Hello! It’s Sterling, and I’m back with my second assignment. In the spirit of They Live (see my last blog post for more details), I decided to do the “Apocalyptic Character Generator” by Martha. The assignment’s synopsis is as follows: “Use Hero Machine to design and create a representation of your character for The End 106. When you’re done, export it as PNG file and then use a photo editing application to place your character in a setting that makes sense. Bonus star if you make the final product an animated GIF!”

I thought it would be great to make a character that represented me and my interests. I liked plopping him in the middle of the screenshot from They Live. This screenshot in particular is very profound, for as I discussed in my last post, the main character finds these sunglasses that reveal the truths and intents of anything from advertisements to the alien species mingling with humans. It is a testament to many of the marketing ploys that only exist for profit today. You may be surrounded by people who are driven by economy and politics, who layer themselves with false empathy. And my character, Sterling (of course) is here to reveal the absolute truth.

For more context on the scene, please watch Roddy Piper repeatedly put on and take off sunglasses in this excerpt (NOT a trailer, YouTube) from They Live:

About Sterling: he is quite a bit more muscular than I am – HeroMachine didn’t have any lean muscle options – though instead of using guns like Nada to fight, he uses his fists. I’ve been doing Tae Kwon Do and other martial arts for 13 years, and I recently got my black belt. I incorporated a lot of black and yellow in his outfit to represent Bruce Lee and his jumpsuit (aka the one Uma Thurman wears in Kill Bill): my #1 role model and inspiration. He is a representation of someone Asian in Hollywood (my dream) and is overall a pretty humble dude. He wears one of my favorite fashion items right now: a denim jacket. His trusty cat, Thai, travels with him everywhere. Thai can see these alien beings, and alerts Sterling when they are nearby.

Here is a better view of the finished product:

HeroMachine was surprisingly difficult to use despite its ‘dress up’ kind of interface. Many of the clothes did not fit the initial body parts I had chosen, and it did not seem to offer any variety in the position the clothes are in. I wanted to go for a power-walk kind of image, but it the clothes wouldn’t quite fit. Colors were difficult to figure out too, as you selected from three palettes for each item and applied them. However, many of the design options were still fun and it was cool to see an ‘action’ version of myself come to life. I might also have some outfit inspiration now! It’s rated three stars, and I think it is appropriate given its straightforwardness – one just needs to play with it for a while.