Every now and then, PlanetMinecraft hosts a contest for skinners with great fun, good prizes, and ultimate glory. The Emotions Skin Contest is their 20th contest, and it began yesterday (August 20th). This was the winning theme as voted on by the community.
The premise of this contest is simple: entrants must create a brand new skin that somehow portrays an emotion. This need not simply be a character with a sad face; the creator is free to interpret the theme however he or she wishes.
In fact, PlanetMinecraft discourages simple interpretations by stating that all skins must be completely original. They may not be copies or alterations of any existing skin. Some users seem not to understand this, but alas, the contest has just begun – it will surely be clarified as time goes on.
Other stipulations of the contest include:
The skin must be usable. This means that it must function perfectly well in-game by players; they must not be skins for the character model (Steve) and not any other mob or block.
Original, solo work is required. Skins may not be remixes or collaborations. In addition, this eliminates the possibility of using many skinning programs, as they borrow elements from other skins.
Only one entry can be submitted by each person – no exceptions, even for disqualified entries. Entries can be updated with the proper “update” button before the final deadline.
Skins must also be accompanied by a brief written explanation of who or what the skin is meant to represent (if anything), and how it is a representation to the theme. Extremely obvious cases do not need to be explained, but it never hurts.
Finally, skins must be received by September 4th.
There are some other specific points to certain rules, so if you are considering entering, be sure to visit the page and read through them thoroughly.
With that said, allow me to show you my three favorite skins so far. I will be reviewing this contest as it draws to a close as well, so stay tuned for that!
Skin #1: In Love
The shading on this skin isn’t fantastic, but its detail is a great start. Hopefully hawkeye245 will continue to work on the skin as the contest continues; I really think this one has potential to do well.
By far, the best part of this skin is the “floating hearts” around her head. The helmet layer is used to provide a sense of detachment from the model. I think it could use more hearts, honestly – they look great! Maybe some on the body?
My rating: seven out of ten heart-shaped sunglasses.
Skin #2: Angry Man
I am of the opinion that anger is one of the easiest emotions to convey in art. It tends to be the most dramatic. User dgmods did a fairly decent job of showing anger in this skin.
My favorite part of this is that the character’s face is literally red with anger. And not comically unrealistic bright red – but a deep, I-am-not-getting-enough-oxygen-to-my-head red. Coupled with the stern eyebrows, focused eyes, and small mouth, I’d probably want to get away from this guy as soon as possible, if not for one thing…
That bright green shirt makes him look harmless! If I can give any advice to the skinners of this contest as they move forward, it is this: take overall color into account for your emotion. A completely white shirt would have been fine, but making it green disrupts the dark and moody look of the head, black pants, and simple shoes.
My rating: eight out of ten flipped tables.
Skin #3: Akane, the Forever Angry One
Saving the best for last, allow me to introduce Cheezystar’s skin “Akane”. Her name actually means anger in Japanese – as if a written description was necessary!
I must give props to Cheezystar. This skin immediately and without question portrays exactly what the backstory does. Oh, did I mention Cheezystar is one of the only entrants to include a backstory thus far? Bonus points for that by the judges, I imagine!
Akane’s story is thus: she was once a normal girl, but she hid her ever-building anger and frustration beneath a false smile. One day it became unbearable, and with one thing after another going wrong without relief, she broke down. Now she is angry day in and day out.
I mentioned overall color in the previous skin. This skin takes it to the extreme, tinting the entire thing red – but in a tastefully elegant way that portrays the emotion without ruining the detail. Akane absolutely seems like a once-normal girl lost in eternal rage.
The only gripe I have is the net on her leggings – the black for the actual net should be lighter, in my opinion; the contrast is too much in comparison to the style of the rest of the skin.
My rating: nine out of nine bloody ballrooms.
Installing one of the skins
For online play, skins can be installed by simply uploading the file to your profile on Minecraft.net. Skins posted on certain websites can be uploaded directly from their page, including this one; click on the button on the right-hand side labeled “change my skin” to be taken directly to the appropriate page.
For offline play only, the process is similar to installing mods:
Download the skin’s .png file of your choice:
Hold Windows key and press R to bring up the Run… dialog, or go to Start > Run.
Type %appdata% and press enter, then navigate to roaming/.minecraft/versions.
Open the folder containing the version you use for offline play and view the .jar file using WinRAR.
Create a backup of the meta.inf file contained inside the .jar and store it in a separate folder.
Navigate within the .jar file to assets/minecraft/textures/entity.
Rename the image file titled “steve” to anything else (such as steve_backup).
Change the name of your skin’s .png file to steve.png and insert it here.
Remember to keep your meta.inf and original steve texture backed up somewhere just in case.
What is your favorite skin from this contest so far? Additionally, if you have entered the contest, feel free to leave your skin in the comments – I will do a review of it and get you some exposure! If there are enough skins I will simply post a group review similar to this one in a few days. I may be entering, myself. Best of luck to all entrants!