Power User Profile: SeanDavidRoss

I am happy to present for your edification and entertainment the inside story of one of the most innovative HeroMachine creators, the man who brought you so many cool poses, the one and only SeanDavidRoss!

  1. Online name used in HeroMachine environs: seandavidross
  2. A photo (or drawing) of you in “real life”:
  3. Real name: Sean David Ross
  4. Real city/state/country: North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  5. Real job: Game Designer
  6. Real age: 39
  7. Gender: Male
  8. Relationship status (married, single, in a long-term relationship, dating someone, “it’s complicated”, etc): Long Term Relationship.


  9. Online archive of your creations: The Dark Herd
  10. The best piece of HeroMachine art you’ve created:

  11. Favorite all-time geeky movie if any: That’s hard. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I think. It’s between that and Sorcerer’s Stone. The Dark Knight, The Princess Bride, and The Life Aquatic (I think it’s geeky, in a Magic Realism kind of way) are close contenders.
  12. Favorite all-time geeky book if any: This is harder than the movie question. I tend to like series of books. You can see the books I’ve read (that I remember) and the ratings I’ve given them here. From those, I’m going to say the Lancer/Ace series of Conan stories by Robert E. Howard, followed closely by the Harry Potter books and the Lord of the Rings.
  13. Favorite all-time geeky TV show if any: This is the hardest one of all. I’d say it’s a toss up between Farscape and Red Dwarf. But Doctor Who, Buffy, Angel, and Stargate SG-1 could sway me depending on my mood.
  14. Favorite all-time comic book character if any: This one wasn’t hard at all. Batman.
  15. If you could have one super-heroic power in real life, you’d choose: Invulnerability.

  16. In your leisure time you like to: Read, play and play-test board and card games, watch movies, attend plays, visit art galleries, hike.

  17. Character design turn-ons (things you love to see that make for a good design): Excellent colouring. Particularly line colour choices. I’m a big fan of Pesky for his daring use of colour – it doesn’t always work but when it does it’s outstanding. Shading and highlighting that are well done (see Zyp’s work). Good use of patterns as texture (Papakrok is who I think of for this one). Relaxed, natural looking poses or dynamic poses. Um, those would be mine… ;) See Zyp’s Taurus win for a subtle but effective pose.
  18. Character design turn-offs (things you hate to see that make for a bad design): Poor colouring. Lack of shading (unless your intention is a highly deliberate sense of flatness) and/or poor shading/highlighting (if it doesn’t work, I’d rather it wasn’t done at all). Stiff, lifeless poses.
  19. Best tip for a HeroMachine newbie: Learn from the masters. See what the better Hero Machinists are doing. Look to the Character Contests and Forums to see whose work you like. Try to understand how they are able to produce the images you see. Try to push the boundaries of Hero Machine by also learning from the masters in comic book illustration. Try to bring what they can do into what Hero Machinists can do.

    “Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.” – Pablo Picasso

  20. Any personal message you’d like to share with the HeroMachine community about Geek Life: Embrace your geekitude. Being a geek is fine. Just try to avoid being a dweeb, nerd, or dork.

20 Responses to Power User Profile: SeanDavidRoss

  1. Hammerknight

    Welcome aboard.

  2. Anarchangel Anarchangel

    Ahhhh. Finally. It’s about time you were profiled. I’ve always loved your work but hated at the same time, simply because it’s so friggin good that it makes mine look like a five year old was let loose with some crayons.

    Keep up the exceptional work my friend :)

  3. Watson Bradshaw

    your stuff always looks fantastic SDR but that character headshot is amazing. What games are you working on?

  4. congrats SDR!

  5. That Nimble Jack portrait freaks me the hell out, Sean. It looks like it needs to be a laser-printed litho, signed and framed. I have so much to learn about HeroMachine.
    Congrats on the profile.

  6. Awesome stuff! I lift my large double-double Timmies to you! Cheers!

  7. Once again amazing. You totally deserve it, I too have much to learn.

  8. I completely second Anarchangel’s opinion of your work. The poses and the amazing shading are out of this world. You’ve done things with this program that I still refuse to believe can be done. Also, if you like series of books, I’d have to recommend the Dark Tower series, by Stephen King. It’s seven books long (plus most of his other books reference it, some very heavily), and features almost all generes fans of this site like: Sci-fi, Horror, Western, Action, even a little bit of Steampunk. Really a great series…

  9. You’ve given us a lot to work with beyond poses. I have to work on shading, but I know who to learn from! That close-up of Nimble Jack is incredible.

  10. I thought the image was a close-up of hand-done work, not a HeroMachine image …

  11. Yay! Finally an SDR profile! Congrats! The first time I saw that picture of Nimble Jack as your avatar on the forums, I assumed it was a custom drawing. I was pretty surprised when I learned it was a HeroMachine picture. I, too, have much to learn in the shading department. Thanks so much for all the work you’ve done with poses and with generally pushing HeroMachine to its limits!

  12. SeanDavidRoss

    Thanks, everyone, It’s an honour to be included in the Power User group so soon after joining the community.

    @Watson Bradshaw (3): I’m working on a hockey board game (I’m Canadian, eh?), a card game somewhat like Haggis (which is for 2 or 3 players) but for 4 to 8 players, I’m considering some collaborations with other designers, and I’m helping other designers play-test their games. At the same time, I’m working with the development team that’s bringing Haggis to the iPhone and iPad this year.

    @Gero (8): Thanks. Part of learning for me is trying to push the things I’m learning about in directions they didn’t appear to be heading yet; so I really wanted to see what could be done for posing in this medium. There are limits but it’s possible to accomplish quite a bit. I’ve been glad to see other folks trying to push the posing into more dynamic territory since my experiments began. In particular, I’ve been really impressed by ams’ posing of late – really great stuff. The shading work I’ve done is mostly trying to keep up with the Jones’ (or, in this case, the Zyp’s): it’s like there’s an arms race happening in the Character Contests and I’m just trying to keep up my game…. Regarding series, I’ve read most of the Dark Tower series. There was supposed to be a link in my response (where I said “You can see the books I’ve read (that I remember) and the ratings I’ve given them here”) – http://www.librarything.com/catalog/seandavidross

    @Jeff: It’s all HeroMachine. You’ve built a powerful tool with many possibilities to explore. I’m just doing my little bit to help push the boundaries of what’s been covered so far. Cheers!

  13. Awesome.
    Always impressed by your work, even when I don’t like the end result. Keep it up!

  14. Me, Myself & I

    What took so long for you to be included as a Power User? Your work is amazing! I certainly think I could learn a lot from you.

    Another Western Canadian, eh? Good to know of another from this neck of the woods.

  15. Me, Myself & I

    Jeff (10) It was definitely made in HM and I’m pretty sure I know how he made it. Reproducing a work can be a challenge but the initial idea and implementation is what is truly impressive. Sean really blew this one out of the ball park!

  16. Congrats SDR! Great profile :D I’ve always been a fan of yours!

  17. Congratulations :D That portrait is INCREDIBLE!

  18. I couldn’t agree more with Anarchangel (2) – your stuff, Zyp’s, and a couple other people is just so consistently good (and amazing in concept), that I just love looking at it and feel sick with envy at the same time. Well-deserved Profile.

  19. The man behind the name! Great profile. Greater work!

  20. I’m surprised it took so long for this guy to be profiled. He’s a freakin’ genius – and nice too.