Win a Free Custom Character Portrait!

Note, February 1, 2008: This contest is over, so comments on this post have been disabled.

I am pleased to announced the first ever HeroMachine Custom Character Portrait Contest! The winner will receive a free custom, hand-drawn digital illustration of their character by me, Jeff Hebert, professional illustrator and bald guy. Here's how it works:

  1. Send in your HeroMachine character either via the Contact Form; via direct email (; or as a comment to this post. You can attach your character either as a JPG/GIF/PNG or as just the HeroMachine save string, whichever you prefer. If your HeroMachine image is already posted elsewhere (i.e. on the UGO forums), just send in the link to your artwork.
  2. You can use any HeroMachine version you like.
  3. No more than three submissions per person.
  4. In two weeks, on January 21, I will select from the submitted entries the five I think show the most creativity and originality. I will publish those three submissions here on, and create a poll so visitors can vote for their favorite.
  5. The entry with the most votes as of midnight Central time on January 27 will be declared the winner, with the announcement to be made on the morning of Monday, January 28.
  6. The winning entry will receive a custom digital illustration of the winning character (meaning on the computer only, not a physical drawing), with input from the creator. The completed illustration will be displayed on, but the artwork will belong to the winner to use as they see fit otherwise.

You can see examples of HeroMachine creations turned into custom illustrations in the posts I've made previously about Kubota, Hangman, and Talena.

The final artwork will be created by me, Jeff Hebert, original HeroMachine artist whose work has been published in numerous super-hero gaming supplements and magazines. This is a real custom illustration just like those that would cost you hundreds of dollars at a convention or via an artist's commission.

So get busy with the HeroMachine and let your imagination run wild!

43 Responses to Win a Free Custom Character Portrait!

  1. Blue Blazer says:

    Do you just need a picture, or a description along with it?

  2. Jeff Hebert says:

    Just a picture, although you’re welcome to send text along as well.

  3. TheMeanDM says:

    Three entries of my latest PC’s.

    Gregor Glenfiddich, Grand Druid of the Great Northern Forest.

    Gregor is a high powered druid dedicated to defending the balance of nature, while promoting good stewardship of the land. He wears a “dark leaf” breastplate, uses a heavy darkwood shield, and wields a simple wooden club–which can be greatly enhanced by his natural magic.

    His animal companion is a -gigantic- Dire Bear named Artan (welsh for “little bear”). Dire Bears are bigger than even the largest Kodiak/Grizzley bear! A master of many animal forms, Gregor feels more at home “wild shaped” into an animal than he does in his human form.

    Belran Ignansol
    A Stonechild Fighter/Warmage. A unique combination of race and professions, to be certain. A Stonechild is an “elemental” creature that is completely humanoid in shape, except for the lack of hair and hard, rock-like skin. They’re exceptionally strong and healthy. While he looks unarmored, in reality, he wears Mithral Full Plate that is magically enchanted to appear as normal clothing. Quite a surprise, then, when his foes attempt to attack him and find his defenses to be quite strong.

    Tek Ironforge

    Tek is the last of Clan Ironforge, the other clan members slain by a powerful Red Dragon. Tek has sworn himself to kill dragons, especially evil ones. During his adventuring, he discovered a latent psychic ability, which saved his life (and that of a companion). He received training as a psionic warrior, and his most coveted weapon is his deep crystal dwarven waraxe. The deep crystal, in conjunction with his psychic abilities, allow him to dispatch foes very, very quickly. He wears a mithral breastplate and carries an “extreme” steel shield as protection.

  4. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks MeanDM, I’ve got the images inserted into the folder I’m keeping with all the entries.

  5. Jimmy Emery says:

    2.5b5*m1*Skeleton Lord*Hair:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,22,Eyebrows:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,31,Eyes:Standard,round,DC0028,FF0000,100,100,8,Nose:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,25,Mouth:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,29,Beard:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,24,Ears:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,20,Skin:Standard,skeleton,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,7,Mask:Expansion1,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,21,Headgear:Fantasy,skull,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,30,Undershirt:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,9,Overshirt:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,10,Coat:Expansion1,robe,940018,ADA600,100,100,23,RightGlove:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,19,LeftGlove:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,18,Insignia:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,11,Neckwear:Expansion1,medal,ADA600,ADA600,100,100,4,Belt:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,17,Leggings:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,12,Overleggings:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,13,Pants:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,16,RightFoot:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,15,LeftFoot:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,14,Back:Expansion1,neckcape,940018,ADA600,100,100,3,Wings:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,5,Tail:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,6,Aura:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,2,Companion:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,28,Background:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,1,RightHand:Expansion1,skull,5A3410,FFFFFF,100,100,27,LeftHand:,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,26,#

    The Skeleton Lord.

    The Skeleton is the the ruler of an army of evil skeletons. He has no powers but he is able to shoot a beam from his staff.

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    Hades, when clicking on those links I am asked for a password and can’t see the images.

  7. Ashton Jakobson says:

    Will we get extra “credit” for writing a backstory or character bio, or will it even show up when people are voting. Just wondering if I should invest in a bio. Thanks Jeff.


  8. Jeff Hebert says:

    Good question Ashton. If any of the five finalists have backstories, I’ll definitely post them along with the image. As far as picking the finalists out of all the submissions, I would say that anything you can do to help “bring the character to life” would help. The visual appeal is the most important factor, but a story can’t hurt.

    Hope that helps.

  9. Rob Rogers says:

    I wrote a bit about HeroMachine on my blog and included several HeroMachine images. Here’s the link:

  10. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks Mosca. Atom, Warmachine, and Asgahn are entered.

  11. Ashton Jakobson says:

    Hey Jeff, here are my three…I’ll send backstories to you via e-mail when I get them written.


    and if anyone feels like posting constructive critisism, it would be appriciated…

  12. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks Ashton, those are now entered.

  13. Hades says:

    Do you know how I can post the pics?

  14. The Doomed Pixel says:

    If we’ve already sent you our three heroes via e-mail, is it too late to include our backstories? I have one for each of mine, but didn’t send them.

  15. Xstacy says:

    Jenn McKee, Shaman of the modern age:

  16. Jeff Hebert says:

    Doomed, you can send in the backstories whenever you like.

    Xstacy, Jenn McKee is entered.

  17. Matthew Bende says:

    2.5b5*f1*Character Name*Hair:Feminine,flatlong,DC0028,DC0028,100,100,21,Eyebrows:Expansion1,hulk,DC0028,FFFFFF,100,100,19,Eyes:Expansion1,cyclops,00FF00,00FF00,100,100,18,Nose:Expansion1,wide,F7EBE7,F7EBE7,100,100,25,Mouth:Expansion1,closedsmile,FF0000,FF0000,100,100,17,Beard:Expansion1,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,24,Ears:Standard,elfring,F7EBE7,FFF700,100,100,28,Skin:Expansion1,fraBlank,F7EBE7,EFD3C6,100,100,6,Mask:Expansion1,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,20,Headgear:Fantasy,bullhorns,FFFF00,FFFF00,100,100,27,Undershirt:Bustiers,split,000000,FFFFFF,100,100,8,Overshirt:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,9,Coat:Expansion1,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,23,RightGlove:Expansion1,long,848484,FFFFFF,100,100,16,LeftGlove:Expansion1,long,848484,FFFFFF,100,100,15,Insignia:Expansion1,wolf,F7EBE7,F7EBE7,100,100,7,Neckwear:Expansion1,band,848484,000000,100,100,22,Belt:Expansion1,banded1,FFF700,FF0000,100,100,13,Leggings:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,10,Overleggings:Standard,fraBlank,FFFFFF,FFFFFF,100,100,11,Pants:Monsters,satyr,DC0028,FFFFFF,100,100,12,RightFoot:Standard,goat,DC0028,000000,100,100,29,LeftFoot:Standard,goat,DC0028,000000,100,100,30,Back:Expansion1,longhair,DC0028,FFFFFF,100,100,4,Wings:Expansion1,tattered,BDBDBD,FFFFFF,100,100,3,Tail:Expansion1,fox,FF0000,DC0028,100,100,5,Aura:Expansion1,growth,FFFF00,FF0000,100,100,2,Companion:Standard,snake,FFF700,000000,100,100,31,Background:New,castle,848484,9C9C9C,100,100,1,RightHand:Expansion1,daimo,6C4D9B,FFFFFF,100,100,14,LeftHand:Expansion1,fire,FFFF00,FF0000,100,100,26,#

    this is my succubus

  18. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks Matthew, your succubus is entered.

  19. John D says:

    Here are my 3 entries

    1. Veleera
    Veleera was born in a realm of magic. Her mother was an evil spirit and her father was a spirit of light. Her father tried to hide her from her mother. Veleera manifested certain Magical abilities as she got older. She can summon magical creatures in to our woeld. SH has a loyal Hippogriff as a steed. It is the only creature she can summon anytime.

    2. Asheik
    Ahseik is a hunter. She hunts the person that took her true love from her. Her mate was kidnapped four years ago. She almost gave up hope, however the kidnapper sends here small video clips to her cell phone every week to prove her lover is alive, just to taunt her.

    3. Patriot Hawk
    Patriot Hawk was a soldier in Iraq. When unsurgents bombed his caravan he was cut off from his group. Trying to find cover he fell into an underground chamber. He found very old parchments detailing the flight af a man and his son from a Greek prison thousands of years ago. Hanging in the wall was a large pair of man-made wings. He donned the wings and tried them out. He flew back to his command base and hid the wings. He worked to fashion his bullet-proof costume to help protect and give morale to his fellow soldiers as Patriot hawk.

  20. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks John, Veleera, Asheik, and Patriot Hawk are now entered.

  21. cyberdeth says:

    Hello, Jeff!

    I will try to add some dark fantasy flavor to this contest.


    Born from a human mother and incubus demon, Tyra adds her father’s abilities of seduction, trickery and illusion creation to the usual thief’s arsenal.


    While the order of Death Knights was destroyed by the Red Brothers, some of it’s members have survived. Now they have to do their best to keep their past in secret if they want to survive. So does Khorth, the former Death Knight officer.

    Both of characters work for Archmage Cornelius doing the job considered too dirty for the masters of the arcane arts. But he is yet to be designed 🙂

    By the way, thanks a lot for this fantastic program program! It helps me to kill tremendous amounts of time.

  22. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks Cyberdeth, Tyra and Khorth are entered. Nice job on both!

  23. Ashton Jakobson says:


    I really want to win this contest, but if anyone deserves to win, it is you, those two characters are amazing, I loved
    Khorth…Amazingly done chap, may the best man win!

  24. If we’ve already sent you our three heroes via e-mail, is it too late to include our backstories? I have one for each of mine, but didn’t send them.

  25. Jeff Hebert says:

    Go ahead and send them in, the contest isn’t over till Monday.

  26. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks Richard, those are now entered.

  27. Master Spider says:

    Here are mine:


    Ankh’s ancestors descend from a magical realm, however his parents have died while they were escaping to the realm of Humans because their realm was under attack 10.000 years ago, laterly their enemies caught them up on Egypt, and Ankh’s parents had no choice but hid him to the pyramid of Giza, and sacrifice themselves for their son. He was found by a woman later whose house is near a pyramid, and she named him Ankh. Ankh grew up with Egyptian traditions as he grew up, and he lived to this day (the descendants of his native realm tend to live up to thousands of years), only to learn the truth about himself someday.


    Vajra is the Queen of a long lost and forgotten realm, in which reptilian creatures lived. Before her realm was destroyed (at a time 1000 years ago), she managed to mummify herself, only to be resurrected again sometime after everything was settled and she could get her kingdom back. Now resurrected, she wants revenge against the ones had destroyed her realm.

    P.S.: Thanks a lot for creating and programming HeroMachine, and again thanks for announcing a contest like this!

  28. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks for the kind words and the entries Master Spider, you’re good to go.

  29. Spunknicc says:

    Hey, um dude are you going to show the entries on a page somewhere?

  30. Jeff Hebert says:

    Yes, I will post all of the entries into one Picasa web album, all of the “honorable mentions” in another, and of course the five finalists will get their own post where all five will be visible.

  31. Trey says:

    This is one of my characters I created

  32. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks Trey, Slayer is entered.

  33. Seanachai says:

    Here are my entries! Hope I’m not too late…

    Maple Ellison, C.W.P.I.
    Maple Ellison, Certified Wizard Private Investigator, is my PC from a modern-fantasy RPG. She went to college for Law Enforcement and spent a year as a cop. Her first real assignment was to find a missing child. She ended up following a planted trail. By the time Maple figured out it was a red herring, it was too late. The girl was found, but by a civilian and only after the child was brutally sacrificed. Haunted by her complete and utter failure, Maple resigned from the force and went back to college for Thaumaturgy, specializing in Divination. She now owns a small Private Investigator business.

    Sebastian Teak
    Teak is a recurring NPC in my Serenity RPG. He’s a brooks-no-nonsense type who runs a smuggling ring on the moon Three Hills. He was neutral during the war, seeing plenty of opportunities either way. Now, he’s slowly building a resentment towards the Alliance as they keep making off with his best smugglers.

    Yepa (meaning “snow woman”) is a fae NPC in my Deliria RPG. She acts as a guide in frozen regions and will often heal mortals who are near death. While she finds humans fascinating and worth saving, she will only do so if they offer her some “small” part of themselves such as a hair or a kiss and agree to come to her aid if ever she needs it.

  34. Jeff Hebert says:

    You just made it, Seanachai! And I’m glad you did, those are all three very strong entries.

  35. lezlethal says:

    Don’t know if I made the cut but here are a few I would like to post.

    Golden Arms



    I Have Backstories for all three.

  36. Ashton Jakobson says:

    Mornin’ Everyone!!!

    Hey Jeff, just wondering when our going to post the finalists?

  37. Jeff Hebert says:

    The contest is now closed! Many thanks to everyone who entered, I am really impressed.

    You can see the finalists at:

    You can view all of the contest entries at:

    You can view the Honorable Mentions at: