Hive Style: A Full Guide

:beedance: Hive Style: A Full Guide :beedance:

Introduction
Hello everyone, today I’m here to present a full guide to Hive Style! From what this style is to tips on how to do it yourself, this guide has everything you need to know about the topic. Hope you find this useful, because this took a while to make!


Why I am making this
I don’t think I’m the only here that thinks this is a pretty confusing topic. I’ve seen people here on the forums asking about the topic, how to make hive styled skins, and trying to make skins but not getting it right. I’ve seen these kind of posts many times, so I got motivated to do a full guide with everything necessary for new people. I personally had these frustrations long before I joined the forums, and I was never experienced about this topic. So I asked some of the best skin makers in our community, thanks to everyone who contributed for this post!

All other sections will be in summary because this post is a chunky boy

What is Hive Style?

What is Hive Style?
Let’s start with the basics: what is Hive Style? Is it some bee hoodies? No, is it a fashion trend in the server? Kind of, but no.

Hive Style is a way of shading and picking vibrant colors that make it look simple and good. It’s called this way because it was started by the Hive Team. Take a good look at anything custom around the Hive, and you’ll start to notice this minimalistic yet complicated way of pixel art everywhere.

Now if you check out NPCs in other servers, it doesn’t really look or feel the same. They’re still good 3D models, but it’s not Hive Style

This style is iconic in the community, and in my opinion one of the cleanest pixel art styles in Minecraft. A bunch of people have learned how to replicate this style on skins and 3D models. Here are some examples:


Credit: TwistedApple996

Credit: Fracasadoh

The best part of this is you can learn it yourself! In any skin making program and with enough practice, you can make some pretty awesome creations like the ones above.

Origin

Origin
This style was invented by Hive’s 3D artists, zakverycool and Fowben. It started appearing in the costumes that Hive release every week. This is a pretty new concept, since it wasn’t in the Java server, and the first 3D model’s style didn’t stand out. Look at this comparison between an old costume and a pretty recent costume:

You can visibly see the change, from the custom geometry to even the colors. Hive Style did exist, but it didn’t stand out as much as it does today. Now the technique is used everywhere in the server, and it all looks pretty clean and good.

How to do Hive Style

How to do Hive Style
It is time for the bulky part of the guide. Here will be everything necessary to make Hive Style skins, so read very closely! This will be divided into 4 subcategories: Where to do skins, Colors and Shading, Body and Shape, and a Final Disclaimer

Where to do skins

Let’s first start with where to make skins, there’s many programs where you can edit skins, some better than others, so I’m going to show you the most recommended by skin makers.

If you are on a computer…

1. PMC Skin3D
PMCSkin3D | Free Advanced Minecraft Skin Editor | Planet Minecraft
PMC Skin is an online 3D skin maker in Planet Minecraft. You can go to it by clicking the link above!

Here is how it looks like. This is a lot of skin makers’ favorite because of the tools it has, you can make almost anything here, and it is not too hard to learn. You can move around and see the skin in 3D, or you can see it in 2D as a Minecraft texture. If you want more basic information, you can check out their help section on how to use their platform

PMCSkin3D Help with Minecraft skin editing

2. Blockbench
https://www.blockbench.net/
Ah yes, my personal favorite. Blockbench has a web app and a downloadable version, but it s not only a skin maker program, it’s a 3D model maker as well!

Look at all of the things you can do! In this guide I’m only gonna focus on skins, but of course you can do 3D models that are Hive Styled (for more on that read the “More Than Just Skins” section), you can find tutorials on YouTube that might help you on that.

Here’s what it looks like, there’s fewer tools than on PMC, but there’s no other limitations than that. From a first glance, you can kind of see all of the necessary stuff there is to paint a skin. You got the 2D format in the left, the skin model in the center, colors in the right, tools on top and the parts of the skin in the bottom right corner of the screen. You also have a “Pose” option in the top right corner.

If you are on mobile…

1. Skinseed

Google Play (let me know if this is the right link, Android users):
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.africasunrise.skinseed&hl=en&gl=US

App Store:
‎Skinseed for Minecraft Skins on the App Store

This is the only program I’d recommend, it’s an app available in both Google Play and App Store that you can download for free. You can share skins to the community there, and it’s a pretty big one. I like it because of all the options of skins to load.

Other than that, it’s probably the best skin maker since all of the others are rip-offs or pretty weird. It’s kind of different from Blockbench and PMC, since you have to manually change to a part of the skins clicking the icon on the top center. It is also more limited in terms of tools, but other than that it’s pretty easy to learn and not really complicated. Here’s how it looks like:

2. PMC Skin3D
Same thing as the one in computer, it works on mobile in the same web page and has more tools that make it stand out from Skinseed

Let me know if there’s any other skin makers that you think are pretty good, or if you find a flaw with one of these I have shared.

Colors

This is the most important part of Hive Style. It’s basically what makes this style look like it does: colors. It’s surprisingly easier than what you might think, but you need some practice to make this perfect, and then you can start painting the skins!

Hue Shifting
First we’re reviewing a technique called Hue Shifting, all the information was taken out of the video linked below, so maybe check it out if you feel you want to go more in-depth, as I only talk about parts relevant to Hive Style
Hue Shifting in Pixel Art (Color Tutorial) - YouTube

So, hue shifting is an approach to take for selecting colors that highlight and shade pixel art in a way that gives a more vibrant look. Definition sounds a lot like Hive Style, doesn’t it? That’s why almost all skin creators use this technique tp make their lives easier. It makes shading a color lighter or darker simpler, and look good. Let’s start with the basics:

There’s 3 types of ways to change a color: hue, saturation, and brightness. Hue is a specific color (e.g. red or blue), saturation is the intensity of the color, and brightness is how light or dark is the color. Here’s an image from the video that might help you remember


Credit: James Brandon Greer

Hue shifting is basically using all three ways of changing a color to be darker or lighter. Instead of just picking a color, decreasing saturation and increasing brightness to make it lighter, or increasing saturation and decreasing brightness to make it darker, you need to slightly change the hue as well. That’s why the technique is called hue shifting, even thought it also uses brightness and saturation. Here’s another image with everything key for hue shifting, also taken from the video


Credit: James Brandon Greer

So that’s everything you need to know about hue shifting. Now we need to focus on the Hive Style part of hue shifting, because what I explained can be applied to pixel art in general. All the information was taken out of the video linked below, so check it out for some extra information I didn’t talk about here, and give the video support!

Hive Style Tutorial Series [HSTS] #1: How to Decide Colors - YouTube

This part will be useful to start making 3-tone color palettes for each color you will use in your skin or 3D model. Confused? Check this skin made by ItsVaix


Credit: ItsVaix

In the lower left corner you can see the non-Hive Style skin, and while you can notice some shading and different tones in each section of the skin, there’s not much variety in colors. What we’re going to try to do is to make the shading less subtle, and make it look good. Now look at the Hive Style version, you can notice that in every section there’s only 3 different tones, instead of many shades of the color. So, I’m going to explain how to do these palettes of 3 tones for each color you will use in your skin! It’s quite simple, actually. You’ll have to make a light tone, a mid tone and a dark tone (when you’re more advanced, you might be able to use an extra tone, but I’m not going to cover that). To make these tones, you’ll need to get familiar with the color wheel.

Welcome to the color wheel. The rainbow bar/ring is the hue, moving the color picker in the square horizontally changes saturation and moving it vertically changes brightness. I’m going to go straight into how to do each tone (I’m using Blockbench’s color wheel, but it’s the same in PMC and in almost every color wheel for pixel art. For this example, the color I want to shade is red.

So, you choose your color and make it a bit lighter. For usual colors with high saturation, start around where my color picker is, on top and close to the corner. This is gonna be the light tone, remember to save the color!

Now, you go in a diagonal shape to increase saturation and lower brightness. Remember to slightly shift the hue! You are going to shift it slightly toward blue, take the closest path to it (If you are using the Blockbench hue bar, you can just imagine it’s a circle, or change it to be a circle). This is going to be the mid tone.

Finally, you’re gonna go to the very border of the square, also in a diagonal way. Remember to move the hue slightly towards blue, and there is your dark tone. Here’s what it ended up looking like:

image

Looks pretty good, right? These are the 3 tones you will use for each color! This diagonal movement can be done anywhere in the saturation and brightness square. Take these tones, for example:

image

The colors are pretty ugly and non vibrant, but they somehow look good with the shading.

There you go, if you know which colors to use for your skin, just follow these steps to get your 3 tones to use. Remember to practice these three tones with as many colors as you can to try to perfect the technique. Remember to watch Majimellow’s video to learn about some exceptions of a few colors!

Body and Shape

It’s time for the tricky part of making Hive Style. You already have the colors, but how do you implement them to the skin?. There are many ways to do this, and some are not something that is imitating Hive Style, making it hard to get something that actually looks good. There’s also many different possibilities and how you implement the colors depends on what you’re trying to do, from humans to even animals, to plain single-colored clothes to clothes with multiple decoration, the possibilities are endless. I am going to give you some tips based on Hive Style creations and what makes them look good:

  • When doing a part of the skin where there’s only one color being used, or a section where colors aren’t mixing, the light tone is the most used one which is used in the center
  • Both the mid tone and dark tone are usually used as the border, remember the border doesn’t have to be 1 pixel. Take this skin by TwistedApple for example:

image
Credit: TwistedApple996

The shirt is mostly purple, and you can see the light tone in the center, mid tone as a semi border and dark tone as a border. There are also cases where the border is dark tone for the bottom half and mid tone for the upper half:


Credit: Emberz1

Practicing these both ways of implementing the colors and mixing them can give you awesome stuff like this:


Credit: Hive Games

This image kind of summarizes what I’m trying to explain in a simple way.


Credit: ItsVaix

  • For sleeves and pants, you usually make a border inwards but not outwards. My skin that was made by Fracasadoh shows what I mean


Credit: Fracasadoh

  • For hands/arms, use this guide as it is pretty much the official way to make them


Credit: ItsVaix

  • There are a few common ways to do Hive Style eyes, I’m gonna show some of the most common, but there’s many more possibilities you could experiment with
    Human Eyes:

image
Credit: Charixel

Wide Eyes

image
Credit: Hive Games

Wide Eyes 2

image
Credit: Hive Games

Cute and long eyes

image
Credit: Hive Games

These are the most common eye patterns you’ll see in both Hive Costumes and Hive Styled skins

  • The order of making each section of a skin depends and is up to you, but most creators suggest to go in an up to down manner (so head, torso, arms, and legs) but other suggest to start with the torso or even the arms. It really just depends on the way you’re most comfortable of making skins.

  • All of the tips I shared above need to be practiced. Try looking at how other skin makers implement the colors and feel free to take inspiration from them (Please read the disclaimer category below). Try as many patters as you can, and you’ll slowly start creating your own niche based on other’s creations, which make skin making much more comfortable and enjoyable.

  • There is much more than humanoid skin making, as I have only shared tips for clothes and other human stuff. But when you have found this niche I was talking about in the tip above, you can start experimenting with more complicated skins, or create stuff that hasn’t never been created before. New patterns for clothes or new details never seen before! Like I was saying at the start of this subcategory, possibilities are endless. Sorry that I couldn’t give concrete information for this part, it’s something that you have to watch others do, pick it up and receive feedback to improve.

:warning:Disclaimer!!

I’m gonna quickly talk copying/using inspiration from other skins to avoid causing arguments. As I said in the Body and Shape subcategory, feel free to take inspiration from other skins, as long as you don’t claim it as your own and give credit. Be careful as some creators might specify to not copy things from their skins, but this style is not owned by anyone and you can always learn from watching others. But always remember to not fully copy a skin or mostly copying it, always credit people to avoid some unecessary argument. I also want to talk about giving feedback to others or receiving feedback. Always make constructive criticism, and when receiving feedback, don’t take it in the wrong way and use it to improve.

Other than that, enjoy making skins! Hopefully this was useful to you :blobheart:

Where to Get Skins?

Something I’ve also noticed is this commonly asked question: “Can someone make me a Hive Style skin?”

Here, I’m going to list some commissions and places where you can get Hive styled skins and all the info. If anyone here knows about some good commissions (or your own) I’ll gladly list you here and you might get some more costumers!

Majimellow’s Commissions

Info: MajiComms

Free? No

Description: Ah yes, you might be familiar with the name Majimellow from a lot of different places. They are a well known artist in the Hive community, and even though it costs money, I’d greatly recommend him! Majimellow also includes banners and pfps in his commissions.

ItzPainguinYT’s Commissions

Info: https://painguin-commission.netlify.app

Free? No

Description: Also a very good option for getting something Hive style. Painguin gives a quick service and paying for it is worth it. They also include capes in their shop.

NOOB_AYAAN’s Skin Shop

Info: Ayaan's skin shop ( Commissions)

Free? No

Description: An incredibly underrated forums skin shop for people who don’t have Discord. It is accessible and their work is amazing! I’d definitely go and check them out.

FlameStreem’s Commissions

Info: They still have no website, but you can DM FlameStreem#0292 or join their discord server for more info.

Free? No

Description: Another reliable place to get skins. FlameStreem is a very talented skin maker. It might be a bit harder to get their info, but joining their Discord server will show you how to get one.

The Beast Skin Store

Info: The Beast skin store commissions (open)

Free? No

Description: A very recent skin shop here in the forums that I thought of adding in. You’ll get a quick service and good quality skins, plus, it is here in the forums like NOOB_AYAAN’s skin shop in case you don’t have Discord.

SleakGaming’s Commissions

Info: No skin website yet, but you can DM SleakGaming4#7478 for your order.

Free? Yes

Description: The only free commissions I am promoting (for now). They have a clear understanding on the skin and can respond right away when you DM them.

Honorable Mention: Fracasadoh

Info: Skin store! (Commissions!)

Free? No

Description: I just want to clear out this shop is unfortunately closed. I wanted to include this here as it was a very popular skin shop in the forums and triggered a small skin shop trend here. They always gave a quick service and could do anything in Hive style. Fracasadoh is very talented, so it’s sad that his shop has been closed for a while. You will be remembered here!

Before this category ends, I’m sure you have one problem. You’re probably wondering what to do if you aren’t willing to spend money. I luckily found one place where skins are free, but it is pretty hard to get them free and a more unstable business. I know a few people who could make you a good skin if you asked nicely, but it’s hard to know because most of them aren’t really committed. If you want a guaranteed good skin instantly, I’d greatly recommend buying it if you have the chance.

Inspiration Gallery

Need help with your skin making? Don’t worry! I’ll put many skins that you can take inspiration from so you can get a bit more guidance on how to do yours. All of the artists of the skins here will be credited and allowed me to share their skin here. You can also check Hive NPCs or costumes for more guidance as well, or ask here in this topic.

Feel free to send me skins you feel could help other people!

Skins:

Coming soon…

More Than Just Skins

More Than Just Skins
You might be asking, is Hive Style used in more than just skins? Of course! You could do Hive Style 3D models, like the one I showed by Fracasadoh above, or basically anything in the Hive is a 3D model using this style.

You can also obviously make Hive Style pixel arts, since skins and 3D models are just 3D pixel arts, they can be 2D as well.

If there’s more than just pixel art for Hive Style is up for everyone’s opinion. Some say that if you use the shading and vibrant colors in drawings, they can be Hive Style, too. I’d say some profile pictures made by artists in the community could count as Hive Style because of their colors and the eyes. Others say texture packs or even builds can be Hive Style, with this style is expanding more and more, there’s a lot of possibilities!

I’d also like to add Name Cards to something that looks Hive Style. Name Cards is a concept used to show a 3D/skin, Hive Style or non-Hive Style! It’s the images you see the Hive using in the marketplace to showcase their costumes, pets, and cosmetics. Some talented people have been able to imitate this style to show case their already awesome Hive Style creations. Take this example by Majimellow, it looks like it’s some cool new costume the Hive just released, doesn’t it?


Credit: Majimellow

Majimellow has also done a basic tutorial on how to do name cards here:

Hive Style Tutorial Series [HSTS] #0: How to Make a Name Card - YouTube

Conclusion

Conclusion
Well, that’s all. I’m gonna try to keep the topic as updated as I can and I will of course listen to suggestions you have or stuff you would like to see added to the guide. I’ll also try to keep this tidy and user-friendly for any newcomers learning about this.

I know it’s silly that I’m here teaching when I have never even done something Hive Style in my life, but I found it necessary to gather up all of the info and chuck it into a guide. Thanks to everyone who contributed by answering the questions I had, you’ll be credited below :arrow_down:

Credits

Credits:

Me - Creator and writer of this post
@ItsVaix - Giving information for the topic and many explanatory images
@Majimellow - Giving information for the topic and explaining many things with his videos
@embjays - Giving information for the topic and checking my final draft
@Fracasadoh - Giving information for the topic
@KingBooPlayz - Giving information for the topic
@Charixel - Giving information for the topic
@TwistedApple996 - Giving information for the topic
@SEKIRO6502 - Giving information for the topic
Thanks to everyone that I pinged above for letting me use your creations as examples and for helping me make this post possible!

Images: All images that weren’t credited right below them were taken/made by me

That’s all, have an awesome day and happy skin making!

39 Likes

Having already read this, all I can say is that this is an amazing guide and will hopefully either ignite a spark for skinmaking or will take your ability to the next level. Well done Gabo!

3 Likes

I was reading this around 7 minutes LOL.

Great guide btw

3 Likes

This guide was amazing! I feel like I finally understand hue shifting, how that I read this. As a colorblind person, I didn’t understand what it meant, but this really helped!

3 Likes

Amazing guide! This was really helpful to me, since I have a passion of making skins that started 1 month ago, I tried Imitating Hive’s Style (Needs more practicing but it looks ok), then I added a few of my touches (Not really noticable though).

:beedance: :splodger: :beedance:

2 Likes

Thanks for sharing! I have thought about trying out making skins myself and haven’t tried in years, I’m now motivated to try again! :slight_smile:

3 Likes

please put summaries

good guide

3 Likes

I thought about that, didn’t think the topic would look so long with the photos
Yea I’m probably gonna do it

Edit: Done

2 Likes

Even though I am pretty experienced in Hive style but it helped me in some or other way

Edit: I wasn’t knowing it was first made by fowben
I thought it was ajax

2 Likes

Wow, thanks for the amazing guide Gabo!

1 Like

Anyone who reads this, believe me, will be good at hive style
And if you see someone who wants to learn hive style Just send him the post link Because you explained everything in detail Literally,Well done Gabo

4 Likes

Great job Gabo, loved your explanation and detail you included in your post.

2 Likes

Great guide! It will really help me a lot making hive styles.

4 Likes

Welcome to the Forums! Have a nice stay here! :beedance: :splodger: :beedance:

3 Likes

This is a really good guide thanks Gabo! I used it to make a skin I have already made into hive style.

Hive Style remake


This is my first hive style skin so let me know how i can improve!

The original skin I had made

4 Likes

Wow awesome guide gabo!
The skin ooks really nice Cerinics

4 Likes

That’s a pretty good start! You shaded and implemented the colors in the clothes nicely, just watch the crown and the hair.
For the crown try to keep the lighter tones in the top and the darker in the bottom of the crown. For the hair, don’t overuse the mid tone. It can be tricky to get the hair right, so look closely on other skins and try to adapt the hair you want into those styles


I’m glad you all like the guide :D

5 Likes

That must of taken a long time! I have nothing to add :grinning: :beedance: :grinning:

2 Likes

Wanted to add something here

I use mobile to make skins and I feel like Pmc is better than Skinseed because of features

1 Like

Yeah, I can add it as well
Is there an app or is it just the web page?