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Cosplayers are bringing cel-shaded characters to life

Last month a Redditor posted a photo of "Borderlands wig made out of foam by Goldvester Cosplay (opens in new tab)", showing a recreation of Gaige's hair from the Borderlands 2 Mechromancer DLC. Though the wig is a 3D object made out of foam, it's got heavy black outlining around it that makes it look like a cel-shaded 2D cartoon from any angle, and if you look at it long enough it'll hurt your eyes. The comments underneath that Reddit post are full of people saying "My brain refuses to interpret this properly" and "REDDIT is now CONFUSED!"

It's the work of Jennifer, aka Goldvester (opens in new tab), who specializes in brain-breaking cel-shaded cosplay. Here she is as Snow White from The Wolf Among Us.

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There are plenty of tutorial videos to show how these effects are achieved, like this one showing off bodypaint work, this one for clothes (opens in new tab), and this for prop work (opens in new tab). Though characters from Telltale games, comic books, and cartoons like Archer are popular inspirations, most of the cosplayers bringing cel-shading to life focus on the Borderlands games. Here's how Jennifer's Gaige ended up, as well as some shots of her as other Borderlands favorites Maya and Mad Moxxi. Plus, one more look at that downright eerie Snow White.

You can follow Jennifer's creations on Instagram (opens in new tab) and Twitter (opens in new tab).

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was published in 2015, he edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and actually did play every Warhammer videogame.