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Whtdragon's Skins Tutorial in MCSkin3D: Getting Started in Shadows

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avatar whtdragon
Level 49 : Master Artist
411
Paril talked me into joining the tutorial contest, so here we are!

This is "Whtdragon's MCSkin3D skinning tutorial: Getting started in shadows. MCSkin3D is a skin maker program created by Paril. If you're brand new to the program, or just need a quick review on some of the basics, I recommand that you check out my Colors and Brushes tutorial here.
This tutorial will be mainly dealing with some basics as well as some shading to get you started in making skins.

Recommanded settings:

Look up at the menu bar, and find "hybrid view" and click on it. It should look something like this
modelviewcopypng

now look for the toggle buttons, they should look something like this:
Togglescopypng

it's good practice to just go ahead and turn off the helmet button, especially if you prefer painting directly on the skin itself. I see too many people not use the toggle buttons or the hybrid view properly.

An example would be here, if you disabled the right arm from the model view:
showsidescopypng

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get down to business!

Make yourself a new skin. Right click on the skin list and select "new skin here" like in the image shown.

makenewskincopypng

You should see a white (or black if you are using an older version) blank skin all ready to create from. Go down to the colors and pick something out as a base color to start in. If you're starting out, or simply need some help I suggest clicking on the "swatches" tab and selecting to "skin colors" shown in the diagram below. I have the color I'm going to be using in the tutorial highlighted, but you can pick whatever color you prefer.

skinpickcopypng

Eyes:

For eyes, it's a bit experiemental, but I have 4 pretty common examples I use in this picture here:
faceexamplescopypng

I have the grid turned on so you can better see how I make the eyes. Eyes are typically two squares long, and the height varies from one to two squares. The black line at the top is just something I personally do for shaping the eyes and can be left off if you wish. Alternatively you can color them in with a darker shade of the skin color, but I'll get to that later. Note Female eyes have an added square to either side of them to show eyelashes.
The reason why I do eyes like this is because it's very common in Super Nintendo style sprite characters, and it's simply something I've grown up with.

Shading:

Before we talk about shading I have a couple of solid rules for using MCSkin3D:

  1. NEVER use the Noise tool in MCskin3D. I know it can be useful, but it's extremely easy to overuse it and I've seen WAY too many skins that have been ruined by it.
  2. Use the Dodge/burn lighten/darken tools instead. Takes more work, but not as much as having to manually pick the colors out. A lot of artists will say "don't" do this because you won't learn anything this way, but I say if you know what you're doing you're learning plenty.
  3. Do NOT try to cram in a ton of details into a skin. Be it from shading or wanting to add a ton of stuff to them, unless you have a mod that supports higher resolution. It's just too much work for something that most people won't usually see or notice.

Now my method of shading is pretty easy. Pick Darken/lighten, make sure you're set to "darken" set yourself to 20 (or 30 if you feel 20 isn't dark enough) and like in the image below, pick a corner and click on each space to make a stair shape:

shadingfacecopypng

Do it again a second time like in the image below, and then a third time for one pixel in the corner:

shadingfacecopypng
Each time you click on a pixel with the darken tool, the pixel gets darker! Save some shading time doing tools instead!

Continue this with all corners of the face and head if you wish. I call this "framing" the face and it's a great base to work on.
This method gives an almost smoothed look. I do this for most of the person's skin that shows on the body like hands or arms.
It's okay to switch out dodge/burn tool for darken/lighten. Since both of them are slightly different, they each effect
how the shading looks. If you don't like how the darken tool ends up shading, just switch over to the burn instead, or adjust the exposure until you find one you're happy with.
Let it give you the colors for shading. Work with it until you are satisfied.

Clothing:

For clothing, the rules are similar. I usually do not try to frame clothing like I do with the face, because clothing folds has a certain level of it's own shadowing to worry about that's separate from the face, so we can just focus on shading within the clothing itself. Belts, straps, bags, pockets should be considered and it's really more of just experimenting with dodge/burn or darken/lighten. Try shading around items to give more definition.

shadingclothingcopypng

If you accidentally make something too dark in shading, just switch over to the lighten or dodge tool to lighten the pixels back up, or just simply hit the undo button.

I would add more to this, but I feel like this tutorial's already huge as is with all the images. I'll probably eventually make another tutorial on other things, like how to make hair, or how to capitalize just a little more on the helmet layer.

If you guys want to see more, or have any suggestions or questions to ask, leave a comment below, and I'll see if I can't get a tutorial up for it!

Practice and Enjoy!
CreditParil
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Comments : 36

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  • kitty3690
  • Level 19
  • Journeyman Skinner
  • November 16, 2016, 9:42 am
This is an amazing tutorial
  • Shquaz
  • Level 17
  • Journeyman Dragonborn
  • July 4, 2015, 2:41 am
Great Toturial. Diamond, Sub and Fav.
  • floraldun
  • Level 1
  • New Network
  • April 24, 2015, 2:05 pm
Hello.
Somehow I cannot enable the 'toggle left leg/right leg armour' button thing.
  • Shquaz
  • Level 17
  • Journeyman Dragonborn
  • July 4, 2015, 2:34 am
I think you are not using 1.8 minecraft skin. Difference:
Normal
1.8
Normal one only uses head armor and 1.8 uses whole body armor. That's the difference. I think so
  • Stanleyjo123
  • Level 32
  • Artisan Skinner
  • February 12, 2015, 4:41 am
Where do you download this editor?
  • whtdragon
  • Level 49
  • Master Artist
  • February 16, 2015, 12:43 pm
  • Stanleyjo123
  • Level 32
  • Artisan Skinner
  • February 16, 2015, 9:07 pm
Thanks! i never saw it lol
  • SnowDust
  • Level 8
  • Apprentice Hunter
  • December 17, 2014, 4:15 pm
Thank. You. So. Much <3
  • Tang
  • Level 34
  • Artisan Prince
  • May 14, 2014, 11:40 am
So how would you get one colour to another ,like red to orange?
Or does this not feature on MCSkin3D?
  • Shquaz
  • Level 17
  • Journeyman Dragonborn
  • July 4, 2015, 2:38 am
I am doing like this: Red to 255, Green to 140, Blue to 0 and alpha to 255 in RGBA tab
  • whtdragon
  • Level 49
  • Master Artist
  • June 2, 2014, 4:55 pm
There's a couple of different ways you can go about doing that, but the easiest for color change is to switch from swatches over to the RGBA tab, switching to the pencil tool and then setting the A (alpha) slider down to make the color in question more transparent. It'll be easier to blend two or more colors into the transition you may be looking for. 



I'd recomand you set the alpha slider to either 50 or 85, but you may have to experiment around to find a balance you're looking for. (don't forget to set it back to 255 when coloring normally!) I also suggest you using multiple colors when doing this or things might turn out a bit flat. Again though, you will have to experiment with it some. Hope that helps!
  • Tang
  • Level 34
  • Artisan Prince
  • June 2, 2014, 10:18 pm
OK thank you and I will give it a try! :3
  • MusaTheLegend
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Necromancer
  • July 4, 2013, 8:07 pm
Thanks ;)
  • AlexanPT
  • Level 28
  • Expert Dragon
  • April 26, 2013, 3:34 pm
Oh my god, thank you so much!
  • Protocol X
  • Level 29
  • Expert Pixel Puncher
  • January 18, 2013, 4:20 am
Thank you whtdragon so much i really appreciate this tutorial this is the best one i have ever seen cause in other ones i had to download photoshop or something but thanks allot cause this helped me alot
  • Flashers
  • Level 14
  • Journeyman Pokemon
  • December 5, 2012, 9:50 am
Thank yew~o ¥

Diamond for chu .w.
  • ady9000
  • Level 5
  • Apprentice Mage
  • November 5, 2012, 1:06 pm
Can you show the entire skin?
  • whtdragon
  • Level 49
  • Master Artist
  • November 9, 2012, 9:58 pm
the skin I used over the course of the tutorial was never actually ment to be completed, and simply used as an example for some of my methods.

I did however make a skin from it as an afterthought, mostly for the heck of it. Here it is!
  • ady9000
  • Level 5
  • Apprentice Mage
  • November 5, 2012, 1:07 pm
Also EPIC tutorial!!! ( / * w * / )
Awesome thank ya this really help me :D x.x
  • atlasbot
  • Level 1
  • New Explorer
  • September 15, 2012, 9:15 am
Where do you find the skins in MCSkin3D to upload to PMC?
  • whtdragon
  • Level 49
  • Master Artist
  • September 19, 2012, 7:22 am
You can find them in the "skins" folder of MCSkin3D o_O? But you can't upload MCSkin3D's default skins as it's against PMC rules. They are meant as examples and bases to work off of to make your own skins.
  • a-b
  • Level 38
  • Artisan Artist
  • August 23, 2012, 2:35 pm
Ermagerd. This is the most easy to follow skin tutorial I've ever seen. Thanks so much!
  • MrRivux
  • Level 22
  • Expert Artist
  • July 16, 2012, 4:34 am
WoW, after looking at this tutorial i look at shading differently, im new to it and i thank you so much for making this tut diamond and sub for you, also i may be asking questions in the future =3
  • whtdragon
  • Level 49
  • Master Artist
  • July 16, 2012, 11:25 am
As long as one person got some help from the tutorial I consider it mission accomplished >O>! And yeah I don't mind answering some questions n' stuff >o> could always make more tutorials!
  • MrRivux
  • Level 22
  • Expert Artist
  • July 16, 2012, 12:01 pm
well i was wondering if you could give me some more pointers on shading, lol i want to become really good at it
  • whtdragon
  • Level 49
  • Master Artist
  • July 16, 2012, 6:03 pm
hmm well, I dunno how much more you need o3o; but if you feel like you need more colors in the shading, switch over from darken or burn to lighten and dodge and start lightening up skins, much like what I have there but in reverse. It's not uncommon to use shading to imply perspectives either, like the darker something is, the more "sunk in" it is from the rest of the space. Like in the image above, with the belt strap across the chest there, it's pressing the clothing up against the body, so it's got a darker shade around it.

Oh also? never use black. Or if you do, use it sparingly. Just not very good in shading for the most part.
  • MrRivux
  • Level 22
  • Expert Artist
  • July 16, 2012, 6:41 pm
all right thanks so much, do you have skype by chance? reason why i ask becuase i think you would be a great skinning teacher, and dont worry im not a little kid im 18 and sorry for bothering you
  • whtdragon
  • Level 49
  • Master Artist
  • July 16, 2012, 9:03 pm
nooo I don't have skype >3<; and I dunnlike voice chat oAo; it's scary~!
  • MrRivux
  • Level 22
  • Expert Artist
  • July 16, 2012, 9:14 pm
well its free, and well you dont need to use a mic, its just to chat =3, like i said i will be your student
  • G-Fiti
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 50
  • Grandmaster Meme
  • July 11, 2012, 7:44 pm
You did it! :D
  • whtdragon
  • Level 49
  • Master Artist
  • July 11, 2012, 7:51 pm
I DID IT!

....what did I do o-o?
  • G-Fiti
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 50
  • Grandmaster Meme
  • July 11, 2012, 7:52 pm
You finally made a tutorial =D
  • whtdragon
  • Level 49
  • Master Artist
  • July 11, 2012, 7:57 pm
OH that yeah >O>! Totally did that zoz!
Paril was pestering me for a video tutorial though opo; which isn't gonna happen.
  • G-Fiti
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 50
  • Grandmaster Meme
  • July 11, 2012, 7:59 pm
awww :(
  • NubNoobNewb
  • Level 50
  • Grandmaster Lad
  • July 11, 2012, 6:01 pm
Gonna try this soon, very useful THANKS!

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