HM3 Export options updated

I have very good news, and mildly bad news. The very good news is that I have just uploaded the latest update to the HeroMachine Alpha that allows you to output your creation at a wide variety of sizes, either as the full character or a portrait view, as a JPG or PNG, and in regular or widescreen format.

The mildly bad news is, saving as a PNG no longer puts your character on a transparent background -- it's a solid white. I tried to figure out a way around it, but given the various other constraints Flash put on me it was the only way to get output at anything but the basic size.

Here is the new menu, which you see now when you press either the "Save as JPG" or "Save as PNG" button:

If you have trouble seeing the images, the sizes are:

  • 200x300
  • 400x600
  • 500x750
  • 800x1200
  • 1200x1800
  • 1600x2400
  • 800x600 (widescreen)
  • 1280x1024 (widescreen)
  • 1600x1200 (widescreen)
  • 2048x1536 (widescreen)

My version of Flash has a maximum dimension limitation of something like 2800 pixels, so we couldn't do the ridiculously ginormous size, just the mostly ginormous ones.

In laying all this out it didn't make sense to have "widescreen" be a separate toggle button, so now the program just automatically does it all for you depending on which set of dimensions you choose.

I hope you like the new feature, and please let me know if you run into any problems with it. The larger sizes naturally take longer to render, so don't be surprised if the pop up window just sits there for ten to thirty seconds thinking.

I didn't touch the save/load code or anything else in this release except the export functions.

22 Responses to HM3 Export options updated

  1. Erez says:

    Cool, a great feture. love the fact that i can save headshots now.

  2. Captain Kicktar says:

    The white background will be nice if I ever have to post from my iPod again.

  3. CPrime says:

    So is there no way to get a transparent background? Even if I save it as a standard size. I really, really like the transparent background.

  4. Myro says:

    Sadly, I’ll have to wait until tonight to try this out, but it looks like you should crack a cold one, Jeff. You’ve certainly earned it with the hard work you’ve put into this program.
    As for the white background, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve used Photoshop to extract a subject out of a picture.

  5. Jeff Hebert says:

    If there’s a LOT of demand for it, CPrime, I could probably hack it together so that the standard 400×600 size still does it the old way, but I think that’s probably going to generate more problems than it’s worth. For one, people will complain that “Why does only one size export with transparency?” and it’ll get to be a real pain in the butt to explain. Not to mention the hacking of the code to carve out the one exception.

  6. CPrime says:

    I understand. It just kinda feels like I’m adding an extra step to the process. Like back on HM2 when I had to do a print screen, then paste it into paint, then save the file.

    But in this case, it looks like the positives far outweigh the negatives. Great job, Jeff.

  7. Anarchangel says:

    This looks great Jeff and I haven’t seen any problems with this but I wanted to let you know that I AM still having problems with saving my characters.

    Sometimes it works fine and other times not at all. It wouldn’t be such a problem if my lame ass computer didn’t freeze up on me so often, forcing me to go back and reload.

    Any idea what might be causing it to not save?

  8. Anarchangel says:

    OK. Bigger problem than that. Now all my characters are gone. Can’t load a single one.

  9. Jeff Hebert says:

    Anarchangel, I’m not sure what to tell you. I think a couple of other folks have reported hit-or-miss presence of save files, but they come back on their own for whatever reason. I have no idea what could be causing that, honestly.

    If you can, do a search of your drive for *.sol files, making sure to turn on “Show hidden/system files”. That’s your saved character file.

  10. Anarchangel says:

    Yep. .sol file in same place as always.

    I’m not really that bothered about losing my old files since I never really load my old characters anyway. I just thought you should know about it in case there was a way to fix it.

  11. Fyzza says:

    As far as I am aware, the heromachine3c version of Heromachine still saves png image files with transparent backgrounds, so it’s sort of a way round it.

  12. DiCicatriz says:

    Aw, I’m a little bummed about the loss of transparency 🙁

    It was really useful for group shots. I could resize and copy/paste individual images into background images for my team portraits. (ie: or )

    Suffice to say that feature is never coming back?

  13. Worf says:

    @Fyzza: Just don’t count on that side version staying up forever. I’m pretty sure Jeff only meant it for testing so he could get feedback before going live with the alterations.

    @Jeff: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! No more cut/paste! No more zooming flash in and out! No more M$ Paint!!! YAY!!!!

  14. Scorpidius says:

    Hi Jeff

    I have just switched on this morning to see this update and I have been giving it a little road test . . . . . . .


    This was the main update I was looking forward too, now I can go through and do all my creations again with the shaded items looking how they should, and having a great end quality design. love it! The image size and quality is brilliant!

    I doff my cap to you good sir, fantastic work as usual!!


    A very happy Scorp!

  15. Jeff Hebert says:

    Glad you guys are happy with that part of it.

    I had an idea this morning for the transparent part, I’ll get back to you on that.

  16. Dionne Jinn says:

    Any idea why it sometimes throws me to the widescreen mode when I try to save my character with this new system? And I can’t get out of it without reloading the whole page which is rather annoying. It mostly appears when trying to save in higher resolution, whole character and in .jpg format.

  17. Arioch says:

    Awesome!!! Thank you very much! 🙂

  18. Dionne Jinn says:

    Continuing my previous post (16.) I did some testing. The problem seems to appear when saving in standard layout 1200×1800 and 1600×2400 as well as with widescreen layout 2048×1536, with both character and headshot modes. It is also somehow tied to the .jpg format, since the .png saved all correctly in every case. Any idea what is going on? Anyone else having this problem?

  19. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks for the report and the testing, Dionne Jim. I’ll take a look and see what I can find.

  20. Dionne Jinn says:

    I found another little problem with the saving. It cuts my picture from weird place at the bottom (sometimes also from the top, but not that often). Because of that a picture that looks like this ( ) in the edit-screen, looks like this ( ) when saved in the preset resolution in .jpg format. Moving my characters up in the edit-screen did nothing to the problem, it still cut the picture wrong. A way to control the centering in HM would be my idea of a solution, but I have no idea if that could be done somehow. And it is Jinn, with two “N”s, not Jim, but no matter.

  21. CCrest says:

    i am having the same problem as Jinn
    is there some kind of trick to it i could do to my entire work to have it fit ?? as in making it smaller of something, so that when to photo is “cut” it cuts it perfectly leaving nothing out of my picture.

  22. Jeff Hebert says:

    CCrest, as far as I know, using the “All” group setting is what causes the problems. Size and move your items in lower groupings and as long as it fits on the screen you should be fine.