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Skin Making Tutorial

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avatar mrhow2minecraft
Level 57 : Grandmaster Taco
90
Minecraft Skinning Tutorial
The Classic Way

In this tutorial I am going to teach you how to make a basic skin. We will be assisted by various tools along the way, and in the end you will hopefully be able to make a nice enough skin to use, and even share!

Requirements:
I am going to be using Photoshop CS5. You may use a different program, but it will be different, as I will be detailing some certain buttons and effects in photoshop that I suggest that you use.
Some other picture editing programs that I suggest: Gimp (Free), Paint.net (Free), or even MS Paint works. Paint.net is a different tool than the one that comes with windows computers, which is MS Paint, and Gimp is a totally different program that you can download. Simply search around for these and you should find them reletively easily.
I am also going to be using MC Skin Viewer Extended. This allows you to view any player's skin, or any skin the you make, in 3D, and it will update live whenever you save your skin, this is useful so that whenever you press CTRL + S (Save) It will update in the 3D skin viewer. You can get this here: www.minecraftforum.net/topic/274120-net-minecraft-skin-viewer-beta-08-03-08-04/ (Note: It Is Reccomended That You Download The "Extended" Version).

Step 1 - Setting It Up
So, to start, you need a skin to start from. You may either use the default "Steve" Skin, or any skin really. Make sure that you have a .png file that looks like an unfolded skin displaying every side of the player. Now we need to set up the Skin Viewer, after you download it, simply open it. If you downloaded the "Extended" Version, you must right click, hover over "Model", and select "Human". You may now simply either drag and drop the skin .png file onto this Human, or you can type in a username and grab that user's skin. Now you should orient your windows so that you can see them both at all times.

Step 2 - Play Around!
Get aquainted with any new programs, including the Skin Viewer, or if you got a new image editing program. Just draw some things and use some random tools, just keep in mind what you are going to want to do eventually!
You can also grab the default "Steve" skin by going to www.minecraft.net , logging in, and then hitting "Profile". You will then see a whole "Change Skin" section just a bit down, right after your basic profile info. Here there is a link to "Download the reference skin". Download this, back it up as "Reference Skin" or whatever you want, and load it into your image editor. Now also drag it into the Skin Viewer. Whenever you press CTRL + S (Similar On Mac) on most programs it will save, and update in the skin viewer. Now just practice changing around some colors, and get aquainted with the sections of the skin and what part of the body they are for. After you are confident with your skills, move on to Step 3.

Step 3 - Retexture In Monotone
Now we are going to start actually retexturing the skin to whatever you want! By now you should know where the body parts are, and if not, reload the reference skin which you should have backed up if you followed instructions, otherwise, just redownload.
Now that you can either see, or know of, the locations of the different body parts on the .png image, you can start retexturing. Think about what kind of skin you want, and what you want on each body part. I suggest for some of your first skins that you simply recolor the Steve skin, or make minor changes. Do not totally redo the skin right away. Think about what colors you want for what, does your character wear a yellow shirt? Green pants? Think about this, and make sure you are solid on this. Now you can retexture in monotone, what this means is that you simply pick one solid color that you want to be the main color of the section of the skin, be it the shirt, hair, whatever. If you want brown hair, just pick one brown shade for now. Color in the whole space, CTRL + S'ing every once in a while and turning around the 3D picture in the viewer to check it. Do the main parts like this, such as pants, shirt, hair, etc. Only do one solid color for the face, and ignore facial features for now. Once you have the whole skin retextured, move on to step 4.

Step 4 - Shade It
If you look at other skins - good ones at least - they all have different shades of the same color. A Blonde haired character does not have 1 shade of yellow throughout all of the hair, there are darker parts and lighter parts. This is what we must do now.
Imagine that there is a light source, and it is pointing at your skin. This should be from about a 45 degree angle from the face, going off and up diagonally. If you don't understand this, just imagine a light source hitting your skin (In 3D form) from an angle. The corners of each part that are close to the light source should be a slightly brighter tone, emulating actual light shining on it. Do the same but opposite in the other corner, making that area slightly darker. To do both of these things, simply use the picker to select the main color of the body part, then change the color to a slightly higher or lower shade. By the end of this, each body part should be cut into thirds, 1 third the original color in the middle, 1 third brighter towards the light source, and 1 third darker away from the light. Now you need to blend these colors together, so it is not just three shades total per part. An easy way to do this in photoshop is using the "Blur" tool. You should now have a ton of different shades within each body part, but these are still kind of solid colors without any detail.

Step 5 - Adding Detail
You need to add details to finish off your skin, details are things like facial features (Eyes, mouth, nose, etc.) Necklaces, bracelets, etc. These vary depending on your skin type. Adding facial features is not really something I can give a tutorial on, since this varies so much per skin and per person. Simply back up your skin, and start trying different things. Necklaces & bracelets and things are the same way, it varies per person. I suggest the same as for facial features, just backup and try things out. Once you have added some things like this, it looks like you are done! Just tweak whatever you don't really like and try to make it look good.

Some Important Things To Note
People always take their own work critically. It always will look worse to you than it does to others, simply because you see all the flaws, and you don't see the good parts.
Do something random! By this I mean, backup and try some random things. If you followed instructions perfectly, then it is probably too perfect. That is the point, a good skin needs some randomness and some flaws!

Well, I think that this brings my tutorial to an end, thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this and I hope that it helped you, it definitely took me a while to make. Thanks again.
Tags

1
02/07/2012 9:28 pm
Level 13 : Journeyman Mage
mining300
You could just go to novaskin editor.
1
02/08/2012 6:12 am
Level 57 : Grandmaster Taco
mrhow2minecraft
Or you could do it like a real man this way :)
1
06/17/2014 9:39 pm
Level 10 : Journeyman Crafter
EvanX3000
also novaskin is banned
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