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  • 1

    posted a message on Hatsune Miku Skin (1.9 transparency + layers)

    The motivation behind this skin was a 2016 remake of my rather old Hatsune Miku Skin from 2011 (5 years ago! Wow!).
    (Here's a picture of the old 2011 skin)

    I had updated that skin in 2012 with improved eyes, colour reduction and optimisation - as well as fixing for the Minecraft 1.0 release skin changes.

    1.8 introduced skin layers and the Alex mesh, then 1.9 introduced skin transparency; so I thought now would be a good time to remake this skin to take full advantage of what Minecraft skins can do these days!

    Click here to see the Imgur album for more preview shots

    Reference Miku I used was kasokuSato's featured in Burenai ai de by Mitchie M.

    I also wanted to try making each layer of the skin as if it were a doll being dressed up. Usually I paint the final pixels directly onto the texture, however that tends to result in a very flat texture as most of the design is done on the base layer. By making each item of clothing, I had a better sense of where the depth would be and how the texture pieces "hang" off the mesh. It also produced a lot of re-usable skin components for future skins.

    Transparency has been used to blend the fringe of the hair, so the facial features below are not entirely occluded (I encountered this trick being used with anime-style 3D models when I had my first job at a game studio). I also use transparency to subtly add hinting to indicate that more detail would exist on a higher resolution.

    Layers are used for depth (all layers need to be enabled for this skin, they should not be disabled).

    Skin download (right-click, save as):

    I used GIMP to create this skin. It took about 4 hours from start to finish. I actually produced each individual layer of the skin in GIMP. There are 17 layers in total.

    Here's a 4x zoom of the final skin and an animation of each of the layers made to create this skin, starting with the base (flesh) template and ending with the headset.

    Posted in: Skins
  • 1

    posted a message on Elytra as a Status Effect

    This suggestion intends to resolve some of the concerns with the Elytra item - it's also a rough suggestion (albeit well considered) and open to criticism at any level.

    Analysis of the Problem

    Concerns with the Elytra - from what I can see - are focused on the fact that the item is available only in the End on the flying ships and once the single available Elytra is harvested that ship no longer has Elytra available, resulting in new players who wish to have this item needing to venture further and further into the End to find an Elytra, which makes the cost of the Elytra increase as their sources become further and further away from the entrance to the End.

    The durability system that the Elytra uses keeps the item as an exclusive first-come-first-serve item for post-End game. The fact that the Elytra does not reach durability 0 and is never consumed shows that there was a problem here and I feel that the solution of having "Broken Elytra" is not a creative one and only tackles a symptom of the problem, it doesn't resolve the fundamental issue of availability versus utility.

    One minor concern is that the Elytra takes the armour slot, putting the player at risk, making the item not ideal for combat. There's more to be said about this below.

    Previous Proposals

    The most common given solution to the Elytra availability is "make it craftable". This resolves the increasing cost of retrieving the Elytra, with side effect of the Elytra becoming easily accessible to new players, which reduces the Elytra's prestige value. The crafting components become the focus here and the next step would be to require a relatively abundant item from the End as part of the recipe, retaining the Elytra as an end-game item. This also makes the Broken Elytra phase an issue that needs to be solved (the ability to craft hundreds of Elytras for 1 player is not needed as they can just repair their own Elytra).

    Solutions for the durability problem with Elytra mostly focuses on the fact that durability is spent based on flight-time. 3 proposed solutions are;

    • Entirely remove the usage cost of the Elytra
    • Significantly reduce the usage cost of the Elytra (takes even longer to reach the Broken phase, encourages more usage).
    • Change the usage cost behaviour of the Elytra (such as usability is based on incoming damage, Broken Elytra is resulted from combat and not flight-time)

    The armour slot is a minor concern, but I feel it can be leveraged to improve the Elytra's implementation which is why I mentioned it. Because it is a minor concern, I haven't seen anyone address this with solutions. However, the focus of attention here is the combat aspect of Elytra; currently Elytra adds very little value to combat and as a results the usage of Elytra is presented as a luxurious form of limited transport.

    Previously proposed solutions have been exclusively targeting the limited availability of the Elytra item for new players, rather than resolving the usage scenarios that the Elytra lacks (it is a luxury item with low usage value, so previous solutions have been focusing on removing the "luxury item" part, rather than increase the usage value - a fair balance but not the only way to tackle the problem). Mojang's own solution (Broken Elytra) tackles the problem of the Elytra not being used due to it's trophy value, but availability is not resolved and usefulness is not improved (players are more inclined to use the item, but it is not more useful).

    My Proposed Solution


    Increasing the abundance of the Elytra is going to be a necessity to remove the increasing cost of retrieving an Elytra. Making a crafting recipe is one solution, but moves the Elytra item from requiring a trip to the End. An often suggested method is to make it a mob drop of the Shulker, Enderdragon, Endermite or Enderman within the End - which achieves the End requirement somewhat.

    I think a mob drop from the Shulker is a strong suggestion, but the depletion is a concern (will reduce the speed in-which availability drops due to Shulker spawning behaviour). There is a good reason why Elytra were made a single-find loot with the End ship structures and to retain this some more additions would be needed.

    To keep End ships a requirement, my suggestion here is to have a cauldron in the End ship with a differently coloured liquid and to create Elytra wings the player must throw in ingredients, which depletes the liquid in the cauldron and an Elytra pops out - then over a full day cycle1 the water is refilled, limiting Elytra creation to 1 per Minecraft day.

    As for the ingredients, I have not put in consideration here but the idea of throwing in a potion of leaping and a feather with chorus fruit appeals to me for reasons beyond the scope of this suggestion2 (wouldn't want to try and solve too many problems).


    This is the biggest part of my suggestion. I think Elytra should be changed to a consumable item like a potion, but with a reduced consumption delay. The Elytra would then become a status effect that is applied after consuming the item and for a limited time3 the player will have Elytra wings.

    Elytra would also become stackable up to a limited number (certainly less than 64, I'd be inclined to suggest 16 to be in-line with other items). This completely removes the durability factor and opens up some options for flight time (if the Elytra runs out part-way in flight then the player can consume another to top-up their flight time).

    The obvious problem here is that Elytra is no longer a luxury piece of armour to wear and show-off. I feel this is a valid subject of discussion, I have some thoughts4 but they are not fleshed out at all.

    You can probably tell that the goal here was to bring Elytra's usefulness to be on-par with Ender Pearls, which are also a 16 stackable, consumed transport item. I have observed from a number of players that Ender Pearls do become a handy item for moving around large space, entering and exiting combat and getting into tough to reach locations. I feel that the Elytra is an excellent candidate for matching these use cases with a different form of movement.

    I do not feel that this replaces Ender Pearls because I have not seen anyone bring this up as a point for the current implementation of the Elytras.

    I feel the most significant impact this part of the suggestion has is combat usage;


    As written above, the biggest change is moving the Elytra from an armour item to a consumable item, but the biggest impact this will have is combat.

    The current implementation of Elytra sacrifices the chest-plate armour slot, making it a large sacrifice to be used in combat situations - especially considering the very high value the item currently has (no one would want to risk losing an Elytra to an enemy in the current form).

    The Durability section of this suggestion gives back the armour slot, so Elytra is now viable for combat (combined with the Availability section, the risk of entering combat is overall lowered). Players flying with Elytra can now armour up to protect from incoming arrows and can swoop to attack from above without fumbling to change armour slots. Fighting in a tall location now gives players the chance to flee by jumping off the edge, consuming an Elytra and gliding down to safety - hopefully their attacker doesn't have their own Elytra to consume and give chase.


    The lack of being able to show off your fantastic Elytra at any moment is a problem. Subnote 4 addresses this with an additional suggestion, but requires further thinking.

    The Broken Elytra is made entirely redundant by my suggestion. This isn't entirely a "problem", but it risks exposing any problems that the Broken Elytra phase solved (I had only identified the limited availability of the item as a solved problem here). In my personal opinion, I feel the Broken Elytra was a badly thought-out solution that applied a band-aid to a problem, rather than resolve why that problem was a factor to begin with.

    This does add a block variant for the cauldron with the Availability section of the suggestion. The unique behaviour will also be surprising for players; cauldrons in Minecraft currently have limited behaviour focused mostly on water and red-stone, this unique cauldron would be outside the typical behaviour that is expected. Hopefully the differently-coloured liquid would communicate this to the player, but it may also require further additions (making the block indestructible to limit the player interaction options). I'd say this special cauldron is the weakest part of my suggestion.

    The delay for when the cauldron is refilled - ready for a new Elytra to be created - is arguably similar to the time it would take for a player to find a new, unharvested End ship to collect an Elytra for themselves, but as this is a fixed-rate time I feel it is differentiated enough to warrant it's implementation.

    This also makes exploration of the End less ideal. Players would be more inclined to stop at the first End ship they find and build a base around that for Elytra brewing - making exploration to further locations less attractive.


    1. A full day cycle is my first thought, this could certainly be tweaked.
    2. Rabbits seem under valued. I have not seen a rabbit farm built in Minecraft, this could increase the value of rabbits significantly. The abundance of rabbits against other mobs makes it particularly interesting. As for feathers and chorus fruit, I mentioned those for thematic reasons mostly. The ingredients are debatable and hopefully a good topic of discussion for this thread.
    3. Another core topic of discussion. 5 minutes comes to mind, but even 60 seconds seems like a viable option. This feels like the variable to balance against the Availability section of this suggestion (Particularly the time it takes for the cauldron to refill).
    4. Elytra status as a beacon around a base is a potential resolution, but the requirements for such a beacon would require a fair amount of thought. Perhaps put enchanted Elytra into a beacon's slot? Due to the beacon consuming the item, it may even be worth having standard Elytra be the requirement. Imagine spawn towns or large bases with such a beacon for visitors?

    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 1

    posted a message on Minecraft Wii U leaked - Release Date Tomorrow

    I'll clear up this silly date confusion;

    All over the world the date format is day/month/year except in the USA where it is month/day/year.

    So 12/11/2015 is the 12th of November 2015. This same date in the USA would be described as 11/12/2015. No time-travel has occurred.

    Because the USA is a trade/military/etc partner with Europe a standard date system that both countries understood was needed, so they took the system that the rest of the world uses and reversed it to year/month/day (Or you could say they moved the year of the USA system to the front).

    So 2015/11/12 = 12th of November 2015 no matter where you are from.

    Posted in: MCWiiU: Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on IOS BETAS!!!!! (If we can get Mojangs attention)
    Quote from 1adam9»

    There is a newish app made by Apple that allows people to beta test apps/app updates.

    The app is called "Test flight".

    check it out here:

    TestFlight by Apple

    If someone could get Mojang to see this app we could get IOS betas in the future!!!

    TestFlight is not "newish" at all (been using it for a rather long time for work) and it's not intended for public Betas. Publicly distributing beta versions would be a violation of the terms and conditions and Mojang would get a strike from Apple - a game as big as Minecraft cannot afford to do this whatsoever.

    TestFlight is intended for closed, tight beta testing. As an example; all the employees at Mojang can be invited to the TestFlight group, perhaps some of their close relatives/friends too, and when Mojang want to test a new version they select the group that they want to test it (Such as employees only, friends only, Microsoft folks only, or iPad Air users only).

    It's not intended for and doesn't scale for the millions of Minecraft players out there (I think there's a cap of how many people can be part of the TestFlight too).

    So this would never happen on a public scale for iOS. It's simply impossible due to Apple's policies.

    EDIT: Also the invites are email based and if memory serves me right they're done on a per-email basis so Mojang would have to invite each individual user who wants to be in TestFlight via email so they can be authorised. That's a lot of users to handle.

    EDIT2: Any iOS developer worth their salt at the least knows about TestFlight, I don't doubt for 1 second that Mojang are aware of it's existence. There's a good chance they already use it.

    Posted in: MCPE: Discussion
  • 5

    posted a message on Water in boats fix - Success! Implemented in 1.9 (MC-47636)

    Update: Grum confirmed that Mojang has already planned to use this exact method for 1.9 and has completed the implementation -

    [1.9 Confirmed]

    Issue this resolves;

    This is not speculation, this is proven rendering logic and uses real features that are available in OpenGL.

    Image album describing technique

    1. Render everything before water normally
    2. Use glColorMask( GL_FALSE, GL_FALSE, GL_FALSE, GL_FALSE ) to disable writing to the colour buffer (Only depth buffer will be written to)
    3. Before rendering water, for every boat that is visible draw a quad as a lid covering the opening lip of the boat
    4. Use glColorMask( GL_TRUE, GL_TRUE, GL_TRUE, GL_TRUE ) to re-enable writing to the colour buffer (So we can draw the water itself)
    5. Draw the water as normal

    Alternative to glColorMask(), glDrawBuffer()could be used however that requires some additional tracking of the frame-buffer's attachments, which could affect future changes to the rendering system. glGet() with GL_DRAW_BUFFER would need to be used to track the current frame-buffer's state so it can be restored after the invisible lids are rendered.

    Expected Result


    • Boats won't look like they are filled with water.
    • Does not add complexity with stencil buffers (the traditional way to solve this problem).
    • Only adds 1 extra step to the existing rendering path.
    • All of the draw-backs below only apply to boats, it will not effect any other object rendered in the game.


    • Waterfalls will suddenly stop at the lid of the boat. This may look strange, but it is more common to have a boat on flat water surface.
    • Any object drawn after the water is drawn will also suddenly stop at the lid of the boat. This may look strange - but most of the time boats are in water, rather than inside other blocks.
    • More quads are drawn to the depth buffer.

    Why does this work?

    The water will not draw on-top of pixels that are "above" the surface, otherwise objects built above water will appear covered by water. This is because the water tests against the OpenGL depth-buffer (See Wikipedia for more information), an image that is drawn to behind-the-scenes to describe how far away pixels are from the player's point of view.

    By rendering an invisible lid to the depth buffer, we increase the height of the pixels around this area of the boat so when the water performs the depth test it believes that the pixels around the inside area of the boat are "above" the surface and ends up skipping those pixels.

    Even when the boat is fully under-water, the depth test will see that the lid is below the surface and no strange visual errors will occur.

    This image here shows how the invisible lid (shown in pink) is "above" the water's surface (shown in blue).

    This is a very simple solution to this problem that avoids damaging the existing rendering path as much as possible. I have Tweeted this technique to Dinnerbone.

    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 1

    posted a message on Water in boats fix - Success! Implemented in 1.9 (MC-47636)

    Do you have a Reddit account? Mojang uses a certain Reddit thread where the community can post their ideas. It might be worth it to post this there.

    I already posted this on the subreddit. People have been informing various Mojang employees of it's existence over there.

    There is a very high chance it will get noticed as a result.
    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 1

    posted a message on Water in boats fix - Success! Implemented in 1.9 (MC-47636)
    Quote from teesee»

    I don't understand much of this, but you obviously know what you are talking about. Since this is sort of a bug fix, I would suggest tweeting Mojang about it and asking people to do the same in the OP.

    I've sent a Tweet to Dinnerbone, unfortunately I don't have any strong contact links with Mojang so anything I say is lost amongst all the other messages they receive.

    I don't think encouraging people to send messages is the best idea. A lot of users have already started notifying Mojang employees about this solution I've proposed, so I don't feel I need to encourage the practise anyway as people are already doing it.

    Admittedly, I don't have much experience with contributing fixes via public facing means. Most studios I work with have a dedicated contact channels which most of the time end up with direct means of contact via Skype or similar. Mojang are rather elusive so the best I can do is post the suggestion to the community and let the community get it noticed.

    The problem with that is the majority of the community, like yourself, have little understanding of the technicalities which is why I think it's important to explain. If you don't understand a specific part then please point it out and I can try to elaborate. As an example, I can probably better explain the technique with a side-on 2-dimensional diagram - which is actually how most depth-buffer tricks are described in technical documents.

    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 1

    posted a message on Water in boats fix - Success! Implemented in 1.9 (MC-47636)

    That sounds really interesting. Would this affect frame rate though?

    Draw-backs I mentioned it adds 1 extra quad (2 triangles) for each boat that is visible. However, only the depth buffer is rendered to (so 1 value written, rather than the usual 4/5 that boats render to with RGBA+depth).

    This results in 2 extra triangles per boat rendering to 1 buffer. It will have a negligible effect on the frame-rate.

    As a comparison*, drawing a single particle has more of an affect on FPS than this proposed solution. It will take 3 or 4 boats with this method to have a similar FPS impact to a single particle - even at that the single particle is more expensive as they usually involve an intensive blend operation and an alpha test, my solution here involves no blending and no alpha testing (only depth read/write used).

    * To my fellow graphics programmers; yes I know this isn't how performance scales, I am just giving a very rough comparison to other areas where quads are rendered!

    Posted in: Suggestions
  • 4

    posted a message on admins/admin abuse
    This thread is quickly losing correct information, the facts are;

    A server owner is an administrator and they will designate administrators to uphold their rules, you can appeal to the next in-command and send them your complaints, but they do not have a responsibility to deal with your complaint correctly and they have the right to make up rules and do what they want with their property.

    Mojang have zero right to influence the operation of a server and have zero responsibility over server operations, complaining Mojang will do zero for you because it has nothing to do with them, Mojang cannot disconnect Minecraft servers because they have no powers over that, there is no phone-home system in servers, Minecraft uses a dedicated server model based on stand-alone server operating which is a practise that has been around since the 70s so a server can survive on closed-networks (Or when a network goes down the server doesn't freak).
    What if they are not even running the official Minecraft server software? In that case they don't even have Mojang's server EULA around them, so Mojang have even less to do with the server operation.

    This is not cyber-bullying, cyber bullying is targeted at a personal level, this is a broad-sweep of admins being which they are allowed to be as it is their property, you can complain all you want but they are under no obligation or law to listen.

    This is a fact of the internet that has been around since the days of IRC and MUDs before the world wide web existed, they are called Private Servers for a very good reason, they are private to the person operating them, it is their property, their rules, their electricity and internet bills, their processor that has to deal with your load and not any broader company (Not Mojang, not anyone).

    It is useless arguing about this because it is a cornerstone of internet operations that has been around since before most people here were even born (Including myself) and I understand fully where the complaints are coming from because I used to be the one complaining about this when I was young, but this is a problem where the internet is clashing with dated laws that are designed to govern a physical world based on country/state borders.

    Remember this crucial piece of information;
    You are staring at tiny pixels lighting up on a screen and listening to magnetic drums pumping airwaves out of speakers, you are not reading letters of the alphabet you are reading pixels, you are not playing Minecraft you are sending signals via keyboard/mouse to your machine which decodes those as 0s and 1s for changing RAM values which is packaged up and sent down a wire to the internet.

    You have that buffer between you and the internet, don't get emotionally attached to binary bleeps-and-bloops going across the planet, they aren't worth it, don't get upset about how pixels on the screen light up and don't get upset if your binary bleeps-and-bloops on an ethernet line are dealt with in a certain way by someone else's machine. Not worth it, it's useless arguing with it and frankly the internet is much bigger than 1 person complaining.
    Posted in: Discussion
  • 4

    posted a message on admins/admin abuse
    Quote from ZEOKNIGHT»

    First of all. Being mean online is a serious crime in many countries.

    second of all: A real admin cares about the ones who play on the server

    third of all: if u are going to be mean to the players on a server why the would u even have a server. A server is made to play with other players and have fun. U do not have a server to to be mean.

    Being mean on social medias like facebook or other social medias is verry illegal and is considered as violation wich can be punished with large amount of Money, so why would it be any different on servers?

    Where is the crime committed when it is on an online server? You just highlighted another problem with the dedicated server model, the dedicated server is not necessarily in a location that is governed by the same laws as the players, you can't make that guarantee, the admins may be in the same country as you but if the server is on the moon (Where there are no laws, the moon is governed by the same international treaty that covers the south-pole) then where is the illegal activity happening?

    Is it the admin in the same country as you? Or is it happening on the server which is on the moon? Or is it even happening at all? Considering that the internet is made up of signals that are decoded to binary for our computers to display, is it abuse that you're receiving or a series of computer signals that you are getting emotionally invested with?

    Your "2nd of all" is an opinion, a real admin is someone who is an administrator, doesn't mean they have to care, you can have an administrator of a torture chamber whose job is to not care about the victims.

    Your "3rd of all" is another great mystery of the net. Perhaps they made the server so they can have fun? Maybe part of their fun is being mean to other players for no reason at all?

    On a personal level, you sound exactly like how I was when I was aged 10-13, when I was first getting used to the internet. Your very same complaint and questions is one that I had with internet forums and chat rooms, I faced mean admins and moderators and believed it is wrong because they weren't being democratic and they weren't acting in the interest of 'customer satisfaction' or whatever.

    What I am telling you is a social lesson that I learnt from an admin many years ago from your very same position.
    Posted in: Discussion
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