Jelle's Build Guide - It's back :D

Discussion in 'Player Guides, Tips and Tricks' started by Jelle68, Jun 8, 2018.


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    There it is, my old build guide world. According to my statistics, I have spend over 40 hours on this world. After I finished my last build guide, I had told all the techniques I knew.
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    But I have learned.
    There is more.
    It gonnah be amazing.
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    For this guide, I am going to use a program called Worldpainter Which is a program you should definitely check out if you want to do larger scale terraforming and landscaping. It is very much a singleplayer-only thing though… I’m not jet confident enough to make a guide on how to use it, but that might be a future thing. Next to that, I indeed use shaders to make screenshots: that is because I feel like shaders are quite good at giving a screenshot the feel you would get when you walk around, as it shows the depth way better. Next to that: it just looks good :p
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    Lastly, I want to add that the other buildguide now is out-dated: I'm working on writing everything I know in this guide.
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    -Basic building
    Before I start with any specific styles or areas of minecraft building, some things that always come back.
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    -Texturing
    Texturing is, I think, one of the most important parts of building. The idea is simple: instead of using one block everywhere in a wall, trunk or roof, mix in a couple of blocks that have similar colours.

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    To find what you want, just play around with the blocks on a small area, or if you have worldedit: just play around with the percentages until you like it. (//replace [block] x%[block],x%[block], …)
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    That’s not everything though. That is what I call random texturing. The way worldedit does it. It usually looks good in (smaller) man-made structures. If you’re a little lazy, like me, it can also look somewhat decent in most landscaping scenarios, but you usually need something different. You guessed it: non-random texturing (I am so creative with names…). There are multiple ways of doing it, they all are better and worse in specific scenarios.
    Probably the most well-known way of doing it is making veins of a certain block. This usually works with landscaping, and usually works when you want to mix in more contrasting blocks. I mainly tend to use it for mixing in coarse dirt with grass, I also suggest only having one, maybe two, blocks veining in a surface. If you want to have more different blocks, in most landscaping you do, use random texturing in both the veins and the normal covering to detail it even further.
    The other version usually only works with way bigger builds and large-scale landscaping: Making blobs of a block.
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    As you can see with this building (It’s not by me, but a friend of mine worked on it.) parts of the white walls are made out of white wool, others out of white concrete. Some white powder is used too. It creates a more realistic look. You can also use blobs for big white modern surfaces and up-scaled landscaping.
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    -Building on angles
    This building also brings me to another building foundation: building on angles. It is quite difficult to pull off with smaller buildings, but for larger scale builds, it’s really something you can do to create an even more interesting shape. That’s not all there is to it: Something build on an angle usually looks more organic than something build straight. You can use this to your advantage: Making a big tree? building the branches on an angle should help. Medieval house that is slowly taken over by nature? Building it on an angle might just help making it look better. It also works for structures that are supposed to look like they’re badly structured. On the other hand: if you (for some bizarre reason) want to make something organic look more man-made, making it all straight will probably help you do so.
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    -shapes
    The shaping basics are quite simple: Make a interesting shape. There are no rules for it or anything. Even doing something at random usually looks quite good for medieval/fantasy buildings. Just don’t make it one big rectangle. How to exactly find a good looking complex shape differs per style, and so, will be covered by style. All I want to say now is: try to not make anything be a square block.
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    -Colouring / blok palettes
    This is something I created some controversy about some time ago. There, I didn’t want to go into too much detail, but here, I want to try to explain how I’d do colouring. I still only use non-technical terms here and I still don't really want to go into detail here. If you really want to know how to do colouring, you should open some tekstbooks and start studing colour theory.
    Minecraft has a limited amount of blocks, and so, a limited amount of colours. This makes it very important to go in the game and find a block palette that works, instead of working with a colour wheel, as you cannot just choose colours to use. For example, you cannot use “white” there is a light yellow (quartz), a light blue (snow), a light bluish gray (white concrete), and two bluish blocks with a higher contrast inside itselves (white wool and concrete)

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    For smaller builds, I suggest going with three colours. Two-colour palettes usually look good too, but it can be difficult to work with it due to you kind of restricting yourself. Using only one colour is not recommended, It gets very hard to define shapes and make it look interesting without over detailing. Sometimes it seems unavoidable, but you usually can work around it by placing leaves around, which works well for the most common build that can only have one colour: a ruin.
    For composing your palette, well, that’s an art on its own.
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    This are the palettes I have used the most, placing the different colours next to each other and different blocks with the same colour on top of eachother. I think there is one obvious pattern: All (but two) have two neutral colours and one colour that pops. I personally don’t know why that works, but I’m pretty sure it does. For the two exceptions: the left-middle one is a two block palette, and so has two (obviously different) colours, the right-middle one actually is a little more complicated, because that one actually isn’t one palette, you see, for bigger builds, three colours can be just a little short…
    That is why, for bigger builds, You usually use multiple palettes, which is easier as you might think: you just add another palette and split the build into different parts. you can make different levels/floors different palettes (just don’t make it one straight line) or different base parts of the shape different palettes.
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    This is what it could look like. (not the best angle of not my best build, but it explains what it needs to) I usually tend to have one bland colour the same in all palettes of a bigger build to make the building process more simple, but that isn’t needed. The only thing you should make sure is that the two palettes don’t clash. For design building, making structures that actually need to look like they’re designed to look good, mainly modern, I really recommend making the pop colours of the different palettes compliment each other. for two colours that uaually means using Blue & Yellow, Purple & Orange or Red & Green.
    This multiple-palette-theory actually is more important as you might think: you see, Nature has a palette too. Usually, that is brown (dirt/logs) and green (Grass) maybe with some blue (water). Note that the greens in nature usually aren’t the pop colour, as it usually is the main colour. The palette of the nature around you is something you need to consider when making the palette of you building. Some people forget it, resulting in a building that just doesn’t look at place in the environment.
    Oh, and that strange middle-left pallet? That are two two colour pallets with the same base (plain) colour, in case you didn’t guess it already.

    END OF PART 0: BASICS
  2. Part one - Landscaping
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    There probably are more different types of landscaping in minecraft than there are in any other game. (Not that I know anything about any other game…) Covering it by style would take an insane amount if time to read, which I don’t want to bother you with. I am going to try to explain the baseline of landscaping instead, using one of the most difficult ones as an example: a realistic deciduous forest. It should cover all basic techniques.
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    There we go, this is the island we made as a base. It’s quite a simple place, but there is one thing I want to talk about: the beeches.
    Of course, the first thing we did was mixing in some textures with the sand. I choose for Sandstone and End Stone, some people like to include Birch Planks as well, just go with the mix you like. After that, something I recently discovered: Using slabs and stairs in with the landscaping to make it even more detailed and natural looking. I just placed the slabs in the places it would be most logical to make the curve of the landscape continue, to replace some of those slabs with stairs, mainly random.
    The rest of the island is just grass for now… It is going to be the base ground covering for this forest: if you’re going to make a darker forest, I suggest mixing in some coarse dirt/podzol/brown concrete powder with the grass to use as a base for this forest. You can also try to use path blocks instead of grass, if you want it to look like dried grass, but for this, plain grass will do.
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    Okay: now we need some trees here…
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    There we go: a nice realistic-ish forest, or, at least, the basis of one. I also already placed in some tall grass and such, just ignore that, it’s due to worldpainter things and me being too lazy to change it up.
    I would say that the best way to make trees is to re-create a real-life species. The wikipedea page will defenetly help you out finding some trees to re-make. When you have chosen one, be really specific with how you make it: In what shapes does the tree grow? How much leaves are there in comparison with the logs. I usually try to make a specific one I found a picture of. It is a little like drawing: first try to make the basic shapes and proportions. The trunk and shape of the canopy are the most important parts.
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    This is what it could look like, a small trunk that immediately splits into different big branches. For smaller deciduous trees it really helps to have at least one branch split of the trunk that isn’t covered by leaves. Note that this stage for bigger trees just always looks odd, no matter how good the tree will be. If you do it more often, you’ll get a feel for what is right, but for starters, it probably is best to just check if what you did is correct with what the photo you follow looks like, when it does, go with it.
    Once you’ve got those right you can start making the leaves. There are a few important techniques for it: first, try to not have leaves connect with each other: flat walls of leaves usually don’t look good. Next to that, for bigger trees: I suggest thinking about the leave blocks like it are little branches that have leaves on them: make them curve like those little branches would.
    Lastly, don’t forget about the roots. I really recommend making the underside of the three a little thicker and mixing in some of your log block with the ground covering. It really helps making the trees look like they’re a part of the landscape.
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    This is what the tree I started looked like in the end. I have to add that making trees is something you really need to practice. I personally have a singleplayer world that is filled with studies of trees, rocks, plants and sketches of landscaping. When I want to have a certain type of tree in a build, I go to that word and try to make them. It usually takes three or four to get it right.
    If you have worldedit or schematica, it also can be a great idea to have a singleplayer world filled with trees you like. If you want to use a type of tree you have used in a project before, you can copy those trees over to their new position (rotate and flip them to make them look unique.) You don’t need that much different trees to make it invisible not all of them are unique. for smaller builds, four of five of them are enough. for full forests: I suggest making something like nine or ten.
    The one downside of custom trees are that they are quite large, mainly if you only have a 60*60 res to play with. If you want really small trees: you can try to use fences instead of logs, the techniques are the same, but due to it being so small, it is a lot harder.
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    That was the hard part. For the placement of the trees: If you want a forest: you need to place them really quite close to each other: You should be able to parcours from any tree to any adjacent tree. If you have a peaceful forest: having a few open spots in that won’t hurt. The location of trees usually is quite random, if you really want to nail it, it probably is best to look up pictures of real-life forests. The placement really varies per forest type. There are some tricks to do it close to buildings though: I’ll explain that later.
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    Okay now the trees are in, it’s time to look at the ground covering again… the base layer was plain grass, but one covering everywhere won’t do, I personally like to change it around the trees. usually those places get less light and so, are quite different. I personally tend to make it out of podzol and coarse dirt, but basically anything works, as long as it kind of suits what it is, just mix in some blocks.
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    The last part is the part that usually brings together the whole landscaping: placing some tall grass around. It isn’t too difficult: just randomly place some around, don’t think about it. After that, place some fern on the places under the trees: this both fills that up a little more and just more logical: Under trees, ferns grow.
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    I also want to mention that, for denser forests, There are more things to add than just trees and ferns: boulders/pebbles and other stuff like that helps adding atmosphere. Exactly what you can add very much differs per forest type, I suggest to look up pictures and go from there.
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    There is an idea for a technique I’d like to add, but I have only started trying to use it a month ago, so neither I know how to make it look good: I just tried and made it look as good as I could by doing random things.
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    The idea is quite simple: instead of only placing your normal big trees, you also add some really small fence-based ones. It doesn’t work for all types of forests, but it makes some look really good. It is something most real-life forests have, but I had never seen it in minecraft before.
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    There is one major technique not shown with this example: Rock formations.

    This here is a cave I did some time ago. As you can see (when you enlarge the image) I used a mix of andesite and smooth stone as our stone: some basic texturing, you can add more blocks to the mix if you want to. There is one more thing I added though: a metric butload of cobblestone slabs and stairs. This is something I discovered a while ago. Randomly placing cobblestone slabs and stairs on the edges usually helps a lot with making stone formations. It adds a lot more detail and texture.

    END OF PART 1: LANDSCAPING
  3. Build guide hype \o/
    FadedMartian, 607, Eviltoade and 3 others like this.
  4. Jelle, you are an amazing builder and it is just so inspirational. Thanks for sharing tips!
  5. This is an amazing guide Jelle, thanks a bunch for sharing this with us! It's actually one of those guides which can teach me plenty of new tricks as well, and I'm really happy about that!
    FadedMartian, 607, Jelle68 and 2 others like this.
  6. This guide is amazing. I can't even build a cool looking tree. With my building, the wood and leaves turn into a super tall bush xD
    FadedMartian, 607 and Jelle68 like this.
  7. I try to impart these ideas to people in game, never thought of writing a guide... very cool resource that I am going to have to keep the link to <3 I learned most of this from Grian on yt
    Jelle68 likes this.
  8. [BUMP]

    Let's just keep this thread on the top for a while, I have spend quite some time on it, so I'd like it if people actually read it :) Also- I am alredey working on modern. Doing it way different as I did previous time.

    [/BUMP]
    FadedMartian and 607 like this.
  9. Ah, just found this! I'll have to read it later, though.
    Jelle68 likes this.
  10. All of your links don't work. :p

    You say 'as' in comparatives instead of 'than' so often that I hope people will pick up on it and realise what you actually mean to say. :p


    This is amazing!! :) They were good when you first started them, but they're only getting better!
    FadedMartian, Jelle68 and Gawadrolt like this.
  11. Fixed links and the comparatives I could find. :p

    Also, thanks, a lot more time went into this one. I wanted to really try to write everything down properly, explaining as much as there is to explain (a lot of building goes by feeling, of course).
    Modern is proving to be very dificult. In the previous one: I just explained how to do one certain type of modern, but I now really want to go into detail on how I personally go about making a new modern building: including coming up with a new style or aliteration on a style.
    FadedMartian and 607 like this.
  12. I must say: not only is the guide amazing, but your English is too!
    ShelLuser, 607 and Jelle68 like this.
  13. I've mentioned it quite a few times; when it comes to Minecraft I consider myself more of an engineer than a designer. I heavily enjoy redstone and I usually get good results with it, but designing builds... that's still something different.

    So 1.13 is out and I've been playing around a bit. I still have a "snapshot world" where I tested stuff and this week I figured I should "do" something more with it. That reminded me about your guide and that motivated me to give some of your tips a try.

    Now... don't expect outstanding results but I really get the feeling that I'm making progress with my designs. Slow progress maybe, sure, but progress nonetheless. And I definitely own most of that to your build guide(s) Jelle!


    Front of my house

    I started out with a square'ish building when I suddenly remembered certain comments. So I immediately deviated from that and the result is what you see here. The entrance is actaully "inside" the building (in between anyway) which is different from your usual front door. It also somewhat splits the house between the main section and the "utility section" as I tend to call it.

    Back of the house: bricks, glass and spruce wood.

    Yups: I got the idea to mix the bricks with spruce wood fully from this guide. And I think it worked out quite ok. As you can see it also houses a bit of a surprise: at first you may think that the house is a bit "square'ish" but when you then look around it you'll notice quite some variation.

    I wasn't too sure about the support (the spruce log pillar) but left it in anyway because it makes it look a bit more realistic I think (a support to keep the roof up which is actually sticking out a bit). Obviously the result of not planning any of this but just building to see where I'd end up :)

    And the windows also have some variation, though slightly. For example I think the "black to white" section (from left to right) isn't all too bad either.

    Inside of the house; left is the 'utility section', right is the main room.

    I wasn't sure about the glass roof but I figured 'why not'. It's different and it makes the two sections of the house stand apart a bit. The roof looks a bit static I think but I didn't really fancy some kind of checkerboard pattern.

    Main room with two stairs; up and down.

    The room probably needs more decorating but that's something for later. So far I enjoy the jungle floor (jungle wood is actually one of my favorite types) and the stairs isn't too bad either I think ;)

    The bedroom, don't mind the spiderweg ;)

    I know: I should probably clean a bit more but it can't be helped for now :D

    Either way, a bed, a night stand (?) and I even got an enderchest, how cool is that? ;)

    But yeah...

    And that's my project so far. Figured I'd share. It was a lot of fun working on this for an hour or so each day this week.

    Thanks again Jelle!
    TomvanWijnen, Jelle68, 607 and 2 others like this.
  14. I'm not sure how happy I would be to have to be enclosed on both sides by high walls to get to someone's front door. :p
    ShelLuser and Jelle68 like this.
  15. Mhm... now you mention it anyway...
    1.13 has some pretty good designing additions to it.
    I do really like the stripped log: it does function very well in a floor of sorts: (just a 10 sec test of me)


    I actually thought it looks kinda oriental, so, I fiered up a japanese game I used to play, I looked for a room to build in minecraft. I do need some more training though, what I created does look really bad:





    Okay.. almost two hours later, after a lot more time than I should have spend on this, I think I found a somewhat decent oriental interior basis:


    I mean, it still doesn't look good, but now, it doesn't look bad either...

    You might see more on this later... I now anyway am going to do something else :p
  16. It looks good, Jelle! You just need to add deco.
  17. - I thought I'd BUMP this a little, now still I can :rolleyes:-

    I sadly didn't have the time to work on the second guide for a long time, but I promise it is coming.

    Randomly reading through this thread again, I found out I forgot to add something in the final version... I also added it in the guide itself, but I'll paste it in here too:

    I also want to mention that, for denser forests, There are more things to add than just trees and ferns: boulders/pebbles and other stuff like that helps adding atmosphere. Exactly what you can add very much differs per forest type, I suggest to look up pictures and go from there.

    I know, not that spectaculair, but still...
    Kabloofne and 607 like this.
  18. I cant wait till we can use 1.13 finally!
  19. With "closer forests", I assume you mean "dichtere bossen --> bomen dichter bij elkaar"? If so, it'd be "denser forests" - because forests are definitely also a material... ;)
    Jelle68 and 607 like this.
  20. Mhm... It seems like I'm really bad at updating this thing properly... I was planning to post more reguraly, but sure :p

    Hopefully, posting this will make me to push myself to work on it, I like doing it way more than watching youtube, but, you know :rolleyes:

    Anyway, in the meantime, I thought I'd let this post fly up again. :p
    MoreMoople, 607 and Smooshed_Potato like this.