SkinEdit is a simple graphics editor optimized for making Minecraft skins. It got many features to make it easier for beginners to understand how Minecraft skinning works as well as all the features even experienced skinners need. With over HALF A MILLION downloads so far the latest alpha fixes many bugs and adds a new imrpoved tool feature. For more information read the forum topic (linked at the bottom, click read more)
IF YOU GET STUCK LAUNCHING OR HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THE PREVIEWER TRY TO DOWNLOAD THIS FIX: Solidfiles.com
SkinEdit is mostly tested under Windows 7, but should work in Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, newer versions of OSX and all graphical Linux versions (Tested on Ubuntu).
Downloading the 3D previewer manually:
This is normally not needed!
Sometimes the 3D previewer won't get downloaded automatically. This is usually the result of not being able to write to the current location. If you are experienced with your operating system you can launch SkinEdit as administrator which probably will allow it to download the previewer. This is only needed once. But, launching java programs with administrator status in Windows requires command prompt usage and therefore I will explain how to do it the easy way:
Since alpha 3 pre 4 you can add your own backgrounds and use. Some of the best backgrounds will be listed here for download!
For a background to work the width must be divideable by 64 and the height by 32.
Mobs reskin pack (by: Notch, Patrik Swedman)
Unfortunately you can't preview them property, but at least you can use SkinEdit for some of your re-skin needs. Includes both a gray scale and a color version of every mob image (except zombie) in the size 640x320.
Bug: The color ones isn't scaled. A fix will be released later on.
PartPicker was introduced in alpha 3 pre 5 and is a way to easily add details to already existing skins, but if you're crazy enough you could create a entire skin with this feature. PartPicker simply lets you glue parts of a skin onto your own skin, such as glasses, a pair of jeans and why not your clan logo?
To add a new part you simply put it in the 'parts' folder. The file format must be .png and the size must be 64x32px. The area that isn't a part of the skin must be completely transparent (alpha 0).
Feedback and support:
You can get feedback and support in the forum topic