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The Secret History of an Avatar – AfghanAnt

Like many Freedom Force skinners, I’ve designed and redesign my avatar more times than I’ve skinned any other character. In fact, I realized that after I completed my latest reskin of AfghanAnt I should do a blog post about the evolution of the character. So without further ado I present the secret history of AfghanAnt.

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Click to Enlarge

Originally designed for a weekly comic strip – Hyperion, the Hyper-Man was the proto-AfghanAnt. He was an alien superhero who was stranded in Japan and being chased by an being known only as the Cosmic Dual Spoon Witch – insane. Created on 03/08/03,  Lord Ehmsidy modeled the original mesh and I provided the skin for the character. Even though his name was “Hyperion”, many people on the pre-Freedom Reborn referred to him as AfghanAnt which was my username and it just stuck.

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Click to Enlarge

In 2004 during the height of the “Similar-6’s” era, this version of my avatar was created by Ink for the opening of our new site – HeroForce.

V2 had a few changes, he became more adult looking and his cape switched locations over all he was the same. It wasn’t until his reimagined history for Dr Mike’ mod, Tales of the Navigator did he become something new. Instead of an Japanese Superman, AfghanAnt became Afkarr N’nant, a warrior/diplomat of the Z’zen people and member of the H.I.V.E.

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Click to Enlarge

Created in late 2005, V3 of AfghanAnt became the focal point of a whole universe of original know as HIVEworld. Now AfghanAnt had an nemesis in Nox Blatta, a sidekick in Pupae, and a sister in Halal Hornet.

This version of AfghanAnt received the most attention from the Freedom Force community and this generated numerous other characters to fill out his universe and backstory. V3 was the longest used of my AfghanAnt avatars and was  redesigned by The Ultimate Evil, Courtnall 6, and Tomato.

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Click to Enlarge

V4 of AfghanAnt was created on a whim back in late 2008. I wanted to return AfghanAnt to his “Hyper-man” roots and decided to update Lord Ehmsidy’s original mesh to match my original drawing. I severely depowered AfghanAnt V4, his hyper-bands no longer gave him Superman-like powers and he relied on a pistol known as “Killer Sting”. This version of AfghanAnt appears in the Freedom Reborn avatar mod, in the HF promo by The Ultimate Evil, and in my blog’s banner – look up.

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Click to Enlarge

Inspired by Tap43’s redesign, I decided to update my avatar once again but this time I wanted something that would last. So I combine my Photoshop skill with my design knowhow to not only make AfghanAnt look more alien but militant. I decided to make him golden hued as well as change his eyebrows and hair color to reflect his departure from the previous versions. I think sub-consciously I was channeling Ed Mcguinness in the look. Overall with this redesign I just wanted something super clean and well executed. After all these years, I think I got him right.

So there you have it – seven years of my avatar AfghanAnt. If you want to see more of my work, stop by HeroForce and feel free to comment about the change.

Freedom Force Skins, Meshes, and Add-ons @ HeroForce


The New HeroForce

As some of you may know I create add-on content for Irrational Games’ Freedom Force and its sequal Freedom Force vs The Third Reich (FFVTR). What you may not know is that I’m 1/4 of a content site called HeroForce.

While its mostly Freedom Force skins and skopes/meshes, HeroForce is increasing its content to also include more add-ons, such as fxs and maps, to enhance gameplay. To do this we had to recruit a new member – Unkoman.

For about two years now, Pod, TUE and I have mostly created owned content for the game but with Unkoman being a part of the team not only do we get a mapper and fxer, we get a sleuth of originals and Irrational skins for Freedom Force. I am personally excited to have his content on the site because it shows that Freedom Force is just as much of a Superman vs Wolverine game as it is an Originals game (I should have taken been notes from House Quake and Carravaggio for a long time).

Even a Marvel and DC Comics junkie like me has his own universe with my HIVEworld. Based on idea by Dr Mike’s Tales of the Navigator, HIVEworld is a sci-fi universe where insect-like superhumans exist – I personally think it is pretty intense. I also have a couple of original characters from an abandoned mod with Unkoman called Weird World. So you can see HeroForce becoming a more rounded and better content add-on site for Freedom Force and FFVTR which is good thing creatively and for our fans. And now that you can buy the Freedom Force Bundle on Steam, expect some really amazing original Freedom Force content from me (and maybe the other guys too) soon.


HeroForce is Back, ya'll

For high quality Freedom Force skins and add-ons from some of the best, visit HeroForce.

For HeroForce updates visit HeroForce Blog or follow us on Twitter – HeroForce.

Digital Art – New X-Men

New X-Men

New X-Men

If you are looking at the image to the left, you are probably wondering what you are looking at. It’s an image I did with low-poly game models, Photoshop CS3, and stock imagery.

I really enjoyed doing this piece a lot. I did others but this one really came out just as I had imagined it would. I want something very X-Men but also very movie Watchmen. I actually extremely fond of how Emma came out and the lighting. I really thought that was going to get lost with the darkness of the background but I think it is a very balance composition.

I’ve done a few more of these but unfortunately (because I like small canvas areas) they are all this size. I think I’m going to take a crack at something rather large today (there I go adding yet another fragging thing to do. I can feel the energy being drained for one project and pushed to another as I type this…no Counter-Earth Young Avengers from me anytime soon).

Freedom Force – Young Avengers Wiccan and Hulkling


Here are two of my favorite characters right now. It is weird but they have pretty much replace Apollo and Midnighter as my favorite gay comic couple.

Hulkling Preview


So I’m almost done with Hulkling. Even though the previous version had wings, I don’t think this one will because they wont be animated. I’m going to try a few keyframe tricks but I’m probably not going to get the effect I want. 😦

Freedom Force – Young Avenger Wiccan


I completed Wiccan last night actually but I just got around to posting him now. I’m moving on to Hulkling before I finish up the Asgardian look. I am flirting with skinning all of the Young Avengers with the rest of the HeroForce guys but I am probably going to be focusing my energies towards my full-time job and freelancing soon.

Asgardian (Work in Progress)


I really like the way this is coming together. The extras are actually from my old Asgardian skin for Tommyboy’s mesh.  I really want to finish Wiccan, Asgardian, and Druid by the weekend so I can start working on Hulkling (both costumes).

Wiccan and Druid (Work in Progress)


So I’ve started updated my Young Avengers skins and I came up with this idea of alternate versions of them. Basically I was really upset with the Dark Reign: Young Avengers cast and decided to make my own Young Masters of Evil. So here we have Wiccan on the left and Druid on the right. Druid is the child of obscure Captain American villain Dremund Druid. I’m thinking about Druid not really using direct magic (because Dremund Druid doesn’t really) but would use alchemy formulas and summoned minions from Limbo.

Oh and I have this half-Dire Wraith, half-Xandarian Red Hulkling guy. Despite what I think of Loeb’s writing I really like the look of Red Hulk. I have a few others too – a white Vision/Adaptoid, Nomad (Julia Winters), Trickshot’s apprentice, Rush or Momentum (Whizzer’s granddaughter/Nuklo’s kid). The last character is the one I’m most excited about. I really want to do something different with the whole super-speed thing where she actually slows time (like Ambrose Chase from Planetary) instead. Now all I have to do is start designing them…

Anywho, I’ll probably be finishing up Wiccan and Druid as soon as I finish cleaning out the old apartment. I might even do all of the Young Avengers…who knows.

Freedom Force Skin – Power Girl

Download Powergirl and other Freedom Force Skins at HeroForce.

Power Girl Low Poly 3D Model for Freedom Force (FFVTR)

Power Girl Low Poly 3D Model for Freedom Force (FFVTR)

So I did this really quickly today and really liked the way she came out. I just decide since I did all the other Kryptonians it would be incomplete if I didn’t do Power Girl. I’m actually considering doing Christopher Kent (kid-version) but before I start him I need to figured out how the hell I’m going to successfully skope a Steel III together.

In order to get these out, I’m going to hold out on the fxs and make that an additional download later. I don’t even know if people want fxs for the Superman Family because there are already a few out there already. I was basically going to update my Heat Vision fx and do some fxs for Conner (blue tk attacks and shields).

New X-Men Skins for Freedom Force

So if you’ve been to Freedom Force Resource lately, you know Spectre Lad revealed that I was Emperous. So here is the back story –

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Click to Enlarge

Back in Nov ’08 I decided I’d try some experimenting with styles and just wanted some non-AfghanAnt feedback, so I began to skin the New X-Men design by Frank Quietly and set up a new account on Freedom Reborn. I had intended to never reveal that I was Emperous to anyone save the few people who I asked for personal advice on the skins. I was just going to release and ignore that I ever did them but I’ve changed my mind about a lot of stuff lately and thought I would reveal myself. I guess thanks to Spectre Lad for poking me to finish up Beast and release them under my avatar.