Category Archives: Cool Characters

Neat characters submitted by HeroMachine fans.

Strut Your Stuff!

From time to time I like to make a place for you all to show off your best stuff. So in the comments, paste a link to your favorite HeroMachine drawing, or maybe one that you feel like hasn’t gotten enough attention, or just something you have done that you think is awesome. It doesn’t have to have been for a contest or anything, it can be any HM illustration you’re particularly proud of for any reason.

Then we can all ooh and ahh over each other’s work and feel good about ourselves!

Just one selection per person, please. I look forward to seeing your stuff!

Succubus by Therianthrope

I’m sorry, I know it’s Jeff’s thing, doing a random character of the day, but I just came across this in the forums and it needs to be given this sort of fanfare.

You can check out the rest of Therianthrope’s gallery here: http://www.heromachine.com/forum/the-heromachine-art-gallery/therianthropes-characters/

Character Of The Week: 21st September

Earlier this week, Delirious Al posted three pieces that I think might just be the best stuff this incredibly talented creator has ever done. I could have featured any of them in this blog, and in fact I changed my mind on which one to cover several times, but I eventually settled on this one because it just seems to have wonder spilling out of it (literally).

9: 21 DeliriousAL_MidnightMagician

 

I’m struggling to know where to start. The glowing effect on the symbols/ tattoos across what of the characters body you can see is just stunning, the simplicity of having the white glow behind the yellow font in order to enhance the font and make it stand out in such a way that it seems realistic is brilliant. Then we have the characters expression and his pose, which are just the right mixture of malevolence, mystery and charisma to make him an enticing centrepiece to a piece with so many different eye catches.

But really, the reason this piece won out over the other two is the background. And to discuss that we must start with the costume, because the two are basically inseparable. For once I find myself unable to recognise what item was used to create the effect of the stars spilling out of the coat, but the effect is magnificent. It does look like a condensed gas escaping from a container. The fact that the rest of the costume is also black adds to the effect, because it is hard to tell where the character ends and the background begins. And then there’s the sunrise, which just adds another layer of warmth and I might just have run out of superlatives for which I apologise, but I think you get the idea.

Character Of The Week- 31st August

Now, up until this morning I had a completely different picture in mind for this weeks COTW, however, when I saw this piece by prswirve when I did my rounds this morning, I felt compelled to change.

8:31 prswirve_elantra

 

Now the first thing that caught my eye here was the patterns that cover her body. I love how they are light on one side and dark on the other, very unusual and effective, especially when the alpha setting on both colours is lowered to allow the shading from the items behind to show through.

The next thing I looked at was the face. She has a great look of focus, with the pursed lips and staring eyes, which is accentuated by the ‘ready’ pose. The shading here is great too, it brings out the facial features wonderfully and doesn’t overpower the pattern that carries over onto the face from the body.

Which brings me nicely onto my second favourite thing about this character, the costume.  I love the custom made top, which teams Far Eastern historic with modern style very nicely, shows of the skin pattern on the shoulder and manages to make pink, purple and brown work together. Of course not everything works brilliantly, the right shoe is a bit off and the cape by the leg could have worked better if a different cape had been used, but those are the only gripes.

However, the best bit of this picture for me is the energy effect prs has created. The warmth of the pinks, oranges and golds used is incredible, it looks like a sunrise and contrasts brilliantly against the dusty dull brown of the background at that point. Brilliantly done.

Character Of The Week- 17th August

When looking for a subject to cover in character of the week I always try to find something different, someone who I haven’t covered before or even recently. However, this week it seems I have been unable to do so, due to the fact Jeimuzu exists and is doing stuff like this on a constant basis.

8: 17 Jeimuzu-Dandelion

 

There are lots of things that caught my eye about this creation in particular, starting with the costume, which is kooky to say the least. I love the hat and the leaves coming out of the sleeves, which both tie in with the characters name; Dandelion. She certainly has a unique style, much like her creator.

The colours used enhance the character brilliantly, only needing three (major) colours for the costume and two for the body/ hair. The costume colours were well chosen to tie in with the name and costume, with the main focus being on the yellow, which alongside the green of the leaves and leggings and the orange of her hair, gives the character a very vibrant feel.

The face was the next thing to catch my eye. Very nicely understated and quite pretty, she looks like the kind of girl you could expect to see dressed in that fashion at some sort of anime convention. She doesn’t look aggressive or overtly sexual (which seem to be the two main categories for super heroines), she looks relaxed, which would certainly be unnerving and strange for anyone facing her.

Finally the pose, which has a very nice movement to it. The fact that she is not really running, but more skipping towards her next adventure adds to the quirkiness of the design. Again, it gives the impression of relaxation around the character, that she’s not really worried about having to do all the super heroics, which I think is a nice way to look at it.

Character Of The Week- 3rd August

Finally, for the first time since the second Character of the Week, we’re going to look at a character. And what a character it is. Sakura Master by Jeimuzu

8: 3 Jeimuzu- SakuraMaster

 

Now, Jeimuzu has been causing quite a stir on the forums since his first post two weeks ago, and I could have put any of the characters he posted this week up for COTW, but I felt drawn towards this one.

We’ll start of with the headgear, which looks like it belongs on a space villain from an anime kids show (and I do not mean that in a bad way, I grew up on ‘em). I’ve no idea how he’d move his head left or right, but it looks badass, even in pink. Plus it’s a good use of an item in a way it wasn’t designed for, in this case shoulder pads for headgear, which always wins big points. I can see a samurai influence in the helmet design, which I’m sure isn’t just because of the Japanese connotations of the character name.

If we now move on to the pose, the lotus position is a must do if you are doing an oriental character, but the fact the character has his arms outstretched, with a dark glare fixed on the viewer suggests to me that he’s only a nano-second from some serious pain dealing.

Colour wise, there’s nothing bad to note. It’s hard to carry pink off well, especially on a male character, but it works here. I also like the shading, although the alpha on the neck- cape could come down a bit to the level of the torso shading (which works really well). The problem with choosing the lightest colours of the pallet and then doing highlighting with white is that the white can often over power the main colour leaving the picture looking swamped, but thankfully this hasn’t happened here. Jeimuzu has found a happy medium, especially on the boots and flowers.

The last bit to talk about here is the attention to detail. And here I have to highlight the arms, or specifically the join between the arms and the flowers. It looks very natural and there are no lining up problems as far as I can see. And I also like the use of the leaf insignias as falling petals, something that is very associated with Japanese culture (usually seen in pictures of Geishas), another great touch in subliminally telling the viewer of the characters culture.

 

Character Of The Week- 27th July

Once again on Character Of The Week, I’m going to feature an image rather than a character (still Character Of The Week sounds better than Image Of The Week). This week we’ll look at this image by the brilliant Moognation.

Now, whilst it might be taken almost directly from a series of images that did their rounds on the internet about a year ago, I felt I had to feature it because it’s just so awesome. The feeling behind it is tangible, if you haven’t ran around with some sort of towel or sheet wrapped around your neck like a cape I think you might be on the wrong site. This picture captures that childhood fantasy perfectly. The pose is right on the money and the proportions are near perfect (which is hard when doing children on heromachine). How Moog did the grass is very inventive, using the bunch of flowers in ItemsRight- Misc, it works very well in silhouette as representing the wild grass on the side of a hill.

The most striking part of this image is the colours. The fact that the majority of the picture is either in greyscale or silhouette makes the yellow, orange and purple of the sunrise stand out even further. And the inclusion of those three colours provides the picture with a feeling of warmth even though the picture is mostly dark and dull greys and black.

Finally, something I wouldn’t usually highlight, the title. It sounds somewhat familiar but I can’t quite place my finger on what. Either way it fits the picture perfectly, which is hard when titling non-character based pictures, and I can just imagine myself saying that when I used to play superheroes as a kid.

Overall, one of the best silhouettes I’ve ever seen in heromachine and, Moog, I hope you do more than just the two you’ve done so far, they are excellent.

Character Of The Week

As promised, one of the new weekly blog posts. Now there idea here is not only to give  praise, but to look at good design features and highlight techniques that make the composition work. So without further ado, this week we’ll look at Renxin’s Kwan Yin.

29th June Renxin-KwanYin

 

This was entered into this weeks CDC, but I had to disallow it due to it contravening the ‘no current religions’ rule, however, it is certainly worth looking at more closely.

First off, let’s look at the colour. Being a representation of a Buddhist god, the colours are very light and natural, none look out of place or overly dominant. Using only three colours is one of the best techniques for getting a good costume, you can often smoother a good design by using too many colours, no matter how well chosen they are. By using only the green, purple and white, it allows the foreground figure to stand out more against the background. The fading effect used on the colours of the lower dress (HINT: which is done by using the rectangle or circles on the last page of the Background-Shapes page and setting the first colour’s alpha setting to 0% and then masking to the desired object) is a really simple but effective technique that can be used in lots of different ways (such as shadow effects or highlighting).

The lotus petals around the feet is a really neat way of using that insignia and by using a lighter outline colour compared to much of the rest of the piece, it differentiates these foreground objects from the main composition in a highly effective way.

The choice of items for making the clothes, whilst not highly innovative, is very effective. The skirts for sleeves is a good example of going to other categories to find what you need.

My favourite part of this piece however, has to be the face. I’m still not quite sure what item was used for the eyes (maybe the manga style nose? Do you think you could clarify for us Renxin, I’d love to know) but it works perfectly. The expression definitely says ‘peace’, which is the point of a depiction of buddhism. The choice of items for the hair and hairpiece were very well chosen and certainly add to the whole head area without drawing attention away from the face, much like the background ‘halo’.

Overall, a wonderfully executed piece that looks very simple, with no masses of shading, because it isn’t needed. Shame it wasn’t eligible for the contest really.

Comic Book Superstars #5 “Batman”

Let’s talk Batman. He is my favorite of them all. Who didn’t want to be Batman when they were a kid. I still would. I could go on for days about him, but I want to hear what you have to say.

Comic Book Superstars #4 “Spider-man”

Spider-man is to Marvel as Batman and Superman is to DC, he is not as old as they are but he has still made an impact. From comics to cartoon, from TV to the movies we have watched him shoot his webs all over the place. I remember watching the old TV show when I was a kid, man I would of loved to have a set of web slingers. I had one of the 12 inch figures that had a string coming from his hand and you would hook it to something and he would climb the string. He wasn’t much of an action figure because he didn’t have moving parts, but never the less he was fun to play with.  I didn’t read the comics, but I sure did watch the cartoons. Firestar was really hot back then, and Iceman was real cool. Let’s hear what you have to say.