HM3: Male spandex update

With Mark Shute’s advice, I have refined the way Legwear is apportioned and, accordingly, have updated the Legwear-MaleSpandex set of items for HeroMachine 3. I’ve added roughly double the number from before, and you can see how I’m breaking them out here:

When I first did Spandex, I was on my high horse about the “right” way to use HeroMachine 3, using layers and masking and patterns with just a handful of the basic items to make pretty much whatever you want. Since then, I’ve moderated my thinking and understand that not everyone wants to work that hard, even the hard-core users who know how to do it the more advanced way. Also, the true vertical and horizontal patterns don’t always look right when laid over the angled legs. So I ported over the most popular legwear patterns from HeroMachine 2, including the fishnet, the stars, and the hand-drawn chain mail.

Mark helped me set on a template for how to divide the leg up per the online discussion we all had, so hopefully it will be easier and more visually persuasive to manually position these pieces for alternate poses.

Due to the tapering of the bottom of the thigh, it’s harder to make different length “shorts” with these spandex items than it will be when I give Pants the same treatment, but the idea is the same.

Anyway, hope you like this update. I’m now going to return to Pants to try and get those in line.

45 Responses to HM3: Male spandex update

  1. Now here’s the question: Jeff may be working on a “pants” update, but, as a guy who does his work from his home in middle-of-nowhere Colorado, is Jeff actually wearing pants himself whilst he completes this work?

    Things that make you go hmmmm…

  2. Excellent additions to the legwear category. I hope you will cover these additions to the male tops and to the female spandex section. =) HM3 is coming along very nicely.

    Mr. Q

  3. While I am slightly uncomfortable with close-ups of male crotches in spandex, I do still appreciate all the great work and updates we’re getting lately! :)

  4. Oh bless you.

    I understand your original thinking, but you’re right. And it may not even be an issue of wanting to not work that hard, but keep in mind, the more advanced you try to go, the trickier it gets. The trickier it gets, the more stubborn Hero Machine decides to be. So, thanks Jeff.

  5. I am not sure what everyone else thinks of the way you are breaking the spandex up into pieces in this new update, but I for one don’t care for it at all. The Boxer shorts look is ok if you have a hero that is wearing shorts, with his legs bare, but it doesn’t work at all if you are going for something like let say, stars and stripes look where the Legs are the stripes and the “underwear” part is the stars pattern. The boxer short look doesn’t work for that kind of mix and match look, at least not for me it doesn’t

  6. Kaldath, I’ll be doing a set of “Briefs” in all likelihood at some point for the classic “super-hero underwear” sorts of spandex, with all these same pattern breakdowns. Note that there’s still such a piece at the beginning of this set, so you can still keep using that just as you were — put your stripe pants underneath and the briefs on top with the stars pattern or whatnot applied to it, just like before.

    The problem with breaking the hips portion off at the crotch line is that you can’t really then move the thigh piece off any, or it makes for a big gap. I tried including the higher curve on the thigh piece instead, but the same problem persists.

  7. Watson Bradshaw

    Sweet additions to the leg wear! Hero Machine 3 is getting more and more awesome with each new update.
    you guys are rock-stars :)

  8. I’d Also suggest removing the line from then bottom of the Boxers legs. Playing around with the new spandex I noticed if I have to layer the Thigh piece underneath the Boxers to get the pose to look right, then you get the line running right across the leg when the boxers and thigh pieces meet.

  9. Without that bottom line on the hips section, you can’t then use that section by itself, though.

    Look, there’s no way to make this perfect when you start rotating and moving things. The best I can do is get it to where it looks good as pre-set, and try to factor in the most likely sorts of transformations people will make. For instance, I tried to make a curve at the top of the lower leg pieces so that if you do rotate it, there won’t be a line gap most of the time (though as I said, there are plenty of positions where that won’t help either).

    I’ll do what I can to accommodate the transformation of features but this isn’t a 3-D modeler, you’re basically moving static pieces of flat paper around a pivot, it’s not always going to fit.

  10. maybe add the pieces without the lines into Male Briefs, so they are available for use, but don’t clutter up the spandex section taking up valuable room.

  11. @Kaldath – I partially disagree with you about the line at the bottom of the briefs pieces. I’ve done a lot of experimentation and I can’t come up with a leg pose where you’d want to layer the thigh beneath the briefs. Maybe there is one. If anyone comes up with one, please post a picture of an example. If you layer a rotated thigh OVER the brief, then the line at the bottom of the brief is not an issue. See the right thigh in this example here…

    http://www.terpconnect.umd.edu/~mshute/spandex.png

    Now that said, I think that the thighs need to extend up just a wee bit higher to cover the line in the default position. The left thigh is in the default position and it is layered above the briefs. Yet the the line is still visible. If the thigh extended just a few pixels higher, it would cover the line and make the spandex look like a continuous garment.

  12. @Mark: Try using the new pieces to cover the legs together “flying” pose. Rotating the Thigh piece inwards creates a gap on the outer side of the leg. To fill the gap you need to stretch the thigh piece a bit ( so it still reaches down to the knee ) then move the thigh up. Moving it up Puts the inner leg side of the thigh directly over the crotch. If I then layer it under the Boxers section it looks fine except for the Line.

  13. Me, Myself & I

    I am certainly not scared to put a little work into my creations but I for one am very pleased to see this update. Jeff, you are correct that many of these effects can be created using the masking feature or various tricks. I find however that it certainly is not as good an effect as the pieces drawn with that intention. This is especially true of the curves of the muscles etc. Furthermore, as was mensioned above, all the special tools that are required to do these effects with masking make an image a LOT more complicated and the result is often glitchy behavior as we’ve all experienced. Simpler images means better behavior it seems.

  14. @Kaldath – Ah! I see what you mean…

    http://www.terpconnect.umd.edu/~mshute/spandex2.png

    In this example, all pieces are at 100%, and the left and right thighs and calves are rotated 10° and -10° respectively. Yes, this pose could be used for flying, standing at attention, or balancing on a very small surface. Good call Kaldath!

    However, I believe that the simpler solution would be for Jeff to add a, um… ahem… “package” item that could be layered above the two thigh pieces. That should adequately cover the awkward lines at the crotch, and depending on the situation, the alpha channel of one or both colors of the “package” could be set to zero to allow the pattern to show through.

    I can think of all sorts of alternate uses for the “package” anyway–places I’ve been using that one nose that looks like a bent line.

  15. Have you plan the same upagrade fore spandex tops ?

  16. Ok, With the use of a standard “brief” piece, a second boxer brief to mask to it and resize a bit, I was able to get the flying leg pose.

    http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll49/Kaldath/Test.png

  17. Why am I not seeing the new pieces at all?

  18. @CPrime: Try clearing your cache

  19. Score. thanks man.

  20. Me, Myself & I

    I could be wrong Jeff but I think that one of these spandex checker pattern panels is populating with the wrong color.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6781672/Missing%20Color%20Panel.jpg

  21. You could add a horizontal stripes patterned style.

  22. I like the updates, but with one exception. I would prefer if the thin strip currently integrated into a full pair was separate instead. I don’t like to lose the 2 color definition of the article just to get a thin stripe down the side. Otherwise, I am most pleased.

    @John: that was a visual you could have kept to yourself.

  23. Lower legs! Yes! Flipping around arm pieces for legs doesn’t work as well on the male body as on the female, so this is great!

  24. MMI (20): Sure ’nuff, thanks. I’ve corrected it and will update in a bit.

    I don’t quite follow the “package” suggestion. Mark, would you be willing to draw something up? I’m happy to add it if it helps, I just don’t quite know what is needed.

  25. Jeff, you’re a gentleman and a scholar. I’ve been waiting for this update.

    As others have said, it’s not so much that having these options is the ‘easy way out’, it’s that when you try to use multiple items/maskings, HM gets glitchy and you can’t create what you’re visualizng anyway. This will cut down on the need for so many masks and layers, AND allow for more anatomically correct positioning.

    I think what Mark meant by a ‘package’ item (you should just call it that :D ) was to draw out the lines intersecting at the crotch, with no outer border lines – essentially, that spandex/male/brief item, with no top/belt line, and the groin/upper thigh lines tapering off midway across.

  26. Like this:

    http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk178/Diamond197207/package.jpg

    That way, what you’re left with is a piece that you can rotate slightly for characters that are leaning, or jumping, or in a Captain Morgan pose, etc., with no annoying bits that you have to try to mask out.

  27. All righty, I’ve updated Legwear-MaleSpandex with the following changes:

    – Fixed the missing color check per MMI (20).
    – Changed the eighth item from the rather odd Brazilian banana-hammock thing to the “package” per the suggestions above, and good images from Mark and Imp. I hope it’s what you wanted, by all means let me know if not.
    – Added four new items making for a single leg stripe, so you can overlay it without losing the two-tone colors per Mr.MikeK (22).

    You may have to empty your cache again to see the updated version.

  28. Nice updates Jeff.

    This makes HM3 more flexible and versatile.

    I can’t wait for the next legwear update :)

  29. Yep, that should work nicely.

    Man, if you’d told me a year ago that today I’d be suggesting ways to implement drawings of male packages…

  30. you dah man, Jeff!

  31. While everything is coming along nicely, I do wish that there were more updates to the Female sections. There are so few choices for women’s clothing in HM3 and I like doing female characters more than male characters. There also needs to be more updates with regards to Weapons and Patterns.

  32. I second the need for more Patterns; that could be one of the most awesome features of HM3 if we had a broader palette to work from…

  33. There’s no more room for patterns under the “pattern” tab, but I could put some in the PatternsStandard set. When the time comes I’ll ask for suggestions.

    Female conversions will come when the male sets are nailed down. All in good time.

    I honestly can’t believe you’re saying Weapons need more updates. There are ten times as many weapons as anything else, I’m scratching my head wondering just what else I could possibly do in that regard.

  34. Sheaths and scabbards, Jeff.

  35. Hmm, anyone else getting the same problem as me?

    I can’t see the items at all, even after clearing my cache, very strange!!

    The last items on the list onscreen for me are the star items, very odd indeed.

  36. Me, Myself & I

    Jeff, I agree about the amount of weapons, especially guns. I see nothing wrong with there being more but quite frankly there are likely more than I’ll ever use. There are so many other fundamentals (like legwear fantasy armor, etc.) that still need to be fleshed out that I would emphasize focussing on them for now.

  37. Me, Myself & I

    A few extra Scabbard’s and sheaths aren’t a bad idea though as thejay (35) mentions.

  38. Not that I think it is “needed” per se, but the only thing I can think to add to weapons and which would be a a good addition ( but wouldn’t worry about until everything else is finished first including the women stuff conversions ) would be High Tech, and Mystical Melee weapons. Swords that looks like they are futuristic and have a Vibro energy Field, Blades and other weapons Made out of fire and or lightning, That sort of thing.

    Those are the only things I think HM3 is lacking in the weapons department, they are not essential, and as I said if you were to consider doing them they most certainly can wait until the end to do.

  39. @Scorpidius: Try a different browser and see if you are having the same problem.

  40. Sorry to Triple Post, but. What I think HM3 really needs is Backpane- Capes & Cloaks. There is a very limited number of Capes and cloaks to choose from and in my opinion only 1 of them is any good for any dynamic poses. Also most of those capes he have right now, don’t mess all the well with the Capes shoulder update.

  41. @Jeff (34): Yep, that’s what I meant, Patterns/Standard, not the grayscale patterns. (Which are awesome in their own right too.)

    @Kaldath (41): I agree about the capes and the way they don’t really mesh well with the shoulder pieces.

  42. Me, Myself & I

    The obvious question that hasn’t been asked yet is, are you going to go back to the Spandex tops and make matching tops for the new bottoms?

  43. @ Me, Myself & I
    I think that’s the first thing that was said in the comments… (Yes, I’m pretending that comment #1 doesn’t exist. The image is too disturbing.)

  44. Me, Myself & I

    @NEON_N64 (44)

    Well I guess I’m blind in one eye and can’t see in another. You are absolutely correct.