Category Archives: Meta

Art Thief Found

Just to let you guys all know, it has brought it to our attention that a WordPress Blog by the name of Sunburst Comics and it's owner Andrew Burke has been stealing a lot of peoples Heromachine characters for his character profile images.

I would advise going to the blog, looking through as much as you can and flagging everything that is yours if you don't want it used. I've so far found three of my works in only one section and we've also found art by djuby, Trekkie, Funkmachine7, DiCicatriz & Madjack, so that should give you an idea of how bad this is. The guy has changed the names of all the characters (appart from the DC ones he's included) so it's not easy to find everything.

If you find something of yours and want to take it down there is a little ... symbol that appears in the bottom right of the screen that brings up a pop up menu of actions, the report this content option is in there. Make sure you have links to both the offending page on Sunburst and your original posting. So far, it seems he's only using characters posted on Deviantart, so if you're on Deviantart DEFINATELY CHECK IT. If you're not, it may be worth checking just in case, because we don't know if he's going to other sites as well.

Credit to Blastermasterism for discovering this, his original journal can be found here

Flash Support is Ending but HeroMachine Is NOT!

Hi folks! It's been a while since I posted anything, but since hardly a day goes by without someone asking me what the future of HeroMachine is given that support for Flash (the software HeroMachine is built with) will be ending in 2020, I thought I should give you an update.

This year I have been working with Ben, the developer who helped with the site migration a number of years ago, on a non-Flash version of HeroMachine 3 built with Javascript and PHP instead of Flash. Once complete, this version should work on all devices and browsers without needing Flash at all, including (in theory) iOS so you can Machine on the go.

We have a ways to go yet, but Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I hope to have something to show you all next month.

As for what will happen with older HeroMachine versions, I honestly don't have an answer yet. I don't plan on making a non-Flash version of those, though my hope is that someone will have a "non official" Flash player plugin available at some point that you can use in a browser so they'll just keep working. We'll see.

Thanks for sticking with me and best of luck in all your creative endeavors!

3D Items For Cosplay

The reason I started HeroMachine so many years ago was because I knew most people were bursting with creativity, but they just lacked the physical skill of actually drawing what their imaginations were inventing. A quick browse through the forums shows I was right -- you all do amazing work and I am continuously staggered by your work.

I recently found a guy online who brings that same philosophy to cosplaying. Nikko Industries provides downloadable files you can 3D-print to make creating awesome cosplays much faster and more accessible to those who -- like me! -- have vivid imaginations but lack the physical crafting skills to bring what I imagine to life.

I had a lot of fun taking a crack at trying to replicate one of his 3D items in HeroMachine 3:

Helmet in HM3 next to an actual 3D printed helmet

I think I got pretty close!

If you've ever wanted to get into cosplay but were intimidated by all the crafting involved, and you have a 3D printer, check out his stuff! He's a really cool guy and his files are fantastic.

HeroMachine 2 Download Problems

I've had some reports of folks who have downloaded HeroMachine 2 not getting the full list of component sets beyond Standard.

I just spent the last hour or so trying out various things and I was able to replicate the issue on my Mac. It looks like the core problem is that browsers now have to be explicitly told that it's ok to trust Flash content that loads from your local hard drive. Otherwise it won't allow the browser to read the components.txt file that has the list of all the other, non-Standard components in it.

It's a bit of a hassle to fix, but I was able to get it working. Here's how.

First, I wasn't able to get Chrome to work properly, which is a bummer because that's my main browser of choice. However, I was ultimately able to get both Firefox and Safari to load all the sets normally.

For both Safari and Firefox, the first step is to get your browser to trust the local folder where you've stored heromachine.html and heromachine.swf. Directions for doing that are at this link https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2210842 but I'll paste them here for convenience:

For Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox, Opera and Safari:

On the affected system, go to the Flash Player Settings Manager:

  • Mac: System Preferences > Flash Player
  •  Windows: Control Panel > Flash Player
  • Select the Advanced tab
  • In the Developer Tools section, click the Trusted Location Settings button
  • Click the "Add..." button and add relevant files and folders to the list

You can either manually navigate to the folder and control-click the htm, swf, and txt files, or you can copy the URL your local HeroMachine is in from your browser window. Like in my case, it was file:///Users/jhebert/Downloads/hmach25/. Paste that into the text box that appears when you click the "Add..." button in the instructions above.

Once that's done, in theory you should be able to close and reopen your browser and the list should be complete. In my case, I wasn't able to see any Flash content because I hadn't yet installed the Flash Player plugin for either Safari or Firefox, but once I went to https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and installed it, I was up and working in Safari.

Firefox, however, threw one more hurdle at me. By default it now requires all Flash content to load from a site that starts with http: or https:, which means that local content (which loads from file://) won't work. To fix that, I found this article -- https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1172126 -- which said to do this:

There is a new security setting in Firefox 55 that supersedes everything else. Only SWF files retrieved on http:// or https:// addresses are played (not file://, ftp://, etc.). If you want to revert to the previous behavior:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste plug*ht and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Double-click the plugins.http_https_only preference to switch the value from true to false 

Once I did that it all worked like it is supposed to.

I know this is all a big hassle and I wish there were some other way around it. But browsers have been getting more and more aggressive with how they handle Flash content, so there are ever more hoops to jump through. Hopefully this helps someone down the line, though.

Basketball Mascots as Super-Heroes

Hi all, Jeff here! It's been a while since I posted anything, and yet here I come with a sports post of all things. Without further ado, here goes!

Continue reading

Meta: Site issues

Hey all, just a quick note to say I've been having some issues with the server all morning, having to reboot it every so often. It looks like maybe there was a malicious file added to an old directory; I've removed it with a security plugin and hopefully set things so it doesn't happen again but I'm keeping an eye on it.

Apologies for any downtime we've had and thanks as always for being a part of the community!

Just testing stuff

This is a test! This is only a test! In the event of an actual post, you would see something like content, or an image. Like this:

titan-vs-superman-color1

Still looking for new blog authors

Hey guys JR here again.

So, last Monday I asked for volunteers to help write stuff for the blog. Of course, I haven't learnt my lesson from last time I tried to get the community involved in doing stuff for the blog, because I've only had one person get back to me.

It's not like I'm asking much, just one post a week on anything geeky you want. You don't have to put a huge amount of time into it if that's a big worry. Out of my numerous blog posts, I've never spent over an hour on a post. One hour a week to help keep the blog going and full of interesting content, is that too much to ask?

I'm going to give you guys another week (so until the 23rd) to come up with ideas and get them to me at jr19759@hotmail.co.uk but if I don't get 3 good ideas by then the whole idea is getting scrapped and you're just getting whatever the current blog authors feel like doing when they feel like doing it (which at the moment is two contests and one list each week) because obviously no-one else can be bothered to put the effort in, so why should we put any more effort in? We're not getting paid to do this people, we're just doing it out of love for the community and wanting to keep it going.

Oh and cheers to Herr D for being the one person to step up.

And with that JR out.

Happy Birthday to Kaldath!

sh-bd

I just wanted to jump in quickly to wish our very own Kaldath a happy birthday!

It's been a rough couple of months for him health-wise, but he's done so much for this site and community that I didn't want the day to pass without wishing him well.

So to you, Kaldath, I hope you spend your day with friends and loved ones, having a ball and experiencing ZERO pain. Good luck man!

Looking for new blog authors

Hey guys, JR here.

So, as I'm sure everyone is now aware, Kaldath is going part-time as Head Moderator and I've been promoted to co-Head Mod. As such, I'm going to try and get the blog more active again. My idea is, I want 3 more blog authors to write articles for the blog on a weekly basis (or if you so wish, more than one article on a weekly basis). The sort of things I'm looking for are topical discussions on relevant subjects, reviews of recent releases (comics, TV shows and films, possibly books if appropriate), possibly Heromachine tutorials if someone wants to try that out. If you wanted to bring back one of the old blog topics that are no longer around, that would be acceptable as well (obviously the CDC's and Pop Quizzes are not included here because djuby is currently running those, neither is the Friday Night Fights or the Hall Of Fame, as these are special topics).

Now, I'm looking for 3 people, as I said earlier, who are dedicated and reliable. One problem we've had in the past is we add a new blog author, they do one or two posts and then nothing. I don't want that happening again. So if you want to give it a go, email me at jr19759@hotmail.co.uk with the email subject title Blog Author Idea and an outline of your topic idea (if you can include an example that would be useful) and your heromachine username, then I will pick the three people that I feel have the best ideas and will be the most reliable, pending approval from Jeff of course. I would also like to make this clear that, these are not moderator positions, just blog author.

So, yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with.

With that.

JR out.