Doing Game Development at College really inspired me to look into how games are made. I did 3D modelling at College however this focused on the model rather than the texturing. I find texturing a beautiful art as it looks at all perspectives instead of just a certain angle. The flow and detail that has to go into a mesh in every pixels means that everything must go together and be worked on to the exact pixel. I picked Minecraft for this project as there are a lot of resources and guides available online in order to aid with this. Along with this it is open to everyone to modify their skin and can be updated instantly meaning I can get constant and fast visual representation of the outcome.
I based my skin off of me in a Batman shirt. I liked having shirt detailing as I felt this would offset the design nicely if I kept the rest basic. For my face I started with my eyes as I felt this was an appropriate starting base to work around and gather a reference on where the rest of my facial features will be placed. I used a Minecraft technique that is used on a lot of Minecraft skins when I researched into them. I then placed my mouth and made this a slightly darker shade than my skin. It is difficult to make any mouth shape given the limited pixels so I just went with a straight mouth. However the gap inbetween the mouth and eyes meant I couldn’t extend my beard shadow as I had wished to in order to add further details. For my hair I used three different colours of brown in order to give it detailing and depth instead of just being flat in which is what many Minecraft skins I have seen have. These in my opinion looked too flat and lacked dimension. For the legs I put a belt onto them to offset the colours and make my mesh have more interesting. I also added yellow laces on the shoes to again add colour into the mesh and break up the shades of black/grey.
However, when testing this I noticed the belt needed to be on the body as the legs move independently meaning the belt will be distorted. With editing this to the top it meant this would be stopped. I then looked at other parts of my mesh and identified the colour of the jeans being too dark and a lighter grey would make the parts more distinguishable. Also with this I then edited the pockets to a more detailed and concise. I then edited my hair to make it further layered as I found this worked well but due to being so small it was hardly noticeable.
After this I decided I was happy with the skin and I felt I can now move forward with the design by making sections 3D as Minecraft allows a multi-layer mesh. Initially I did my hair and details such as the belt, shoelaces and pockets. The hair however didn’t look right as it left a gap and it looked more like a helmet than hair. On the other hand though the other items looked good like that and added a 3D element to the 2D mesh.
This project was very rewarding overall and was enjoyable. I loved creating the mesh as it allowed me to look at things in detail on a very limited surface and work objects together in a single plain as opposed to separate images like I am used to with UI design. I am going to look into doing more complex models in the future however Minecraft skins allowed me to use tutorials and previous meshes to get inspiration and work my way around the pixel art style and mesh creation.