Hi ho friends. Today’s post is a bit of a ramble and portrait for my Takashima Extraction story.

The characters I’ve been working on the costume for Miss Camille Starfall. The character is half Elf, half human. When we meet her, she is working as an assistant at Takashima Industries, where she charms Mr. Al Keaton.

Miss Camille is played by my Dollstown Jun on Elf Body. Barefoot, she stands 53 cm tall. The elf body is a very slim, immature build. Her face-up, wig and outfit is all by me.

Mr. Keaton is, of course, my Dollshe Grown Saint, 70 cm tall on the Mystic body. Faceup by me, unknown wig (still searching for his final wig) and the outfit he’s wearing in today’s photo is a vest and chino pants sewn using a pattern from Sejong Studio. Her patterns are designed for the Mystic (and other EID sized males) and fit perfectly, which is important because the Mystic body has, shall we say, fitting issues. I believe Mr. Dollshe was thinking of Ziggy Stardust when he sculpted this body.

Anywho, both dolls were sitting around my office because I’ve been making their clothes over the past couple of weekends. I took a photo of them together in order to start thinking about how to set up and photograph the characters.

Dollshe Grown Saint/Mystic Body (70 cm tall) with Dollstown Jun on Elfbody (53 cm tall)

This might be the first time I’ve photographed these dolls standing together. Sitting together in my office doesn’t have the same impact as standing side by side. Looking at the photo also provides a measure of objectivity when looking at the characters.

My initial reaction on seeing them together is she looks much too young to be the object of his crush. The adult physique of the Mystic body enhances that creepy, he’s too old for her vibe.

Perhaps I can rationalize that she’s half Elf and is older than she looks but I didn’t realize how young she looks until today.

Doll options – I could try his head on the Hound body. Try the smaller SA Saint head on the Elfdoll K body, but that head is slated to be Brick Facade, my not-so-bright private detective. I could look for a Saint open-eyed head second hand or another male head suitable to put on the Elfdoll K body or Hiro’s B&G body.

I could choose another doll for the character of Miss Camille but my other 60 cm elf girl is being used as a main character in the other cyberpunk story I have in mind. I could use my 62 cm Elfdoll K, but he too is a main character in the other story.

I have 3 SD sized dolls (60 cm) with no role in either cyberpunk story: 2 Volks F34s (white skin and normal skin) and my Dollstown Lucille. I’m fairly wedded to the half Elf concept. I could search for an SD sized elf head that would suit either Volks body. Well, crap, all this requires contemplation and research.

Photo set up options As to the shooting problem, do I use forced perspective to get these dolls to scale with each other? Do I shoot them separately and composite them together?

Shooting separately and compositing them in Photoshop is time-consuming and I run the risk of not scaling consistently.

If I shoot forced perspective, I would need to create a stage for them, tape out their positions and work out the camera angles.

My experience with shooting dolls is in camera forced perspective. The con is the set up time. The Pair Go tournament poster shoot takes about 5 hours. For this story, I’m shooting a collection of images to tell the story and will need to carefully work out the forced perspective and marking positions.

I’ll want to take notes and shoot photos of the marks because this is going to take several shooting sessions to capture all the images I’ll need with the dolls. There will likely be additional or reshoots once I start building the story in Photoshop. The pro is that the dolls are interacting with each other in camera, so I can ensure they are looking in the right direction.

The risk with using compositing to scale the dolls is probably extending the time it takes to process the images, the painstaking process of extracting and then creating the story. The pro of compositing is that will increase my comfort and skill with the process of extracting images.

Either way, I need to storyboard this so I can shoot efficiently once I get to that stage.

After writing all these thoughts, I’ve decided to photograph using forced perspective and capture the character interactions in camera. I’m in enough new territory with telling this story and creating the world they inhabit. I want to shoot in the way I’m most comfortable.

As to the age question, I have a trigger with that from a childhood trauma, so I’ll keep working on Miss Camille. I clearly have an issue using these particular dolls in a way that hints at a romantic entanglement.

Switching one or both dolls out for SD-sized dolls would also solve the doll proportion issue, which would simplify shooting. In the meantime, I’ll continue to work on the storyboard and solving the age difference between Al and Camille.

I may rethink the characters of the other story. Oh man, I can see that my studio is going to be filthy with doll heads and bodies while I work this out.

Lots to mull over.

Portrait of an Elf Mage Let’s get, finally, to the portrait I created of Miss Camille Starfall Version 1, using Procreate and Awake class elements and my own photos of Camille and the city of Seattle. I love the way this turned out. She’s got some mystery with a touch of badassery.

Miss Camille Starfall, by L. Anne Thompson for Tenuki Handcrafts

I love her punky look and you can see her adorable ears. She has a nicely shaped head for the mohawk and her head seam is unobtrusive. Perhaps she can be an elf mage and buddy to the Oracle of Aurora.

They could be punky street urchins.

Aw. Cuties!