What Batman really gets up to in his batcave

Behind the scenes of Poison Ivy

This blog will hopefully be the first of many, exploring the process behind creating some of the compositions you can find in the featured gallery.

In many ways, cosplay and themed photography shoots are only as good as the model you have to work with. In the case of Poison Ivy, I had the pleasure of working with the very beautiful and talented Playboy Miss Social August 2014 model Candice Elizabeth.

Of course, when it comes to re-creating a character so well documented in a variety of forms, from the original DC comic books, film adaptations (Batman and Robin), and popular graphic artists such as ‘Stanley Lau‘ and of course, the Halloween wardrobe of curvaceous socialite Kim Kardashian, there is a lot of inspiration to go by. Despite the number of ready-to-buy costumes available, I had fallen in love with Stanley Lau’s interpretation of Poison Ivy, for me, Lau’s Ivy was the perfect combination of beauty, wildness and sexy – whilst being capable at either wooing Batman into a trans or disposing of him.

With my mind set, model selected, the challenge then became the costume. Determined to keep the same style of Poison Ivy as Lau had penned, I realised this was likely not going to be a case of browsing for a matching costume online, it wouldn’t exist. For those costumes out there that came close, in one respect or another, they lacked realism (as much as one can judge the realism of a costume that is based on a comic book character).

Ultimately, digitally creating the costume for Candice was going to be the only way forward. Being inspired by the INCREDIBLE works of Mike Roshuk, Illustrator/Graphics specialist, best known through the internet for his Princess Warrior series, I set my heart to the task of digitally creating Candice’s Poison Ivy costume.

Not having the penmanship ability’s of Roshuk or Lau, the Poison Ivy costume was not drawn, rather, it was created using stock imagery, and in the case of the corset piece, it was quite literally leaf by leaf.

Therefore, with a physical costume not being relevant for the shoot we shot using a green bikini set – obviously, the less clothing to deal with the more freedom I had for imposing my own Poison Ivy costume over top. The sequences were shot against a white backdrop initially, followed by a repeat of the sequence on a black backdrop (a personal preference to shooting with a green screen – to be discussed another day).

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Being there for the process, I was super amazed by how the shots ended up. The detailed outfit itself was so impressive and the backgrounds were very detailed. I was particularly impressed with the video – made from just one simple shot and turned into a minute long piece complete with zooming and panning. Looking forward to doing another shoot utilising Chris’ digital manipulation skills next month. — Candice Elizabeth

Once the costume came together, the rest was easy, and with the soundtrack for the Batman movies blaring through the speakers, I sunk back into my chair and began creating the backdrops for my DC villain.

The first backdrop I developed (most likely thanks to the action-packed soundtrack sequence I was listening to at the time) involved a street scene with ivy spewing out from beneath the streets, strangling cars and wreaking havoc.

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As much as I loved the journey of creating this setting for my newly created Poison Ivy, the blue fog version below remains my favorite.

With the success of Poison Ivy, a recreation of both the DC and Marvel universes is still in progress, with new heroes and villains being forged, some of whom you will see in the feature gallery.

Some more before and after comparisons.

The Poison Ivy collection can be viewed in the feature gallery, here.

Photo shoot Credits:

  • Model: Candice Elizabeth
  • MUA: Dollvina Van Luyn
  • Digital SFX: Equinox Studios