Character Contest 3: Robot Winner

First, I'm sorry to be so late posting this. It's been such a long day that it's actually tomorrow already. Or something. I hate time travel.

Second, THANK YOU for all the great entries! With almost 100 comments, that was one of the best responses ever, and the quality of the entries was very, very high. If you don't see yours listed as a finalist, that's probably just because I ran out of space, because I could easily have included a dozen more really stellar examples.

Anyway, on with your finalists!

First up is Whit's simple little guy:


I ultimately decided not to make this the winner because so much of it was the pre-drawn Companion, but the little additions really make a huge difference. I love the way the mini-gun happens to be pointing the right way, and how it nestles into that arm portal. The patterning is perfect. I love the off-matching eyes, and the wrench logo, and the insignia used as wheels. It's a simple, but very effective design, the little guy just oozes personality.

Speaking of the creative use of items, DJ had a whole series of characters built entirely from one Slot's worth of items, which I never would have thought possible at all, much less in a way that resulted in a nice looking image. But he pulled it off. My favorite of them was the one based on Shoulders:


It's really kind of menacing, isn't it?

Hammerknight also blows the lid off this application, constantly showing me things that amaze me. My favorite of his several entries was probably "Boarbot":


I love how he looks like he's walking, the rhino-horn, the left profile, the little robot tail, the segmented side armor, the patterning on the nose, the glowing eye, all of it. A really nice, and creative, image.

I was also blown away with a couple of the entries in terms of the illustrator's ability to assemble an entire scene, despite the complete lack of actual scenery in the application. First up was Neon64's shoutout to one of my favorite Star Trek episodes, fresh on my mind since I went to see the new movie yesterday:

I really like the curved tunneling effect of the mouth and the body, along with the little mouth pincers ready to gobble up our little blue planet. I'm always a sucker for a planet-eater.

The king of the Setting, though, has to be Damien. I admit, I sat there for a good five minutes trying to figure out how in the hell he pulled this off:


It was the diagonal bandages-as-rain that really threw me. I mean, who thinks like that?! In terms of sheer creative use of the tools to make something unique that I had never even imagined, Damien and Dig-Bot definitely take the cake. Hats off to you, sir.

Another guy who pushes the envelope of what you can do with the HM3Alpha is Violodion, although he accomplishes it through painstaking and exacting detail more than the almost-maniacal freewheeling of Damien. I think "Slicer Dicer" is a great example of what I mean:

Look at all the patterning and the way each one complements whatever main item it's applied to, like the swirling in the hex nacelles in the spider body. Seemingly minor details like outlining the spider legs with gray to blend into the background instead of black just really put polish on the whole design. Really impressive work and dedication are shown in this one, well done Violodion!

Taking a step to the lighter side, Worf also took a stab at an arachno-bot, and achieves a much lighter, more fun sort of character than Violodion's, although still very much in the form of an impressive and pleasing design:

The use of the plain circle gradient makes for a great, simple setting. I also liked the blue outlining of the legs, I think that's what really sells the whole thing.

ArtfulDodger pooh-poohed his own "ESPER13" for some reason, but I really liked it:


It's delightfully non-linear, with the separate pieces all hanging together via some sort of invisible bonds. It makes for a striking image. I also really liked the center chest design, with the funky logo in flames, that's just cool.

At the end of the day, though, there can be only one winner, and although it was an extremely difficult choice this week, I went with ... Brambles' "Cogsworth":


I'll grant you that some of the other finalists displayed more technical flair with their manipulation of the program, and I'll grant you that maybe some are, overall, "better" illustrations in a pure design sense. But Cogsworth is the one entry that really stood out for me in terms of the whole package of a character with personality, a solid satisfying image, attention to detail (love that "steam" coming out of the back tailpipe!), and strong design. I felt like this was an actual being in a story somewhere who I just hadn't met yet, which is a hard thing to pull off.

I could have -- and almost did -- go with another winner, and there certainly were some worthy ones as you've seen. But I just kept coming back to ol' Cogsworth, because sometimes, what you really want from a robot is not a face full of hot laser, but a warm toddy and a strong hug.

Thanks again to everyone who entered! It's so late here and I am so tired that I'll post the new contest tomorrow instead of today. Although as I said, it sort of already IS tomorrow. It'll go up later on Wednesday morning, if that helps!

If you have an idea for what the theme ought to be, by all means let me know in the comments or via email, I'm feeling decidedly uncreative at the moment.

Thanks again everyone, hope you enjoyed the contest as much as I did this week!

21 Responses to Character Contest 3: Robot Winner

  1. Neil Leslie says:

    They’re all awesome, but Whit’s cuddly little killing machine is hilarious in a warped sort of way πŸ™‚

  2. StrangezThingez says:

    I like these character contests way more than caption contests. It’s an awesome and competitive way to get used to HM3 and witness its sheer power.

  3. Damien says:

    Jeff, I have to admit, I think we need something living this time. My advice is pick a genre, a setting, a gender, whatever. I’d love a chance to revamp some of my older ideas extravagantly with HM3. Just say something like “Fantasy Females” or “Sci-Fi Commandos” or “Medieval Barmaids” and I’m there.
    Just be sure to keep giving props to the technical accomplishments. I certainly have been smiling this week from the comments you gave about DigBug, and I know others would too. Besides, if we’re ALL going to push the envelope, I think the encouragement would help. You were right that I’m maniacal [though free-wheeling is one I find hard to swallow–I spend plenty of time on those details with this crap computer!] but it only helps if everyone tries to be as crazy as you say I am. [I was also an art student in PA, so I have a few years extra on some of these young'uns.]
    Anyway, just remember, Genre-Category. It’s a one-two punch that’ll keep you in contests for a long time.

  4. Damien says:

    BTW, if I may ask, who was the Honorable As-Yet-Unmentioned?

  5. neon_n64 says:

    Star Trek shoutout?

    LOL I have no idea what you’re talking about Jeff πŸ™‚

    Awesome awesome entries, my personal favorite is the Dig-Bot πŸ™‚

  6. DJ says:

    Honorable Mention! WOOT! I loved Cogsworth and thought he was great. Simple looking at first but then you begin to notice the detail of him. I had been attempting something similar but just couldn’t get the cogs to look right.

  7. Artfuldodger says:

    Star Eater was cool, but Cogsworth won. Cogsworth won HARD.

  8. DJ says:

    My suggestion is in honor of the new movie coming Angels & Demons. I think we should have a contest where we build our interpretation of angels and/or demons.

  9. Hammerknight says:

    Another fun contest, ready and waiting for the next one.

  10. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Damien: For some reason (who knows how my mind works?) I switched from “Honorable Mention” to “Finalist”. I don’t know why, and for all I know I might go back to the former naming. It’s not easy being weird.

    I hope I didn’t offend with the use of the word “maniacal”, I didn’t mean sloppy or out of control, but rather outside-the-box, creative in a big way, that sort of thing.

    Good points on the next contest too.

    @neon: It’s from the Original Series, “The Doomsday Machine“! They give some side views and it looks like a big rock worm. Cheesy effect, but hey, it was the Sixties, everyone was too drugged out to notice.

    @DJ: That’s a good idea.

  11. RJ mcd says:

    sits in his chair looking at his purple pertisipent ribbon and telling warzone its ok big its not your fault I make terrible robots

  12. Jeff Hebert says:

    Sorry RJ, you did a good job but like I said, there were just a ton of great ones this time around, it was inevitable that some doubtlessly-worthy entries would get left out.

  13. RJ mcd says:

    sits in his chair looking at his purple pertisipent ribbon and telling warzone its ok bigguy its not your fault I make terrible robots

  14. RJ mcd says:

    opps sorry for the repeat of my post Jeff like i said its like a 90 year old man in a heavy weight match no big deal but i will have my revenge *evil laugh and lightning*

  15. Damien says:

    @ Jeff: What I meant was, you mentioned one you almost picked as a winner. Last time you had a category for runner-up or whatever. Just wondering…

  16. violodion says:

    Steampunk wins!!

    Sooo many good ideas! πŸ™‚

    The best part of the contests is seeing all these entries.

    HM3 is certainly a Rorschach test of sorts. Like art most have a style & genre which comes natural, whether they know it or not.

  17. Jose Inoa says:

    I would buy and read “Cogsworth” Comics. Steampunk is awesome!

  18. violodion says:

    Next Contest:
    Contest seemed to have gotten an uptick in entries.

    Tech makes sense, and many of the existing items are tech-ish. Then, there was that idea in the past to have a β€œmake your best item” contest.

    Memorial Day traditionally marks the start of summer. A one week break would be good, as imagine most folks will be out & about.

    Complication with cutting edge new movies is some/many may not have seen them; more folks are catching up on them on DVD. Maybe something related to LAST year’s movies? Say, if you were _Hancock_ what would you have been type of thing. If aliens came to Earth (a la, the Day the Earth Stood Still), would they be good/bad/etc and what WOULD the look like?

    Anyhow, hot summer movies in the genre:
    β€’ Angels & Demons
    β€’ Battle for Terra
    β€’ G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra
    β€’ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    β€’ Inglourious Basterds
    β€’ Land of the Lost
    β€’ Star Trek
    β€’ Terminator Salvation
    β€’ Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
    β€’ X-Men Origins: Wolverine

  19. Brambles says:

    Wow! I didn’t think I would win! I saw all of the other ‘bots and tought “How can I top that?!?” Seriously, the other entries were just ridiculously good! But I never expected to see old Coggy at the end! I’m truly honored! Thank you Jeff!

    As for my item I would like for a saber or cutlass to be included in the Blades slot. Or at least a saber like hilt.
    Similar to this:

    Thanks again!

  20. Whit says:

    Making finalist made my day. πŸ™‚ I tried doing a steampunk one, but I lost it, and it didn’t even touch Cogsworth anyway. Good show, everyone!

  21. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks for the link, Brambles, I’ll include it in the program, it’s a neat looking sword.