Character Contest 5 Winners

After the jump I have the winners of Character Design Contest 5: Fantasy Edition. That's right, I said winnerS, plural; there were so many great entries (42 different individuals contributed 186 separate illustrations, which is mind-blowing) that I couldn't decide on just one. So I'll be showing you what I consider to be the best examples from five different categories, each of which will win either one item of their choice or a caricature of their head to be included in the HeroMachine 3 program!

Many thanks to everyone who entered; as always, if you don't see one of yours called out here, it's due to lack of space and not a lack of ability or creativity on your part. There's only so much room, after all!

And now, your winners (WARNING: Lots of very large images to follow, users with slow connections beware!).

Best series: Several people included multiple illustrations from a series, which really blew my mind. First, your honorable mentions in this category are ...

Whit's "Fairies":

Kaldath's "LaDamor" family:

But for the winner, I chose "SilentBilbo" and his "Celestial Knights" group:


While all of the series were very strong, I liked the very clean, consistent look of the Knights and their strong sense of individuality within a group setting. Well done SilentBilbo!

Best non-human
A lot of great non-humans were submitted, and here were some of my favorites.

Hammerknight's "Blue Minotaur":


Isia's "Zandarian Headhunter":

Legatus' "Bull Troll":

Haydn's "Wood Nyph" -- notice how cleverly and effectively he has used line color here, very cool:


The winner, though, has to be Damien's "Fierra Feyrune", which displays a remarkable level of delicacy with patterning and the innovative use of non-standard items to create a really cool looking chick:

Congratulations Damien!

Best human
This was probably the toughest call, because there were a heck of a lot of great entries involving regular old humans. First, your honorable mentions ...
Imp's "Dwarven Merchant" -- hey, dwarves are humans! Midgets too, pal, you can look it up!

Scorp's "Rondar" -- Scorp continues to be one of the most prolific and expert users of HeroMachine, his characters really have a wonderful sense of diversity and personality:

Megagoober's "Infeas Firek" (at least, at one phase of his evolution):


And finally, the winner is another long-time HeroMachine savant, Violodion, and his Scottish inspired "Cron'ag":


Congratulations Violodion!

Most Innovative
How Hammerknight does some of the things he does, I frankly don't know, but somehow he got an entire scene, including walls, statues, a medusa, and an avenging Greek hero:

Solander's "Blind Monk" just makes me laugh, while still being a darn good drawing:

The winner, though, has to be MARX's "Barbarian Elf Chick", which got a lot of accolades in the comments, and is an awesome example of the kind of posing you can get if you're willing to fiddle enough:


Best overall character
Finally, I wanted to choose one image to honor the spirit of the original contest, which was just to make an awesome looking character visual. Frankly, I was blown away by several of this guy's creations, to the point that he almost could have won more than one of the categories I finally settled on. So I want to give him props by putting up two of his, either of which is deserving of a win on its own. That way I don't have to pick just one, because he's a winner either way! I give you Xavier Kain's "Lizardman" and "Valkyrie", some of the finest examples of HeroMachine-sourced illustrations I have seen to date. Well done sir!


Thanks again to all of you who were so generous with your time and creativity as to share your characters with us! I hope you enjoyed seeing what everyone came up with as much as I did. And now, I am off to feed horses, but check back later tonight for the next Character Creation Contest and YOUR chance to win immortality!

39 Responses to Character Contest 5 Winners

  1. Avatar Solander says:

    Awesome entries all of them. Congrats to Xavier Kain, MARX, Violodion, SilentBilbo and Damien for winning the different categories!

    And thanks to Jeff for hosting this awesome contest!

  2. Avatar JR says:

    darn, didn’t make it, oh well….better luck next time time i geuss.

  3. Avatar The Imp says:

    Congratulations, guys! Y’all deserved the win(s), especially Marx. I still can’t get over how cool that elf chick looks.

  4. Avatar RJ_McD says:

    v i guess your highlander was better then mine congrats

  5. Avatar JR says:


  6. Avatar RJ_McD says:

    jeff i give up i get my butt kicked again ;(

  7. Avatar Xavier Kain says:

    Wowzers, I didn’t expect to be among the winners, especially with such insane competition. That was fun and i really enjoy working with the program, congrats to all the other winners. 😀 good job guys.

  8. RJ, don’t be like that. Everyone gets a chance to win on here, and Jeff had a LOT of entries to go through this time. Heck, this is my first time winning ANY contest, and I contributed to all sorts of Caption Contests before I got so much as a runner-up; I never won a single one.
    Part of my duties on here, according to what Jeff and I talked about, is to write a weekly column on using Hero Machine. I think he mostly picked me for that because I’m crazy, but you never know…Anyway, tune in whenever that starts and maybe you’ll pick up some ideas. I’ll be covering all sorts of topics as I go. Hope to see you next contest, RJ!

  9. Avatar RJ_McD says:

    D you have always been a good friend to me . thanks i just feel like the kid getting the towles for the quarter back around the pros here

  10. Avatar darkvatican says:

    It’s a good thing I didn’t expect to win. I had fun making the pics, though, and that’s what it’s all about! Huzzah to the winners! Huzzah, I say!

  11. Avatar MegaGoober says:

    Woo! I finally made it in the finals, at least! I’ll try and get an ever better shot… Next time, on Dragonball Z!! (lol, just sumpin my friends and I do all the time)

  12. Avatar RJ_McD says:

    next contest : alternate universe versions of current heroes well without the cr police coming down on us 😉

  13. Avatar RJ_McD says:

    *the preseding constest is not real or endorced by jeff or his room full of lawyers 😉

  14. Avatar RSC5 says:

    Wow! I’m always amazed at the contest entries, but these poses and designs really look fantastic. Shame I don’t have the patience to play around with it like this, or the connection, but kudos to everyone who is. (And does.)

  15. Avatar Meg says:

    It’s really not cool to be bitter like that. Jeff gives everyone a fair shake, and the winners and finalists were ASTOUNDINGLY cool and completely deserve their prizes. Congratulations to all of the winners!

  16. Avatar RJ_McD says:

    megs all the guys here know i’m teasing ;)i’m, in shock how good they are

  17. Avatar Ky2030 says:

    @ Jeff. Regarding your choices how hard was it to choose the winners…I would think that your brain would be half if not completely fried after sorting through all the awesome creations you were presented with

  18. Avatar Danny Beaty says:

    @Anyonewho knows: How did SilentBilbo get such big prints of his pics? Everytime I print a pic of something I made on HM3, I end up with a litle, tiny picture. I never had this problem with HM2.5.

  19. Avatar Worf says:

    CURSE that lack of time I had last week. oh well…
    Great entries everyone. You deserve it.

  20. Avatar Worf says:

    @Danny: I’ve explained it on another post, but here goes again, step by step:

    1) open paint (or a similar program)
    2) right click on your character’s head (for example) and select “zoom in” (you can do this more than once if you want a bigger picture)
    3) capture the browser image (i.e. with the browser selected press Ctrl-Alt-PrintScreen)
    4) paste that image into paint and remove the rest of the browser image, leaving only your character and background
    5) back on Hero Machine, right click and select “show all”
    6) rick click on the next part of hour character that you want to capture (say, right shoulder) and select “zoom in” the same number of times as in step 2.
    7) paste that image into paint taking care not to do it over the previous part of your hero, clean it as in step 4 and move the cleaned part to fit in with the previous image
    8) keep repeating steps 6 and 7 until you capture all of your character
    9) save.

    Hope that did it for you. I know it’s time consuming, but that’s how I do it. If anyone has a better way, please let us know.

  21. Avatar Worf says:

    BTW, that smiley face above is supposed to be an “8” with a “)” right next to it.

  22. Avatar Danny Beaty says:

    @Worf: That’s way too much trouble for something as simple as printing a full-sized picture. How come it was never that complicated printing stuff with HM2.5? Hopefully, Jeff will work out all the bugs. 7 steps just to print a full-sized pic. Jeebus flippin’ crust.

  23. Avatar Danny Beaty says:

    @Worf: Excuse me, 8 steps. But thanks for responding to my question.

  24. Avatar Worf says:

    @Danny: As I said, that’s just how I do it.. If anyone has a different or better method to get a high resolution picture, please jump in. I know it’s a little work, but I haven’t figured a better one yet. My “saves” from HM3 always seem to be the little guy stuck in the upper left quadrant of a very big and useless white page. (at least up to the last time I tried it).

  25. Avatar DJ says:

    Another easy way to get a picture of your character is if you happen to have Vista. Look for “Snipping tool” it allows you to snip portions from your browser to save as pictures.

  26. Avatar MartianBlue says:

    The way I do it is
    -Make your guy, scaling each part to your desired size as you go.
    -Once character is finished, go to transform and select ALL ITEMS option and scale to full size(using the circles).
    -Press Prt Sc buton, Paste to photoshop, paint, etc.
    -With ALL IITEMS still selected move character around on screen to get to other parts

    -Make sure you have ALL ITEMS selected in Transform for final scaling(I always take a quick screenshot just in case)
    -Takes 4 seperate screenshots in standard view or just 2 in wide screen

  27. Avatar Jeff Hebert says:

    Considering in 2.5 you couldn’t get a JPG or PNG out of the program AT ALL, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. You can still do like you did then, printing to a dummy PDF printer. Worf’s talking about the super-big versions rather than the default whatever it is, 400×600 you get right from the app.

    Note that eventually one of the print to JPG/PNG options will be to manually enter the size so you can make it however big you want while printing.

    Danny, if you’re getting the bug where the JPG or PNG you get out of the program’s built in mode just occupies a small section of a much larger image with lots of white space to its right and below it, I think that has something to do with a bug when having one of the Hand items rotated or something, I’m still trying to nail that down.

  28. Avatar violodion says:

    Heh, Jeff, couldn’t pick just one? 🙂

    Hope you enjoyed the 186 b-day presents!

    . . .

    For those with screenshot issues, wanting to get feedback, and/or see things which did not make this contest, do hop over to the UGO Forums’ “Hero Archives” & feel free to start a thread of your own.

  29. Avatar silentbilbo says:

    @Danny and Worf. I usually just have to zoom, cut and paste twice. Once, zooming in around the chest or stomach to get the top half, then around the knees to get the bottom half. Then line the two up in paint and save. Hope that helps.

    Wow, I’m really surprised I won. But since I did, can I please, please, please have my hammer I sent in? Trust me, no one(not even me) wants my face in Heromachine 3.:)

  30. Avatar Haydnc95 says:

    OMG! im a winner 😀 im soooooooooooo greatful and chuffed 🙂
    but the others are just waaaay better 😀

  31. Avatar Jeff Hebert says:

    Come on, Haydn, yours was great! Don’t forget to send me your item or caricature request. AFDStudios at gmail dot com.

  32. Avatar Danny Beaty says:

    @Jeff: When will those JPG/PNG sizing options be available?

  33. Avatar Jeff Hebert says:

    @Danny: No specific timeline, but quite a ways off. After the items get pretty much done. Possibly before the female stuff gets converted over, but several months at least.

    In the meantime there are plenty of other options, including the good old fashioned screen capture, just like you did with 2.x. It’s not really a priority at this point since the whole point of the app is to make web-ready images, not print-quality ones.

  34. Avatar Danny Beaty says:

    @Jeff: A thought: Add one pair of gloves with a hand part attached (like the whole gloves in HM2.5) to the gloves section. Doing so would allow users to give their characters hands while bypassing the left hand/right hand categories, which in turn would not mess-up the “save as PNG” mode. Also, adding just one pair of gloves shouldn’t take much of your time.

  35. Avatar paul says:


    HOw the heck did you make “Fierra Feyrune” legs and feet. I’ve been try to do that for a month! I am hoping Jeff will draw those style legs in HM3.

  36. Paul-
    First, I used the jodphurs [just-below-the-knee strutting general pants] from LegwearMaleStandard. (You’ll need two for masking.) Then I used the MaleMilitary upper legs and masked them into just the right positions to appear in different positions, even with the unmoving pants. With a few coloring differences, it made the right leg look further behind than the left. The feet were carefully arranged sets of flying boots from FootwearStandard and the flats/slippers/whatever from same. There was also some choice masking involved to hide the parts sticking out.

    Let me tell you, those feet were the second-most annoying part of the project, and I only say that because of the constant unmasking of the leg muscles every time I touched a new body part. My advice is to bug Jeff to put in more animal parts, since I’m now the Editing Widget and don’t have the right to harangue him about that stuff anymore 😀

  37. Avatar paul says:

    But you do collect the requests to do so. So add it to your list!

  38. Believe me, the list had a good chunk of requests for animal-human hybrid stuff. But like I said, kind of an abuse of position, ya know? I’m here to help Jeff now, not annoy him about the same stuff as two months ago. What, you wanna get me fired? 🙂

  39. Avatar Jeff Hebert says:

    By all means, annoy away! One of my great failings (and there are many) is that I am very forgetful. Things not constantly put before me just slip away into the fog, I’m afraid.