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!!!
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!
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
…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 Lynda.com 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 Lynda.com was worth the money!
I just discovered this while goofing around in Microsoft Paint. If you take a section of a picture
and resize it by the maximum amount (500%) and then the maximum amount again, you get…..
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.
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.
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
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!
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!