HM3 New Layout Test

If you’re feeling particularly brave, you might check out the new layout I’ve been coding for HeroMachine 3. It’s based on the excellent work of Mark Shute, who did a wonderful usability test for me a while back, and Jim Marcus of LiquidCrack.com who actually designed the whole thing (which I posted about in September). BIG thanks to both of those guys!

Here are a couple of screen grabs for those of you who can’t or don’t want to visit the live preview directly:


As you can see, it’s a lot slicker and more modern. The old gold and brown color scheme and layout were always intended as nothing more than placeholders for whatever design we ultimately settled on. And it’s certainly possible that at the end of the day, UGO will have their in-house design team do something different altogether.

In addition to the look-and-feel update, I’ve also moved some buttons around in an effort to group like-functions together more clearly and to make the initial user interface cleaner and less confusing. To that end I’ve moved the “Color All Skin/Hair” buttons to the new unified Color tab. I moved the “Flip” and “Mask” buttons to the Transform tab. I removed the “outline” feature since no one ever seems to use it, and it didn’t really work like I’d hoped.

I also added a few new features. For instance, you can now flip items vertically in addition to flipping them horizontally. Not sure how useful that’ll be, but it’s fun! I removed the “arrow action” buttons that were intended to be what you’d click to make the manual entries for alpha, location, rotation, and scale take effect, but which were rarely understood or used. Instead, you now just enter your value and either tab out of the box, or click on some other part of the screen, or hit ENTER, and whatever you typed in there will be implemented.

I also updated some of the more irritating text box limitations. For instance you can now manually enter a location figure up to 1000 if you want (note that this would put the item completely off-screen). And you can now enter negative numbers in the Rotate box.

Please give it a look-see and let me know what you think, any major bugs you find that weren’t there before, good and bad on the layout or control locations or really anything else you can think of. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

71 Responses to HM3 New Layout Test

  1. Nick Hentschel

    Just had a quick look before breakfast, but the “Transform” controls seem to be working much more reliably, so far. I *did* encounter a bug or two when switching between components, or when returning from widescreen view.

    I still think it needs a little more color, aesthetically speaking; grey-and-silver is simply too monochromatic.

  2. It’s very interesting. Much more organized than before. it took me a bit to navigate since i’m more used to the other style, but it’s better, in my opinion.

  3. Captain Kicktar

    Aye, ’tis better, but I did find an odd bug, I was loading the backgrounds-standard and the loading bar didn’t go away after it was finished, and if I loaded a different section of the backgrounds, the previews of both sections overlapped.

  4. Ok the first thing I am noticing with just less then 5 minutes of tinkering around with the new layout is that i HATE having to leave the item tab to flip an item. I know you want to intergrate all the transformation controls into one tab but it is going to be a real pain to have to go to a new panel just to flip a item. Perhapes you can add the flip command to that menu you get when hovering over an item on the selection screen.

  5. I might be the only person that has used the Outline button. I’ll be sad to see it gone.

    The new version looks amazing. I like the vertical flip. The whole program looks so much cooler and more user friendly. My one big suggestion is that you move where is says “Pre-Set Colors” and “Custom Colors.” It’s very easy to miss them (as it always has been).

  6. I like the more organized feel but I agree with Nick(1) it seems too dull without color. But then again it does look more modern. It would take some getting used to but I would adjust.

  7. ok, other then my previous comment about the flip button the only other thing I think is needed it improve the new layout is like everyone else is saying, its needs some color. The Screen is too dark and is a bit distracting. I’d personally suggest changing the skin color to a metallic silvery blue color, something that will lighten up the screen yet still look sleek and modern.

  8. I prefer the black-and-white colour scheme any day over the yellow one, but it is just my taste of colours. It takes a while to get used to where everything is in the test version, but it does make sense how things are arranged. I like it.

  9. I’ve only had time for a quick glance through so far, but on first impressions I like it overall. I like the sleeker design and how all the color controls are in one tab, and I agree the vertical flip is a great idea (I also like Kaldath’s idea of putting a flip option in the item selection).

    It might be mostly because I’m so used to the other version, but I found it a little disorienting that the “pattern” tab is at the end now instead of “transform.” Have to play with it some more and see how I can adjust to that, though it kind of makes more sense to me to have the “pattern” tab next to “color” since they kind of do similar things. It might even make sense for pattern and color to be in the same tab?

    I also think the “view” options could be more obvious, since it took me a bit of searching to find them. Maybe even just making the text of the word “view” white like the other buttons would fix that.

    @Jake (5): Just curious, what did you use the outline button for? I always wondered what that was supposed to be for…

  10. Just to play devil’s advocate: As far as the color thing goes, it seems like black and white would be a good choice for the skin of an art program like this, since colors can influence your perception of other colors nearby.

  11. I just noticed something that is going to cause problems. The Rotation wheel doesn’t need to be clicked on to use it. If you run your mouse past the wheel there’s a chance you’ll accidently rotate your currently selected item a bit. This needs to be changed to where you need to click on the control for it to go into effect and not left so free like it is now.

  12. @logosgal (9): I made nondescript outlines for various races in my DnD game. Then I printed them out and now I add things like scars to it. I made all of the line colors white and then used the outline tool. I figured if I kept the line of the body, the characters would just look naked (well, Barbie naked), which was not what I was going for. I hope that wasn’t too confusing. I sometimes have a hard time explaining things.

    In regards to the topic at hand, I agree that having the flip tool in the Transform section adds an extra, unnecessary click. I suggest adding the Flip buttons below the Color All Hair tab.

    I want to add that I think the Copy Color button is a great addition and will save me a whole lot of time.

    I’m a bit concerned that people will have trouble finding the headshot and widescreen view. That might not be a big deal. Oh, can we have a button to toggle that grid on and off? I could really get some use out of it.

    I personally like the color scheme. It’s better than what the current version uses, in my opinion. I look forward to when the order of the buttons is reordered. Probably the most awkward thing about that is in ItemRight, all of the items are in alphabetical order except for Energy, which is tacked onto the end.

  13. Me, Myself & I

    I kind of like the black template for the same reason that logosgal (10) mensioned. Some more contrast in it would help though. The light areas being truely white (in other words, more contrast) might make it easier to make some of the text out better. Besides, I don’t care if the navigation tools are exceedingly colorsful so long as they allow me to add whatever colors I need to to the image I’m creating. That is where the colors really matter in the end.

    Also the view options logosgal (9) mensioned are awkward to find. If I didn’t know to look for them it may have taken a few images before I realised they existed.

  14. By the way: the switch colour button would be nice to have. I keep putting the colours wrong way around. Now that the colours themselves are in the same tab, would it be possible?

  15. Hooray for negative rotation values! I don’t have to do math anymore (which I suck at). :-)

    @Kaldath (12): Don’t know about you, but I had the same problem with accidental rotation in the old layout, too. Always frustrating, that.

  16. unknownblackpaper

    Love!

  17. Ok, comments about the new look. For the most part, it looks really good. I especially like that the save/load dialog box now shows date and time of save.

    However, there are a couple of things I wondered about.

    When choosing prime color for an item, the gray text on the buttons ‘Second Color’ and ‘Line Color’ make them look unavailable, like you couldn’t select them at all. The same is true for the ‘Custom Colors’ tab. The main tabs – Items, Color, Transform, Pattern – have bright white text, but you can still tell which one is active.

    I’m really skeptical about the bar below the picture/workfield. The view controls feel really tucked away down there in the corner. And that explanatory text – is there really a point to it? The buttons are large enough to fit that text, and in most cases it’s unnecessary anyway. I mean, the button ‘Color All Hair’ has the help text ‘Color all hair’.

    A minor thing, but you probably want to increase the font size on the ‘Clear Pattern’ button, it’s a little hard to read.

    Also, I believe you forgot to mention one text box fix – that scale% number boxes now update when you select an existing item! I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve wished for exactly this many times.

  18. Me, Myself & I

    I really like the fact that the scale numbers show up now when you select an item that’s been scaled. Capital A Awsome!

  19. i’ll check it better later, but from a quick once over i like it. i like how organized it is.

  20. Thanks for the feedback so far! Here go general replies.

    General UI Color: I hesitate to speak for Jim the designer, but what *I* like about it is that keeping the controls monochromatic keeps all the color emphasis on the creation. Ideally your User Interface should keep respectfully in the background, allowing you to focus on your work.

    Flip button: If I were to move it out of Transform it would be the only non-function button that would be with the function controls. Why not move the Color Skin/Hair buttons back to the front, too? But then you’re back to a clutter of controls. I think once we have all the Right-hand items moved to their Left-hand counterparts, this will be much less of an issue.

    Position of Pattern tab: I’m not overly committed to the location either way. It’s where it is now because I tried to put the tabs in order of importance, or how often you’re likely to want them.

    View options: I’ll think about ways to make those more obvious. Maybe even just adding a “View” label just before them would help. They are kind of small but I also don’t want to take away valuable real estate from the character creation canvas.

    Outline button: I’m not AGAINST having it in there, it just seemed like hardly anyone used it. The goal originally was that it would tie the figure together, so if you had some body parts in odd positions that didn’t quite have black lines tying them together, you’d get a more unified look. But for whatever weird reason, Flash doesn’t have a “smooth line” type of feature, you have to use that jaggedy-edged glow effect, and it never really looked right.

    Swap Colors Button: Definitely something I want and plan to do. I just have to figure out how to fit it in and how to coordinate three colors instead of just the two I had in version 2. Now that all three colors are under one tab, that should be easier.

    Set order: Yeah, the ordering of the sets for each slot is currently haphazard. I need to decide on a logical way to order them, probably in alphabetical order I suppose.

    Rotation dial: That’s a carryover bug, it’s always been like that but I do need to fix it. Basically if you’re rotating by dragging the dial around and you mouse out too quickly, the dial never registers that you let go of it. So the next time your mouse goes in that area, it picks up the rotate bar thinking it’s still in rotate mode.

    Panner: Good point on the grayed-out color of the tabs, it would probably be better to keep them white and let the drop shadow carry the load of saying “This is not the current tab”.

    Explanatory Text: That’s mostly a “newbie” feature and for some of the more esoteric controls. The old layout had a much smaller space the words had to fit in, which is why the descriptions are a bit spartan. I need to expand those at some point.

    Scaling: Yes, I did update that functionality so now every time you pick an item or change items, the transform controls should all flip to show that item’s actual settings. It was always SUPPOSED to work that way, only it didn’t. Oops. Now it does though!

  21. Nick Hentschel

    Glad we helped, jeff. I forgot to mention that I do like having a “vertical flip” button as well, instead of having to hit Rotate every time. As for my reamrks about color, let me say that subtly tweaking the either one to be, say, a blue color or something), would be all the fix that it needs. The only problem right now is that we have two shades of the SAME color: grey.

    I’ll keep looking in on how the new interface works, and I’ll have more to add. I’ll try to keep it helpful.

  22. When you choose an item, a grey graph pattern comes up on the canvas until it is loaded. Anyway that can be an option to click on when constructing your image. It would help with lining items up or centering. I would also ask that the icons for changing between regular, faceshot and widescreen be made a tad bigger.

  23. Jeff I’m not asking to have the flip button moved out of the transformation tab what I am asking is to have on added to the individual item controls the are on each item in the item menu like you have layer controls there now

  24. I love the new layout so far.

  25. Kaldath: Oh, OK, I get it — sorry. Hmm … that’s such a small bar. But on the other hand, I don’t have a use yet for the “lock” button and don’t really see myself doing anything with it in the near future … So, you got it! Check it now, I’ve updated the program so the tool bar on the item has the flip button integrated.

    AMS (and the others who’ve requested it): I also added a “Toggle Grid Lines” button down below the canvas area next to the View buttons. That should toggle the grid on and off in the character creation window. I’m not sure if that prints, though, I’ll have to check it … I don’t think I WANT it to print if it’s on, how about you?

    Also, I enlarged the size of the View buttons so hopefully they’ll be more visible.

    I think that’s all I changed in this rev, check it out and let me know what you all think.

  26. OH! Also, the non-active color buttons now have white text.

  27. To add my two cents in. I like the color scheme, being color blind sometimes my colors run together, and say if there is a lot of yellow around greens and browns are sometimes hard to tell apart. I tried the color on this one and they look better to me, I’m not picking up the side colors. So far I like the controls. The big question is with this layout allow a larger working area if you were to move the view buttons over to the side?

  28. Here are my first impressions:

    Interface colors: overall, very good.

    Color button shading when not selected: the text should be the same color as the selected ones. This applies to preset and custom colors.

    Outline character button: I’ve never used it, but I don’t see it as being a problem. I say leave it for anyone that wants it.

    Vertical flipping: Cool addition.

    Load/save screens: Awesome idea putting the date/time there.

    Grid: Nice idea… Now if you could just add a snap to grid option….

    Now for a personal pet peeve: The custom color tab. The way you have it now, each time I input a color using any of the three methods provided, that new color is added to the next “empty” slot, no matter what slot I have selected. That means that if I create a custom color on the first slot and decide it needs a little more blue, I either create a new color and don’t use the first or cycle through the other 27 slots to get back to the first. Wouldn’t it be better if the color being inputted would always “save” to the selected slot? Hopefully I’ve explained it well enough.

  29. When you do implement the new UI completely, will we lose all the files we have in the old UI?

  30. On the subject of the set order, on subsets I’d suggest Pairing the Male and female items together in the list. For example I’d to the subset of tops ( as they stand now ) in this order.

    FemaleBustiers
    FemaleCoats
    MaleCoats
    FemaleDresses
    FemaleFantasyArmor
    MaleFantasyArmor
    FemaleFantasyCommon
    MaleFantasyCommon
    FemaleSpandex
    MaleSpandex
    FemaleStandard
    MaleStandard
    MaleTech
    Zombie

    I would suggest however getting rid Zombie, FemaleStandard and MaleStandard and move those items to the appropriate subcategory that best fits that item.

    For the Primary Sets ( Head, body, Tops, etc. ) I wouldn’t do Alphabetical Order as I’d group things together that basically go together . FOr example I’d make sure that Head, Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Ears and Eyebrows were all sitting next to each other in the list.

  31. I agree with Worf that it would be nice to be able to pick which slot a custom color goes in. However, I can see it being a problem if you accidentally leave a color you’re already using somewhere selected, so I’m not sure which way would be better.

    Speaking of custom colors, though, I’ve been wondering if there could be some sort of marker on the rainbow-grid-thing that shows where you clicked for the last color the same way that it shows the hex and RGB values? If that makes sense? I’m not as good at tweaking the color by changing the numbers, but when I use the rainbow-grid, then I have to move the cursor to click on the color I just made and if I decide I want something a little different, I can never find the spot again. Also, maybe it would make sense to have it color the current item with the new custom color automatically?

    I love having the flip button in the item toolbar! Just out of curiosity, what was the lock button originally going to be for, anyway?

  32. @Jeff, would it possible to add more zoom-in screens, like the headshot view? Like, either for specific areas, or a moveable general zoom?

  33. Another idea, instead of pairing male and female next to each other, you could always add a 3rd drop down menu between the main and sub-set menus, that lets you choose male, or female items.

  34. HM 2.5 has a fairly logical order of the primary sets, I think: it goes down the body starting with the facial/body features from hair to skin; then does the clothes from headgear to feet, then does the extra stuff like wings, companion and background; then the items for the hands. Some of the things seem like they’re in slightly odd places, but the overall flow of top to bottom makes sense.

    I’m not sure I like the idea of pairing the male and female items. I can see where Kaldath is coming from, but if you’re making a character of one gender you don’t necessarily want to have to bother with items for the other gender, but you probably will want to look through the different categories for the same gender. I could see the idea of having another dropdown or toggle button for gender working well, though.

  35. Overall, I find the new UI very usable, and gladly, not too much different from the old one.

  36. I would have to agree with logosgal (35) I regards to grouping items by gender. While I have been guilty of using male outerwear on females (scaled appropriately) to achieve a certain look, I’m going to want gender appropriate clothes for my character, and it helps that the female and male clothes are grouped together, with some miscellaneous subcategories grouped at the end.
    Overall, I have to say, in many ways, the new interface is more intuitive than the old.

  37. I’m not suggesting male and female items be put in the same sub-set just suggesting that the same items Such as say the fantasty armor be right next to each other on the list instead of one near the top and the other halfway down the list or. near the bottom

  38. Custom Colors: Honestly, I don’t know how to do a lot of what you’re requesting here. The rainbow grid was open source code from someone else I adopted and it does all kinds of crazy math stuff that I frankly don’t understand. I fear it so I just let it be.

    Old Saves: Old save files should not be impacted at all when this new UI replaces the current one. Note that I said that favorite tech weasel-word, “should” — back up your .sol file just in case.

    Lock Button: The idea there was that you could prevent the item from getting included in a “Random All” action, or to prevent any changes at all to it (accidentally miscoloring it, moving it, deleting it, etc.). But with the Undo feature, most of that becomes fairly irrelevant. And since I don’t have a Random All function …

    More Zooms: Dang, I knew I was forgetting something. Yes, I have wanted to do that sort of magnifying glass function for a long time. It should slot in easily next to the other View options. Good call, thanks for reminding me about that.

    Set order: All of that’s super easy to change, but one thing I’ve learned over the years of doing HeroMachine stuff is, no matter which way I sort things, it’s going to irritate as many people as it pleases. There’s no one best way, but I’ll play around with different methods to see what sticks. Maybe down the road I can have an “options” type screen where you can save all sorts of preferences like that.

    Definitely not adding a third drop-down though. People already complain about HM3 being too complicated. Hopefully this new sleeker UI will help alleviate those concerns, because honestly, if all you want to do is pick a slot, pick a set, and click an item to add it, it works just the same as 2.5. You can do all this fancy extra stuff if you want, but it’s optional — the program should work pretty much the same as it used to.

    Except for masking. I admit, that’s more complicated than it used to be when the hands were drawn onto the items themselves.

  39. Kaldath (38): That’s where I’m in disagreement. I would rather have all my gender specific item subcategories grouped together rather than hrouped by item type (i.e. female and male groupings rather than armor, spandex, etc.) . It just would seem easier to navigate that way.

    On the other hand, if a third gender-specific pull-down tab was included, then the arguement is moot. Unless it messes with the items i’ve already selected (which I don’t see being a problem anyway).

  40. I personally like just having as far as the drop down menu
    MaleStandard
    MaleSpandex
    etc…
    FemaleStandard
    FemaleSpandex

    I’ve used plenty of female items on male characters and vice versa. I don’t want that to be changed.

    As far as the main organization of items, it took me a long time to get used to the alphabetical interface. I can’t tell you how long I spent trying to find Hair because it was at the bottom of the list. Something more similar to the order of HM2.5 might work better.

    Thanks for adding the grid. That’s awesome and I think I personally will get a lot of use out of it. I think you should be able to print with it. Most people wouldn’t use it in that regard, but I doubt people would keep it on the whole time they are coloring anyway.

    Something else I was hoping would be revised is the scroll bar for the Load section. If you have a ton of saves on your computer (like me), it can take a long time to find a save.

  41. Gridlines! Yes! I finally figured out the XY Grid! 0 Mark 0 (UL, UR, LL, LR). Duh! One tweak, svp. Gridlines don’t show in Widescreen view.

    With Layers, when you select an Item, it shows its Layer Number? Such as 1 of x for the Item in the Forefront. Maybe manually enter the Layer like you can with Item Scale?

    I like Myro’s third option for Gender filtering. Though, it might make the Selection Fields a little crowded.

    Love, love the Horizontal Flip. Try it out with Companion > Standard > Column 8 > Row 2.

    Otherwise, what everyone else said. This is some great stuff. Thank you, Jeff.

  42. How does one back up one’s .sol file?

  43. Overall, I really like it.

    I agree with previous comments about the framing elements being as non-intrusive as possible, so I don’t really have a problem with the color scheme. Of course, the old version didn’t really bug me either.

    The only thing I’d change is this: It’s awesome to have a bigger field, but what would be nice is to have that bigger field and yet keep the objects as they appear in that field the same size as they were before, slightly smaller. That’d give you more room to move stuff around on-screen in normal view without having to go to widescreen to see where they are so much.

  44. AS far as the general grouping goes I’m still of the same opinion as almost 2 year ago when you posted the question the first time. The HM2.5 grouping of going down from head to toe is more intuitive (for me) than the alphabetical ordering.

    Custom Colors: I don’t want you to change the rainbow thingie at all.. I just want that when I select/input a new color it goes to the currently selected color slot whether it’s “empty” or not. I don’t like having to select another 27 “custom” colors just so I can get back to that first slot to change it.

  45. @logosal(43): Check out question 11 under HM3 on the FAQ at:
    http://www.heromachine.com/frequently-asked-questions/#HM3FAQ10

    You might have to do a little digging, but it’s in that general direction….

  46. Very sleek and contemporary.

    My only beef is the placement of the transform options. I think I use the scale much more than the move option. I’d like to see it from left to right as “Scale, Move, Rotate.” Just a preference though.

    It looks good, but something about it seems like it’s missing something. I think putting in your logo would be ideal. Just white version of your logo. Put the version of Heromachine we are using under it. What about putting it in that dead looking gray box on the upper right corner?

    And what is that box anyway? Am I missing some function of it? Couldn’t it be used to show us a version of our entire image in small form while we’re working? Or would that be too much for this kind of program? I bet it would be heavy.

    But yeah, a logo to show pride in your creation and to “brand” it so to speak would be great.

  47. @B. Clouser: I believe that “empty” space on the top right is meant for the adds UGO will put there once HM3 is live.

  48. @Worf (46): Found it! Thanks!

  49. Me, Myself & I

    For those of us who have used HM3 more, I suspect it will be harder in some ways only because we’ve developed habits already. For new users I think it will be more intuitive so I figure its a step in the right direction.

    Jake (41) has a great point regarding a scroll bar for finding saves. It could come in handy.

    The Imp (44) also has a good point regarding the viewing field. It would be nice to have a larger viewing field with the object still the same size so that you can see more of the complete picture.

    Dan (33) a movable general zoom would be really fantastic.

  50. Imp: I think the actual size of the items is the same as it was. I didn’t scale the holder for those at all. I think the window you see the the character in got a little bigger, but the size of the components themselves is still the same. Most of the extra size in the new layout went to the controls, but the window did get bigger, while the items you use to create the character all stayed the same. So you’re seeing the same sized items as the old way, just in a bigger window. If that makes sense. I think.

    BClouser: The big gray box is as Worf said, a placeholder for UGO to put ads in once this goes live on their servers. I’m open to rearranging the order of the Transform boxes, there isn’t any inherent order to how I placed them, really. If people feel Scale should come first, that’s fine with me. As for the branding and logo, I’ll have to talk with UGO about that. In the past we have had the two logos (theirs and mine) stacked up behind the character by default until they get covered by items. We’ll possibly do that again, I’m not sure. The app will live in a big page with lots of other branding going on around it, since it’s not a standalone thing, so we have to take that into consideration as well.

    Worf: I’m open to any kind of grouping. The old 2.x layout makes sense, it’s entirely possible I’ll go to that at some point. Although I still got complaints about it, since not everyone thinks of the order of parts being the same. As far as the custom color thing goes … yeah, I need to change that. Good point.

  51. OK, so here’s the “New Interface” list of things to do so far:

    • Add a “Clear Mask” button for current item in the mask area
    • Create help screens
    • Put in portrait view, go to widescreen, come back and it’s still in portrait view but not in the right spot.
    • Add full screen cover when LOADING sets
    • Better mouseover text (and expand to include LayerUp, etc.)
    • Dedicated zoom feature
    • Scroll bar middle button should be draggable
    • Show current layer in the layer menu
    • Custom color — make it possible for the user to pick which box the new selected color gets added into.

  52. Oh 1 more thing… Make is so we can load a character without selecting an item group first ;)

  53. Yeah yeah, that’s coming with the “Welcome” screen!

  54. Worf (53): Good call! That’s an annoyance I’d be happy to do without.

    Also, I’m seeing our new poll position question this week, but no entry for it yet. C’mon Jeff, the Universe is at stake! ;)

  55. A “reset colors”/”reset all colors” button would be convenient, too.

    Oh, and for the rainbow grid problem, would it maybe be possible to at least have it display the RGB and/or hex values of whatever color you’ve got the cursor over the way it displays the color preview so that you at least have some idea of where you are? Or would that still be dabbling in dangerous things beyond your ken? ;)

  56. Nicholas/GtaMythMaster43

    If the others decide they like it, could this be a skin?
    Like something we can use if we want? So it’s not forced?
    Is that possible?

  57. haven’t played with it a lot yet to offer any suggestions but so far I think it is a great improvement. the buttons just seem more logically placed to me.

  58. Nick Hentschel

    “Clear Mask” sounds like a great idea, much less confusing than the current system, and a worthy replacement for “Outline Character.” In fact, I’d like to add an aside that the Mask function seems to be working better in the new layout (although I’ll have to tinker with it more, of course): easier to control with the mouse. However, I encountered a bit of a hiccup transitioning between Headshot and Widescreen: it tends to focus off-center.

  59. Thanks for the on/off grid, Jeff! Great for getting items centered and I find very helpful when constructing faces.

  60. Watson Bradshaw

    Fantastic Job Jeff, very slick look, the gray/black skin makes the colors page really pop.
    It did take me a while to find “view” as well but not a real problem.
    LOVE the idea of a magnifying glass function as I reposition my characters all the time and it would help to get all those little details perfect.
    Great Job, can’t wait to see what else is to come.

  61. Hi Jeff

    Gotta say I love it!

    It looks and flows amazingly well!

    Heromachine has just cranked it up a notch!

    Scorp

  62. i think it looks more professional. well done!

  63. The gray color and Multiples/Singles buttons don’t go well together. The circle inside the button should be colored, or a check mark.

    Also, now when you resize one item, then another, and go back to the first, it tells you the size of the first one. Props for that!

  64. looks really cool guys and i am already seeing different options and thinking of different characters and possible combos. great job

  65. @ Worf (48): Ah, that makes sense. If UGO can chill with the ads and just use their logo and the hero machine logo that would be nice. Nothing I hate more than an ad in my face while I’m working on something. But thems may be the breaks.

    So far it looks really good, Jeff. If I think of any other tinnie, misguided complaint I’ll be sure to voice it like everyone else does via the internet. Wink wink.

  66. I really like the new look, and I think the grid option will be a HUGE help when trying to make characters symmetrical. But I noticed everything on screen was smaller. Maybe it’s just the way my computer is displaying the new settings but would it be at all possible to make it back to the old size? Other than that it looks really good, sleek and stylish.

  67. RKR, I think what’s happening is, the actual size of the old version was smaller than this one, but I was artificially stretching the whole thing to fit it in the extra-big blog layout. The new version is actually bigger than the old one, but I’m not stretching it, so even though the window for your character is bigger, it ends up looking a bit smaller. Not a lot I can do about it unfortunately as I have to keep it to its real size for the UGO ad to fit.

    If it turns out the page it lives in is wide enough, I can make the whole thing larger, though.

  68. Okay, Thanks for the explanation. It’s not a huge huge problem, it just makes it a bit harder to do some fine tuning I find. Anyway other than that I think it’s a big improvement!

  69. The new improvements seem to have smoothed out a lot of the little quirks. The only major thing I can think of that’s missing that was in HM2 is a “load all resources” type of option. While I technically have “high speed” internet and things load at a reasonable pace, my wireless will go out at any random moment so attempting to load a new set of images will occassionally freeze the program and force me to refresh. The ability to simply frontload should allow me to bypass this. I’m quite sure it’s not a problem with HeroMachine itself and rather an issue with how Flash loading reacts to disconnects/subpar internet.

  70. ZamuelNow: That’s definitely going to happen some time soon. That’s the major next step to take in order for this to be “ready for beta” in my opinion.