gave but I am willing to help everyone and anyone that needs help!

We saw a lot of really good Novices this year and I consider it to be the most difficult division to compete in due to the number of entrants it receives!

And this is to everyone: KEEP UP THE FABULOUS WORK AND I HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL AGAIN NEXT YEAR
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Unread 08-04-2012, 05:58 PM   #44
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We have one, we just don't advertise it. I prefer to keep the office to contestants only (because of noise levels, keeping things secure, etc..) but all you had to do was ask. We had many people make use of the kit this year.

For the A/C thing, we have no control over that, that's the BCC. I've heard rumors they're in the middle of upgrading their HVAC for next year.

I can understand wanting to avoid a crowd. I would suggest then a little sign *inside of* the HCC office that reads something like "Emergency Repair Kit Available to Contestants". If the sign is inside the office, only contestants and maybe a few potential applicants will be exposed to the existence of a kit. The information might spread, but the sign's "Available to Contestants" would establish the kit as exclusive to HCC people.

Also, I kinda figured the BCC had control over your a/c. That's too bad. :P But, if they don't upgrade their HVAC you could always get someone to donate an electric fan or two just to keep the air moving.

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Unread 08-11-2012, 12:47 AM   #45
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I was the Sakizou Terra that won Best Craftsman on Friday. I do have both positive and negative feedback to share regarding my hall contest experience, but first I need to rant about a recurring complaint that I see popping up in this thread: Just because this particular panel of judges specialized in textiles does not mean they were utterly ignorant about armor construction. I, myself, have judged craftsmanship at many conventions and, although I have only a smattering of armor-making experience, I am very knowledgeable about the various techniques and materials that can be used to make armor. I know what quality armor looks like, and I'm fully aware of and appreciate the amount of time that goes into making a heavily armored costume. I may not be an "experienced armor craftsman," but I am knowledgeable and discerning enough to judge armored costumes. I feel the same can easily be said of this panel of judges, and they certainly don't deserve to be criticized for their lack of personal experience with armor-making. Theoretically it would be wonderful to have a well-rounded panel of specialists for future hall contests but, as others have pointed out, experienced judges are in short supply (especially judges who are willing to give up such a significant chunk of their weekend at a high profile convention like Otakon).

As for my personal experience with the event, I have to say that it was mostly positive. I did have qualms with the on-site registration process, which seemed overly time-consuming and a bit of a mess. I showed up bright and early on Friday to get a spot in the contest, filled out all of my paperwork, and turned it in, only to have it handed back to me and be told that I was on a waiting list and couldn't sign up for a judging time. I was told that I'd be called if a spot opened, at which point I'd have to walk BACK to the hall office to turn in my paperwork and pick a judging time. This wouldn't have been such a big deal in a venue that required less walking to/from the convention, but I had to take a total of three trips that morning from my hotel just to make it into the contest, which adds up to an awful lot of time lost in transit. In retrospect, had I known that just getting registered for the contest would be so time-consuming, I probably would not have entered. (And yes, I know I could have registered online, but this was a last-minute peer pressure sort of thing.) It seems to me that this entire process could have been streamlined significantly if I could have turned in my paperwork that morning when I was put on the waiting list, then selected a judging time over the phone when I was called to confirm that I had a spot in the contest. Perhaps something to think about next year for on-site registration?

As for my experience with the contest itself, I think I was most impressed by the attentiveness of the photographers who were in charge of documenting my costume outside the judging room. They were very curious and interested in my costume, very easy to talk to, and certainly gave my confidence a little boost prior to going in for judging. They really seemed to want to show off every little detail on my costume. Once in the judging room, I found the judging session fairly thorough (lots of poking and picking at my costume and a few construction-related questions) but I was incredibly flustered when the timer buzzed, as I had never before competed in or judged a contest that was timed. It was literally the same sensation as hitting a brick wall, and it was devastating to look down at my costume and see all the details that I had not pointed out or discussed. I do feel the judges could have asked more questions or, at the least, have talked more -- I'm always very chatty and enthusiastic when I judge -- but I know everyone has a different style and this is certainly a very minor nitpick.

I did try to pick up my award at the hall office on Sunday but it was closed by the time I made it there. Various staff members led me on a wild goose chase, trying to track down where I ought to go, and eventually I ended up in con-ops and was told that my award would be mailed to me. I have not seen or heard anything about it yet, so I'd appreciate an update if possible. Thanks!

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