HeroMachine 3.0 begins

Today I am officially starting on HeroMachine 3.0; I even created a folder for it on my hard drive, so you know it's serious!

It will be built on the same code base as the recent Warrior and Horror Minis, meaning it will have all of those features (scalability, custom colors, line colors, movable items, rotation, transparency, multiple items in a slot) and more. During the discussion of those minis, I kept a list of feature requests that seemed like particularly good ideas, and I am listing them below. Take a look and let me know any other stuff you'd like to see HM3 have.

  • Magnifying glass zoom feature
  • Pre-set pose/body style buttons to recreate classic builds.
  • Preview mode.
  • "clone" button
  • On the scaling tool, a button "keep proportion" would be useful.
  • Pop up asking if you really want to delete ALL items.

I've still got some work to finish on both the Zombie Mini and the general Horror Mini but hopefully that'll be done in the next two weeks, and can go on concurrently with the HM3 stuff.

I'm very excited, and I have high hopes that this will all come together very quickly!

40 Responses to HeroMachine 3.0 begins

  1. Sefy says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Excellent job. I am really excited about HM3 that I can’t wait for it to be done.
    As for maybe more features that I hope to see in HM3,
    are some the features from the previous HM2.5 version that I haven’t seen in all of the minis so far.
    – Different Poses
    – Face parts, and not just fixed faces (eyes, noses, mouths, eyebrows, etc)

    But really, what you’ve done so far is just amazing! Keep on the great job.

    Sefy 🙂

  2. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks Sefy! There are separate face pieces in the “Head” category of at least one of the minis so far, but 3.0 will have them broken out into specific slots to make them easier to find, I suspect.

    And again, as far as poses go, the idea behind 3.0 is that you’ll be able to move arms, legs, hands, etc. around to pose the face-on figure yourself.

  3. Kaldath says:

    A wider and slightly taller canvas area would be nice. A problem I keep running into when creating characters is the larger handheld items, as well as things like wings, and the bottom corners of cloaks/capes usually get cut off by the edge of the canvas area. so up to half the item is no longer in the picture.

  4. amathakathi says:

    Perhaps, taking note of that Brazilian rival heromachine, a texturizer?
    Instead of solid pattern, you would be able to put in a repeating pattern of some kind.
    You can have more detail in your hero without great effort – especially with these small patterns becoming more and more popular nowadays in comics (I noticed them on Spiderman, Superman, etc.)
    Anyway, good to hear HM3 is in the works, keep it up!

  5. Jeff Hebert says:

    Yes, you can already do that in all of the recent Minis. It will also be a part of HM3.

  6. Kaldath says:

    Also, when drawing the different body parts for custom posing, I have them at as many differing angles as possible .. Example: Arm- have a straight unbent arm, a arm at a 45 degree angle bend, another at 90 degrees, a fourth at 135 degree angle and whatever other arm posses you can think of, perhaps even separate upper arm and forearm sections like you did with the legs in the Modern Warrior Mini

  7. Jeff Hebert says:

    Yes, the body will be broken down into many component parts, from many angles.

  8. Fabien says:

    I repeat myself but a morphing tool seems be a good thing :
    The principle is simple. You select a zone of an item and you stretch the selection.

  9. Kaldath says:

    Thinking about it, Is there a way you can add a check box that when selected would link all the items together as if it were one continuous item, so that when you use the resize tool or the rotation tool, it would keep all the items currently in use grouped together and would resize, or rotate them all at once ? The reason behind this is you can build your character as you like, then click the box and resize it to Brick proportions, or down to Dwarf/Hobbit proportions

  10. Jeff Hebert says:

    That was definitely part of the original idea, although the way the Minis have shaken out it’s a bit more challenging. But doable, yes, and I think worthwhile. In fact I originally intended a whole hierarchy, so you could choose to distort/move groups of objects at various settings, like hand+forearm, entire arm, entire torso, lower leg + foot, entire leg, both legs, etc.

    The hard part of that is that in Flash you can only drag one thing at a time. Originally I planned on nesting all of these various movie clips within each other in the actual flash movie itself, which is probably what I am going to have to do. In the minis, it was basically a flat structure, with all of the slots existing together in one clip on the same level.

  11. Ballin' Boy says:

    One thing is when you “Flip” an object then resize it, it kind of goes haywire and un-Flips.

    And is it possible to save drafts or something, so if you want to save a character to edit later you can do that, since the screenshot thing thing means you have to be sure. (though I like that, please don’t get rid of it.

    A song for your unselfishness.

    I have a lot of webpages bookmarked on things I’m hoping make it in. If you do make a seperate post just for HM3 ideas maybe putting it on the side for an easy one click thing would be cool

  12. Ballin' Boy says:

    Also I wanted to know, how many items are going to be allowed in HM3? Will it be the same amount as HM2 or less since we can resize?

    Anyway thanks for you generosity of this gift on the world. If I was any good at writing, I would make an epic poem about you like The Illiad or something.

  13. Ballin' Boy says:

    Sorry one more thing can we also have a button like HM2 where you press it and it puts the layer all the way to the top or all the way to the bottom with one click. Seems especially important with these new apps.

  14. Jeff Hebert says:

    You lost me on that “put it on the side” thing, Ballin’ Boy, what do you mean?

    Yeah, the flipping thing is a bit wonky, particularly for Left/RightHand items that are themselves already flipped before they’re loaded.

  15. TheNate says:

    Speaking of poses, it might be interesting to have “hero” and “villain” poses/options Basically, the heroes would have a more forthright posture (like in the current HM), like a typical superman stance, while the villains would be more hunched and shadowy, like Lex Luthor when he’s scheming.

    Instead of creating a lot of new clothes for each pose, it could be done through a neutral stance and some tricks of lighting and shading.

  16. Danny Beaty says:


  17. Ballin' Boy says:

    Oh sorry I shouldn’t be allowed to talk to people sometimes. I’m a little duh sometimes. This is why I can’t write the epic poem. I just meant a button at the side of the page for a hero machine suggestion box.

    I guess when you look as good as I do, the brain function has to suffer. Hahahaha.

    You guys rule

  18. MontanaPlayer says:

    Jeff, will we see the various updated items from the mini’s, including the horror and zombie, in HM3? Please say yes! 🙂

  19. Level says:

    Instead of having preset slots and the dupe tool, how about a sortable layer stack?
    I made a quick mock up of how it could be.
    You would pick the category when you create a new layer.
    You could add and remove layers, so you could have all the slots you need and only what you need.
    You could change the layer order by clicking up or down or by typing it in, I would also suggest being able to drag the layers up and down.
    You may also be able to have nested layers, so when one layer is changed the ones in it change with it.

  20. Jeff Hebert says:

    @MontanaPlayer: Yes, that’s my hope. Not every item, as some are sort of copyrighted, but most of them.

    @Level: That’s an interesting idea. I’ll have to think about that. Thanks for sharing it, it’s spurring a lot of thought here.

  21. Niall Mor says:

    Awesome news, Jeff! Will 3.0 eventually be downloadable?

  22. Jeff Hebert says:

    Not sure, Niall. It’s too early to tell and it’ll be a business decision in any case (i.e. not mine).

  23. LoneWolf6155 says:

    I would like more greyscale colors or a slider to adjust the greyscale for each color. Heromachine 2 and 2.5 had lots of greyscale colors.

  24. tristan says:

    sounds great will their be as amy items as hm2?
    and could you make more robotic items like astro boys arm?

  25. Freddy says:

    Bigger Canvas sounds great.
    I think some more of those basic color choosing possibilies would be good. IE, sliders for Saturation, Brightness… The ability to save a color for later in the session. i always have trouble getting a custom color again.

    A lot more options for hair and eyes is another thing that stands out to me.

    There are more but i can’trt think about them right now…

  26. Scorpidius says:

    Hi Jeff

    This is great news!

    Just wondering if the app will have a print button like 2.5?

    I know you have “save to jpg” on the mini’s but with the print button you could save the warriors to pdf and the image quality was fantastic, where the jpg image is not as good.

    Looking forward to watching this progress!

    Will you be recreating the 2.5 items to go in too?

    Don’t forget plenty of Fantasy stuff!

    Great work Jeff


  27. Eric says:

    I’ve got a few ideas for items. And how about a “reset positon” button?

    Thanks Jeff!

  28. Jeff Hebert says:

    The basic idea is to have tons and tons and tons of items, like in 2.5 but moreso.

    There will be a print button, just like in the recent Minis, in addition to the Save as JPG.

    As far as extra color controls, I doubt I’ll be spending time developing that. I think the color grid is enough tool without being too much, if you know what I mean. I would like to add the ability to save the custom colors locally so they’re available every time you use the app.

  29. Whit says:

    Steampunk elements are very versatile. 🙂

  30. Scorpidius says:

    Apologies Jeff, the mini’s DO have a print button, my mistake!

    Loving the sound of all those items!


  31. Danny Beaty says:

    Will you still the same body types? I hope so. I hope you will add teen male and female body types. I look forward to HeroMachine 3.0. Will it be downloadable for free or will it have to be purchased? Keep up the great work, and let’s all wish the best for President Obama.

  32. Jeff Hebert says:

    It’ll be free, just like the current one, supported by ads in the applet itself (unfortunately). I doubt it’ll be downloadable, but that’s not my call. At least some of the features (like the save to JPG) depend on access to an online server, it renders using the PHP graphics engine.

    In theory you’ll have access to lots of differently scaled body parts, but the base will probably be the same one from either the game contest applet or the Zombie/horror one.

    I can see that organizing all the bits is going to be the hard part.

  33. Aaron says:

    Hero Machine Community:

    Good luck on the most recent version of Hero Machine. My main request centers on more options for more objects (human and alien/fantasy alike), i.e. more eyes, noses, ears, hairstyles, monster skins, skin variations, etc. I’m a fantasy writer in the making, so I’m way into all of that.

    Again, good luck!

  34. Anonymous says:

    An undo feature would rock, especially one that worked on things like “clear all colors”.

  35. monkeyboy says:

    add folders and crease to the clothing,
    a peg leg,wrinkles in the face and the skin it would make them seem that their old or mutated ,robotic arm,
    a head quarters for a back around

  36. monkeyboy says:

    make a villain machine so our hero can fight someone

  37. monkeyboy says:

    here are more ideas have the ventriloquist dummy from batman,a wizard staff,
    i-pod,balding hair,hell boy horns and ponytail,tubes,flames,
    King Penguin head

  38. monkeyboy says:

    Penguin,robot,pirate,ninja,spaceman,Polar Bear,Boelen’s Python,motorcycle,little transformers,demons,lions,Tasmanian Devil, Gorillas,hyenas,lynx,skunk,coyote,hog,mole,
    secret squirrel,velociraptor

  39. cybersavant says:

    I was playing around with Hm3.0; i saved a character alien try1: there doesn’t seem to be a matched left hand for the 3 finger version. Also, when scaling, i can’t quite get the hands large enough to match the arm lines. I really love the multiples option, as you can tell if you can view the saved character.

    Keep up the great work!!