F.A.Q.

Community Blog FAQs

  1. How can I enter my character in a design challenge?
  2. How often are challenges held?
  3. I just want to post my characters someplace where people can see them, where should I do that?
  4. Can I post my picture of Superman here?

HeroMachine 3 FAQs

  1. Who owns the images I create in HeroMachine, and what can I do with them legally?
  2. What is HeroMachine 3?
  3. When will HeroMachine 3 be released?
  4. Will there be a beta program for HeroMachine 3?
  5. What will HeroMachine 3 cost?
  6. Where’s the female body and female items? AKA Why are you a sexist pig?
  7. Will there be multiple bodies and poses in HeroMachine 3, like a flying pose or a teen body?
  8. What will HeroMachine 3 offer that HeroMachine 2 doesn’t?
  9. WillI be able to download HeroMachine 3?
  10. Where can I go to get updates on the status of HeroMachine 3?
  11. Will the items in earlier HeroMachine versions be included in HeroMachine 3?
  12. Can I transfer saved HM3 characters from one computer to another?
  13. How can I share my HeroMachine illustration?

HeroMachine 2.x FAQs

  1. What is the difference between the HeroMachine 2 Desktop Edition and the free online version at UGO.com?
  2. Why doesn’t the left-hand item in HeroMachine 2 show up when I load a saved character?
  3. What operating systems will the HeroMachine work under?
  4. Can I use the HeroMachine to create a character from a previously published work, like Superman® or Spider-Man®?
  5. One of the skins in HeroMachine 2 is blank! Oh noes!!
  6. When the application comes up, I don’t see any text, and nothing happens when I click on what look to be the buttons.
  7. I mailed my character to a friend, but when they try to load it, the application times out and I get an error message asking if I want to cancel the script.
  8. I can’t copy the Save Character text.
  9. What do I do?
  10. What do I do with my character when it’s done?
  11. Why doesn’t anything happen when I click on a color?
  12. How can I save my character as an image?
  13. Who owns the copyright for the character(s) I create?
  14. What does the HeroMachine cost?

Community Blog FAQs

  1. How can I enter my character in a challenge?
    Character design challenges are held every other Monday. To enter, just wait for a post to appear announcing the challenge theme for that week. Create your character, put it somewhere that the public can see it, then make a comment on the announcement post giving its location and name. That’s it! Here are more specific details.

    • All entries must be in JPG or PNG form (BMPs are too big), posted to a publicly accessible website (like ImageShack, PhotoBucket, the HeroMachine Art Gallery Forum, whatever);
    • Entries must be made as a comment or comments to the challenge post post, containing a link directly to the image and the character name;
    • The image cannot have been used in any previous HeroMachine character design challenge;
    • Please name your files as [your name]-[character name].[file extension] before you upload it. So DiCicatriz, for instance, would save his “Bayou Belle” character image as DiCicatriz-BayouBelle.png.
    • Please make the link go directly to the image (like this) and not to a hosting jump page (like this). See this post on how to get the direct link for most sites.
    • All entries must be in by the Monday following the announcement.
  2. How often are challenges held?
    Character design challenges are held every other Monday. Alternating weeks will feature Caption Contests. Pop Quiz Challenges (like Character Design challenges, but lasting only one day and on a more limited scope) can occur at any time.
  3. I just want to post my characters someplace where people can see them, where should I do that?
    Your best bet for getting people to notice and comment on your images is to put them on the HeroMachine Art Gallery Forum. You should be using HeroMachine 3 at this point, which has a built in “Save as JPG/PNG” function to get the image of your character.
  4. Can I post my picture of Superman here?
    No. The HeroMachine software is intended to make character images from your imagination, not to create images of copyrighted characters created by someone else. If you choose to make those kinds of illustrations, you assume any legal liability for having done so. I’ve done my best to keep any copyrighted symbols or items out of the program so you don’t accidentally fall victim to using something you didn’t know was protected.

    On any site I own and control, and for which I am responsible, I do not allow the posting of copyrighted characters.

HeroMachine 3 FAQs

  1. Who owns the images I create in HeroMachine, and what can I do with them legally?
    You own the concept and design of whatever you create in HeroMachine. Ownership of the specific image of that concept as it exists in HeroMachine, both in aggregate and as separate pieces, belongs to me. In other words, I don’t claim to own your idea just because you drew it with my program, but you can’t claim to own that collection of items within the program in an effort to keep others from reproducing it. If someone creates an infringing image of your character in the program and then tries to claim ownership over your design, you need to go after them for it.

    A license to use any image you create in HeroMachine any way you like is automatically granted for any non-commercial use, though of course some sort of link back or credit is appreciated.

    If you wish to use the image or images in a commercial setting, contact me to discuss it. Typically all I ask is a credit or link back to the program.

  2. What is HeroMachine 3?
    HeroMachine 3 is the next version of the HeroMachine online character portrait creator, presented by UGO Networks.
  3. When will HeroMachine 3 be released?
    We do not yet have a firm release date for HeroMachine 3, but it is under active development by creator Jeff Hebert at this time. It should be available some time in the spring of 2011.
  4. Will there be a beta program for HeroMachine 3?
    Yes, a free, public, ongoing beta test will be available to anyone who wants to come try out the program while it is being developed. Anyone will be able to leave comments, suggestions, observations, bug reports, and feature requests. The beta will be constantly updated with new items and features as it goes along.
  5. What will HeroMachine 3 cost?
    HeroMachine 3 will be completely free, thanks to UGO.
  6. Where’s the female body and female items? AKA Why are you a sexist pig?
    The plan is to get the male body and its items completely set, then convert over necessary items to a female body. The reasons for this are threefold.

    First, I want to make sure I get at least part of this thing done both completely and correctly in case something goes wrong and I’m not able to work on it any more.

    Second, trying to keep all the various items coordinated across different body templates is tedious, time-consuming, difficult, and boring all at the same time. If I put out a set of items, and then someone suggests some really cool stuff I left out, I’d have to go back and make sure the same items are added in the same spot across all the various templates, instead of just worrying about one.

    And finally, I suck at drawing women, so I need to take more time and make sure I get it right. This may ultimately mean I pay someone else to draw the basic body, I haven’t decided yet.

  7. Will there be multiple bodies and poses in HeroMachine 3, like a flying pose or a teen body?
    The basic idea of HeroMachine 3 is much different than in HeroMachine 2. You will be able to build up your own body styles using separate items, so you can essentially create your own pose and body style. If you want a muscled Brick style character, you will be able to scale the Body to those proportions, leaving the head relatively normal. If you want a more slender character, you will be able to create that as well.
  8. What will HeroMachine 3 offer that HeroMachine 2 doesn’t?
    Scaling, rotating, and movement of every item; ability to control line color; layering of every item in any order regardless of what slot it belongs to; loading multiple items from the same slot, so you can have five Headgear items at once, or three Pants or two Heads, etc.; “widescreen” mode so you can see the entire character at once without the controls being present; “zoom” feature to allow you to see the head, shoulders, and upper torso much closer; manual RGB or hex value entry for truly customizable color palettes; and much more.
  9. Will I be able to download HeroMachine 3?
    That has not yet been decided at this time.
  10. Where can I go to get updates on the status of HeroMachine 3?
    The best location for HeroMachine 3 updates is the HeroMachine Community Blog, specifically the HeroMachine 3 category.
  11. Will the items in earlier HeroMachine versions be included in HeroMachine 3?
    The goal is to have all of the items from HeroMachine 2.x included in HeroMachine 3, with a few caveats. First, because you can combine multiple items from the same slot in HM3, some previous items will be provided as separate pieces where appropriate. Second, a few of the items were so hideously ugly I can’t bear to include them. Those are few and far between, though. And third, because there are many more slots in HM3 vs HM2, some of the items might be moved around and not necessarily in the place where you might have thought. But the goal is to have all of the items in some shape or form converted over before it goes live.
  12. Can I transfer saved HM3 characters from one computer to another?
    HeroMachine 3 saves your character as a “shared object library file” (.sol for you Windows users), which are like browser cookies, only not: They are not stored in the shared internet data files and will not be deleted if you erase all your cookies. You can only remove them by right-clicking on the movie, going to Flash Settings, and removing them there.

    In Windows, you can find the .sol files in your Windows installation at %AppData%MacromediaFlash Player#SharedObjects\www.heromachine.comhm3 You can copy those and move them to another computer in the same directory where they will be accessible via the HeroMachine 3 “load” function.

    On a Mac they are in HD / User / / Library / Preferences / Macromedia / Flash Player / #SharedObjects / / http://www.heromachine.com / hm3 / heromachine3.swf / hmcharacters.sol where again they can be copied and pasted to other computers in the same directory.

  13. How can I share my HeroMachine illustration?
    First, use the “Export” button to save an image of your character to your computer. (Note that you must have all pop-up blockers disabled for the page for this to work.) You can then post that JPG or PNG image file to any photo-sharing service like PhotoBucket, ImageShack, Tumblr, etc. You can also post it here on the HeroMachine blog forums. If you want to share it with the HeroMachine Facebook community, just go to the HeroMachine Facebook page and click on the “Photo” link on the wall.

HeroMachine 2 Answers

  1. What is the difference between the HeroMachine 2 Desktop Edition and the free online version at UGO.com?

    UGO.com hosts version 2.5 (beta), which contains the first set of expansion items, while the Desktop Edition is version 2.0, which does not include any expansion items. Once the new features are enabled across all six possible bodies, they will be included in the download.

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  2. Why doesn’t the left-hand item in HeroMachine 2 show up when I load a saved character?

    This is a bug with HeroMachine 2.0 which is fixed in the 2.1 patch (click here for the patch).

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  3. What operating systems will the HeroMachine work under?

    The HeroMachine is a browser-based application, which means that it will work on any Operating System that has a browser compatible with the latest Flash plug-in. That means you can use the HeroMachine on with Macintosh, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Linux, and more, with Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer. Although it runs under your browser, it’s located on your hard drive so you don’t need an active internet connection, making it lightning-quick.

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  4. Can I use the HeroMachine to create a character from a previously published work, like Superman® or Spider-Man®?

    No! Using the HeroMachine to create a facsimile of a copyrighted character will expose you to the possibility of legal action for copyright infringement by the individual or corporation holding the rights to that character. The HeroMachine is like a box of crayons — you can draw anything you like, but if you try to rip off someone else’s intellectual property, you can be held liable for it. Such use would also be a violation of the HeroMachine license agreement you must agree to before downloading the product.

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  5. One of the skins in HeroMachine 2 is blank! Oh noes!!

    That skin works, it just doesn’t have any black outlines that show up. Choose two non-white colors and you’ll see it appear.

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  6. When the application comes up, I don’t see any text, and nothing happens when I click on what look to be the buttons.
    You probably need to upgrade your Flash plug-in version. Go to Adobe.com and get the latest version (of the Flash Player. This solves most functionality problems with the HeroMachine.

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  7. I mailed my character to a friend, but when they try to load it, the application times out and I get an error message asking if I want to cancel the script.
    Some e-mail applications insert line breaks into text blocks. When trying to load such text blocks, the HeroMachine’s behavior can be unpredictable. If this happens to you, paste your character’s parameters into a word processing program (like Notepad, SimpleText, or Word), and turn on all hidden characters. Remove any paragraph breaks, then copy and paste the result into the HeroMachine’s load box.

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  8. I can’t copy the Save Character text.
    First, left-click in the text box so the flashing cursor is in the text. Then, right-click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Mac) and choose Copy from the fly-out menu. Then paste the text into your favorite editor and save it however you wish. If you cannot copy the text at all, you may have a problem with your clipboard (especially under Windows NT). In this case, open your Clipboard Viewer (under Accessories in Windows NT) and clear the clipboard. It should work then.

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  9. What do I do?
    The HeroMachine is an online character creator. You cycle through different items to outfit and design your character. For instance, you can change hair styles and colors, eyes, noses, coats of armor, boots, weapons, and more!

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  10. What do I do with my character when it’s done?
    You can save your character’s parameters by clicking on the Save icon (the picture of the diskette) on the left hand side of the application. Copy and paste the results into a text editor, or e-mail them to a friend so they can see your creation. You can also print your character (click on the Print button within the HeroMachine — using the Print command from the File menu of your browser will not work). The HeroMachine creates stand-alone images, there is no way to import the character into an online game.

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  11. Why doesn’t anything happen when I click on a color?
    Not all components have color choices available. Some have no colors, some have one, and some have two. There is no way at this time to tell which is which without trying it out, so warm up that mouse and get ready to click! You might also have cleared the current component, in which case there’s nothing to color. Try advancing one item using the arrow key for that component, then try your color.

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  12. How can I save my character as an image??
    In HeroMachine 2 you have to use a screen-capture utility to save your character as an image. To do this, press ALT-PrintScreen in Windows or Command+Shift+3 on a Mac to capture the entire screen image (including your character) to the clipboard. Then open a paint program (like the aptly-named Paint in Windows, which you can open by going to Start – Run and typing in MSPAINT), go to Edit-Paste, and the screen will appear. Then you can crop it and save it wherever you like.

    Or, you can just use HeroMachine 3, which has a built-in image exporter :-)

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  13. Who owns the copyright for the character(s) I create?
    You own the copyright for the idea and concept of your character, though the actual image you create with the HeroMachine belongs to AFD Studios. Use of that image for non-commercial purposes is granted automatically. If you would like to use the image on a commercial site, please contact AFD Studios. Basically you own the character concept, but AFD Studios retains the rights to each image (including the color scheme) used in that character graphic, individually and in aggregate, as it exists within the HeroMachine. In other words, I can’t claim to own your idea, and you can’t claim to own any collection of images and colors within the HeroMachine, even if someone else uses it to create an exact duplicate of your character. You’ll have to go after them for infringing your copyright, not me.

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  14. What does the HeroMachine cost?
    HeroMachine 1.1 is a free download. HeroMachine 1.1 (full version) and 2.0 are both available for free at UGO.com.

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4 Responses to F.A.Q.

  1. Usually HeroMachine 3 works just fine for me, but today I opened the window and about a third of the application was covered by new sidebars saying “recent posts,” “categories,” etc. How can I get rid of these or when will the site fix the problem?

  2. Chance, I’m working on updating the blog template. It should be working properly now.

  3. I agree with Myro on this. The chronological version is much better if we just add @_____.

    Also, while I’m here, how do I put a thumbnail to my ID thing on the top left of my comments?

  4. McKnight57:
    I agree with Myro on this. The chronological version is much better if we just add @_____.

    Also, while I’m here, how do I put a thumbnail to my ID thing on the top left of my comments?

    Go to http://www.gravatar.com and create a gravatar account.