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Submitted on
May 8, 2012
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765 KB
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9,142 (6 today)
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Shutter Speed
1/320 second
Focal Length
30 mm
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Date Taken
Apr 7, 2012, 1:05:14 AM
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows
Sovereign of the Rivers by HylianJean Sovereign of the Rivers by HylianJean
Character: Rutela, Queen of the Zoras
From the Nintendo game The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

With the addition of her ruffly pink overskirt and some more airbrushing in time for Sakuracon 2012, Rutela is pretty close to finished. Still a few more things to do (including repairing or remaking one of her fins which was lost and trampled before my hero husband recovered it), but I feel like she's completed enough that I'm happy wearing her for photoshoots at this point.

She is much more comfortable to wear than when I first made her but she does need some more adjustments to make my life easier at conventions. I've been able to wear her ~5-7 hours before I have to get free. She also gives me a lot of extra height. I wear 3 inch platform shoes under the skirts, and the top of her head is at least six inches taller than the top of my head. Kind of fun since I'm only 5'1" to start with!

The costume is entirely my own handiwork, taking approximately 3 months of working most of the day. It debuted unfinished at Sakuracon 2011, and a bit more finished at PAX 2011. I scrupulously referenced her 3D game model, concept art, and appearances in the game to make her as accurate and properly-scaled as possible, given my body shape.

This photo is from Sakuracon 2012 and was taken by Sang Hoon Shin (thank you again!). I use it with permission, and did all of the Photoshop work. Original photo is here (first image in gallery).

Please ask my permission before using this photo in any way. Do let me know if you link to it!

Thanks very much for your views and comments! I appreciate them all! :heart:
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Spartan-Muffins Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hello! I was looking through some of your progress photo's and have a couple of questions about how you made the tail. I have looked at other tutorials for carving and sculpting upholstery foam but I was wondering how you first started shaping it. Did you draw out the pattern and shape it with scissors from there or did you do something else? Also what are those black clips you used to attach it to your head sculpt? I ask because I am starting a project soon involving making a prosthetic latex body suit of a Zora and thought you're inventive methods could help :) 
HylianJean Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014
I drew a side image to scale and planned out the sizes of the cross-sections as they descended down the tail, then glued appropriately-sized chunks together and shaped them with scissors. 
The black things aren't clips, they're just pieces of foam-core board glued together over the top of my head toward a plaster piece molded to my forehead.
Spartan-Muffins Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the speedy reply, that's really helpful! Did you use a certain thickness for the upholstery foam? 
HylianJean Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014
Just whatever worked that I had on hand, so, a variety of thicknesses. 
Spartan-Muffins Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Okay, thank you for all the help.
Rammleaf Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is absolutely amazing!!
Can I ask you, what kind of material did you use for the fins, and where did you get it?
I'm planning on making a zora costume as well (not rutela), and i'm looking for the right materials, can you help me out with this one? Thank you and please keep up the good work, this is fantastic!
HylianJean Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
Thank you! I'm happy you think so!

The fins are just a costume fabric from Jo-Anne's. I'm not actually sure what it's called. I do know that it creases very easily and then the creases are almost impossible to remove, so you have to be quite careful with it. 

What sort of zora are you making? I have a variety of zoras I want to make someday too, I just haven't been able to prioritize them over all my other projects.
Rammleaf Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the info!

I'm making a zora that doesn't really exist in zelda i think haha, more of my own interpetation
a mix between this and that..
purple, white & turkooise :) A head fin like Rutela's, and ears more like Ruto's.. I think I have to get a morphsuit as well haha it's gonna be so much fun to make it! I'll let you know how it turns out, ok? :D
HylianJean Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
Please do! :)
TheDoorWithin Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've seen this picture in so many places, it's famous! And you deserve that fame too! This is amazing, I hope to become as good of a cosplayer as you someday! :)
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