What should I do about backgrounds?

The current set of Backgrounds features two planets in the “Floor” set. The “Sky” set has a window, a wall, and a street corner. It makes no sense.

I’d like to rationalize these in some way and have them all make sense. But if I go mucking about and change the items, your saved characters will all of a sudden have something totally different in place when you load it, if you used one of the items (like the aforementioned floor planets).

Which would you rather, potentially having strange saved files, or having Background sets that make sense and were grouped sensibly?

About Jeff Hebert

Jeff is a 44 year old city boy who has somehow found himself located in Colorado, fulfilling his lifetime dream of making a living drawing super-heroes all day.

17 Responses to What should I do about backgrounds?

  1. Personally I would like more organized sets but then I usually do not make much use of the “save” features. The only saving I tend to do is the exported or screen captured finished image. If I want to make changes to a character I start from the beginning.

  2. The groupings always made sense to me because the things in the “floor” category are things the character stands on by default, and the things in the “sky” category by default go behind the character in the wall/sky area. Maybe you could just change the names of the categories to reflect that logic more overtly?

  3. The planets could be moved to the “sky” set and the window, wall and street corner to the “cityscape” set. That way, you wouldn’t have to change categories. Personally, I think the sets are fine as they are; they’re already labelled logically and I have no trouble finding things.

  4. Nick Hentschel

    Moving some of these items between subsets is probably overdue; I’ve often found it confusing to search for them, just going by the titles.

    If it changes any of my pics, I’ll just have to update them, but I really don’t think that’s going to happen much, the way I draw.

  5. I think the sets are right, it’s the items IN the sets that don’t make a lot of sense sometimes.

    The sense I’m getting so far is that if I keep the current set of sets but move around the items between them in ways that are rational (as in, move the planets out of Floors and into Sky), that would be OK and worth the sacrifice for whatever saved characters there may be. Is that right?

  6. I’d be curious to see what would happen to an old text save. Would we be ABLE to use an old text save and just ‘erase’ the ‘wrong’ items and put in the right one? My knowledge of Flash is practically nil.

    If that’s all, then, yes, please–I have short-term memory problems and have to look for things all the time. If we’re talking about having to take apart a file with a text editor, then I’m gonna be asking for help.

  7. Your old saved file will still load but instead of the old item it will be whatever we replace it with. So for instance, if you previously used the planet item in floors, and we replaced it with a wooden deck, you get the wooden deck instead of the planet When you loaded that saved file.

    To fix it, you would just load the character from the file, choose a different item that was more appropriate, and resave it.

  8. If a background item was masked to another at the time of saving, would the changed item remained masked?

    I do save everything that I do, in text and screen grab, but I find I don’t usually change what I’ve done. Like Kaldath, I would start from scratch if I wanted to revise something. And for most of my character pics, I seldom use backgrounds anymore. To much time to highlight and shade the main subject of the pick.

    I’m cool if decide to reorganize to make the categories subjects more precise.

  9. The new item would appear where ever the old item was with all of its attributes. That includes masking, colors, Alpha, scaling, etc. It’s just instead of a planet being there, it would instead be the hardwood floor.

    Not to get too technical, but the save file simply has the number of the drawn item. So if we replace number five which used to be a planet, with a hardwood floor instead, your save file only knows to load item 5, whatever it is.

  10. I’d rather have the sets make sense, if some reordering is in order, so be it. That’s my $0.02. And I get the save file issue, but hey, no pain, no gain, right? ;) :P

  11. Of course this goes beyond the backgrounds. Some sets need to be cleaned up a bit now that they have accumulated enough items to be broken up into subsets. A very simple example is the FootStandard set. The FootMonster set was recently created using all the creature feet that were in the Standard set. It would be great for organization’s sake to get rid of the creature/monster feet in the Standard set now that they have a comfortable home else where.

    I would love to see a reorganized HeroMachine (dare I say version 3.5) but I understand the potential frustration of people who want to work on old characters. It would be great if we could have a HeroMachine 3 that was frozen in time with all the current sets as they are, that people could use when they wanted to revisit their old characters.

  12. And of course the revised HeroMachine would march on with the new reorganized sets.

  13. I think the stuff should be moved to the sets they will fit in better. we can always edit our saved files if we have to

  14. My vision for the Standard sets was always that they should be a sampling of some of the pieces from each of the others in the same slot. Almost like one of those appetizer samplers at a restaurant. I’m happy to have a fair number of Monster items in FootRight-Standard file for that reason — plus, if history is any indicator, the Monster set will grow and it won’t be so crowded with dupes.

    The only slot that seems seriously disorganized to me is Backgrounds, where there just isn’t a lot of rhyme or reason to some of the placements. Every time I open one of those files and look at the previews I’m like “What the f**k was I thinking?”

    The rest I’m pretty happy with, actually. I know they could use some cleanup and a bit of tweaking but I don’t think they’re broken. So long as it’s easy to find what you’re looking for and you don’t have to feel like you’re guessing when you load a set, that’s the key.

  15. That makes sense when you think of Standard as the buffet of all the various goodies.

  16. @dblade: Consider that, officially, HM3 is still in alpha…..

  17. Any changes to the background won’t have an effect on me, I don’t save backgrounds!