Apps and tools for impersonation cosplay

Darrell GreenDarrell Green ✭✭✭
edited January 2022 in General
I have, over time, collected some electronic methods for assisting with cosplay planning and design. First, I start with a face swap app to see if there is a similarity; is this something I can accomplish with decent results. Then I use an app called "Golden Ratio Face App - Beauty Analysis" for its face comparison feature. It provides a rough percentage of likeness. I not only compare my face to my intended cosplay target but I then begin to compare different angles and expressions to available similar pictures of my intended. This shows me, by the numbers, which angle and expression most matches me to my target cosplay. I then use a background swap app to place a similar background, if I am not able to recreate the scenery, physically, with acceptable results. Today, I stumbled across one of the most stunning methods I have seen yet. I know I am so late to the game on this but split screen overlay (I used photoshop but you could just print and cut in paper to do the same, without the software). The image attached here is my first use of this, followed by my review of the same and how it affects my next round of changes in makeup and prosthetics. The needed changes are now so easy to see.

So photoshop for the win. I can clearly see all the areas I need to change to make an impersonation lock. Thicker brow, sides of mustache and more filler in center chin hair. Fuller lip, with creases (possibly a behind the lip insert). Scar on nose raises higher toward forhead and sidehair is fluffier but still wet looking. Nose is pinched in... (I actually know that trick). Contacts are not a match and need replaced with brighter blue/grey. With this method, I can't miss. Now, I am super excited to do a second round of effects and makeup. Please be always cautious about getting and installing software and only ever do so from trusted sources. I cannot vouch for any by name, except Adobe photoshop. All others are always questionable but I want to share the idea of the method not the apps.
Post edited by Darrell Green on


  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    Hi Darrel,

    Thanks for sharing the apps you used to help with the likeness.  I would not have thought of some of those, super cool!

    Very impressive how well you've matched the original subject.

    One app that you may like (windows/pc/linux) is called PureRef.  It lets you keep and organize a collection of reference images in a single document.  I use it a lot in my own projects.

  • Pureref definitely looks like a time saver. I can certainly see the use case immediately.
  • The face comparison app had for about a year been broken by an update but is now available and working again.... not affiliated, i just use it for cosplay:

  • Quick note for anyone who finds themselves reading this and wondering "What do I do now that I see all the differences between me and my target cosplay character?" First, this was posted here on Stan Winston School of Character Arts because it is the very source of my current education on makeup and effects. Changing into an entirely different character is what they do for Hollywood film, year round. Makeup, effects, costume, lighting, photography, staging, it is all here in hundreds of hours of classes. My second suggestion is "". Many thousands of movie and story props and costumes have been threaded there in instructional blogs and they have an amazing, live group of mentors to assist when you struggle. The same can be said for classes here, the live responses are from the industries insiders. Literally the best in the business from all parts of the entertainment industry. I will continue to add tools and tips here when I find them. My current reasearch is on how to determine true colors based on swatches and in scene reference points, including skin tones. I will load when complete. Followed soon by determining lighting direction and how to duplicate that when staging cosplay shoots.
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