I decided tonight that I wanted to try and make a new skin for Minecraft. When I started playing, the minecraft.net site let you see an image of your skin running along. You could rotate the figure in three dimensions and freeze it. It was great to see if you needed to further edit it. Unfortunately, Mojang changed the site and this visual aid is no longer there.
This is where SkinEdit (SkinEdit - New version 13 April (Alpha 3 pre 7!) - Minecraft Forum
) came to the rescue. This Java program had all I needed to alter my old skin and make a new one. A large range of colours are available and it marks what part of the .png picture correspond to which body parts. It has the standard graphics tools for a paint program and an undo/redo option that has a history. The action preview box behaves just like Mojang's but is updated whenever the skin is updated (for Mojang's website you had to upload the skin).
Here is my original skin.
And here is the new one I quickly constructed from a reference picture.
For those who need some help or inspiration, it also has a PartPicker option (look in the Edit menulist). This lets you add predefined items of clothing, hats or tools to your skin. First you get to see them on your animated figure. You can add more than one and chose which order they are applied so they can be combined. Then you return to the main window and edit them on the skin. In the figure below, I am trying new pants, a jacket etc on my steampunk skin.
So if you want to make your skin "your own" rather than just one you have downloaded, I recommend this program. It didn't take me long to make my new skin. It is a very useful tool.
ps. Bonus points to anyone who can give me the correct name for who I am basing my new skin on
pps. Not sure one why there is some much space around the first 2 pics but not the third.... sorry