1st Edition

Digital Costume Design and Collaboration Applications in Academia, Theatre, and Film

By Rafael Jaen Copyright 2018
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    Digital Costume Design and Collaboration gives in-depth instruction on how to draw, render, and fully design costumes using online tools and software. Grounded in the use of Photoshop, the book explains the process of building a costume design from scratch, including information on digital tools and painting techniques. The book demonstrates how to utilize social media, such as Flickr and Pinterest, to compile research; how to create user-friendly web based slide shows; and how to archive digital files for portfolios and personal websites. It also demonstrates how to organize spec sheets, plots and inventories using Google Docs for easy editing and Dropbox for easy file sharing. A companion YouTube channel featuring video tutorials of exercises and applications compliments the book.






    • CHAPTER 1
      • The Design Process, A Digital Approach
        • First Reactions
        • Compiling Information Digitally To Create Web Based Shared Archives
        • A New Look: Updating Research Methods
        • Talking To The Director
          • The Aristotelian Model
          • Historical Context: Using Human Geography as a Framework
          • The "W" Questions or the "Nuts and Bolts"
          • Stage Directions: The Spoken Word And The Playwright’s Notes
          • The Importance Of A Good Dramaturge

        • Talking With The Actors
          • Obtaining Basic Information
          • Establishing The Character’s "Spine": Underlying Motivations, Back-Story, Secrets, etc.
          • Establishing Digital Collaboration With The Actors Prior to Fittings

      • Testimonial
        • Interview: Shawn LaCount, Artistic Director and Director
        • Design Gallery: Edith Can Shoot Things And Hit Them, Company One Theatre, 2015

      • Sources and Citations

    • CHAPTER 2
      • Preparing Your Digital Costume Bible And Design Studio
        • Digital Costume Bible
          • The Digital Costume Plot
          • The Digital Costume Piece List
          • The Budget Specs: Including Builds, Bought and Pulled Items
          • Sharing Files With Wardrobe Department: Google Docs, Dropbox, Etc.

        • Digital Costume Design Studio
          • Digital Studio Basics
          • File Sharing Options
          • Drawing Tablets And Digital Rendering Software
            • Wacom Tablets
            • Photoshop

        • Basics Digital Rendering Tools
          • Layers
          • Levels And Curves
          • Flatting
          • Burn And Dodging
          • Dissolve
          • Brushes
          • Patterns
          • Fonts
          • Special Effects: Bevel, Emboss, Inner And Outer Shadows

        • Other Resources: Free Croquis

      • Testimonial
        • Interview: Spiro Veloudos, Artistic Director and Director
        • Design Gallery: Sweeney Todd, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 2014

      • Sources and Citations


    • CHAPTER 3
      • Drawing The Character’s Spine; Black And White Drawing Basics
        • Scanning And/Or Copying Black & White Files
          • Scanning Steps and Tips

        • Tracing With The Wacom Tablet
        • Tracing Over Existing Images: A Sample Process
          • Using Fashion Croquis
          • Using A Pre-Existing Image
          • Creating A "Croquis Banks"

        • Preparing and Saving Black and White Images for Painting With Photoshop
          • Preparing Black and White Drawings
          • Prepping B & W Sketches on Templates
          • Fixing Line "Leakages"

        • How To Make A 300 To 600 Dpi File?

      • Testimonial:
        • Interview: Carrie Ann Quinn, Actor and Director
        • Design Gallery: Polaroid Stories, UMass Boston, 2016

      • Sources and Citations

    • CHAPTER 4
      • Contextualizing The Character
      • Photoshop Painting Basics Part 1
        • Photoshop Color Palettes: The Color Picker
        • Creating A Basic Sketch Template For A Specific Show
        • Choosing Specific Photoshop Color Swatches For Costume Rendering
        • Creating Fabric Yardage and Adding Prints

      • Testimonial
        • Interview: Davis Robinson, Producer, Actor, Director, and Author
        • Design Gallery: The Remarkable Rooming House of Madame LeMonde, Beau Jest Moving Theatre/ Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival, 2009

      • Sources and Citations

    • CHAPTER 5
      • Costuming The Character: The Preliminary Sketches
      • Creating Multi-Layered Costume Renderings in Photoshop
        • Inserting And Manipulating Costume Pieces Or Elements
        • Inserting A Pre-Existing Or A Previously Saved Pattern
        • Resizing Patterns In Photoshop
        • Adding Layers Such As Facial Details, Skin Tones, And Accesories

      • Painting Assembly Line Sketches
      • Testimonial 1
        • Interview: Ilyse Robbins, Actor, Choreographer, and Director
        • Design Gallery: Marry Me A Little, New Repertory Theatre, 2013

      • Testimonial 2
        • Interview 2: Danny Gidron, Director
        • Design Gallery: Twelfth Night, UMass Boston, 2014

      • Sources and Citations

    • CHAPTER 6
      • Costuming The Character: The Finished Sketch
      • More Photoshop Painting Techniques
        • Burn and Dodge Modalities in Photoshop Costume Renderings
        • Painting Eyes
        • Touch Up Work
        • Painting Hair And Adding Real Hair Images
        • Creating a Realistic Hair Layer
        • Adding Patterns With Movement
        • Adding Floor Shadows
        • Using Bevel and Emboss To Add Dimension To The Character’s Silhouette

      • Testimonial 1
        • Interview: Bridget Kathleen O’Leary, Artistic Director and Director
        • Design Gallery: Doll’s House, New Repertory Theatre, 2011.

      • Testimonial 2
        • Interview: Carmel O’Reilly, Artistic Director, Director, and Actor
        • Design Gallery: The Seafarer, SpeakEasy Theatre Company, 2008.

    • CHAPTER 7
      • Archiving the Project As A Digital Portfolio
        • Costume Design And Manufacturing for PBS/WGBH

      • Testimonial 1
        • Interview: Cathleen O’Connell, Film Producer
        • Design Gallery: God In America, PBS 2010

      • Testimonial 2
        • Interview: Michael Fennimore, Film and Theatre Actor, and Theatre Director
        • Design Gallery: You Can’t Take It With You, UMass Boston 2014

      • Sources and Citations


    • CHAPTER 8
      • An Unforgettable Affair With Photoshop
      • About Digital Design in Collaboration
        • Testimonials: Designer Interviews and Design Galleries

      • Final Words
      • Sources and Citations



    Rafael Jaen is a practicing costume designer, professor and author. Jaen’s costume design (and manufacturing) work includes film, TV and theater and he has received multiple accolades and award nominations including the prestigious Elliot Norton Award and the IRNE Award. He has been a member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), the United Scenic Artist (USA) 829, and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). He currently serves at the USITT Board of Directors and on the Publications Committee. Jaen is the National Design, Technology and Management Vice-Chair for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), and he serves as the USITT-KCACTF Communications Liaison. Mr. Jaen is an Assistant Professor of Costume Design at UMASS Boston, MA.

    "Digital Costume Design and Collaboration will be a valuable addition to the books used for teaching young designers because it takes the processes and functions of practical design into the digital world with easy-to-follow guides and instructions. The book will be particular useful for theatre programs with a limited costume design course offerings. (...) The content will also serve veteran designers who would like to move into a digital world but find themselves a little intimidated or unsure of where to start."

    - Laura Beene, Utah Valley University, USA