Skin Design

Skin Design

SkinsRestorer allows players and admins to apply custom skins. Skins are basically just 64x64 PNG images stored on the Minecraft CDN and signed via the yggdrasil private key. Confused what that means? Don't worry, we got you covered. You don't need to know exactly how it works internally to use it. All you need to know is how to get an arbitrary skin you can use in-game.

Continue reading to learn how skin PNG files are working internally and how to get or make a custom skin to use in the launcher/with SkinsRestorer.

Technical info

Skins allow you to express your personality in Minecraft. But you need to know a few things about skins before you can use them.

How do skins need to be formatted?

Skins are 64x64 pixel images in .png format. The skin always consists of two layers: the outer layer and the inner layer. The inner layer must be fully opaque, while the outer layer can have transparent pixels. The outer layer is used to add details like hats, glasses, or other accessories on top of the inner layer.

Minecraft allows you to toggle parts of the outer layer on and off in the client. This is useful if you want to see the full skin without any accessories. To see that feature in action, see this YouTube video (opens in a new tab) by @Jonas_Jones (opens in a new tab). The client sets this feature, so it also works on skins used with SkinsRestorer! Go to your skin settings in your client and toggle the body parts on and off where the outer layer should be hidden.

Skin pixels need to be arranged in a specific way. The skin is divided into different parts, like the head, body, arms, and legs. There is empty space in the file because a 64x64 image has more pixels than are needed to display the skin. Some people like to write their name or a message in the empty space, but it is not necessary as it's unlikely anyone will ever see it.

What is a classic/slim or steve/alex skin?

Minecraft uses two types of skin formats. The first format is known as the classic/steve skin format. What differentiates it from the slim/alex skin format is that the classic skin format has 4-pixel wide arms, while the slim skin format has a 3-pixel wide arms. Therefore, you may see some skins that look weird when applied to your player model because they are not in the correct format. If the pixels are not in the correct format, the skin will likely have black lines or other artifacts on the arms. You can usually find what skin format a skin is by looking at the arms. If the arms are 4 pixels wide, it is a classic skin. If the arms are 3 pixels wide, it is a slim skin.

More info?

You can read more about skins on the Minecraft Wiki (opens in a new tab) and the official Minecraft website (opens in a new tab).

Both websites contain downloadable templates for the classic and slim skin format to use as a base for your skin.

Get or make a custom skin

Now that you know how skins work, you can either get a premade skin or make your own skin.

Premade skins

If you want to use premade skins, there are literally thousands of skins available on the internet. You can find them on websites like NameMC (opens in a new tab) or The Skindex (opens in a new tab).

Make your own skin

There are multiple ways you could create a skin, here we have two popular methods.

Use a skin editor

You can use a skin editor like Novaskin (opens in a new tab) to create your own skin. It takes care of the technical details and allows you to design your skin in a user-friendly interface and draw directly on a 3D model. It also allows you to use a skin as a template from the internet or its own library.

Design your skin

You can design your skin in an image editor like GIMP (opens in a new tab) (free & open-source) or Adobe Photoshop (opens in a new tab) (paid, but more professional). You can even use a simple image editor like (opens in a new tab) or Pixlr (opens in a new tab).

You need to absolutely make sure that the skin is 64x64 pixels in size and saved as a .png file. You can get templates for the classic and slim skin format from the official Minecraft website (opens in a new tab).

Skin problems

Sometimes you might encounter problems with skins. Here are some common issues and how to fix them.

Your skin looks blurry

It is a known problem that skins can appear blurry in your file explorer or image viewer. It is an automatic scaling issue that happens when the image viewer tries to scale the image to fit the window. Instead of scaling linearly, it uses a nearest neighbor algorithm, which makes the image appear blurry. Most image editors like GIMP or Photoshop do not have this issue, so you can check the skin in there to see if it is actually blurry or not.

Your skin has black lines

If your skin has black lines on the arms or other parts, it is likely that the skin is in the wrong format. Classic skins have 4-pixel wide arms, while slim skins have 3-pixel wide arms. You can fix this by selecting the correct skin format in the launcher, by editing the skin in an image editor to match the correct format or by overriding the requested format in the SkinsRestorer command.

My HD skin is not working

HD skins are not supported by the Minecraft client. The vanilla client only supports 64x64 skins. HD skins were invented by modders, not by Mojang themselves. Therefore, you can't use HD skins in the vanilla client or with SkinsRestorer.