Character Contest 70 Winners!

Many thanks to everyone who entered Character Contest 70! Apparently lions is popular, because there were a lot of entries.

Before getting to our Finalists, though, I’ve noticed a significant up-tick in the number of links that don’t work properly for one reason or another. Some go to a jump page instead of just to the image, others have file names that don’t include the artist’s id or the name of the character, and some are bad links with bad names at the same time. Here are the folks who had something wrong with their entry or entries — please look for your name, and if it’s there, please try to do better next time as it makes it a lot easier (and faster!) for me to get the judging done.

File names should be in the format yourname-charactername.png (or .jpg). For instance, “Imp-Leo.png” is good. Had Imp just submitted “Leo.jpg”, that would be noted below as “no name”. Had he submitted “Imp.png” it would be noted as “no character name”. Had he linked to the image improperly, it would be listed as “bad link”.

You can find instructions on where to get the direct link for your image here.

  • Asder : no name
  • Brambles : no name
  • dazed_and_confused : bad link, no name
  • DeFesh : name
  • extraordinaree : no user name
  • fysaga : no user name, no character file name Photobucket
  • Hairwhip : name
  • headlessgeneral : no name
  • jojo_n_friendz : bad link
  • knight1192a : no direct link (ImageShack)
  • kyle : no name, no character name (always saved as undo-6 or something)
  • Kytana : bad link (ImageShack), no user name
  • leadmetal : no name
  • maniacmick : no name
  • MarquisSamedi : no name
  • McKnight57 : proper PicasaWeb linkage
  • mrmatt220 : bad link, no name, no filename
  • Oquies : no name, no file name, no character name, no names at all
  • Rapthama : no name
  • skullcraze : no user name, no character file name Photobucket
  • Skybandit : bad link
  • Sutter_Kaine : no name
  • thebigm1993 : bad link (ImageShack)
  • TOOL : no user name
  • Trekkie : no name (always has hm3- beta in front of file name, too)
  • Vanja : no user name
  • Zyp(!) : no name

Now on to the more pleasant task of identifying our Finalists! Oh, and note also that most of these are now clickable. The sizes are getting so big that now I’m just making that the default, so I’m doing away with the “click to embiggen” text.


AJW’s “Lion King” inspired African-flavored entry is stylish and graphical and I like it.

Asder has a cool combination of character and constellation.

Atomic Punk’s Eighties Hair Band homage made me laugh.

Blue Blazer’s simple but elegant “Claw” has a great, clean, super-hero vibe to it.

Chasca’s really burst onto the scene in a big way, winning previously and coming again with a strong effort this week. “King Leon” has a great dynamic, gritty, awesome feel to it.

dblade once again shows why he’s one of the best in the business with “Lion Guard”, a great study in contrasting colors and high concept. Just a beautiful image.

Erin’s scene of a warrior surrounded with just his feline companion for support has a great composition and feeling to it.

I liked the technique extraordinaree Trekkie used to show a transforming lycanthrope.

headlessgeneral’s “Leo Gladiator” also has a dynamic quality to it despite the simple costume elements and background. This is a great example of how you can get a cool looking image by focusing on only the most important pieces.

I don’t know where Fallen Apprentice came from, but I’m sure glad they decided to start posting here! “Nemean Wrath” is a great scene and main character.

Despite the heart-rending limitation of only five entries, I think this was probably Kaylin88100’s best week. See, editing works, people! My favorite was this musical character. The background lion element and drapes work great — she really looks like she’s onstage rocking it out.

Kytana’s “Tank” is one of hte cutest damn things I’ve ever seen. I love it.

Of course, no Zodiac contest would be complete without MLS’ ongoing “Zodiac Commandos” series!


MScat’s “WildCATs” group shot is awesome. I love the differing orientations of the three protagonists and their overall cool look.

Myro gave us an illustration of Perseus’ fight with the Chimera from the hero’s view, and it’s totally awesome. I love Pegasus sneaking in from behind, I love the composition overall, and the Chimera came out great.

Sean David Ross is a master. There, I said it. This “Sign of the Lion” has great lighting, a great angle, a great face, and a great concept.

SpellCheckingQuill’s “Huntress” shows great restraint, providing a simple but very convincing scene of a hunt in progress. I like the simple, clean lines of the character, the elegant setting, and the way it sets us up for whatever’s happening in the next panel.

Sutter_Kaine has three lion-themed dudes, each more awesome than the last. That’s quite a feat. Also, take a look at the great color design. Putting three figures shoulder-to-shoulder like this can be a real challenge to color in such a way that they don’t tread all over each other visually. But everyone is nicely separated and distinguishable, while still creating an overall feeling of harmony. Brilliantly done, sir.

Tool’s twin-hammer-wielding “Lion Warrior” has a great old-school super-hero feel to it that I really like.

I can’t get enough of Trekkie’s robot creations. I think they’re fantastic.

Unstable’s “Space Marine” is one of the best mech-like constructs I’ve seen to date. I love the color design, with the blue armor contrasting beautifully against the warm golds and reds of the sky. The holographic-like lion head in the helmet works great, too. Just a wonderful all-around illustration.

Finally, we have Zyp’s “Leo the Lion Tamer”. I think this pretty much speaks for itself, so I’ll just say it blows me away with the level of detail and overall impression. Pure, 100%, unadulterated quality here, people. I mean, just the poster on the wall is so good it could probably win all on its own! And it’s just a tiny piece!

I kind of hate to do it, because this is his third Zodiac win (and there’s only been ten total so far!) but I just can’t see any way around it — our winner this week once again is Zyp! It’s a gorgeously composed, immaculately colored, fantastically designed, flawlessly executed illustration that hits all the right notes. I love it. It could really be a comic book cover, it’s that good.

Congratulations to Zyp and to all our Finalists! Thanks as well to everyone who entered and better luck next time!

47 Responses to Character Contest 70 Winners!

  1. Oh ya.. names. I knew I was forgetting something important when I uploaded those.

  2. Congrats Zyp. I can’t look at that thing enough. I keep being amazed at the level of detail. That shadow is out of this world. Or the way you have that whip just lie flat on the floor. My hat is off to you sir. That is just beautiful!

  3. Fallen Apprentice

    Congrats Zyp, and thanks for the recipe on the faces. Really inspired me to get going. Well deserved, you are truly a master.

  4. congrats Zyp a well deserved win! I haven’t really been entering the Zodiac inspired contests, but had to on this one since it was my own Zodiac sign ( my birthday having been two days ago, lol )

    On another contest note I most say that over the last few character contests I have seen some stellar work from a lot of you guy and gals and am certain that the next Big Contest Jeff Hosts will see Scorpious, Imp and I have some company in the club house!!

    @Jeff, Any idea when you will be holding the next Big Contest?

  5. Yep. When I saw it, I knew it. Dis artist came to play and play hard! Time to step it up a notch!

    Congratulations, Master Zyp! Beautifully composed and the expression on the face is fantastic. And I must also mention the costume design is top notch.

  6. Good question, Kaldath. It’s probably about that time, isn’t it?

  7. Wow. Zyp’s just blew me away. Congrats.
    And YAY! I got a Finalist! :D I really liked that one, of my entries it was my favourite because I worked on it for a long time before the actual contest, knowing it was coming up, and I changed the background completely at least twice. So yeah, all the Finalists completely deserved to be up there, and the winner deserved to win :)
    I’m happy :)
    And I think I’ll stop there.

  8. Congrats Zyp. Awesome picture. Next time i don’t make group picture. More than 300 layer and more than 4 hour.

  9. Tarkabarka, I had your group shot in the initial cut of Finalists. But when I went to post them, something about the highlights threw me off and I ended up not including it. It was a great image, though, and your effort definitely showed.

  10. Thanks for the finalist mention, and sorry about the file naming. I should probably get out of the habit of naming them like that.

    Zyp, that is a fantastic piece. Congrats on the win!

    On another note, it seems you’ve put up the wrong image for extraordinaree’s mention, since that’s actually my ‘were-lion’ entry there.

  11. Whoops, sorry about that Trekkie. Copy has been updated.

    Although, this is a prime example of why I ask people to name their files like I do — when I have to change tabs to check the name of the person who’s entering it so I can type it in on the local hard drive, it’s easy for me to look at the wrong comment and make a mistake. Which is what happened here.

    If the file has the right name on it to begin with, I just right-click, save Link, and with an OK I am done. Eliminating me as an error point is a good idea because I make a lot of errors :-)

  12. Amazing job to everyone!

  13. Congrats Zyp. Another masterpiece.

    I’m still working on how I finally got a zodiac contest honorable mention 10 symbols in. These contests have been harder for me than the others. Here’s hoping I can finish strong, although I have absolutely nothing in mind for Virgo.

  14. @Myro(13): how much you wanna bet that for the Virgo contest, every picture we see will be featuring a girl wearing some skimpy outfit?

  15. Hey Jeff, thanks for the nomination again this contest and I did notice about the “No Name” and I will fix it next time for you. Congrats Zyp.

  16. @Kaldath: What do you mean by ‘big contest’? Like the ‘Simply Your Best’ contest?

  17. Trekkie, I took it to mean something like the “Friday Night Fights” series, where there’s some big overarching theme that you have to do multiple characters for, then duke it out with others over a period of time.

    Apologies to Kaldath if that’s not, in fact, what he means. But even if it’s not, it’s probably about time for another FNF regardless.

  18. Congrats all!

  19. Congrats to Zip and all other winner.
    I found the picture from Zip good, but i don´t like the image of the Tamer. I like more the entrys like the Space Marin, Robot creations or Nemean Wrath. A lion in zoo is not that what i have in mind when i think of a strong animal/zodiac.
    But you know its good work… as always. ;)

  20. Big Contest as in the prize is a custom Color illustration ( within Reason ) drawn by Jeff, Friday Night Fights being an example of which. There have been four to date, the first one was an anything goes, your best creation contest which was won by Scorpious, The second was a Patriotic Hero Contest which was won my me, the Third was the first Friday Night Fights, also won by me, and the fourth was the second Friday Night Fights which was won by Imp. If you give me a few moment to dig up the links I’ll post up the two prizes Jeff Drew for me.

  21. Congrats to all the finalist and to Zyp for the win.

    A few of the finalits I rather liked
    AJW – Very cool design and flawless coloring
    Asder – The constellation is very cool and well executed
    dblade – Love the headdress and background
    headlessgeneral – very cool and convincing pose could be on the side of a greek vase
    Sean David Ross – Fantastic highlighting effects
    Spellchecking Quills – Simple but very solid and effective
    Sutter_Kaine – “Fierce”
    Unstable – Solid design, seems movie feasible
    Zyp – Love most everything about it, from the angle, to the simple yet effective chest guard formed from belts, to the fur neck, etc., etc.

    There were some that I’m a little shocked not to see in the finalist list actually, but that could be attributed to improper labeling, room constraint, or a million other things. One that comes to mind, by Kytana, was a beautiful safarian scene of two lions and a child

  22. Cpongrats Zyp! A master indeed! Cheers!

  23. Congrats, Zyp! Leo’s a great picture, he kind of reminds me of Kraven the Hunter, appearance-wise…

  24. Congrats, Zyp! I love the angled pose and expression.

    @Jeff: Thanks for the honorable mention. My niece is 23, my brother’s wife’s daughter is 13… they didn’t get it. Oh, sucks getting old.

    @SeanDavidRoss: Thanks for the “Leaping Front Kick” pose!

    Run down of some random faves (no particular order):

    ams: Lionheart – fierce
    FallenApprentice: Pride – I’ll say it, the lioness is wild sexy
    Kaldath: Sekhmet – complementary colors
    Kytana: Löwenjagd – stylish, great colors
    MartianBlue: Zimbia – great costume and attitude
    Wierdrocks: Leo – Is that a Mukil-reš-lemutti?

    A tip of the gas mask to the Hero Machine “Cake Bosses”: chasca, dblade, SeanDavidRoss, Tarkabarka, Zyp, and others that I might have missed.

    I have never watched the show, but it is a very fitting term. These contributors create great designs with layers upon layers upon layers! Amazing amount of patience and skill!

  25. The entries this week were awesome.

  26. headlessgeneral

    First off, congrats Zyp on a well deserved win. And congrats to all the finalist as well. Great job everyone!

    Secondly, I have a question for Jeff. I noticed my name on the list of people with something wrong with their entry for having no name on my entries. I currently link from the UGO HeroMachine forums, so my question is: Is there a way to include the name in the link from the forums? And if so, how is it done?

  27. @headlessgeneral – When you first save the file you need to name it Yourname-charactername.filetype so your leo gladiator Character for example should be named headlessgeneral-leo gladiator.png. Do this before you ever upload it to UGO. The name will not be in the link however it will be there when jeff clicks on the image to save it to his own hard drive.

  28. FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS! YES!

    Make it so, Numbah One!

  29. Headlessgeneral, this is another edition of “What Kaldath Said” :-)

  30. Hey Jeff, sorry about the confusion with my entry. I didn’t fully read the rules before I got busy making my character. It’s been a while since I’ve entered. I’ll have it right next time!

    Also congrats to all the finalists. I’m always amazed at what people can do with this program.

  31. spidercow2010

    A note from the dust wherin I have been left: Congratulations–AGAIN–to Zyp, and my breathless admiration mixed with deep, petty & unreasonable resentment to all the incredible entries that make me realize I’m just an occasionally lucky dilettante at this. I gotta get better.

  32. Jeff (9) Sorry for my words yesterday evening. Im a little bit tired and i have a personal problem and that gave me a little bit angry. I made 3 picture, each have more than a 3 hours of work, make the perfect poses, coloring the image, check every gradient color for the the light and dark effect, and the picture size is also good for a widescreen image. Im a little bit disappointed and more little bit tired. Today i no sense to suffer that much for a picture, but tomorrow i start to thinking what i make today. I enjoy to work this awesome stuff and i love to show what will you do if you have a little fantasy and more patient.

    Really congrats for the finalist i see a lot of great picture.

  33. Ps. When i wrote my first post is 10.00 pm in central european time.

  34. Wow, this is so cool! :D Thank you all for your nice words. I will get back to on the prize!

  35. congratz zyp..simply amazing there..:D

  36. @21.MartianBlue: Thanks. I think it can be because its to wide. I don´t know, i see nothing in the rules about that.
    Whatever. I like to work with shades and clouds.

  37. There’s no rule against wide format. I just wasn’t very taken with that particular sky — it was a little too much on the ZING POW LOTS OF COLORS side for me. But that’s a subjective thing.

  38. @Jeff: Thanks for answer. I would it look like a painting,
    but yeah is more subjective thing. Your right.
    So i noticed Jeff like cute not colorful pictures. ;)
    And i am happy about the new contest. I wish it is every week.

  39. My only rule on these is “Does it look awesome” :-)

  40. headlessgeneral

    Ah, got it. Thanks Kaldath.

  41. AJW – It really speaks Lion King to me, my son is watching it right now.

    Asder – Cool idea doing a constellation.

    Atomic Punk – Kind of a mix of 80’s rocker and 80’s wrestler, oh yeah!

    Blue Blazer – Something sleek and believable about it.

    Chasca – Almost like the king of the island of misfit toys was attacked and came back for revenge.

    Dblade – Stunning!

    Erin – Reminds me of the old show Beastmaster.

    Trekkie – Cool idea doing a transformation

    Headlessgeneral – Good idea with the head and staff.

    Fallen Apprentice – Very nice.

    Kaylin – Sorry you could only put in 5 entries but the merry go round has to stop somewhere and I think its cool you made a musician, not too many people use music items.

    Kytana – Got a bit of “Sid” in you huh LOL

    MLS – Love the zodiac commandos!

    MScat – A new age charlies angels.

    Myro – I love mythical creatures.

    SDR – Good lighting.

    SpellCheckingQuill – Painting like.

    Sutter_Kaine – Evil version of the Thundercats.

    Myself – I was going for an armored lion warrior but I am guessing by the lack of comments on it that the masses didnt like it much. Im still working on incorporating my scenes better with my charcters and my lighting and shading.

    Trekkie – Congrats on 2nd nomination and wow, great parts usage!

    Unstable – WH40K ish

    Zyp – Love the top!

  42. Damn! I’ve been forgetting the “awesome”! :)

  43. my image was not included :/

  44. @Vanja, you win some and you lose some. Try and learn from your design, the design of the ones nominated and the winner then try to add a better piece next time and maybe you could win too! @zyp, what you going to get for a prize?

  45. @TOOL, no hard fellings man i didnt complain i thought that you will be posting all the images from the list so i thought that you forgot mine :D congrats to zyp i will try my best for the next one :)

  46. Just looked at all entries, and all I ca say is
    WOW!!!
    What a level of composition

    I didn’t know that not using a black outline can make such a huge impact!
    But there is tremendous skill at work here!

    Amazing job to all artists!