New Version of MC Edit soon!!!

I had a frustrating session with MC Edit this weekend. I had created a world in World Painter that was 4000 blocks across. I wanted to take it into MC Edit so I could add things to it — favorite buildings and features from other Minecraft projects. But, no such luck. MC Edit got about halfway through loading it, then froze up. This happened several times. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with MC Edit, or with my computer. (Maybe it’s time to download some more RAM?) Or user error.

Anyway — this made me wonder if MC Edit had been updated recently — since Minecraft itself has recently updated to a new version. When I looked, I found wonderful news! There is going to be an MC Edit 2!!!

MCEdit 2 Patreon


David Vierra, aka codewarriorO, is asking for support as he develops this new software. It’s possible to donate through Paypal, or through a “Patreon” page. I had never heard of Patreon before. I think it’s a great idea!

Here’s his Patreon page:



GIMP — GNU image manipulation program

Horsetail Nebula has expanded from being a “Minecraft World Creation” blog: now it’s covering a broader range of topics. I have some posts on The Amazingly Weird World that’s Out There Already (Astronomy, Cosmology), examples of inspiring art that show Different Worlds, and discussions of software. Here’s a software discussion.

The software that I am learning about right now is called GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Software. Some people think it is approaching the level of a  replacement for Photoshop. It is free, and open source. “Free” you probably understand already, though I always have trouble understanding why people would offer complex software for free (how can it be as good as the expensive versions)? That’s a topic for another post. “Open source” means that if you know what you’re doing, you can get right into the guts of the program and create your own extra tools, called “plug-ins”. You can then make these plug-ins available to other people. GIMP has plug-ins that add extra tools to your tool kit. You don’t have to worry about them right off the bat, but might find them useful later.

I bought a how-to book about GIMP called Grokking the GIMP

Grokking the Gimp

…which has clear explanations and excellent pictures, but unfortunately was published in 2000. I like learning software step-by-step and have been looking for more recent tutorials. I found a website called which offers a series of lessons. I checked out some of the free lessons and was impressed with the professionalism of the tutor, the clarity, and the level of detail. I decided it would be worthwhile to pay the $25 and sign up for a month’s subscription. One advantage of this approach is that since I have paid the money and only have a month to use the materials, I have to get down to business and LEARN it (instead of putting the book on my shelf and saying “this looks like a great book!”.

I’ve done up to chapter 2.2 already and so far GIMP looks a lot like my beloved Corel Painter Essentials 4. But already I’ve seen some new variations of tools that I suppose I could have done in Painter Essentials, but it would have taken many steps.

Wish me luck on this educational adventure, and I’ll let you know at the end of the month if the subscription to was worth the money!


Some success with MC Edit!

I made a tall, skinny island that to me looks like one of those Chinese mountains

Chinese mountains for blog

found here — The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

My mountainous island is called Gloveria, named after a friend of mine who is a mountain climber!

Gloveria sunrise

I was able to “capture” it in MC Edit and move a copy of it over to another world. This is great because eventually I want to make an ocean world that has dozens of strange, varied islands.

I finally figured out you don’t have to FLY while selecting objects in MC Edit. Just start anywhere…

Gloveria MC Edit sept 27 weird edits

Click to make the yellow cursor and blue cursor appear, then “nudge” them

MC Edit Gloveria nudge

Keep nudging til the island is enclosed — then export it

MC Edit Gloveria export

Then when you are ready, open your destination world in MC Edit, and import the island. Gloveria is now located in an ocean, instead of floating in the Void!

Gloveria in ocean


Lots of little squares

I just discovered this while goofing around in Microsoft Paint. If you take a section of a picture

hybiscus for Minecraft

and resize it by the maximum amount (500%) and then the maximum amount again, you get…..

magnified hybiscus 5x5x

Lots of little squares! This sort of pattern could be the inspiration for a mosaic, a quilt, or something in Minecraft.


There is software that will allow you to do the same thing in a much more complicated way. It’s called Spritecraft. Not only does it break your picture into little squares, it also translates the colors into the Minecraft approximations (using colors of wool, clay, etc).  It doesn’t build the object for you, you have to build it yourself using the pattern it gives you.

Here is a Minecraft mosaic of Notch from that link above.

Notch mosaic


“Blender” — amazing free software

A friend of mine is studying Game Design in college. When I asked him what he was up to this week, he said he was building a door in a blender.

door in blender


Or something like that. After asking more questions I found out that he is learning to use some software called Blender. It is FREE and PROFESSIONAL LEVEL — people actually make games with it. Hard to believe? Well, check this out

Blender is a professional free and open-source 3D computer graphics software product used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications and video games. Blender’s features include 3D modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, raster graphics editing, rigging and skinning, fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, soft body simulation, sculpting, animating, match moving, camera tracking, rendering, video editing and compositing. Alongside the modeling features it also has an integrated game engine.

I watched a few of the tutorial videos. This is some very very very deep software (I mean, it will do a billion and one things). But there were also some tutorial videos that were more approachable — they were mini-projects. “How to make a landscape” “how to make a fuzzy stuffed bear” “how to make a planet bursting into pieces”. For some reason these reminded me of the old Bob Ross painting shows  on TV…



…which gives you an idea how old I am, since he passed on to the land of Happy Happy Trees back in 1995. Anyway, the Bob Ross classes were formulaic (here’s how to paint a tree, here’s how to paint a mountain) — not “real” oil painting. But they got you elbow-deep into the paint, and you could continue learning from there.

Here are two of the Blender tutorial vids I watched this evening. This one is on how to build an island…



and this next one is an inspirational video on the creative process itself — encouraging you to just get out there and try stuff, and not worry if people criticize it…because, they will. So don’t let that stop you.

“I guarantee you, no matter how good you get in your art, or how correct you think you might be in your art, there is ALWAYS going to be somebody who says that it’s not the way it should be. Because for those people, they think art should conform to a certain thing.”


Thank you to my friend the Padawan Learner in Computer Graphics. Best of luck in your Jedi training, and thanks for telling me about Blender!


Downloading Avanti vrs Avanti Plus

Avanti is a free Minecraft editing program. However, if you want to get some really great advanced features, there is a beefed-up version called Avanti Plus. This costs $ 8.95 and is worth every penny!

How to do it–

download the free version of Avanti

go to this page and buy Avanti Plus,  using Paypal

They will send you an e-mail with a special code in it

Open your free Avanti and go to the tab marked “Options”. This will give you a place to enter your code and then download the new, improved Avanti Plus.

Avanti Website