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Mar 19, 2018CaptainTacoface posted a message on [3+ years open] BeastsMC Creative || Free WorldEdit || Freebuild || 115x115 Plots Optional || No Whitelist || Best Anti-GriefPosted in: PC Servers
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Jul 28, 2013Hey guys, I've decided to create a guide to building just for fun and also to help out the community. I've seen many other guides here, but most of them only cover the basics (using different materials and different shapes). I will cover those topics also, but I will also cover the other more advanced parts of building - different biomes, working with terrain and most importantly, detail in structures.Posted in: Survival Mode
First of all, let's start with the bane of all builders; what I'm sure every minecrafter has ever constructed in their lifetime. The starting home.
It's simple, it's easy to build and it does what it's supposed to do pretty well - to protect the player. The only issue is, it's a massive eyesore. So let's start working on it.
First thing that we can do is add some windows. Things are starting to look a little bit better. I chose glass panes over glass blocks because they give a little bit more depth. It's those little things that makes buildings look just that much better.
Putting block variants drastically improves how the good the building looks. I decided to use oak logs as in my opinion it looks pretty good with stone brick and glass.
Roofs are generally the same with buildings in that there has to be block variations as well. Here, I used stone brick as the outer border and oak wood in the middle. However, I'm not a big fan of this kind of roof, but I'll get to that later.
Alright this might appear like a big jump but I'll try to explain it the best I can. A lot of you might think that "oh, the roof is there, therefore it's complete". But it's far from that. You see, the detail is where it's at. I'll get into detail further on, but I'll explain what I changed to the house here. I changed the blocks between the panes to stairs, and I also added horizontal log blocks in between the main supports. I also added fences to further increase the look of stability.
And there we have it, a good looking starter home which started off as a small cube that every single minecrafter despises.
Block Variations and Block Palettes
Before you even begin to build, you have to take into consideration the blocks that you will use. Of course, one of the number one rules is to avoid using just one block. Here I prepared 9 different block palettes. Each palette has 2 blocks that compliment each other, and one block that contrasts the other two.
With that in mind, here are some wall designs that are based off these palettes.
At this point it should be rather clear that each of these different palettes represent different building themes. For example, the stone brick - oak combination represents medieval/fantasy while the snow - ice combo represents a more modern style. Of course, all this is simplified and you can certainly have more than 3 blocks in a palette.
My main point is, it is very important to have a block palette in mind before you start building something. This allows you to stick to a certain theme and also avoids having too many or too little colours.
Depth and Detail
Depth and detailing is quite an important part in building, and what I find a lot of minecrafters lack. Here is a simple wall. Again, just like the starter house, it serves it's purpose well. But again, it is still rather an eyesore.
So what exactly do we have to do to make this structure much more aesthetically pleasing?
First of all, add columns that divide the wall into several different sections. This insets the cobble wall backwards, adding an idea of depth.
Stairs and half slabs make for great detail blocks. They allow much more shapes to be created instead of just simple cubes. Here, I added stairs for the bottom of the columns and half slabs to connect the columns together. This creates a border around the cobble wall.
Here I showcase several different blocks to add further detail and depth. These include, but not limited to, fences, leaves and sideways - facing logs. I also added slabs in between to act as windows or shooting holes, depending on how you look at it.
For the finishing touches, I added even more stairs to make the whole wall look more sturdy. I added fences on top for a possibility of a walkway.
Voila! There we have it. A wall with a lot of depth and detail, and it all started with a simple 3 high cobblestone wall.
Tips and Tricks
So what if you want to modify your buildings but the buildings just so happen to not be a wall? Here are some simple tips and tricks to modify your building/home.
Inset the blocks and use foliage to your advantage.
The wall on the left is the normal building, and the one on the right is the modified one. I not only inset the wall, but I also added a small "roof" to the window, combined with the fences. I also added several plants on both sides of the window.
Try to put in as much detail as possible.
Here is a small roof detail, preferably on smaller houses. On larger houses, you can put in a full fledged attic. It is pretty simple - cut away a portion of the roof, add some fences and also some glass.
Another small detail. To do this, extend the uppermost block of the roof a couple of blocks, and place an upward facing log at the very end. Put a slab on top of it and place some fences below it. Place a glowstone block, surround it with trapdoors and place a slab below it.
Curves make the structure seem to 'flow' more smoothly.
In this small mock up structure, I used a variety of stairs, slabs and fences to make the building 'flow' more smoothly. The fences make the edges seem like it is a slight curve, instead of a sharp ~90 degree angle. The stairs below the second set of logs makes the wall look like it is one line, instead of two lines separated by one block.
Arches, Curves and Circles
Adding arches, curves and circles into your buildings allow a lot of extra detail and shapes to be made. However, building curves in a game full of squares is indeed rather difficult. One rule to help make things easier is something I call the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule.
As you can see in the picture above, there are several different sections in an arch. Every section is one block smaller in length than the previous section. Of course, the different sections can be the same length, but a section cannot be larger in length than the one before. This rule is there so that the arch makes sense. With that in mind, here are several examples of arches used in building.
I've said beforehand that I am not a big fan of the classic 45 degree roof. This is because that in my opinion, it looks flat and it doesn't offer that much shape. Above is an alternative version for a roof. As you can see, it follows the guidelines of an arch but in the opposite way. The roof starts with 1 block, then another, then 2 blocks, then 2 blocks.
Here, I used the rule of arches I mentioned earlier to create the supports in the bridge. As you can see, I used the same principle. It starts at 3 blocks at the bottom, then 2, then 1. I then repeat this 3 times to create the supports shown.
Circles follow the same principles as arches, but repeated 4x over. Using this, it is quite easy to build a circle without the use of a guide. Here are several circles that I prepared beforehand, ranging from smallest to largest.
To create your circle, you have to start from the center. Then, create the 4 different edges of the circle. In the picture above, it's either 3 or 5 blocks. This is the start of the first arch. Then, start using the arch principle I mentioned earlier. Experiment with different lengths to create the circle.
At the first circle, there is only 1 block, so there isn't exactly a pattern forming. On the second circle however, the pattern is 1-1. On the third circle, the pattern is 2-1-2. The fourth circle, 2-2-2-2. See how this works?
Here are some examples to use circles as decoration in your buildings.
Here's a design of a watermill using a 15 block diameter circle. I have to admit this is not something I made myself, but instead it's a design off lynchyinc's steamshire farm. Nevertheless, he used logs to frame the entire structure together, and also fences to add some necessary detail.
Here's another structure involving the use of circles. It could be used as a foundation for a castle tower, a normal watch tower, or even a corner of a wall. Nevertheless, this is a 9 block diameter circle extended upwards with some extra detail.
Building with Terrain
There is no point in learning a lot about building but not knowing where to put it. I find that a lot of people here tend to just level the land, creating an empty canvas to build their structure. The thing is, terrain, if used correctly, creates more shapes, detail and is overall more aesthetically pleasing. One rule I like to follow is build with the terrain, not against it. For example, here we have a mountain biome.
Now, we have to analyse it. See what building would go where, what structure would fit in this area etc.
Here I labeled out several different areas that I find stand out in the mountain biome. We have a small isolated piece of land to the bottom right, and a small flat-ish area to the left. There's a small hill that has to be partially improved, but would make for a good looking 2-story structure. The small slope at the top left has possibilities for a stair to the summit.
Now, let's start with a bridge. Here, you can see I used the arch principle I mentioned earlier, upside down. This bridge has a pattern of 2 - 3 - 3 - 4.
I stamped a building on the flat piece of land I mentioned earlier. I decided not to show you guys the construction process, as I already covered that previously. This building doesn't use any aspects of the terrain as it was all flat.
Here, I highlighted the several different floors of the secondary structure. You can see how I used the terrain to my advantage on this building. On the smaller ledge I used half slabs. On the steeper side, I will use stairs.
While working on the structure here's one thing that you guys might encounter often. The supports are off by one side and it doesn't look natural if you extend the terrain/support out. So how to fix it?
It is in fact pretty simple. Place an upside down staircase below the supports. The logs between are optional, but I think it looks nice and adds a little bit of texture.
And here is the completed structure just for completion's sake. Here you can see the tips I mentioned earlier at use. The roof uses the arch principle, and the walls use some tricks from the depth and detail section.
Here are some interior pics, showing how I mold the structure around the land. You can see the main staircase that leads to the second floor and also the smaller staircase that leads to another smaller room.
But what if you want to decorate the terrain even further? Here are two things that I added that also compliments the terrain.
Here's a small path that follows the contours of the terrain hidden behind the house. You can use this to lead up to the summit etc.
A small piston door that can lead to some farms, a tunnel, an underground base, whatever.
And here's a finished view of everything. For those of you who might wanna experiment with the same terrain, or just want a cool mountain place to build/start a survival world, here are the seed and coordinates.
Seed - 1716790406808994629
Co-ordinates - X: -139 Z: 438
Building with Biomes
First of all, a small disclaimer before I begin. This section would mostly discuss my favourite block palettes in combination with a specific biome, as well as a rather small showcase of the style and structure of the things that I will make in that specific biome. With that in my mind, let's begin.
Whenever I see a forest, I just see it as a perfect spot to build something medieval/fantasy/steampunk. So that's exactly the theme that I'll be going for in this specific section of the guide. First of all, let's start with the block palette that we'll be using.
The 3 blocks on the left are the blocks that compliments each other, and the 3 blocks on the right are the blocks that contrast each other.
Here's the forest that we'll be working with. I chose it because there's a large rock formation in the middle that would be rather interesting to work with.
...and let's stamp a building to the side of the rock. Note how I used the tips I mentioned in this structure. Both in the roof and in the walls.
Every structure/village/city etc. requires some form of lighting. Here, I used fire as a light source to show a more medieval theme.
To the side of the structure I added some aqueducts. These create an interesting archway over the path and also adds some more detail.
Note the small details. I used item frames with a half slab to show a handle for the torches.
And some more buildings. I added an extra lantern to the side of it as well as a "lantern handle" that goes off the roof of the building.
To the other side, we're gonna use the terrain for our advantage. I added another aqueduct, this time slightly simpler. Also to the left you can see some stairs that follow the contours of the aforementioned rock.
At the top, I added a well that shows where the water comes from and also some more lanterns.
Now, where will the village gain any currency? Here I installed a market using the hardened clay blocks. We can make this actually work by using a hopper below the chest connected to a small sorting system that in turn connects to a dropper.
I added another market stall with some storage behind it.
And here we are. A small medieval outpost, hidden in the forest by a large natural rock formation. I have to give credit to Novv from Planet Minecraft for the inspiration on the buildings.
Jungles are a little bit more complicated to work with, mostly because of the rough terrain at the bottom as well as at the canopies. I find that a lot of treehouses made in minecraft are just boxes placed on top of the trees, which in my opinion is probably one of the biggest eyesores ever. Nevertheless, here's the jungle we'll be working with. (Note, this is the same world as the one with the medieval outpost in the previous section).
You can see where I started working at the top, where the wooden planks are. That's the specific section we'll be using.
The block palette, you'll see later on that I won't be using the stone bricks and clay though.
First thing that I did was to scatter wooden planks across the top of the jungle tree. This creates some more texture and instantly makes the floor look "stable". I also added railings using sideways jungle logs as well as jungle leaves. This also makes it look more 'natural'. I didn't show it previously but there is a small ledge at the back where I installed a staircase. This is another example of using the natural terrain to your advantage.
The main lighting source we will use in this is glowstone, hidden with jungle leaves.
Time to expand this even further. On the back side I installed a small staircase following the contours of the jungle tree.
Here there are two jungle trees at close proximity, so I connected them together and created a floor.
There's another jungle tree to the right, so I connected the two paths together with a bridge.
With the flat canopy I decided to create a building on top of it. I also show how to create a structure on top of jungles without making it look ugly.
The finished structure. As you can see, I used leaves as the roof and I also used half slabs as the walls, to make it look more 'open'.
Some of the interior pics. The table with the flower pot and the cactus was posted by another user here. The name escapes me at the moment, sorry about that.
Now let's further expand this path. Since I made this with survival in mind, I placed some jungle pillars with cocoa beans - could be used as a farm in survival mode.
There are a bunch of jungle trees here, so I decided to just connect them all together to make one large floor.
Starting on the house/building to be built on top of this massive canopy. It's more modern with the columns and the glass panes.
Just a picture of the design of the side wall. As you can see I used open fence gates to support the half slab.
Extended the floor outwards as there is a small one block difference to the bottom tree. This will become a form of balcony.
Several progress pictures. As you can see, I used the arch principle here but in a smaller case to make the entrance to the balcony. The roof is also made out of leaves and are scattered and asymmetrical; thus making it look more natural.
There was a large tree of about equal height to the other side of the main entrance so I created a 'skywalk' to connect the two together.
And on the other side I used the extra jungle tree to create a small cow farm. Sure, it's not that humane but ah well.
Another small raise calls for another small staircase.
The flat rooftop means I will build another structure there. Again, as I'm focusing this to be made in survival mode, this structure will be a small bedroom.
Several more progress pictures. As you can see, it is the same principle and theme as before, you should be able to get the hang of it by now.
And here are some interior pictures! I will make an interior section further on.
Back to the other side now. If you look closely there's another jungle tree on the other side.
Of course, all bases need some form of storage system. Here's the start of one.
Here's a look from the outside. I used half slabs instead of full blocks for another feel of open space.
And finally, a bird's eye view of the entire outpost. I hoped that this section helped you with building in the jungle, as it is a really awesome place to build in. The jungle has a multitude of different levels, which force creativity and shape instead of boxes. So with this, I hope to eradicate the amount of square, cube treehouses.
Deserts are like plains - large empty flats. Generally these kind of terrain is very boring; many others would prefer extreme hills over deserts, for example. But, deserts can be a place to stray away from the usual medieval style builds. I say two styles fit perfectly for deserts - middle eastern and modern. Notice how both of these styles use a LOT of sandstone; the perfect block for desert builds.
The block palette. Again, this follows the the core of several blocks that compliment each other, and several blocks that contrast.
We're going for a middle-eastern theme here, as the modern style will be focused on more in the plains. So to start of things, make a few columns.
I apologize that I did not capture enough pictures in between this picture and the one before. My main point is, I extended the columns to make it 3 blocks thick. I also added some walls in the inside as well as some stairs as the roof. These stairs also add some curvature.
Now let's start adding a small room/patio. I actually tried to follow the contours a little bit here by making it go down a step.
Pro tip - buttons and fences add quite a lot of detail to buildings, especially sandstone ones.
It's rather tough to see in this picture, but what I did was I added several columns extending to the side; filled it with glass in between and add the roof you see here. I will eventually change this later though.
Add the floors. I wasn't planning to use hardened clay at all in this guide, but I did anyway. I took inspiration from the desert temples that naturally generate already.
Now simply cover the entire thing up and curve the edges a little bit.
Overall view of what things look like at the moment. You can see the second floor balcony overlooking everything else there, as well as the yellow hardened clay on top of the small room.
For the entrance, use the technique similar to the one I used for the forest roads. Scatter similar looking blocks together to create a path.
Now to finish things up. I added some hardened clay at the very bottom floor similar in pattern to the small room we made earlier. I also extended some of the walls.
Copy the design again to the second floor, and create the walls. I originally wanted the structure to be more covered up, but it looked better open like this.
Add the roof. It's open again here, as those blocks are only half-slabs; placing glass blocks would deter how it looks from the outside by quite a bit.
And the finished product!
So, Savanna. When they were first introduced, the trees were just jungle trees and there wasn't really any materials that fit well with them. Then, Dinnerbone introduced the two new wood types - dark oak and acacia wood. Funnily enough, these two types of wood are perfect for the Savanna. But how about theme? Well scroll down and find out.
Here's a Savanna about 4000 blocks away from my main base in my survival world. What I did was I created a new world with the same seed, and used AMIDST to locate a Savanna M biome.
Fast forward a tiny bit, and here we have two different houses. If the style isn't particularly clear, it's steampunk. You can also see the different block types that I used here. The columns are dark oak wood; the roof is made out of dark oak planks; the walls are mostly acacia wood and the glass are blue stained glass.
Here's a closer view of the other house. You can sort of see the steampunk influence in this build. There is a gear next to the house that acts as a sort-of water mill. The shape of the structure itself is very unconventional, and the roof is arched in the way that I showed in the circles section of this guide.
Let's begin creating a new house. First of all, I create a rectangle that has odd dimensions, i.e. length and width of odd numbers. In this case, 9 x 7. Then I placed wooden columns every other block.
This is quite a jump, but I'll try to explain it. First, I expanded the original rectangle by a block on both sides. Then, I create another rectangle next to it also with odd dimensions. Afterwards I placed wooden columns in the same fashion as before and placed a roof.
Just a look from the front, you can see how I incorporate the acacia wood and the blue stained glass into the build.
I expanded the rectangle outwards again by a block on both sides, so it is now 2 blocks more than the original rectangle (on both sides). I placed the wooden columns and then begin work on the roof. Note how this roof is constructed - it is an upside-down arch.
On the other side is an example of how you can decorate your wall. This is just one of the ways, there are many other possible ways out there. You can put shrubs, large windows, lamps, whatever.
Anyways, I filled in the roof with dark oak planks and stairs, and then added these large "buttresses" (not sure what word to use here) one block off the stone brick border.
Sometimes, if there are large sections of a roof that is completely blank, I add a circular window. They're pointless, but whatever. They look good.
Overview of what the house looks like. You can also see that I added a chimney (the stone brick with the anvil on top) and added leaves around the house to add some more detail.
Let's add some more components to emphasize this steampunk theme. Here, I added a small railway. In survival, I use a similar-looking railway to transport items from a collection area to a storage room.
Aqueducts are always awesome. Here, they're pointless. They look pretty damn good but they don't actually serve any purpose. In survival, you can use this as an item transport system (which I do) or even to transport a water source for a farm.
Here's an overview image of what we've built in the Savanna biome.
What exactly do we have to do to decorate the interior of a structure? There isn't necessarily a step by step process to follow, as decorating a building is entirely relative to the building itself. So let's use some examples.
Here we have a small house, built in the forest part of the building with biomes section above. I purposely made the house empty so that I can build it here.
Floors. Don't just jump in into the little chairs and cabinets, make some floors first. Stairs are pretty difficult to incorporate most of the time, but here I just used a small one wide staircase.
Start decorating. I'll go more into depth in the next section about different kinds of furniture, but keep note that detail is incredibly important in furniture. The more, the better.
Another picture of the first floor. Note the shrub in the corner and the carpet in the middle, surrounding the glowstone. I also added some cracks on the floor using different orientations of stairs.
An enchanting station at the top floor. This one is directly connected to the roof, making the transitions smoother per say using the hardened clay.
And the bed, with a lot of books surrounding it. I find this fits the fantasy theme well, but not so much so for other themes.
Interior design has a lot of similarities with building in general. Detail is a necessity, and themes and block palettes are things that we also have to keep in mind.
Building with Function
I get asked now and then about if I prefer building things to function well, or building things to look good. The thing is, it's not difficult at all to make things that are both of these things combined. A lot of people like to call this rule as form follows function.
To get started, let's choose a random machine; say, TangoTek's automatic brewing setup. This is an amazing design, and one I will probably use in my world as well. So let's get started trying to make this thing looking good.
First of all, we have to know what are the parameters. As in, what needs to be there and what doesn't need to be there. In this case the parameters set are rather simple.
- All redstone lamps have to be visible
- All chests have to be visible and accesible
- All levers have to be accessible
- All droppers accessible
- Item frames not need to be there, but is recommended
- Water does not need to be where it is
Of course, a palette has to be set. Since I want to make this in my own world, I use a palette that is commonly used in my main base. Note this can be changed later on.
First of all I changed the iron blocks to the palette that I am using. I placed half slabs below the redstone lamps for more shape. I used slabs here to follow the parameters that I set above.
I'll attempt to explain everything I did here. First of all, I pretty much replaced all of the previous blocks to blocks in my palette. As you can see things are already looking great just by replacing the blocks. However, instead of stairs I placed solid blocks. I then place half slabs below those blocks. All of the blocks I placed here follows the parameters I set above.
Here it is clear that I moved one part of the machine - the water source. This is stated in one of the parameters above - the water does not need to be where it is. Because of that I moved the water to a place that appears to be more aesthetically pleasing.
Detail can also be implemented. Here's a small fence wall with spruce leaves behind it.
Overview of everything. This is a very simple example of how form follows function is implemented. It also goes to show how not everything that is complicated has to look bad. As long as the parameters are set, it is possible to make everything look great.
TO DO LIST
Arches, Curves and Circles
Building with Terrain
Building in Biomes
Thank you for reading until the end, I hope I helped some of you improve your building skills, and I hope some of you can use this guide as a form of inspiration
Also, please if any of you have any suggestions or any form of criticism, don't be afraid to say it. I am aiming for this guide to be most complete, so I appreciate anything you guys have to say.
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