How can 343 help?

Unyshek

343i STAFF
Hey everyone! We at 343 Industries were curious to hear what you think we could be doing better to support the cosplay community?

We’ve been tossing around the idea of releasing closer looks at in-game armors (and weapons) via reference screenshots and 3D turnarounds, but we’d love to hear any and all additional suggestions you may have for us. Feel free to be as broad or as granular as you like with your suggestions!

Obviously there will always be some requests we can’t fulfill and some that will take time, but we’re looking to make a stronger effort here and will do our best :)

Thanks!


September 2020 Update - The Rookie
Thanks for all the ideas and feedback on this thread everyone. As a direct result of your input, we've launched our first official Halo cosplay guide on Waypoint!

You can read the full blog on Waypoint and grab the guide using the links below:

THE ROOKIE
I've also created a thread on the Waypoint forums that can act as a "landing page" with links to future guides when we're able to make them: aka.ms/HaloCosplayGuides

Thank you all so much, and I hope you enjoy!
 
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TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
My number one wish would be orthographic projections of parts in a similar style to the Reach concept art. I use these heavily when designing 3D models of costume bits and not having to fiddle around in Forge mode to get rough projections takes that extra step out of my workflow plus they make cool artwork to keep around the workshop.

Even if it's two or three projections, for a cosplayer/modeler these are invaluable.
1572379991168.png

If we could get even more projections I'd be ecstatic but that's just me being greedy so that I can compare my CAD files for accuracy.
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Having an armour permutation generator would also be a nice to have, letting you cycle through all the possible armour combinations, colours and emblems similar to Vanity. Not all of our local cosplayers have extensive knowledge of armour parts in lore or the many hours in matchmaking to unlock certain parts but want to build things based on what looks cool or can make a good aesthetic so having the option to browse and play around helps grow interest as a costuming community that builds characters.

One of the biggest worries that the more detail oriented builders have is colour matching to the games when building named characters. If there could be a reference guide for colours used in a character model similar to the Borderlands cosplay reference guides that provides a swatch and hex code for the primary character colours under neutral lighting it helps with paint and fabric choices.

I'll edit my wishlist as more ideas pop up!

Edit
Adding to the wishlist. Exploded views of different props and armour sets. Certain armours such as the Marines and ODSTs have multiple layers of clothing, padding and plate armour which make up the suit, having an exploded view lets us see details that are partially obscured in certain angles and may be missed depending on the references used. In terms of props it can help show what's removable (rail mounted items, lights, magazines, cleaning kits, etc.) and what moving parts are within the prop (slides, bolts, dials, switches, etc.) or what section is meant to be one material as opposed to an adjacent section when assembling the full piece.

Sample armour exploded view
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Sample prop exploded view
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PerniciousDuke

RCO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Official reference images for all armors (and non armors) from all angles would be amazing!!! Especially with MCC porting to PC we are worried that graphic mods will make the originals hard to isolate when doing general image searches online. (Like with Skyrim)

In addition I'd like to third the armor permutation ap similar to Vanity, but for newer armors. We often have to ask someone to take screenshots for us because they've managed to unlock our favorite armor. With Vanity (and now MCC) we are able to quickly see what different armors look like with different colors.

Lastly, thank you Unyshek so much for working together to create a great game and for letting us share in the fun!
 

NobleofDeath16

RXO
405th Regiment Officer
I think it would be extensively helpful for cosplayers to also get views of undersides or inbetween of models or sections of armor. Things such as the bottom sides of spartan boots or the back side of their bicep sections would not only help increase suit accuracy but round out full sections of armor.
 

smelms

Member
Can I humbly request free access to every game model? Id also love reference packages like the ones released for Overwatch. There's also a lack of reference for techsuits (besides the standard gen2 undersuit). Above all, I wish for you to continue supporting Outpost Discovery :love:

edit- access to cinematic models would be nice. Some of the multiplayer models are incredibly low poly. I had a hell of a time unfolding the Breaker chest.
 

Revenant1988

Active Member
Thanks for stopping by and asking!

An armor permutation generator as others have mentioned would be swell!

I'd love to have more reference images that include scale and measurements right on them. For example, if I want to make a BR, I could reference any number of sources like the essential Halo guide, or Halopedia and that might tell me the length of the BR, but not necessarily the height or depth. Some of that data can be figured out with math and an image to scale it with, but it would be a lot easier to have those values already.

TurboCharizards CAD image above is a good example of the kind of reference shots I'd like to see for just about anything you are willing to provide, helmets, armor pieces, weapons, enemies, characters, items, etc.

It's probably asking too much for 3D models, but since you asked what would be helpful: One thing I found super freakin useful for a Destiny cosplay was http://www.destinystlgenerator.com/ . The models it extracted from the mobile app weren't super high quality, but they were fantastic for getting a base shape to import into Pepakura Designer to make my own templates for an obscure set of armor, that would have been much, much more tedious to do by hand (that no one had made any template for). When paired with another tool that members here used called Armor Smith Designer , I was able to take those files and then import them into ASD and size them to a virtual mannequin of myself to ensure I scaled them properly to my body before printing to paper to transfer to foam. I got it right on the first try! That saves a ton of material and time had I gotten the scale incorrect and had to do it again.

Thank you for visiting!!
 

RandomRanger

Armory Assistant
Community Staff
Thanks for reaching out Unyshek! I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say we're ecstatic just to see you guys interested in helping.
I saw this Doom Guy guide once, and given that color matching is one of the _most difficult_ parts of a build, especially for the Chief, I think a color/material matching guide would also be super helpful like the one below.
1572399002328.png


Additionally, I've spent several hours over the last few weeks creating reference image packs for different armor sets. As a soon-to-graduate Software Engineer I know that time is a very hot commodity. If you guys' aren't able to find the time/budget to build reference packs yourselves, making it a little bit easier for us to capture these in game would be fantastic. For example, I do a lot of my captures by loading up the theater mode and zooming in on a specific part, if there were a button that allowed me to enter a 'no-clip' fly mode and get some really weird angle shots, that's make a huge difference as right now I can only zoom in so close. Building on this, one of the difficulties with creating these armor sets is finding a level with X character in it, and then recording them in enough poses to get each angle; if I were able to drop a T-Pose named character into a world forge, I could then build a map that let's me control the lighting and the angles at which I record. I could get references for the armor under different lighting conditions and all the angles I need. That'd be a dream come true, and I get the impression it shouldn't be too much work to implement and more of a question of "do we want to implement this" as being able to forge-drop named characters might have other consequences.

Here's one of my reference packs as an example of what it is I'm talking about:
 
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Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
Armor permutation app, color swatching, and I know this sounds a little weird, but can you work to make future characters shaped more like real humans (when applicable)? Only ask because in many reference photos or what have you, spartan shins are 3½ times too long, haha. I exaggerate a little, but the concept remains. It's hard to match a set of armor when there's not enough cosplayer to cosplay.
 

SGT Razor

Well-Known Member
I know this is asking a lot, but I've always wanted to be a character in a video game. I think canonizing characters like you guys did with Owen and Hazel would bring in a lot of cosplayers and other such talented folks.

Also, seeing ODST Sgt Razor in Halo: Infinite would give my life meaning. Just sayin'.
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
I know this is asking a lot, but I've always wanted to be a character in a video game. I think canonizing characters like you guys did with Owen and Hazel would bring in a lot of cosplayers and other such talented folks.

Also, seeing ODST Sgt Razor in Halo: Infinite would give my life meaning. Just sayin'.
I volunteer if you need a Slav Squatting trooper or a generic Canadian voiced Marine NPC that's good at exaggerated poses. :p
DSC00582.jpg DSC09440.jpg
 

RandomRanger

Armory Assistant
Community Staff
One of my personal projects is creating an in-visor HUD for Halo Cosplay. One of the difficult parts of this is acquiring the HUD elements themselves. I'm no graphics artist, so what I have to do is try to get screenshots where I can manually cut-paste the elements out of and hope it looks alright. If I had simple .png's (needs transparency support) or animations of the hud elements for the different games, that'd be really helpful. I was able to demo a crude version of this to I believe you and Sarah at HOD Chicago.
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xXDashIVXx

Sr Member
Thank you Unyshek for everything! You are such a wonderfull individual and a blast to be with. You really stick up for the fans and want everyone to be as happy as you! It was really fun to play BTB with you at outpost orlando.

Now onto the post. I personally would love to have more models or iconic small things incorporated into the games. I love to make small props and items for display, and incorporating things like the dice from Solo, or coins and ingame currency would be amazing.

I would also love to have open access to audio files. If they were to be publicly released and give the community access to sounds from ships and gunfire, to the sounds in forge, imagine the possibilities! The fan film community would be crazy! I have always wanted to make a halo 4 spartan infected flood with actual sounds, but it is sometimes hard to acquire awoolooloos without any other audio playing over it from ingame...
 
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Sean Anwalt

RCO
405th Regiment Officer
If I may jump on to what one of the others has said? Continuity in canon is HUGE for me, and I think Halos only downfall is it isn't super great at continuity. People like me who are mentally broken in some ways need that never- bending flow of facts in their favorite stories. Also, much less Cortana, but I think I'm the only one in the forums who will say that, so take that with a grain of salt.
 

Asgardianhammer

Identity Officer & RCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
I think everyone here has pretty much summed up the need for reference materials. We had been trying to generate a book by game chronology/title at tabloid landscape size we were reverently titling the "Absolute Record" which would have had all views in one page and a separate page for helmet detail. So in this regard, in terms of a full Bible of all armors including things like the SPI armor or concept armors that were canon, I cannot add to this wish.

I have another item of note for the 405th but it doesn't relate to costume assets so much as just support/recognition for the 405th community.
 

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artofcundro

New Member
Definitely more access to reference materials! I'd love to have fully detailed and accurate files to work off of. This is so awesome that you're reaching out like this. It's really cool that 343i is this engaged and helpful toward the community. Maybe even a permanent pipeline for communication like this with a 343i employee point of contact for questions and coordinating with the community would be a cool thing to have!
 

SGT Razor

Well-Known Member
I was being selfish and unrealistic with my first comment, so instead of editing and revising it, I'll just propose a new idea that benefits everyone instead of just me:

We have an insane amount of talented, skilled craftsmanship on this site. These Halo fans pour a lot of time, money, energy and resources into our projects in order to bring our favorite video game franchise to life. I and many others like me found time to build a full suit of armor while working 40-60 hours a week. Between 2004 and 2007, Bungie spent $40 million on a kick-ass marketing campaign for Halo 3 which gave us chills that we all fondly remember. Our completed props and cosplay projects benefit 343i by providing tons of (mostly great) PR and advertising - FOR FREE. Some were even featured as part of Halo Outpost Discovery's Hall of History! Today, 343i doesn't need to spend another dime on marketing because they're building on an already successful franchise empire. We're doing that work for them without asking for anything in return, because we want to. We love building these props because it makes us feel like we're part of the story, and most if not all of us feel like Halo is a large part of ours. We are grateful to have outstanding Community Managers like Unyshek who seek the input from their fans. Most other game franchises, even the largely successful ones, should take note of this. I've never worked a day on a video game in my short-but-sweet life, but if I had a special thanks to give at the end of the credits, it would go to you. Don't tell my wife I said that.

Someone may have to correct me on this anecdote, but I remember back in 2007 or 2008, one of our members made a set of black Recon armor out of fiberglass using the pepakura files provided here in the forums. In case some of you didn't already know, Recon was a Bungie employee exclusive back then. If you wanted Recon, you would have to really impress the right people at Bungie, and people were scrambling to do just that. He was the first one to do it successfully, as I recall. Because they loved his armor so much, they gave him the permissions to use the Recon armor permutation in Halo 3 multiplayer. Bungie saw the opportunity to use his passion as a beacon to inspire more Halo fans and they capitalized on it. I know I would volunteer my spare time if it meant improving one of my favorite games by even a marginal amount.

My proposal is kind of similar: put a team together to find those hardcore fans who inspire their work they way you all have inspired ours. This team should be made up of writers, 3D modelers, concept artists, animators, art directors, sound designers, music producers, etc. Choose a large, diverse team of people who work on every aspect of the game's development at the ground floor. Their objective is to find their favorite or most influential fan-made content and contact those fans to have a one-on-one conversation about certain aspects of the game that pertain to their specific role at 343i. By doing this, they can swap ideas with each other, artistically inspire one another, build a stronger relationship with the community, save money on research and development (13 months away from release may be a little late for that, but some R&D processes take longer than others), get an idea of what the fans want, and give the fans a true sense of the "pride and accomplishment" EA wishes they could give players, because those fans helped support the staff intellectually rather than monetarily. Meanwhile, you can make a safe bet that your game meets fan expectations because you continued to seek our input. Remember, you're adding to an already established universe, not creating a new one. We as fans know how this universe should look and feel. We also realize that you're the ultimate authority on which direction you take with this universe, so we have to earn and maintain each other's trust. Thank you for realizing that your fanbase is an invaluable resource rather than bipedal wallets waiting to be emptied into some company's already overflowing Scrooge McDuckian vault.

Now, that paragraph might be convoluted and a little hard to understand. I get that. I try really hard to make sure to use proper grammar to get my point across clearly, but sometimes I get a little too excited and everything turns into a run-on sentence full of tangents, rants, and general ramblings. I'm also exploring this idea as I go along, so bear with me. Allow me to clear things up by giving you an example:

My dream is to be a character in a video game. I think we've established that already. It's not one I've actively pursued because it's not exactly a realistic one, but I think it would be my greatest achievement to show my kids (one day, when I have kids), "Look, there's daddy kicking ass in outer space! I'm glad you're here!" The thing is, I don't have the means to do that, so I built my character instead. One day, someone messages me from 343i. They love the work I did, and they want my permission to create a character based off my build! We chat back and forth, hashing out this dude's backstory, demeanor, role, appearance, and any other additional characteristics. Maybe they even invite me to come into the studio for facial capture and voice recording! They make it clear to me that any intellectual property regarding this character belongs to 343i, and they are the final decision makers guided by my input, which means the character will probably have a very minor role (akin to SGT Stacker) or might not even make it into the final game. Some or all of the work I do may be unpaid but credited, and they award my help with a cool multiplayer armor permutation or something. The story of some prior-service Halo nerd who built a set of ODST armor in his basement being put into the game inspires more fans to flood the cosplay community in hopes that their projects might also catch the devs' attention. The Halo cosplay community grows. This new talent pool shares their projects, learning new techniques from their cosplay experiments along the way and passing that knowledge on to the rest of us. Soon, making armor and weapons from the Halo games becomes so widespread that we pool our resources together to create an army of real Spartans who take over the world and eventually colonize new planets. I've been a member here since 2007, and I can tell you that from the changes I've seen in the 405th over the past 12 years, that's the direction we're headed. We just need to get Elon Musk on board...

Bungie talked about their goal for world domination quite a bit. Talk is cheap, and I don't think they ever really had a real plan. With fan contributions to game development, you can not only help the Halo cosplay community grow, but you'd have a recipe for dominating the universe. You're welcome.

How about another example: Some aspiring writer creates a fan fiction novel that becomes popular enough to inspire the Narrative Director on this special task force. They get to talking about creating scenes inspired from some of the stories in the fanfic and how they can adopt them into the game currently in development. Maybe there's a new game in the works, and 343i wants to make a game adaptation of this narrative. Maybe they just want to publish his novel. This fanfic writer's success story blows up, inspiring more Halo fans to put their storytelling talents to good use. Maybe they get their names attached to a couple of characters in return as a token of gratitude.

Basically, as a huge fan of the work that you do, I think it would be cool - and a lot of fun - to work alongside the game developers, even on a volunteer basis. I'm not encouraging anyone to do 343i employees' jobs for them, but to encourage and inspire each other and to build a strong, mutually-beneficial relationship between 343i and their talented fans. After all, helping, encouraging, and inspiring each other is exactly what the 405th is all about.

I know you were asking about how you can help the cosplay community specifically, but there's a much broader picture here than just us. Most people want to work for a paycheck or notoriety, doing the bare minimum, watching the clock until the workday is over. Some of us are so passionate about the Halo universe that we obsess over every little minuscule detail, sacrificing our hard-earned money and free time to strive for perfection... sometimes even to the point where it becomes unhealthy. This is an infinite pool of untapped resources which you could use to your advantage. I'm inviting you to use whatever limited resources I have at your disposal. I want to help too.
 
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