Patterns and Open Help Thread

People still have a hard time with patterning and masking in HeroMachine 3, so I wanted to take a quick moment to show how to get custom patterns on your items. Also, if you have any questions about anything else HeroMachine related -- like how to get a particular effect, for instance -- just chime in in the comments and either I or one of the other folks here will try to lend a hand.

You can use any item in the program for a pattern, not just the ones in the default Pattern tab. First, pick the item you want to apply the pattern to (a basic male body in this case), then the pattern you want to put onto it. In the sample, I've picked the actual Patterns Standard set.


Next, choose the actual item you want to be the pattern, then color and scale it how you want to be sure it covers everything. Here I had to scale the leopard pattern up quite a bit to cover up to the neckline and feet. I also made the colors somewhat transparent so they'd look more like fur.


Finally, click the pattern item to make sure it's the active one. Next click the Mask tool and then -- and this is important -- click on the item you are trying to apply the pattern to, not the pattern itself. In this case, that means I clicked on the Leopard skin pattern, then clicked Mask, then clicked on the Body.


That's it! You can do this with flags (in the Background-Shapes set) to get a patriotic looking character, or anything else, really.

Feel free to post your "Help!" requests in the comments.

16 Responses to Patterns and Open Help Thread

  1. Gene says:

    I’ve only ever been able to get one item to mask to something at a time. I assume that is the way HM operates?

    Also, not sure if a bug or setting, but I occasionally get some hands that just won’t take a mask. I’m pretty sure I’m doing it right, and if I switch hands to one I know works, it works.

  2. Jeff Hebert says:

    That’s correct Gene, Flash only lets an object have one mask at a time active.

    There are one or two hands that don’t have a mask because it just doesn’t make sense, like I think the totally flat one maybe. But most should. If there are specific ones that are giving trouble I might’ve messed something up somewhere along the line, point them out to me and I’ll take a look.

  3. The Eric says:

    Jeff, do you plan to make more patterns into items?

  4. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Eric: Yes. First I need to figure out why masking items onto other items — especially patterns — makes everything slow down. Because if it’s something I am doing screwy in the process of putting together the patterns, I don’t want to have to go back and re-do even more, you know?

  5. Jason says:

    I’ve noticed that if I save a character that has any masked items, when I go to reload it later those items are missing. Am I possibly doing something wrong, or is this a known bug you’re still working on?

    Also, is there a way to apply a pattern to only one color of the object? Currently I’ve been making a second identical object and on top the first with the section I want to show the pattern’s color set to transparent.

  6. Gene says:

    Ok, I’ll go through some of the picts I had problems with, see if I can get you some specific examples. maybe they are the ones that don’t really make sense to mask, but I was trying to do something tricky…..

    And oh yeah, patterns slow my machine down to a literal crawl. I usually design the character, no background, no patterns. Save them. Then do back grounds, then patterns. Even then, I usually limit myself to just a couple patterned items. I can add objects all day long, but one pattern and *Grind* to a halt.

    But, that is an older machine, with only about 500mg ram. I think my 1gig ram machine handles it better. Are there settings in flash dictating memory usage? I”ll try to compare this weekend, but maybe some other users could chime in with their experiences…

  7. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Jason: That’s a bug, yes, I need to fix that. By default most patterns apply to the Color1 area, which generally is the whole object.

  8. The Eric says:

    Jason, i find that mousing over where the missing item is makes it appear. Some other conditions also create invisible items, like coloring an Eye and then making another one.

  9. Kalkin says:

    If only there was a pattern of (faux) occultic symbols.

  10. Open forum? That also include requests?

    Stegosaurus Companion!!!

  11. The Frank says:

    Well. 1 Thing i always would love is a insignia creator.

    more aura’s and “energy” items would be awesome.

    im converting all my hero’s into a photoshop image

    i might make something with them. like a little story.
    when i use the pictures
    i’ll just put
    “image’s created using the HeroMachine Hero creator.”
    if thats oK with you

  12. spidercow2010 says:

    What would also be awesome would be if the patterns could be recolored and scaled and rotated. But yes, I get it, it’s all down the road, if it’s even possible.
    @ The Frank: you don’t need the apostrophe in “images.” Or in “auras” or “heroes,” for that matter.

  13. spidercow2010 says:

    Addendum: Well, yes, I can do that already with the patterns in the menued Patterns slot; I meant the ones under the pattern tab, of which there are more than in the slot. I guess the solution to my issue is more patterns in the slot. Maybe you’d care to solicit user opinions at some point on what they’d like to see in the pattern realm?

  14. Jeff Hebert says:

    Maybe some day, spidercow2010. I would like to at least get all the patterns from the tab in there.

  15. PhiLosofee says:

    When I try using this prosses to make my Hero grab a weapon His whoLe hand disapears except the part of the hand that was on the sword… Am I doin’ aomthin’ wrong?

  16. Jeff Hebert says:

    PhiLosofee, you’re probably doing it in reverse. You need to click on the sword first so it’s the active item, then click mask, then click the hand. If the hand is active at the start, then it gets masked to the sword instead of the sword getting masked to the hand.