Category Archives: Sharing Day

Another Thought

I’m sure some of you may remember a piece I did on this blog back in February titled: Just A Thought. If you don’t here’s a link- link. Back then it was in reaction to the suicide attempt of 11 year old Michael Morones, who tried to take his own life because he was bullied because he was a fan of My Little Pony. Well, it is with a heavy heart that I once again have to dust off the soapbox, because the world just doesn’t get the message.

This morning, I was doing my rounds of checking all my usual internet haunts (deviantart, the forums etc.) and this is the second story down on the MLP community website (for those of you who don’t know, I am a very avid Brony, and I really don’t care if you like it or not)- http://www.equestriadaily.com/2014/12/brony-takes-his-own-life-due-to-online.html

The page has a link to the original article as reported in the British tabloid press and the story goes something like this. 19 year old Brony, Adam Smith, was bullied online by internet trolls because of his fandom of MLP, the fan fiction he wrote of the show and his learning disability. He was accused of plagiarism for his story (I do not know if these claimed had any foundation, I haven’t read his story nor seen the comments thread of it on the website it was posted on). He later made a youtube video apologising to the people who accused him of plagiarism for any misunderstanding (again, I haven’t seen the video). He was then attacked in the comments section of the video by people laughing at his speech problems. A few days later, Adam Smith walked in front of a moving train.

Now we come to the point of todays missive, much like my Just A Thought had a point to it. When it comes to criticism, some people take it better than others, but verbally attacking someone and mocking them because of something completely out of their control, such as a disability, is not even justifiable. It is one of the lowest things a person can do. So never laugh at a person less fortunate than yourself, just think how that would feel. And when it comes to dealing with people who think that the best form of entertainment is making someone else feel like dirt, ignore them. Trolls like this thrive on attention, so starve them of it. Most, if not all, internet sites allow you to block users, that feature is there for a reason. Of course, if this is happening in real life, then you don’t have a block button, so tell someone, a teacher, a parent, a team manager if its happening at work. You have a right to feel comfortable with who you are and it is wrong for someone to try and make you feel uncomfortable with being yourself.

Criticism is welcome in this community, it’s an artistic community, it’s actively encouraged. But destructive criticism (“this sucks” and any variation there-in) is not welcome and will get you hit with sanctions as quickly as a moderator notices your comments. So if you are going to criticise, make sure its constructive. Tell the person how the can improve their work, what they could do differently, be encouraging, it feels so much better for all involved. Because trolling will get you shown the exit door, it’s that way and it only opens from the inside. Once you’re out, you’re out.

And as a final thought; really, it doesn’t matter what other people think in the end. Yeah bad comments and criticism can hurt at first, but they don’t really matter. As long as you enjoy what you’re doing, that is good enough. Be you, because you are awesome.

JR out.

The Big Question ♯28

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?

The Big Question ♯27

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.

The Big Question ♯26

Oh dear, JR’s been going through old blog posts again and has decided to do another one off Big Question.

So yeah, I was going through some of the old Big Questions and I stumbled across one of the earliest ones I did (think it was number 9 or something) where I asked what peoples first comic book experience was, and whilst reading through some of the replies I saw a comment by Niall Mor where, near the end of his comment, he started to talk about how he started out with Heromachine. So that’s this weeks Question, because I’m genuinely interested and I know that everyone here has a story here, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. So, how did you discover this website? How did you become part of the Heromachine Community family? Tell us your Heromachine story.

Personally, I started out with Heromachine 2 in, I think it was around 2006. I was bored whilst staying down at my Grandparents house one day and I started messing about on their computer. I can’t remember what exactly lead me to the site, but I probably searched “Create A Superhero” in google and this site was the first thing that came up. I dutifully set about creating my own comic book fantasy world, full of characters either myself or my friends (who all loved this new toy I’d discovered) had thought up with our twelve/ thirteen year old brains. I was quite happy just messing around with the basics for a while, until the 2.5 update. Around then I stumbled across a collection of other Heromachine art. I think it was still on the site, it must have been on the blog or the forums but it blew my mind. There was stuff there that I didn’t know was possible to do, it was the first time I saw any of the alternate skins or monster bodies, I remember seeing one female character that had a transparent 1st skin colour with a purple 2nd colour and I basically went and memorised every aspect of that character and went into the program and rebuilt it. I can even visualise it today. That got me into actually experimenting with the program, although this kinda slowed when the other versions of the program where introduced (Modern Warrior Creator, then HM3). Then it was just translating my 2.5 characters into 3 with my very limited skills at the time. It took me a few years before I looked properly at the blog, I focused again solely on my own little world on the program its self. But then, for some reason I took a look and, as with the previous time I ventured away into the unknown depths of the site, I discovered wonders. I found the contests and through those the art of AMS, DiCicatriz, Anarchangel (I have to say guys, you have no idea how many of your characters I tried and failed to recreate the way I did with the transparent girl) Kaldath, Asder,  Zyp and SeanDavidRoss. I discovered that there was a whole community built around this program and there were people out there doing this amazing work with this thing that I was barely scratching the surface of. And you know what I did? I turned round and said “I’m gonna try and beat them.” God, if you look back at my first contest entry, I was such an idiot. I didn’t stand a chance and not only because I didn’t name my entry correctly. It didn’t take me long to realise that I could do better, so I ended up on deviantart, where, once again, I started look at how other people were using Heromachine, in specific; AMS. I started trying to copy his style and whilst I didn’t fail spectacularly, it’s safe to say, I was no AMS. Thankfully, he humoured me and gave me some advice on shading and how to improve my art. Shortly after that I got up the confidence to join the forums, which was actually because I wanted a bit of help on a picture and Jeff told me to go to the forums newly opened “How Do I?” section. A few days later I started up my thread and the rest, as they say, is history.

So yeah, that’s how I got started on Heromachine and how I got into the community. So now it’s over to you.

Oh and if anyone’s interested, I still have that first Heromachine picture that I made round my Grandparents all those years ago. I know it’s terrible, but I was thirteen (maybe twelve, I can’t exactly remember the date). I think his name was The Eagle or something like that.

The Eagle

Community Submissions: Not Just A Rant with Herr D

Ok guys, time for another Community Submission, this time featuring Herr D. If you have anything that you would like to submit for this feature the submissions are now open again for this week, until next Wednesday, and you can find the rules, guidelines and other info on how to submit here: Link

Now without further ado, I’ll hand y’all over to the very capable tentacles of Mr Herr D.

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Community Submissions: Superhero Movies You’ve Never Seen (And Why You’ve Never Seen Them) with Skybandit

Ok guys, time for the first of our Community Submissions, this week brought to you courtesy of Skybandit. Submissions next Thursday are now open. You can find the rules and other submission information here: Link

Anyway, I will now go away and leave you with Skybandit.

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New Blog Posts?

Hey guys, JR here and I have a question to ask y’all.

When I posted the most recent Character Of The Week, I posited the idea of bringing it back as a weekly blog post, rather than a sporadic thing posted when I feel like it, and the response has been pretty affirmative. So, I think COTW will now take up a place on the blog each Friday. However, one of the things that a number of people have said is that they’d like to see more topical posts on the blog, like there were last summer. My question is, is this a feeling that is shared by the majority?

Now I’m certainly willing to do more stuff, I have a bit of free time at the moment, and Kaldath has said that he’d be willing to do more than just the Caption Contest, but the thing is, we’re not exactly sure what to do. I had a load of topics going last summer, but apart from the Big Question, there wasn’t much response to many of them and even the interest in the Big Question waned after a while (although I stopped it because I had ran out of topics I wanted to discuss/ felt it was worth discussing). The same goes for the topics Kaldath used to run, such as the Anime Talks, Poll Position or the redesign contests. The problem here is, we can’t tell how popular a topic/ blog series is. There isn’t a view counter/ page visit counter that we can just look at, so we can’t tell how many times a certain post has been viewed and the only way we can gauge a response is through comments left and, if we’re being honest, the only posts that ever get above 10 comments are the Character Design Contests, which won’t be going anywhere anyway. If we were to bring back old topics or start up new ones, it would need to be a two way street. We can’t keep giving you content if there’s no response to it, it just feels like “why are we even bothering if no-one’s looking at it”. You get where I’m coming from?

Then we have the problem of what topics do you want. I will admit I messed up the last weekly blog post I tried to get started, the Sharing Day Video Posts. Problem there was at the time I was finishing off uni, so I didn’t have all that much time to do them in and when I did get time, something would always prevent me doing them properly, so one week I ended up not posting it and then I just fell off the ball and it went away. I could bring that back if people are interested, because I seem to remember there was a bit of interest in that. As for other stuff, you guys will have to tell us what you want. We can bring back some old topics (Big Question, What Were They Thinking, Sci-Fi Corner, Anime Talk etc.) or we could do something new, which you can give out some ideas. We could even change up a few of the old topics, for example maybe instead of Sci-Fi Corner there could be a Fantasy based blog series, discussing fantasy tropes and topics (though Kaldath would probably have to do this one, I think he’s a bit more up on fantasy than I am). The one thing I’m not open to bringing back as a weekly series is the Power User Profiles. I originally only intended to do a limited 5 profile series, but my inner-fanboy got a hold and I ended up adding 15 or so names to the list of PUP’s, so I think it’s best we leave that alone for the moment. I’m not saying it’s gone for good, but at the moment I can’t think of anyone who I really want to profile and I don’t want to force it. Besides, with the forums down I don’t have an easy way of contacting people and asking if they would like to do a profile. And finally, and this really is hypothetical and I’m going to completely blindside Jeff and Kaldath with this one, really this will be their call if it were to happen, but I quite like the idea of community submissions. Now, a couple of months back, Herr D sent me over a review of some of the foreign language versions of Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen and, after sending it over to Kaldath, we featured it on the blog. I really like the idea of having community members being featured on the blog, it makes the whole thing more interactive. Of course, we’d have to figure out a way to do this, the stuff featured would have to be topics related to stuff the site deals with (comics, sci-fi, fantasy etc.) and each week one submission would be chosen by the moderators to be featured, rather than just giving everyone permission to post on the blog, because that would be anarchy. This is of course, completely hypothetical at the moment, and if the forums weren’t down I’d have run the idea by Kaldath first, so don’t get your hopes up, it might not happen.

Anyway, sorry for the long rambling post. Let us know what you think about the whole blog post situations, if you would like to see more weekly posts and if so, what?

Sharing Day

Sorry guys, no video post this week. I sat down to record, everything was going quite nicely and then I got interrupted by my housemate knocking on my door, so that recording went out the window. Then second time I tried recording, my webcam failed. And the story then continues in a similar vein from there-on-in, car-alarms going off, other miscellaneous noise, you get the idea, so I’m not gonna keep trying re-records, I’m just gonna do it typed for this week. Sorry about that and all, but hopefully it’ll be service as usual next week.

Anyway. This week we have 2 questions, both from Kaldath, because he asked 2 questions that I really wanted to answer. I’ll include the questions below and my answers will be after the jump.

QOTD 1: Do you collect anything?

QOTD 2: Do you have a cherished childhood television show, animated or otherwise?

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Sharing Day with JR19759

This weeks question: Do you do anything creative besides Heromachine? (Art, music, video etc.)

Sharing Day

Trying out a new format today. It’s up to you guys if you want me to continue or not. Hopefully these will get better in the future, this one is pretty much just a test run, to see if you like the idea or not. Sorry about my voice, I know I sound awful.

Anyway, todays question: What inspires you to create on Heromachine?

Leave your answers in the comments below and if you have any questions that you’d like me to use in a future video feel free to leave them in the comments too.