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Alright! It’s time for another Open Critique Day!
(Thanks to Worf for this idea) This time around, I’m going to ask that if you want to post a work, you also give a critique to someone else. This is just to make sure that there is more than just one person giving critiques. And, since I’m sure that the question will pop up, if you are the first one to post something, come back later to critique someone else’s work.
And one last thing: Should I change this to happen on Fridays, Sundays, or just keep it going on Saturdays?
As for how this goes, you post a work of yours, finished or WIP (aka work in process, for those who are new to abbreviations), and then others give you critiques on your work. I do not mind if you post the occasional non-HM picture or piece of writing, but keep in mind that, though there are some, not all of us here are writers or do art outside of HeroMachine. All I ask is that you only post pictures that are your own design and not any that copyrighted or based off of copyrighted characters. As for pieces of writing, I’m not sure about whether fan fiction is allowed, but for right now, just in case, don’t post fan fiction either.
Our esteemed founder Mr Hebert posted this over on the Heromachine Facebook page earlier today and I thought I might as well share it here, because he’s right, it does perfectly encapsulate what this community is all about.
There’s no such thing as bad art, just unimaginative critics.
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.
Daryl “dblade” Blasi
Ok, I’ve gone and broken my own rules again, because this picture was actually posted last week. But I already had written last weeks COTW post when this was uploaded and when I went back and looked at it again I thought to myself “I should probably feature this one next week”. So I’m going to.
It’s not often that we get a picture where I actually have to go into Heromachine to try and figure out how it was made and then, an hour later, I come out none the wiser. Rob if you could enlighten us as to how you managed to blend the grey portion of the face so seamlessly with the rock face, as well as how you managed to get the grey sections patterned without the white bits being patterned also, because I couldn’t get it to work when I tried to do the same, I’d be very grateful. It’s such a great effect and it really annoys me that I can’t explain it….
Hang on. I just zoomed in on Preview and had a look at the face more closely. Are those background-floors? You sneaky bugger. Those are the wood/ stone texture uneven floors turned sideways! *facepalms* How did I miss that? Time to whip out the COTW slogan of “simple but effective” once again.
Anyway, my favourite part of this image isn’t actually the planetoid face, it’s the character carving it. Rob was the person who, if not created, at least made known the technique of backlighting with his CDC33 winning entry Moonsrise. And he’s used the effect to great… effect (?) again here. The effect is, once again, stupidly simple, you create and pose a character and then make the colour full black, so the character is a silhouette. Then you make duplicates of the items/ body parts that you want to be backlit, and make the copies slightly bigger than the originals, place them behind the original body parts so that they are slightly showing, and change the colour so it is the colour you want (in this case yellow, but white is more striking). The effect can be quite stunning when done well, as Rob shows us here.
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.
Now, I’m very excited about this one.
For those of you who haven’t quite figured it out yet, this week marks the 200th Character Design Contest on the Heromachine blog, counting all of the contests hosted by Jeff, Hammerknight and myself. And, since the 100th CDC was a best-of contest, lets make this one the same.
The rules are simple. Each person gets ONE entry and one entry only. The original submission rules apply, so that’s the rules on file naming that were in place when Jeff ran the contests (which will be listed below). You cannot enter a piece that has won a contest before, or made it onto a poll, however, previous contest entries are otherwise allowed. Any entries that do not conform to these rules will be disqualified, and I’m going to be being very very picky about this. ALL the entries will be put into the poll for the week, I have absolutely no say in who goes on the poll, if you enter you’re guaranteed a shot at the win and the prize.
Now what is the prize I don’t hear you ask because I’m typing this in advance of it being posted. Well, in addition to the usual dblade patented Whiz Bang Item, your winning entry will be immortalised in the Heromachine Hall Of Fame alongside the best artworks produced by the greatest heromachiners of all time.
Oh, and just for the record, as I’m not judging for the poll this week, I’m gonna be entering. No prizes for guessing why I’m excited now.
Anyway, as I’ve already said, only one entry per person, and as usual the contest will close at midnight Saturday (blog time). The winner gets to claim a custom made item from dblade to be put into heromachine, so long as the item conforms to his prize rules, which you can find here: http://www.heromachine.com/forum/the-heromachine-art-gallery/dblades-whiz-bang-item-dispenser/. Please make sure you read the contest rules before entering, because it would suck to get disqualified from this contest. Have fun and good luck to everyone.
Rules for posts, contests, and challenges that I am hosting: Original characters only, no copyrighted characters, no characters based on copyrighted characters, no characters based on RPG’s or other games. The characters must be your own design and not based on any character that might be copyrighted in any way. I have the right to delete any post that I believe crosses this line without warnings. Please make sure your entries are named properly, because I’m not going to go and rename them all myself. If they’re not named properly, they just get ignored, I’m not even going to ask you to rename them, they just get skipped. I’ve made it plain enough, you don’t do it right, it’s your look out not mine. Them’s the breaks I’m afraid.
- Entries must be made as a comment or comments to this post, containing a link directly to the image and the character name;
- 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.