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A Rant about Shading

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Nekomancy avatar Nekomancy
Level 37 : Artisan uwu
mmk I wasn't going to make a post on this or vent or anything until it started getting more and more common, and it's been aggravating. I don't expect anyone to listen to this, like this, or care, infact a lot of people are probably going to hate me for this, but... I gotta say it tbh.

So a quick disclaimer, I am not trying to put anyone down, if you don't agree, if you feel offended/called out and the urge to go to the comments to flame me or others who agree, I want you to take a second and realize that from the moment this red text ends, if you continue, that is on YOU. I have my own opinions, I will continue to have my own opinions, whether you like it or not. I feel like this needs to be called out, so I am going to call it out. You can feel otherwise. Comments with no good value will be removed. Stay civil, and your comment will be acknowledged. If your shading is directly being ripped pixel-for-pixel on both hair and body, it sucks. And I'm also not telling you to NEVER USE THESE (the common) STYLES!!! If you like it, you like it, and so long as you aren't directly stealing, it doesn't hurt anyone. I'm also going to be targeting HAIR shading in specific over body/entire shading, because the body shading is a larger canvas than the head, its a bit easier to distinguish if someones copying a common style or someone in specific. This is also why I'm not naming names of people who are doing the "YOU STOLE MY STYLE!!!" on common styles, there's more to it than the hair, but I have seen people doing the "YOU STOLE MY STYLE!!" with hair in specific.

And again, I'm not targeting anyone in specific, just the new trend I'm slowly starting to see. So don't go in the comments thinking I'm targeting you in specific, good chance is I haven't even seen you before. I'm pretty much stuck in my own little circle of skinners.

I've also seen color but I'm still processing how in anyones right mind someone's going to get upset because someone else did a blue-purple ombre because just the day before they did a blue-purple ombre. Just...why?

The main message here is if you're going to use a common style, expect everyone to look like they're ripping your style. They don't even have to know you at that point to be "copying your style," and its unfair for both sides for (in their mind) some random skinner they may or may not have known about going to every skin and going "DONT USE MY SHADING!!!!" or "STOP USING MY SHADING!!!!!" when you just saw lolipop360 using it, and didn't know about this person. Or you have, but you also know a lot of other skinners use it.

The point is, while what you see is heart crushing because someone is copying your style, they're scared that their skins are going to be removed because someone from the deep web just came and attacked their skins for a style they see a lot, and often they're new, so they think that they can't learn how to skin because the only style they know how to do is claimed by someone else. It's unfair for both, and makes skinning more of an unfriendly place than it already was simply for liking and making a certain style (teen skins.).

But at that point, you should develop a style that is 100% yours, its hard, but possible. Sugarbun did it, a lot of the LOTC skinners did it, ElvenJedi did it, and FireBellFairy even did it and kept a relatively simple shading style. Three of those examples made/make teen skins. And the person copying should develop a style off of what they currently know to develop a style that won't get them burned at the stake and stoned for, but, here's the thing... both take time.

And that needs to be understood. The people who use the shading below on that neon pink example aren't going to go from that to [​Insert the million amazing skinners and I'm not going to be favoritist about it]. It's the same as you, you're not going to go from using those styles to [​Insert the mill- yea you get it]. And before someone mentions, yes, you CAN learn from copying other's styles. It's actually not an uncommon practice in the art world, however, its slightly different.

What people do to learn is they take a certain piece they like about a certain author's style, so lets say I like how Jeremiah4747 (fake person I think) makes eyebrows. I'd try to make a style of eyebrows that is similar. And you go on until you have something you like, and then you just keep drawing and over time, your own style based on your own "lazy" quirks and "oh i dont like how im drawing that nose, what about like that? yeaa!", and eventually, ideally, you'd have your own unique style and not a scribble mess you think is a person but is the next iteration of the spaghetti monster.The problem comes down to when they take EVERY ASPECT of a certain artist's skin/art, copies it, then claims its 100% theirs. But, thats a little easier to tell than skins.

The problem we are facing is that there is several (more than the example's, a good portion being just variants of what we see below) styles that are commonly used, and the source of these shadings have been buried over the others who use these shadings. Heck, I even still use the one second-to-the-right (Head Right), though a little different.

Now, lets say someone was directly ripping ElvenJedi's style (Sorry ElvenJedi gonna pick on you for a second [​no negativity]). It's a unique style through and through, I don't see a lot of skinners use it without stealing ElvenJedi's skins entirely. THEN there's a problem. Elven's style is pretty dang unique. There's no mistaking when you're ripping their style. Versus, the typical "pillow" style lets say (which I honestly dont see used a lot, at least on PMC, anymore?), you can't pinpoint that on a source, and its unfair for the "RIGHTS TO USE!" to go to the most popular. This shading is about as old as being able to make custom skins. Not all of us were around then.

A Rant about Shading

And this is what I'm seeing commonly. There are newer skinners being targeted for using one of the "basic shadings" and variants of. Hell, I've used at least one of each of these one. I still use a variant of the one on Head Right, Fairy Tale Girl uses a mix of one on Head Left and Head Right, Honey Flower uses a variation of Head Right, Something uses a variation of Head Left, Dat Teen Skin Tho uses a simpler version of Head Back, and Gothic Anime Girl uses Head Front. And if you're noticing...all of these are in specific parts of my skinning career. That's because I was still learning. I still am, I haven't quite found my style.

Now, the next part of this is "Well, you're mentioning how there's variants of, and I use this super secret speshal variant of HL/HR/HF/HB." Sure, yes, it's possible you're the only one who uses the speshal secret super method passed down generations o learning... but I'm not seeing a whole lot (some but not a lot, its still a problem but it isn't the majority, I'll explain why in a second) of unique styles being pointed out as "stolen" by someone else. That's because even a variant of these styles still looks like a copy of the original or another variant. Let me give you an example.

A Rant about Shading

I edited some of these a little too much but you should get the gist of it. These are all STILL styles that are commonly used or can be easily gotten from just changing a few aspects about one of them. And if you keep the change minimal, it looks like a pathetic edit to attempt to get away from being reported. Get what I mean? (Probably not) The blue example are still variants (other than the one on the back, idk how much I actually see that one.) of the pink example that I see commonly.

hoo. This post is long. Pretty much TL;DR, if you use a common shading of any kind...expect other's to use it too. Find some way to differentiate yourself. Also don't focus on JUST hair shading if you're calling someone out, hair is honestly to date my most hated part of shade not because its hard but because it's very easy to accidentally step into a bear trap you can't see if you try to make something custom from one of the common styles.

Another disclaimer, if you use a common style, that's fine. I'm not saying don't. What I'm saying don't, is use a common style, and when you see others use the same or similar style, go after them.

Also I'm not going to directly go to the people doing this and stab them being like "YOUR STYLE ISNT EVEN ORIGINAL," it's unnecessary. They probably already know. I just want to point out that you can deter new skinners from learning if you get caught up on them using a similar style if you use one of the common ones. Don't be that guy. You're not the first one to use that style, and you're not going to be the last even if you start harassing others. I'm also not saying that stealing is good, it isn't. You should never steal someone else's work pixel for pixel, get inspired, yes, steal, no. It's a lot easier to take it step by step and learn your own style than go through the pain of being banned over and over.

again for the 100th time also not targetting anyone in specific and feel free to disagree on any of the points. just dont make drama out of it pls.

If you made it this far, I hope you have a good day. If comments become a flame fest I'm going to shut them off because at this point I'm not in the mood for it. Take a moment to calm down and digest before going down there.
CreditEveryone I mentioned in this post, and the reader if they read the entire rant

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12/17/2019 1:20 pm
Level 47 : Master Kitten
PickleCat avatar
This is really something I appreciate!
It really explaining the whole shading style ''stealing'' milarky (I'm not sure if there's a proper spelling for that)
and fuss skinners specifically why it''d be a good idea not to get into this kind of stuff,
especially when posting on popular platforms.
because it is just going to be a lot of that ''you stole my style'' junk
but it is of course still acceptable to use it

This here is also a common shading style:
(Using the same -ish blue colours, cause I like blue)

I started doing this style recently, just with edited bits,
and usually people do that on all sides, then something
like the last blue square you've shown on top, where as I did something completely different, but still fitting with the style

(sorry if I get some of this stuff wrong, it is a fairly long rant, but all good and well-thought out ones, like this one exactly, are long)

There is a lot more that I'd love to say, but I can't exactly verbalise it.
Overall, this is good.
12/17/2019 2:53 pm
Level 37 : Artisan uwu
Nekomancy avatar
Yeah I entirely agree. Its easy to assume that most "easy" styles that come to mind immediately are used often, though what makes those simple styles 'unique' is more how they're used.
Another thing is I think its almost easier to try to claim an easy shading on PMC than Minecraftskins...at first it looks like those styles arent very often used because you can't see like, 20 skins posted at once. But if you dig or watch for awhile you can see they're used quite often.
12/15/2019 2:53 pm
Level 46 : Master Nerd
FireBellFairy avatar
The shading styles you had up as examples, I used about three of them a year or so ago c':

Also, thanks for mentioning me :)

I agree with everything you said. (:
12/15/2019 3:01 pm
Level 37 : Artisan uwu
Nekomancy avatar
Thank you for your good work! :)
12/12/2019 6:18 pm
Level 39 : Artisan Fish
Miickster avatar
heartfelt paragraph ty. lots of people ask me if they can use a style similar to mine and im just like "i dont care???" my style isn't even consistent. I can literally forget how i shade just a few days without making a skin. and there are only so few shadings that make sense when it comes to where the light hits and where shadows form. This claiming style thing is annoying. personal opinion, idc if u disagree.
12/12/2019 7:31 pm
Level 37 : Artisan uwu
Nekomancy avatar
I can definitely relate to the style not being consistent, I tend to just shade whatever looks nice on the skin rather than a certain style.
This claiming style stuff is like making mostly cross-hatched shaded drawings, a pretty common shading style for drawings, then getting upset when others use it. like, its so common you learn it in art classes in school.
I legit found a ton of skin artists (though most have left) who have used the more common shadings and the people claiming the styles use similar or the same style, but reverse certain spots, like, lol what? They're such common styles, they aren't the first to use it.
Thank you for your comment and thank you for taking the time to read. <3
01/02/2020 10:32 am
Level 42 : Master Artist
Whiteout- avatar
I don't think of this style as easy to be honest for me lol

I do like this kind of skin, but honestly no one is copying anyone, its just a style, everyone does shaded hair and its just different types, it belongs to no one honestly, for how many people play minecraft, they can't always be perfectly unique.
I use this type of skin because I'm tired of using more of plain skins, I just decided after a while of minecraft that, I actually enjoy these types of skins, and if someone used these styles to make their skins, then sure go ahead, if it's your own character that is uniquely made by you, then no one has a reason to be called a copycat. But in some cases, people re-upload skins from other websites, hoping nobody will know, and sometimes I will recolor a skin or edit it, but that's only for use in minecraft, not posting, and people who do that probably don't feel great about it.

When players say, "You stole my style!" well, most likely they did as well.
12/11/2019 3:43 pm
Level 13 : Journeyman Crafter
alias_Fuchs avatar
i‘m new to skinning and i totaly agree with you. thanks for the time that you spent on the post.
12/12/2019 7:31 pm
Level 37 : Artisan uwu
Nekomancy avatar
New skinners should be encouraged not shunned. Thank you for taking the time to read <3
12/11/2019 3:03 pm
Level 17 : Journeyman Cake
LordQwerty avatar
i agree heartfully!
12/08/2019 1:02 pm
Level 47 : Master Necromancer
Beordan avatar
LotC skinners represent thumb_up

I definitely used shading styles similar to those when I'd first started making skins, though after a while I realized how bland and repetitive it got to have them on all of the skins I made. IMO, best way to make more interesting skins is to venture out and try create your own style (though sticking with what's comfortable is OK!).
12/12/2019 7:33 pm
Level 37 : Artisan uwu
Nekomancy avatar
I agree wholeheartedly with you, thank you for taking the time to read this and I'm sorry for late reply x3
12/08/2019 12:02 pm
Level 50 : Grandmaster Kitten
Kaos_Kitten avatar
I agree with this. Anyone can use whatever style they want, but its not fair to shame someone because of the shading style.

I almost stopped skinning because someone commented on my skin "Oh its got a generic face" ((I can't find the skin, so the comment was probably removed))

There's constructive criticism and then there's just hate; any skin is better than none and if someone borrows your style you should be happy that they enjoyed it enough to use it.

There's too much hate in the world, all skins are beautiful and unique in their own way!!
12/12/2019 7:38 pmhistory
Level 37 : Artisan uwu
Nekomancy avatar
Gosh I hate that stuff so much. Sometimes when there's a certain style of skin, yes, it'll be overused. And that's not bad. A lot of the time it's because they enjoy the style, or it's simple, easy to make and build off of. (Teen skins are the best example atm).
It's hard, imho, to entirely steal a style if it's unique and true to the creator. I can try as hard as I want to try to replicate certain styles, I might get close, but I doubt it'll look as good as the creator making it.

An example I'll make is IcarianPrince, I've used their skins as inspiration once or twice (lot more than that) for shading but I can never get the bubbly and cartoony look right without directly copying, and there's times that a certain spot needs shaded a certain way that just using that shading in a bland way (if that makes sense) doesn't look as good as keeping it dynamic. The creator can and can do it well, because its their style that they perfected.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for posting the insightful comment <3
12/13/2019 4:29 am
Level 50 : Grandmaster Kitten
Kaos_Kitten avatar
It's super hard to directly copy a style! Ironically enough for my 100sub celebration I decided to create skins using the styles of people who inspired me.

Everyone's brains work differently, even if you use someone else's style you cannot completely steal their style.

Using other people's work as examples of what you want to create is the best way to grow in my opinion. In the end it's still the creators work, there's no way to completely steal a style ((unless you steal pieces of a skin, which is bad))

I'm glad someone else said it <3 <3
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