Tools you will need
See this link for the ARKpnt Editor
If you do not want to use your default paint editor or you do not already have a favorite graphics editor installed, click here to download the free GIMP graphics editor.
Local "my paintings" file folder
Your local saves will be in your steam folder and will follow a folder path similar to this:
Prepare and download customizable area
In Atlas, obtain a paintbrush (on avatar) and some black paint on a grill using berries and filled water containers (leather pouch or water jug). One filled jug and a few berries will make a stack of 5 paint.
For sails, equip the paintbrush and left click on the mast of a ship, the in-game paint window will activate. For tattoos, right click and select the tattoo button on the lower middle of in-game paint window.
Use the thick black paint option to outline all the areas on the sail and/or avatar you would like to customize.
When finished, click the save to disk button in the middle top of the paint window. Once complete, you have successfully save the pnt file to your "my paintings" folder.
Open up the ARKpnt editor and load the saved ARKpnt file from the above mentioned "my paintings" folder.
Once loaded, click the "Save as Image" button in ARKpnt and save a png file to the same "my paintings" folder.
Now, open the saved png file in your graphic editor (I use Gimp).
Here's a few examples of what you'll initially pull out of an ARKpnt file:
Now do some fancy magic in your graphics editor in place and within the bounds of the above rough outlines:
Now export your changes in png format to your "my paintings" folder.
Once exported, load the image file into ARKpnt by clicking on the "Load image" button in ARKpnt....it will then ask to convert the image using "Ark/Atlas" colors. You'll end up with something like this:
Next, click on the "Limit Colors" button in ARKpnt. This will allow you to customize what the final product will look like using the colors available in-game as well as limiting how many colors will be needed (the editor tries to fit as many colors as possible). So far, I've stuck with red/black tattoos and Red/White/Black for sails. It just makes it easier for others' to download the file in-game and make a copy. Here's a couple of my finished products:
Once you are happy with the finished product in ARKpnt, click the "Save as ARKpnt file" button and go in-game.
Get back to the paint editor window ingame, with the paintbrush left-click on the sail or right-click for tattoos. Don't forget to select the tattoo button in the bottom middle of the paint editor window. (if you fail to do this, the upload will come out fuzzy.
Now click on the upload button:
If you are missing dye, the editor will visually show you what you're missing. If you have all the required dyes, click the same button again to upload and apply the dye. The paintbrush will apply the paint automatically.
There are some caveats that will cause network timeouts for some tattoo designs...I haven't figured out what exactly causes them, other than uploading less.