Go Back   Cosplay.com > Cosplay Chat > General Cosplay Chat

Reply
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Unread 01-21-2013, 08:44 AM   #1
Sinnocent
Sinful Innocence
 
Sinnocent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,234
Trade Secrets?

So let's say that you find this most amazing way to make something (for the sake of my sanity, we'll say you're making a pair of wings) ... and you racked your brain, made your own designs, and did it in such a unique way, that you've never seen anyone do it that way before.

Now you post pictures online, and the next thing you know, you have 50 people asking you 'omg how did you do that?!' ... what do you do if you don't want to tell them?

I understand not wanting to share your 'trade secrets', and I know some people who are like that ... but how do you go about telling someone 'sorry I'm not going to tell you' without sounding like a b!tch? Or do you just give in and tell them at the risk of everyone doing it your way now? And therefore no longer making your way unique.
__________________
Sinnocent
Website | Facebook | DeviantArt
| Instagram | Twitter

Upcoming Conventions


Anime North Texas
Friday: Live Action Usagi Tsukino Saturday: Julia (Cowboy Bebop) Sunday: Original Design Moon Dress


2015 Schedule Coming Soon!
Sinnocent is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Unread 01-21-2013, 09:17 AM   #2
FuntomKitten
Prince With No Crown
 
FuntomKitten's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,238
Just tell them "I'm sorry, I worked very hard on this and I'd rather not have everyone gaining off my hard work." or something along those lines. Explain to them it's very much like a secret recipe is to a restaurant since you did it from scratch by yourself.
If they really want to know, maybe tell them materials you used and, if you used and modified a tutorial, link them to that? Or link them to a tutorial for the thing they want and say "I tweaked that to be able to /x and y/ (Add more feathers and make them taller, for your example)"
Don't leave them empty handed without an explanation, but don't tell them everything either.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Miri View Post
Come to the dark side. We have freaking gorgeous character designs.
Facebook
DeviantArt
Tumblr

Cosplays
Nanami Chiaki (Super Dangan Ronpa 2) {Waiting/ 90% DONE}
Mirai Kuriyama (Kyoukai no Kanata) {Planning/ 0% DONE}
Rikka Takanashi (Chuunibyou demo koi ga Shitai!) {Planning/ 0% DONE}
Grell Sutcliff and Ciel Phantomhive (Kuroshitsuji) {Revamping/ New Version}
Upcoming Cons
Momocon 2014, AAD Fall+Winter 2014, Seishuncon 2014, AWA 2014
FuntomKitten is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-21-2013, 10:54 AM   #3
chibierwin
Tall Little Freak
 
chibierwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 619
You could just tell them you modified basic tutorials off the interwebs. No harm in that, and now they know where to search!
__________________
In Progress: Syaoran: Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles/ Yusuke Urameshi (Dark Tournament): Yu Yu Hakusho/ Yoh (Revamp): Shaman King/ Jenos Hazard: Black Cat/ Teito Klein (Mourning Robes): 07-Ghost/ Kaito Sinbad: KKJ
chibierwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-21-2013, 12:43 PM   #4
AshofRebirth
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 844
This is one of my pet peeves actually, and a professor once told us something that pretty much summarizes my feelings about it without ranting too much.

So they had this applicant. He was boasting about how awesome his work was and stuff.. But when it came time to explain his process, etc, he didn't. He didn't want to "reveal his secrets".

Professor said something along the lines of.. If your talent is solely based off of secret information that others don't have the opportunity to use themselves, then you're actually not that talented. Talent is when you're on an equal playing field and even then, STILL, you can shine above the rest.

Different context.. but it kinda applies. (I'm not trying to diss you! It's really what he said. So I'm trying to apply it and.. yeah.)

But yeah, I really don't understand this secret technique thing unless you're trying to sell it.. or something. It's a little selfish to me, because SO many people benefit from tutorials or info.. That's what the whole Cosplay community is about almost. There's already that hard part of "how the @!$% do I do this part" ...hence the Construction boards.
There's been tons of people and new things that have surfaced because "I read this awesome tutorial by: blank!" It's actually seldom that another person makes something better than your original because it's just more intense figuring our yourself then following someone's instruction.

And think of it this way: People that share AWESOME tutorials of new things are put on a high pedestal in the community. Kamui, Katie Blair, Kukkii-san, anyone? They're specifically known and LOVED for what they shared to us! Anyone that keeps secrets is usually forgotten about eventually unless they do commissions otherwise. Someone else eventually will come along, figure out a way (or better!) and perhaps publish a tutorial.


But at the end.. I think it's selfish. It's YOUR thing, and you can decide what you want to do with it!
__________________
AshofRebirth Cosplay

I support Loose Cannons Props! And you should too!
AshofRebirth is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-21-2013, 01:01 PM   #5
Xanarcah
=..= rawr?
 
Xanarcah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,731
I would probably make a tutorial. I am honestly more about (over-proudly) showing off every little detail of my cosplay work than keeping secrets about it. And so if I made a tutorial and it really was this life-changing technique, then people would probably start linking my tutorial to other people and referencing back to something I said instead of me just telling people individually and letting myself go uncredited.

It would be really cool to be one of those revolutionary people who let cosplay techniques advance and evolve into the future, you know? And when the time came that someone improved on my technique/design, then so much the better for me, because now I can use their method and make my cosplays in a better way than I came up with myself.
__________________
Current Projects
- Myaku Toshiya Remake
- Haunted Killer 3epo - Working Version
- GMG Erza

Preregistered For
- GeekGirlCon '13
- Aki-Con '13
- Sakura-Con '14
Xanarcah is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #6
Altrus
I love dogs!
 
Altrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 462
I'm with Ashes and Xan. Unless you're monetizing the product of your work, I see no real reason to hide your techniques. Cosplay is a hobby, not a business (unless this is your job, then feel free to ignore me). "Profiting off your hard work"? Really? They'll have to do all the work, but you've taught people and made their lives a bit easier by explaining it to them. It's not like telling someone "I made X by doing Y" means a magical copy of X appears in their hands.

Why hide it, unless you feel this overwhelming need to be better than other people? I really think most of the reason people hide techniques is out of a need to feel superior to other cosplayers. Also, let's be real. What you've figured out is in no way unique. There are millions of cosplayers. Every single time I've seen a "secret technique", I've been able to find the trick by googling elsewhere, reducing the original person to looking like a tool.

If you're willing to explain things to people, you'll benefit from that. It's not a waste of your time. Some good friends of mine who've helped me out quite a bit were people who I met when they asked me for construction tips. Being helpful to others pays dividends you'd never expect.

I think it boils down to this. Lets say you have an awesome boyfriend/girlfriend. Then your friend gets one as well. You know what happens? Two people have awesome significant others and the world is better for it.
__________________
"The important thing is no one was hurt... No one who counts."
Altrus is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-21-2013, 05:51 PM   #7
CapsuleCorp
Master level costumer
 
CapsuleCorp's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,365
I'm neither here nor there on it, despite the fact I DO have a business and do actually have a few trade secrets. For one simple reason: knowing the method of how I did something does not guarantee that another person will be able to duplicate it exactly.

I've both held things close to my chest and written tutorials, and basically ended up with the same result either way. People can read the tutorial and even follow picture steps, but if they're deficient in a certain phase of the method (say, they can't free-hand-sculpt to save their lives and the method depends heavily on being able to sculpt), they're screwed no matter how much you hold their hand. Likewise, if they're impatient, don't read all the instructions, skip steps, try to modify it because your method isn't exactly what they need but pretty close...etc. All of these things can contribute to their costume/prop piece not turning out anywhere near yours.

This is actually more of a logical reason why I don't always share my methods. It's not that I don't want anyone copying me, it's that I have doubts many of them will be able to pull off what I did because I did something that came out as a happy accident. You can't duplicate accidents. And you can't copy talent. No matter how magnanimously you prepare a tutorial or instruction in your method, there will be some parts of it that people just can't duplicate exactly the same as yours.

If you're really touchy about not wanting to share (I admit, there have been times myself), don't tell them you're not sharing. That's just going to get you branded a dick. Honesty in this case is not the best policy. Instead, be vague, and if they get pushy, cut it short with something indicating that you used a thing you found randomly somewhere that you're pretty sure no one else can just walk out to Hobby Lobby and buy so they probably can't do the same method anyway. I find it more useful to share general tips and get them started on the road without holding their hand the whole way. It weeds out the ones who genuinely want to try their hand at learning a new technique from the ones who can't even be arsed to google "fabric store" before coming here to ask on the forums.

And really, if we all wrote tutorials on everything we did, sooner or later no one will want to invent new techniques! A little mystery will get the askers off your back and encourage them to experiment.
__________________
Founder and Vice-President, Madison Area Costuming Society, a chapter of the International Costumer's Guild

COMMISSIONS! Strange Land Costuming - www.strangelandcostumes.com

Director, SF&F Masquerade - COSTUMECON34 - Madison, Wisconsin - May 6-9, 2016 - www.costumecon34.com
CapsuleCorp is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-21-2013, 08:10 PM   #8
Tangledinblue
Witty Title...
 
Tangledinblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 750
I have had this happen to me. When I posted pics of my Madam Sharley cosplay, I had a few people asking me how I made my mermaid tail. What I did was I pointed them in the right direction. Maybe explain the first few steps, or the materials you used. I totally understand on wanting to keep a secret techniques to yourself. Some people want to share, and that is awesome. But for those who don't want to oh well. Plus isn't it fun to try and figure and discover something new on your own? (Well it's fun for me)
__________________
Next Convention:
Otakon

Possible Cosplays:
Eren Jaeger (Attack on Titan)
Mitsuru Kirijo (Persona 3)
Saruhiko Fushimi (K Project)
Shadow Yukiko (Persona 4)
Suit! Sarutobi Sasuke (Sengoku Basara)


-Like me on Facebook
Tangledinblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-22-2013, 07:19 AM   #9
Syagria
Imperatrix of Star + Wave
 
Syagria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 716
In general, I have no problem sharing, at least a gloss-over generalization of materials and methods. I don't hold a patent on anything I do; everything I do is based on information freely available already on the internet. As Capsule said, I can tell someone how I made it, but whether or not their attempt will look like mine will depend on whether or not they can sew a straight line, or how much attention to detail they give to the work.

However, I'll admit, it depends on how someone approaches me. I can size people up pretty quickly; if I get the impression that the person asking me is genuinely interested in the process, I'll give a moderate-to-thorough answer. I have, however, had some selfish brats demand, "oh thats so awesome i need this will you make it for me or tell me how." Really? If you can't even bother with a simple "please" and "thank you," then frankly, you're not even worth the effort of my answering you. My response then is usually, "Sorry, this took me a really long time and a lot of work to make." Sometimes with varying levels of pithiness.
__________________
Pictures and tutorials from my costuming portfolio at Syagria's Cosplay Site!

Current Project: Star Trek Original Series Uniform!
Next Project: Original Creation for AB13
Most Recent Con: Nauticon 2012
Next Cons: PAX East, Anime Boston 2013
Syagria is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-22-2013, 07:42 AM   #10
The Hag
All Hail Christmastoad
 
The Hag's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 10,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
You can't duplicate accidents. And you can't copy talent. No matter how magnanimously you prepare a tutorial or instruction in your method, there will be some parts of it that people just can't duplicate exactly the same as yours.
This, absolutely. Though I would say that it's not so much "accidents" as the hundreds of small decisions you make that are informed by experience that really make the difference.

There is also the matter of your own time. Even if you are happy to share, not everyone has the time to provide a long detailed explanation of what they did. I agree with what others have already said - there isn't any reason to say, "I won't tell you! It's a secret!" You can just make a few general comments or point them in the right direction. And honestly, you are well within you rights to simply ignore emails from strangers.
The Hag is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-22-2013, 07:53 AM   #11
Asezuna
Registered User
 
Asezuna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 98
"Sorry. Really. I messed up something but it turned out good, so I REALLY have no idea what did I do... O.o "
Well, that's what I would say.... ^^" But the others wrote plenty of better solutions.
But also... I you would tell them how did you do it, you'd just make somebody's day! They won't follow it from point to point... Well most of them won't. Plus, you could take it like you're the teacher, and they're your students, hence you pass your wisdom to other generations as well. ^^ And who knows? Maybe hundreds of years later people will be grateful to you for creating this way! xD
__________________
"When a guy tells me Iím cute, itís not something desirable. Cute is more like what you want your pet to be."
--
"Fight with me, brother! Or die alone!"
".... Not much of a threat, considering we're already in Hel."
Asezuna is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-22-2013, 12:39 PM   #12
AshofRebirth
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 844
Oh, right. A full tutorial isn't necessary. (I forgot).

General tips are just as good. A tutorial is just the first thing I thought of.
__________________
AshofRebirth Cosplay

I support Loose Cannons Props! And you should too!
AshofRebirth is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-22-2013, 02:57 PM   #13
pinkkiller
Registered User
 
pinkkiller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hag View Post
This, absolutely. Though I would say that it's not so much "accidents" as the hundreds of small decisions you make that are informed by experience that really make the difference.

There is also the matter of your own time. Even if you are happy to share, not everyone has the time to provide a long detailed explanation of what they did. I agree with what others have already said - there isn't any reason to say, "I won't tell you! It's a secret!" You can just make a few general comments or point them in the right direction. And honestly, you are well within you rights to simply ignore emails from strangers.
And agreeing with both of you! (and AshofRebirth, love that line of thinking from your professor)

If someone has that feeling of "I don't want to tell you because I don't want you to have something as good as me", how could they defend it? I will fully admit I have had these thoughts myself, but at the end of the day I think that's a toxic attitude to wear a costume with. Besides, I agree that a lot of times unique techniques are just the result of other people's work too. Like seeing different people working in different ways on the same thing and then creating your own process out of that, it's still possible because others were willing to share. So it would be quite unfair to not share in return in that situation for example.

Last edited by pinkkiller : 01-22-2013 at 05:37 PM.
pinkkiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-22-2013, 05:58 PM   #14
mokulen22
The Ducktape Queen
 
mokulen22's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,091
As a person who makes tutorial and patterns for cosplayer/plushies I can honestly say I don't care about my "trade secrets" getting out.

After my first instructional plushie workshop I saw what they produced and (don't mean to sound snobbish but) the majourity of the students didn't compare to the example I created before hand. They were newbies, so it was expected. Anyone looking for a little help over the internet or a class isn't going to be searching for a way to best you...they just need some guidance.

I really enjoy helping people...getting E-mails and msg on my blog thanking me is awesome and makes it all worth it.
__________________
Commission Website HERE
DA A ton of Plushie Making Guides
mokulen22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:15 AM.


Copyright 2002-2013 Cosplay.com, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
All comments and posts in our forums are the opinion of the respective poster.