Power User Profile: AMS

AMS was one of the first HeroMachine users to really take the “widescreen” mode of laying out an illustration by the throat. I remember opening his UGO Forums archive and just being blown away with the almost Hollywood-like dramatic effects he uses.

With that in mind I asked him to share a little more about himself, and I’m glad I did; he’s a neat guy. It is kind of freaking me out a little bit how many people who use this thing are 30-40 year old men, but I think we’re going to have to hold AMS down until he grows a goatee to ensure he fits the mold properly. Also, if there’s someone active in the community who you’d like to know more about, please nominate them in the comments. After giving ams props, of course!

And now, the man himself:

  1. Online name used in HeroMachine environs: ams
  2. A photo (or drawing) of you in “real life”:
  3. Real name: Andrew
  4. Real city/state/country: Ottawa, Canada
  5. Real job:
  6. Real age:39
  7. Gender: All man last time I checked.
  8. Married/single: Married with children.


  9. Online archive of your creations (if any): http://forums.ugo.com/showthread.php?t=41709 (and I know “characters” is spelled incorrectly)
  10. The best piece of HeroMachine art you’ve created: I’m partial to this pic of “SENTINEL“:

  11. Favorite all-time geeky movie if any: Star Wars, which I get to re-live all over again through my sons. The toys are so much better today!
  12. Favorite all-time geeky book if any: Don’t read many novels.
  13. Favorite all-time geeky TV show if any: Was way into “LOST”, Star Trek and I’m an advid fan of all superhero animated projects. (The older the better!)
  14. Favorite all-time comic book character if any: Green Lantern, JSA and Teen Titans (Wolfman/Perez!)
  15. If you could have one super-heroic power in real life, you’d choose: Immortality, I always want to see how things end.

  16. In your leisure time you like to: Mountain climb, drive fast cars, go on safari, sailing, oh wait…..that’s the most interesting guy in the Dos Equis commercials. I read comics, play guitar and run.

  17. Character design turn-ons (things you love to see that make for a good design): Anatomy is one of the biggest things I will look for.
  18. Character design turn-offs (things you hate to see that make for a bad design): Anatomy again. If the body does not look natural to me it throws off the entire pic.
  19. Best tip for a HeroMachine newbie: Practice your anatomy!! Proportion, proportion, proportion. You don’t have to be Rembrandt to see if the body you have created is right. If you are making your character pose, look at yourself posing in a mirror to see if if it looks natural. Don’t sacrifice anatomy for an accessory item. If it doesn’t fit, find something else. Never erase an incompleted pic. If something is not going right and I get fustrated, I will save what I’ve got and go back to it another time. Draw or doodle what you are going to create before you start. I’m not saying draw out the whole idea on paper, just gesture (scribble) something for a guideline to follow. You can get amazing ideas from doodled stickmen. And lastly, spell your thread correctly!!!

  20. Any personal message you’d like to share with the HeroMachine community about Geek Life: To be “Geek” these days is an accepted way of life. Be sure to thank all your geek fathers/mothers, geek uncles/aunts or whomever led you down the geek path for trailblazing all that is geek today. We battle hard for our geek rights and have the wedgie scars to prove it. Stand tall, fellow geeks, this is our time to shine!

21 Responses to Power User Profile: AMS

  1. Captain Kicktar

    The problem with immortality is that you live longer than any of your friends, and that causes sadness, if I had thatt power, I’d want indifference as a power as well.

  2. I don’t always comment on power user profiles, but when I do, I reuse one of their own jokes…

  3. Anarchangel Anarchangel

    I’ve always loved ams creations but the number of power users with beards is starting to concern me.

    Does beard = awesome?

    Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong :)

  4. I have a goatee if that means anything.

    And I’m bald. Start shaving!

  5. SeanDavidRoss

    Congratulations, Andrew.

  6. Oh, dear merciful heavens, what are you doing in the picture?! You’re eating that poor man’s head!

  7. Me, Myself & I

    Props to you ams! Very patriotic best work there.

    Myro, yet another face rug for you to be surrounded by.

  8. I love your Canadian heroes. You have a very distinct style that is awesome.

  9. Well met, fellow Canuck. I raise my cup of Timmies to you.

    Jeff, just an observation, but Power Users is turning into a sausage fest. I admit that there’s a certain anonymity with a large section of the community, so it’s hard to determine gender at times, and that out particular brand of geekery tends to be fairly male dominant. Also I don’t want to just want to suggest including female Power Users for the sake of gender equity without actual quality contributions (or, for the truly cynical, to say I’d only suggest female Power Users so there will be fewer profiles involving facial hair).

    Still… could we include X-Stacy (this would also help involve HeroMachinists whose primary contributions tend to be in the comments than the artwork. Not everyone would agree, but I find both contributions equally important)? Or Kytana? Or logosgal? I’m sure if I perused the archives at length, I’m sure I could find others.

  10. Great minds think alike, Myro :-)

  11. Incredible stuff, ams! I like how clean your designs are. Just the right amount of light and shadow with effective colors. Going through your archive, I am… “Dang, wish I had thought of that!”

    @Myro: I enjoy others’ Open Critique and Sharing Day comments as much as I do their character designs. I agree. They should be in the spotlight, too.

  12. Jeff, Myro’s comment reminded me of Songbird’s picture in the Creator Gallery (where he was in a dress with a word balloon saying he’s a guy), and that reminded me in turn of the Wild West Gallery. Did that ever get made, or did it just peter out?

  13. @Anarchangel (4)
    Duh. Don’t you watch WheezyWaiter? http://www.youtube.com/user/wheezywaiter

  14. Me, Myself & I

    Gero (13) if I recall correctly the Wild West gallery is a project of Hammerknight’s. I saw reference the other day that it is still in the works.

    Myro (10) I second the recommendation for X-Stacy.

  15. Well as too females worthy of Power User status, I nominate both Isia and The Creator

  16. Hammerknight

    Welcome aboard ams. Great work.
    @Gero The poster will be done this week, just wrapping a few things up.

  17. Hammerknight

    I second Kaldath’s nominations. Both of them do the best female characters out there.

  18. Thanks to all for the compliments! Big thanks to Jeff for letting us play in his sandbox! Cheers!

  19. I like messing up the anatomy on purpose to make funny charactors, like giant heads and tiny hands. Do you think it’s ok if there is a point to bad anatomy?

  20. Hey punkjay, it asks what I like. To each his own.