As I say in the video, I will probably be going back to the costume and having a mess around with it, because I'm not entirely happy with it and the video would be an hour long if I recorded until I was happy with it. If I have any interesting ideas that I think could make good content for a video, I'll include them at the start of next weeks video. Also, remember to say which you'd like me to do a tutorial of next week, anime style face and hair or normal face and hair.
Ok, I'll admit I was a tad mean with this weeks CDC curveball, but it's not fun to be predictable. But the fact that he couldn't enter it into the contest didn't stop AMS from carrying on his redesigns of his character The Ankh, whom he entered into the HM1 contest and then recreated for the HM2.5 Contest.
So, it's an AMS picture, y'all know what to expect. Fantastically simple costumes that still manage to knock your socks off (see the top, which is a nice combination of two tops and some shoulder items, masked so they all fit together like they were a single item), peerless shading (do I need to give examples here?), posing and expression (look how fierce the expression is) and that finishing touch that just takes his work that extra little way (in this case the background, which appears to be a combination of three different background techniques. The first being the stars, which are masked to a background square. Then you have a gradient circle, which is also masked to a background square, to give the black corners. Then finally, over the top of the previous two elements, there is the gradient square, which is set to Colour 2 as White and Colour 1 is set to 0% alpha, then flipped upside down, so it looks like the background is fading into the white base. Well, that's how I'd do it anyway). So yeah, your standard AMS work. That is to say, it's freakin' sublime.
This week we'll keep it short and sweet with the Big Question. Like the previous 2, this one is going to be heromachine related.
So, question is, what Blog series, past or present, is/ was your favourite? Personally I'd have to go with the Power User Profiles. It's nice to learn more about the people who use this site and, as we have a Hall of Fame for pictures but not one for users, it's nice to reward those who contribute to the community.
So, over to you guys. What's your favourite blog series that we've had on the Heromachine Blog?
As promised, part 1 of the new mini series of videos here on the Blog on Tuesdays, starting this week with posing. I did focus mainly on one pose, but I threw in a few other bits as well, and the principles I go over whilst making this pose can be applied elsewhere as well.
Hope y'all find it helpful. Oh, and sorry for my voice, the fan on my Mac was going crazy during the recording, so I had to filter and EQ the buzz out afterwards and it makes my voice sound a bit weird. Hopefully it won't happen next week.
Remember to leave suggestions for costume ideas for next weeks video. If there are any things you've seen someone do on Heromachine that you'd like me to go over, feel free to say and I'll see what I can do (it might be an idea to leave a link to the HM picture you reference if you do so).
Now there's a very particular reason I chose this weeks COTW and I want to see if anyone realises before they get to the end of the post. So, everyone, please take a look at this.
Ok, well for a start it's DiCicatriz, so that means the shading is awesome. You can just feel the cold emanating from him, with those icy blues and the stark white highlights. But that's not the reason.
Then we have the contrast of the picture. The cold blues and whites of the foreground character stand out brilliantly against the warm reds oranges and browns of the background. Still not the reason though.
Then we have the costume. Admittedly I would have preferred it if the pure black didn't make up most of the colour for the costume, it does mean much of the detail is lost, but it works against the very light body colours. I do like the fact that DiCi has used some of the lesser seen items, the disk shoulder pads (not sure what they're called) and the giant clawed gauntlets. It makes the piece stand out more. But again, that's not the reason.
The reason I chose to feature this picture, is because of his face. He's Regice 😉 . Ok not really, but he looks quite like him. Seems like someone else is as hyped as I am for the new Pokemon games 😉 .
Difficult decision this week. There's been at least 3, maybe 4 pictures that could have been featured this week, but I'm going to go with this one by Nug because it gives me a bit more to talk about.
Lets kick off with the best bit shall we. As I'm sure everyone has noticed, the colour on the visor here is truly stunning. The warmth and the depth is gorgeous, it really adds to the sunrise reflection effect that is being portrayed here. It also doesn't drown out the rest of the reflection, nor the face beneath the visor, which is good, making the image seem more realistic. I also like the fact that Nug put small highlighting shines in some of the hexagons on the visor. It's a little detail that just adds that little bit of polish to the image and just takes it that little bit further.
Nug said on his thread that he wasn't to happy with the hair on this picture. I personally can't see the problem. The slight glow that he has added makes the hair seem more natural than it would if it were just left unshaded. That combined with the fact that you can actually see the individual hairs for the most part gives a natural looking hair style with an un-natural edge, a very pleasant and eye-pleasing juxtaposition.
However, we now come to something I haven't done in a while, what's wrong with the picture. Nug is right, this picture isn't perfect, it could be improved. And for me, it's the jaw line. The metal part of the helmet is made from a cyber-torso, which is fine and the item works well for its purpose, but I don't like how Nug just left the bottom edge as it was. It gives the character an oddly shaped square jaw and it looks odd when you look at the characters chin. If he had masked the torso item to the same female head he had used for the chin, Nug may have been on to a real winner here. But just that one bit makes it fall short of perfection. But only just.
The Nate asked for a swaddled baby and I obliged. No questions asked. I just assumed that there was some crazy weaponization of a baby involved. This piece (2 pieces actually, swaddling and baby head) can be found in ItemRight/Miscellaneous. Enjoy this new bundle of joy!
You know guys, the 200th Contest got me thinking, we've had two contests now where we've been asked to enter what we think is our best ever work. But what would enter if you had to pick someone else's work? What is you favourite piece of heromachine artwork that someone else has done?
It's not an easy decision this one, I mean there's been so many great artworks all the way from the classics from people like Zyp, AMS or djuby, to the more recent additions from 'machiners such as Valyndril, Jeimuzu or Stulte. But having considered it long and hard, personally, I'm gonna have to go with this one by SeanDavidRoss.
You know how, last week I said about when I first found the blog side of the site. Well this was one of the first pictures I stubbled across when I did find the blog. It looked like it was hand coloured then and still does. Ok, looking at it now compared to some of the more clean and neat shading styles that people have adopted since, it does look a bit rough in some places. But that really doesn't matter. It's still a stunning piece of art.
So that's my pick, now it's over to you guys. You can mention more than one if you so wish, I'm not that mean, I'm just interested and I don't have anything better to post today.
So, I’ve been doing some thinking about Item Creation. I currently offer my services to create prizes for the Character Design Contests, which are weekly events. In the past I posted item polls, with selections gathered from user requests and my own whims, to determine what item to work on next. When JR asked me to generate prizes for the contests I originally planned to alternate between prizes and polls from week to week. I had forgotten that the Character Design Contests were weekly though and I abandoned the polls with that realization. Now I am reconsidering the alternating item creation scheme, doing a CDC prize one week and then posting a poll the next week. The downside of this is every other week there would be no prize offered for the contests. The upside would be more people would have a chance to influence what items are added to HeroMachine. Either way there would be one item generated a week.
I’ve made a poll to get a handle on what people think. Please feel free to post any comments if you feel strongly one way or another.