Skin Making; A Basic Tutorial: Shading, Shaping, Color Theory and More.
So what is Minecraft skinning, and how is it anything worth taking time on?
Well probably one of the biggest reasons would probably be plagiarism! So this is where I'm going to start.
Plagiarism is defined as, "To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own, to use (another's production) without crediting the source, to commit literary theft, to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source."
(What is Plagiarism? http://www.plagiarism.org/article/what-is-plagiarism)
This does apply to skins, it is art and an image. But worry not, for it is okay to edit a skin and use it personally as long as you do not say you made it. After this though, it gets increasingly difficult to use other players' skins.
What is not okay;
Posting an edited skin to any website or app.
Claiming a skin as your own when being worn.
In situations unique here, asking people to help you get to trending, and not including credit or claiming it as your own.
Just because you might not get caught, does not mean you should do it. As you all know, these people get caught all the time. Consequences here are not that extreme, so consider yourselves lucky.
This is where making your own skins is very beneficial, because you will now be on the other side of this.
Editors and Websites
When creating your own skin, it is good to know what is the best of the best to where you should keep you public content if you want to share, and what to make them with.
Downloadable Editor: (Also the most highly recommended by myself, and what I use personally) MCSkin3D- https://www.planetminecraft.com/mod/mcskin3d/
Online Editor: (These are really not the best, the best I can find is this one, and it does not even support transparent layers. But it does have a good color selector. I do recommend trying different online editors, because there are many and I don't use them. Or just use the downloadable one above.) Miners Need Cool Shoes- https://www.needcoolshoes.com/ Do not use the provided skins if you want to avoid plagiarism.
Apps: (The best app that I could find I believe you have to pay for, the other is loaded with skin stealers. Both of these include editors and communities to post your skins to.) Minecraft: Skin Studio (Pay to use[?]), Skinseed (Do not use community if you are afraid of your work being stolen.)
Communities: (Naturally the suggestion I am going to give you is what I know is the top website for sharing skins. It's one of the few that has moderation, and reporting that works. If you want your skin to be public, and also as safe as it can be, use this website.)
Planet Minecraft- https://www.planetminecraft.com/
There are a variety of methods, just because I am showing you one way does not mean it is the right way. This is also very basic and will require you to put work into it for there to be a happy end result.
What I'm going to show you is hue shifting, something most people do not use, but it could make all the difference to a skin. (Again, personal preference.)
Hue shifting is as the color gets darker, you shift the hue to either a warmer or cooler lowlight.
I've seen it done two ways; cool highlight to warm lowlight [left] and warm highlight to cool lowlight [right]. I have debated with a friend for hours over preferences and what on is more natural, but we could only agree to disagree.
Most of my skins are the right one, warm highlight to cool lowlight, just keep in mind that if one shade in your palette is warm-cool or cool-warm, that the rest of the colors are.
When doing this, you should be doing something like this.
Let's pretend I am allowed to use GIFs https://imgur.com/fea6b045-fad9-45ef-a363-f5fb72bc9db1
As you can see, this is something very easy and can make all the difference. Here is another example of the different ways to do hue shifting.
I am not really doing any justice to the cool to warm, but this is because I use the other method. Again, it is all up to you as to what you like.
For more on hue shifting and color theory, check out these blogs:
Shaping; Think Anatomy:
When it comes to shading, I like to do it anatomically correct as possible. You can do this with detail, or little detail.
Yet, it still looks like an arm in both! I like to include a fist, because Minecraft characters punch a lot of objects.
Keep in mind, anatomy!
When it comes to shading, you need to find your own style, everyone has one. If you copy a shading, even from scratch, you need to go back and read the plagiarism category at the top again.
When I shade, I use light source shading, something most people don't use. This is very advanced, but not impossible.
Starting out, I would recommend keeping it simple. Use maybe four or five hue shifts each color, and find out how you want it to look. But remember, there needs to be shaping that shows that this, for example, and arm and not just a noodle.
Can you tell where the light source is?
Now, this is just how I shade my skins, it is very basic, but a large improvement to a majority of skins if you follow even one, in my opinion.
More help here: https://www.planetminecraft.com/blog/how-not-to-shade-arms-and-legs/ and https://www.planetminecraft.com/blog/a-big-tutorial-on-skinning-transparent-pencil-shading-skinning-steps-tips-and-tricks-and-more/
Have questions, or need help, think I could add something or want something added? Want to improve more? Leave a comment here, I will see if I have time to answer it, or private message me on Planet Minecraft.
This is extremely helpful to me, as i am a fellow skinner so thank you for taking your time to make this!
@Kinkgasm It was definitely no issue for me to make this to help anyone enhance their ability. Hope to see more work from you in the future too, if you intend on improving. Best of luck.
nice thats nice
@Campestral Yeah, i've been learning on my own at the moment since i've went from simple skins to a bit more of a shaded skin so i'm gonna use this a lot for when it comes to new skins!
@Nightloses Thanks, that's thanks.
Sorry for adding to an older post, but the link I added for the gif for hue-shifting doesn't seem to be working anymore, it is very helpful, and it will not allow me to edit. So I'm just going to add it here quickly.
This post is deleted!