The motivation behind this skin was a 2016 remake of my rather old Hatsune Miku Skin from 2011 (5 years ago! Wow!).
(Here's a picture of the old 2011 skin)
I had updated that skin in 2012 with improved eyes, colour reduction and optimisation - as well as fixing for the Minecraft 1.0 release skin changes.
1.8 introduced skin layers and the Alex mesh, then 1.9 introduced skin transparency; so I thought now would be a good time to remake this skin to take full advantage of what Minecraft skins can do these days!
I also wanted to try making each layer of the skin as if it were a doll being dressed up. Usually I paint the final pixels directly onto the texture, however that tends to result in a very flat texture as most of the design is done on the base layer. By making each item of clothing, I had a better sense of where the depth would be and how the texture pieces "hang" off the mesh. It also produced a lot of re-usable skin components for future skins.
Transparency has been used to blend the fringe of the hair, so the facial features below are not entirely occluded (I encountered this trick being used with anime-style 3D models when I had my first job at a game studio). I also use transparency to subtly add hinting to indicate that more detail would exist on a higher resolution.
Layers are used for depth (all layers need to be enabled for this skin, they should not be disabled).
Skin download (right-click, save as):
I used GIMP to create this skin. It took about 4 hours from start to finish. I actually produced each individual layer of the skin in GIMP. There are 17 layers in total.
Here's a 4x zoom of the final skin and an animation of each of the layers made to create this skin, starting with the base (flesh) template and ending with the headset.