HM3: Fantasy armor, first pass

I've just posted the first 14 items in the still-under-development "Tops-Male-Fantasy-Armor" set for your early adopting pleasure to the HeroMachine 3 Alpha:

These are basically the twelve existing Fantasy Armor pieces from HM2 (though not the Expansion), minus the last two shoulder pads which are, for all intents and purposes, available in Shoulder-Right.

Two things I'd like to get your feedback on regards patterning and shading. I included semi-transparent shading on a couple of the armors, which overlay the controllable colors. Do you like that, or would you rather I made those areas solid black (line color)? Or leave them off entirely?

Regarding patterning, right now the patterns cover the entire item. I could restrict that, so for instance you wouldn't get pattern on the shoulder pads or whatnot. The catch is that anything that's color1 gets a pattern to it. So I'd have to rejigger how the colors are set up in the item to make that happen.

Anyway, let me know what you thing. I am now moving on to the many (many) fine suggestions posted by you all to complete the set. That's going to take a while, but I'll probably release them in stages as I get them done so you don't have to wait till the very end when it's all completely finished.

17 Responses to HM3: Fantasy armor, first pass

  1. Me Myself & I says:

    A fantastic start.

    As to the shading, the more options the better I think. I like the idea of having the pattern apply to only parts of the armor. I think it adds options for contrasting texture without needing to vary the color to get contrast.

    Whatever gives more flexibility is more than welcome.

  2. Danny Beaty says:

    @Jeff: What Me Myself & I said. So far everything looks good. Can’t wait to see the remaining items.

  3. Skiriki says:

    Shading! Yes! Please! This is great!

  4. chance says:

    you should definitely have some more cloaks I mean they’re pretty much applicable to most any character and you cant deny walking around as a little kid during Halloween or not during Halloween :S and pretending to be a wizard or was that just me, any ways its a good idea in my opinion maybe some energy cloaks too what ever you can do its an ingenious program and it has an ingenious creator:)

  5. Asherian says:

    I’m really excited about it… but I can’t seem to find the armor. I’m assuming its in Tops under Male-something. Is it just a loading issue with the program, or am I missing the obvious?

    Also, as always, can’t wait until the girls get something similar πŸ˜€

  6. NEON_N64 says:

    Yay!! Armors !!!

    Mhh… I’m not sure how to explain this, so I’ll use a couple of images.

    In this image, color1 is red and color 2 is blue.

    Now, by reducing the alpha value of color 2 to 0, I would expect the blue area to become transparent, to “disappear” in such a way that I could see the waterfall behind it. But by doing it, I got this:

    Instead of letting me see the thru the whole item it just let me see the color behind it (color 1, red).

    Is it possible to change this? Does it imply too much work?

    By letting color 2 to be completely transparent we could overlap different items to create some even nicer looking characters.

    Oh, and I like the shading in that armor. IMHO, it looks much better than the completely black shading.

  7. NEON_N64 says:

    Remember the cape/coat from SOD 89 (Supergirl)?

    Imitating that would be much more easier if certain capes had a completely transparent color 2.

  8. Fyzza says:

    Asherian, it’s under Male Fantasy Armor.

  9. Scorpidius says:

    Absolutely fantastic Jeff!!! That’s my weekend now sorted!

    As for the shading, I would leave it off, I like the loof of it without it (as not everything has shading, so would prefer it not to be), just my 2 cents.

    Right I am off to have a good butchers at these now, Great stuff!!!!

  10. Anarchangel says:

    @Asherian – I had the same problem. But when I cleared the cache in my browser they showed up. This sort of thing seems to happen more often when using Chrome.

  11. Marx says:

    I can only pick out one breastplate that has semi-transparent shading, but in that case it seems appropriate. I’d keep it.

    As for applying a pattern to only one part of the armor, personally, I’d love to be able to pick which color to apply a pattern to. I can think of times when I’d like a pattern on one part of an item but not the other for most of the items in HM. It would be on a case-by-case basis, and I can’t predict which part of an item would be more likely to have the pattern applied.

    My suggestion would be consistency– make the armor function like everything else. Otherwise you’ll just confuse people and have to field a lot of questions about why the armor is different. You’ll also have people who’ll tell you you picked the wrong area for the pattern. Unless you’re ready to upgrade the patterning options for the entire package, I’d keep everything functioning the same way.

  12. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Mark: It’s POSSLBE to do user-selectable color area shading but I would have to go back and edit every single item. And that’s not going to happen. Plus you have to present it in a way that’s intuitive in the interface, which is already pretty daunting.

    The way patterning works is, you have an object on the stage that serves as the mask. Whatever space that object occupies gets filled with the pattern, but — and this is the key bit — the masking object itself gets rendered invisible automatically, replaced with the pattern/masked area. That’s a Flash thing and not something I can control.

    As a result, you can’t just use the existing color areas as your masking target, you have to have a whole separate object sitting on top of all the other ones to serve that function. Rather than draw an entirely new item that’s only going to be invisible, I just use color1 since 95% of the time that’s the entire fill anyway.

    But in some cases, like with helmets that need to have the faceplate clear, you don’t want that. Having the face plate covered with camo or scales would be … well, odd. So in those cases I make color1 NOT fill the entire object, instead just filling the relevant parts.

    That has the added benefit of making it possible to make color2 (which is layered on top of color1) completely transparent, as Neon is complaining about above.

    It’s all a trade-off. If I cut the color2 area out of color1 on those items where they overlap (which is most of them), then when you try to apply the pattern you get it only on the color1 parts which isn’t right. So I can — and have from time to time — make a brand new pattern masking object that includes the entire relevant area, but that a) takes time and b) still isn’t right all the time as Mark says. Sometimes people want area x to be the fill instead of what I picked, or the whole object.

    So, long story short, I’m going to keep doing it where color1 is the model for the fill pattern area, because it’s a lot faster and a lot less of a hassle to produce on my end, and it’s not really possible to make it please everyone anyway if I make it more variable. BUT, as I did with the helmets and a few others, I will carve color2 out of color1 (thus changing the pattern fill) on objects where it makes sense. Like with some of these armors — the leather straps wouldn’t be patterned the same as the metal armor. It looks silly when you try to do it.

  13. Marx says:

    @Jeff – My point exactly. Too much trouble to redo everything, so stick with the way you’ve been doing it. If you think there are places where it makes sense to only allow the patterns in one color– your leather-strap-on-armor example is a good one– then sure, go ahead.

  14. Max says:

    Hey πŸ˜€
    I have noticed a pretty annoying thing.
    it seems that there is a lot of missing genres in all the left items. example: there isnΒ΄t as many genres in itemleft as in itemright.

  15. Jeff Hebert says:

    Max, that’s correct — the Left items are just going to be duplicates of the Right, only flipped. Since I’m still adding things to those sets, it doesn’t make sense to convert them now, then have to keep duplicating and flipping each time I add something. I get confused easily. So I’m just going to wait till the Right ones are nailed, then do a mass conversion all at once.

    In the meantime, use “Multiples” and the Flip button to get your items where you want them on the left side.

  16. Iago_Valentine says:

    After playing around with some of the items, I have to say I love the translucent shading. It looks great, adds a new dimension of depth to the final product. I’d be very interested in seeing this carried forwards.

  17. kyle says:

    when’s the next Bach ?