Character Contest 69 Winners!

We had an overwhelming response to Character Contest 69. I sincerely appreciate your willingness to share your creations with everyone. Even if you're not one of the Finalists below, I hope you don't let that discourage you -- the entries were uniformly great, so you should take pride in what you've accomplished. Really, thank you very, very much!

As usual, I'll now post all the submissions I thought were especially noteworthy for one reason or another, and then announce the overall winner at the end. I tried to pick ones that looked like actual individuals to me, faces that seemed as if I could run into them on the street. Well, if that street were in a super-heroic, demon-infested, magical sci-fi universe, that is.

Almost all of these are clickable to see at a larger size.

First up is Captain Brass, whose "Sky Pirate" is just a solid-looking, realistic, fairly distinctive fellow. Nothing fancy, but she or he got the concept of the contest down very well.

Chasca's "Blushing" is lovely. The hair, the flowers, the fans, all support the image very well. But what makes this great for this contest in particular is that she looks like an actual individual having an actual emotion. Exceptionally well done, Chasca!

Cliff's "Gladiator" also has a wonderful feeling of individuality and personality. You get the sense this is a real person, caught in a desperate real-life situation. The grim determination and weariness almost drip from his face.

Clownprince put together a face using no actual facial parts, reminiscent of Trekkie's all-robotic assemblages of the last few weeks.

dblade's "Galactic Princess" is stunning. The gorgeous background and headpiece frame the blue body and face perfectly.

DiCicatriz's aptly-named "Cicatriz" also looks like an individual, which again was part of the point of the contest.

Erin's "Banshee" practically screams with personality. See what I did there?! Ahem.

Extraordinaree has a cool take on the concept, with a nifty "over-the-glasses" thing going on.

I love that headlessgeneral named this "Green" because, and I quote, "I call him Green because Iโ€™m too tired to think up a real name." That's awesome. Especially since this looks like a real guy, if guys were green with giant elf ears and wings.

Kyle's "OId Knight" (or "undo1" as the file was named) has a lot of pathos. I like the vibe I get of a guy past his prime, who nonetheless puts on the armor and prepares to do battle.

I flat out just love the look of "Trollguy" by Leadmetal. Very cool looking and unusual dude.

I don't know that I've seen Marquis Samedi enter a contest before, but I hope we see a lot more. He or she had two that I thought were outstanding this week, "Bald Joe" and "Closetclown". I'll let you figure out which is which.

Moognation did some interesting things with teeth and hair to trick out the baboon base in "Demon Face" that worked out well.

MSCat modeled this on an actual girl, and I think it shows. A very nice, believable construction.

Myro seized the central concept of the contest in his pseudo-homage to Humphrey Bogart. This, again, is a distinctive, individualized face.

Papakrok brings his usual slightly demented twist to the contest with "Executioner Head".

Pesky brought two excellent entries this week. The first is a portrait named "Sullivan" and has a gritty, steampunky type of feel to it. I keep beating this horse, but again, this looks like an individual and not some kind of generic icon.

Pesky's second entry is titled "Moody" and has an ethereal quality to it that really works. the eyes and mouth -- the FACE, people! -- totally pops. Like in the first one, I think he was very clever to crop everything into a circle, so you focus on just what he wants you to focus on. Very smart, and effective.

SeanDavidRoss hits it out of the park every week, it seems like, and this time is no exception. His first entry is a black and white study named "Elijah Blue" and folks, this looks like an illustration of a real human being. Nothing crazy fancy, just very effective choices well assembled.

SeanDavidRoss' other entry is the unbelievable "Nimble Jack". I say unbelievable literally, because for the longest time I could not believe this had been done in HeroMachine. It's simply stunning. I can't even imagine how long the gradient work alone took.

Trekkie always does something unexpected, and this week it's the creation of a convincing alien face with some unusual items.

Vampyrist doesn't do anything extreme with "Griffin", but what he does do is create someone with a sense of personality and charm. I like the emphasis on the eye, the pleasing arrangement and spacing of features, and the wry grin.

Finally, we have Zyp's whacky, cool, funny, and intimidating "Johnny Boy", who you'd better hope you never meet in an actual sailor bar.

That brings us to our overall winner, which is a truly difficult decision. As you can see, there are a lot of stellar options. I think probably on an initial pass, the two favorites were SeanDavidRoss' "Nimble Jack" and dblade's "Galactic Princess". I love them both, but I'm not going with either of them, and largely for the same reason -- the extra stuff going on in the one and the big cowl on the other make it too hard to see the face itself.

There are several others that were also in that upper echelon, but ultimately the decision for me came down to Chasca's "Blushing" and both of Pesky's finalists. I think they all exemplified the challenge of creating a convincing, individualized face that looks like it has a real personality behind it.

And after reviewing them all again, I ultimately had to choose ... Chasca's "Blushing". It was the most realistic, had the most personality, and was the best overall illustration, in my opinion. Congratulations! Let me know in the comments to this post or via email ( what you'd like for your prize.

Thanks again to everyone who entered; congratulations to all our finalists; and stay tuned later today for the next Caption Contest!

34 Responses to Character Contest 69 Winners!

  1. Gene says:

    Good job all, and congrats to the winner.

    Though I think dblade should post the entire picture of Galactic princess…… ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Kaylin88100 says:

    Good choice Jeff; I think the winner absolutely deserves it. I can also see why none of my entries made it: they just weren’t quite good enough compared with these. Well done to all the Finalists, and especially Chasca for the win ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Watson Bradshaw says:

    Congrats Chasca, truly stunning work. So much wow factor in one contest, great stuff just seems to get churned out on heromachine ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. dblade says:

    Congratulations, Chasca! That is truly a beautiful piece. Great emotion.

  5. MScat says:

    AWESOME JOB EVERYBODY! I need a nap after this contest. The designs were so great it was exhausting looking at all of them.

    @SeanDavidRoss – You exhaust me more than the others. The lighting effects on your pieces are outstanding.

    Everyone did an amazing job. CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT CONTEST! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. MScat says:

    OH! and I forgot. CONGRATS CHASCA for your well deserved win.

  7. Joel says:

    Those were amazing!

  8. dblade says:

    @Gene(1): Alas, the Galactic Princess was created at a larger size with nothing beneath the image that you see. Sorry. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Pesky says:

    Chasca, well done and congrats with your win. I did see a lot of interesting faces and much I can learn from. So thanx to all.

  10. Tarkabarka says:

    Grats for the finalist, im a little bit angry because when my finish my last work the contest is closed. ๐Ÿ™

  11. Kytana says:

    I like the japanstyle, very nice job.
    Dblade, Pesky, Sean are all great work.
    But when i see chascas i know she(he)win.

    I would post my changed first entry but ok…i was to late.

  12. Myro says:

    Impressive work, both to Chasca and everyone else. I’m glad to see that with so many entries, and having only one entry myself, that I could still pull Honorable Mention.

  13. Trekkie says:

    Congrats Chasca, great piece. Also, great work from everyone else. Well done all.

  14. headlessgeneral says:

    Congrats, Chasca! I loved this contest! It’s was fun going through all the entries and seeing so many that looked like people I knew or reminded me of people I have seen. And Chasca’s is one of those that reminds me of someone… I just can’t think of who it is. Some actress maybe?… I don’t know, anyway, congrats again Chasca and great job everyone!

  15. Thomshow says:

    Very good choices Jeff from a fantastic offering. Don’t get much time to drop in and see how the old Heromachine is going and less to actually engage with it. And I am constantly impressed by both the creative tool which you have given people to play around with and the creativity with which they are able to use it.
    Brilliant stuff all round.

  16. kyle says:


  17. Vampyrist says:

    Chasca, congrats on the win, Blushing was great. Nimble Jack was also quite outstanding, it’s hard to believe what HM can do in the right hands.

  18. Danny Beaty says:

    Congrats all!

  19. Gero says:

    SDR, how many hundreds of layers is that thing?!

  20. SeanDavidRoss says:

    @Gero: ‘Nimble Jack’ has 166 layers, ‘Delphine’ (which I was surprised to not see in this list of finalists) has 217. Delphine is a complete face (not covered with a masked) of a unique looking, quiet, and slightly unhappy individual.

    Anyway…. Congratulations to the finalists and to Chasca for the win – Other than my own entries, ‘Blushing’ was my favourite.


  21. Congratulations, chasca! Amazing design.

    Lots of great stuff. A great thing about this contest is the variety of “study material.” Lots of tricks and tips for future reference.

    Some personal faves (no particular order):

    bakes – Thing Under My Bed
    dblade – Galactic Princess (personally, she’s “just right” with her background)
    dmt2 – Darkface & Smiling Joker
    Extraordinairee – “Over the Glasses”
    headlessgeneral – Nightfall
    Kaldath – Alisha Talmer
    Kytana – Dinoface
    marquis samedi – Johnny Spastic
    PapaKrok – Akbal
    ThereIsSetiadi – Gundala
    Toxtoartox – Idealist
    Watson Bradshaw – Hunter Elf
    Zyp – Superheroine

    Nod to Kaylin for rabbit-powered proliferation!

  22. SeanDavidRoss says:

    @Jeff: “I canโ€™t even imagine how long the gradient work alone took.”

    ‘Nimble Jack’ and ‘Delphine’ each took about 6 hours to complete.

  23. TOOL says:

    You people really took this contest to a new level this time around! Congrats!

  24. Cliff says:

    WOW! What compitition!
    I haven’t been entering the contest like I used to because the compitition is so feirce!
    Well plus some health issues in this heat wave, but I just deal with those.
    I was SO happy to get a Mention again. I thought my Gladiator had a chance … until I saw the compitition … then I wasn’t so sure. Thanks Jeff.
    Congrats Chasca on your 1st place. She was lovely.
    Congrats to all the Mentions, you all really raise the bar.

    I was surprised #122 SeanDavidRoss’ Delphine (version 2) wasn’t mentioned. She might not be pretty, but the realism and character blew me away

    Looking forward to the next Character Contest.

  25. The Imp says:

    This round had probably THE best creations I’ve seen yet. Congrats to the finalists (WOW!!!) and a big congrats to Chasca – your first win, no?

    I only wish I’d had the time to enter this one…

  26. VonMalcolm says:

    My Favs from the finalists:

    1: Galactic Princess
    2: Nimble Jack
    3: Blushing

  27. clownprince says:

    my favs also ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    1: blushing
    2: over the glasses
    3: robotic face ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    big congrats to chasca
    one of our atisan group from KasKus Indonesia :0

  28. chascaverz says:

    Woah..really?…i wasn’t expecting to win this contest with my 1st entry xD..
    i’m very grateful..thank you ๐Ÿ˜€
    actually my favs from the finalists is did impressive works there..nice pics

    n congrats to all finalists ๐Ÿ˜€ great job everyone!

    and for the prize..hmmm.. i think kimono/yukata would be fit with my “blushing” ๐Ÿ˜€

    but i’d like request a short style
    maybe something like this :


    once again..thank you all ๐Ÿ˜€

  29. Kytana says:

    @SeanDavidRoss Says:
    6 hours only…. i need 8 hours for Verwandlung.
    (But I think Delephine is better as the older one.)
    Sunday i came not of the side, so i canยดt post it. ๐Ÿ™

  30. Jeff Hebert says:

    You got it, Chasca!

  31. chascaverz says:

    thanks jeff ๐Ÿ˜€

  32. Sean From Edwards says:

    Man some really great finalists and well deserved winners, maybe next time I’ll post something worthy.

  33. PapaKrok says:

    Congrats Chasca! Very sexy!!

  34. Connor S. says:

    Although “Blushing” is beautiful, I’m quite shocked that SeanDavidRoss didn’t win with his amazing usage of gradients. Over all, great job to everyone!