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Concerning Megabuilds - e.g. Axebow Estate

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Piano_Creeper avatar Piano_Creeper
Retired Moderator
Level 48 : Master Architect
Hey Guys and Girls,
Many of the very successful PMC members are posting large builds and earn XP with it. But a big part of the audience is only thinking like this: "Yes, its great, but no download :(" and this is it, an attitude which those guys really don't deserve.
Because doing large build is lots of work and this is mostly going over a long time.
In this blog i want to show up the work which is need to do a large build - a Megabuild.

Doing a megabuild is challenging the builder(s) in many ways!
I want to show you up my work during the building progress of my megabuild Axebow Estate.

During the planning phase you need to get clear on what do you want to build on - If it's a island, a peninsula, a hill or whatever is usable as base for your project.
I've decided myself for a peninsula (nearly an island), concepted as terraformed structure. The first step then is to plan the terrain, you may get inspired by some internet pics, videos or whatever.
The problems with this:
- you need to make your terrain to be a possible base for your later project on it
- you need to design the structures and every feature, you can use WorldEdit, but for a complete unique island you should start by hand - doing a sketch on paper or on a graphic tablet if you have one (Doing the sketches on a block gives you more freedom on the where to design - I've designed my project during the lessons at school, mostly english and math)

My sketch looked like this:
The black lines are marking the major heights, every line in another color is a sketch of a specific height level (especially at the beaches) or a special feature (e.g. Pool).

You'll later be in need of scanning your sketch in.
Then you need to enforce the drawn lines via a graphic program, I recommend Photoshop or GIMP as alternate freeware version, not PAINT (it doesn't support transparency), but Paint.net does!
To get the structure in game, you need to use WorldPainter, With this you can import a height map (your sketch).
To make this height map as usable as possible, you should add height colors to your sketch, best height colors are gray shades - e.g. a Height of 63 is equal to the color 3F3F3F, a height of 64 would be 404040 and so on, in Hexadecimal values; again with the graphic program.

My height map was this:
The Water is the darkest gray which lights up til the height lines, where the structures will be situated in the future.
Than WorldPainter will generate a WorldSave in your Minecraft Folder when use "Export to Minecraft Save".
If you want to add a biome layer to your Megabuild, i recommend BiomePainter for doing so (WorldPainter is also possible, but not so detailed)
Lots of work needs to be done to get it in the final look, like changing the beaches to sand, the ways needs to be done, and the smoothing of some heights needs to be done.

This is only the look of the overall shape - the estate itself, the indoor layout and even the paths had their own height maps

Then you need to think of the build itself, the structure of it - I would do this in the same sketch as the landscape (less mistakes between the lines of the structure when enforcing, otherwise there would be differences between the first and every following imported sketch (even if you scan the same (updated) sketch again in))
My Sketch was this:
The left sketch is the overview, the right sketch shows up the central height lines.
You'll again need to import it via WorldPainter (you can also import it with the exterior sketch at one time)

At Axebow Estate, I've only included additional height lines to show where the structures are situated and where they start or end.
And now i had to transform those lines in a structure, most time are these structures custom shaped - they're irregular and you've to do everything by hand, doing ONLY the side structures have taken me a week and about 2500 blocks of snow.
My Main Structure is custom shaped in every direction, it have taken me another 3 days (about 24 hours of continued work) to complete.

And after you've done the exterior of the House, you need to spent time on the landscape around it.
Maybe there's redstone engineering included, maybe a fountain and another time a large pool and custom made trees.
Redstone engineering sounds nice, but at a megabuild you will lose the overview quite fast.
Axebow's Restone Engineering is like this:
The left pics are showing sections of the technique, on the overview are the paths marked.
The red lines in the overview are the paths of the redstone engineering, in every tree on those ways is a redstone lamp which may get enabled from ONE single point (in the front structure), below every water head is one and every lamp at the sandstone path may get enabled, all from one single position!

Fountains have the problem that you can't do 1x1 water heads in minecraft (if its possible, then pls tell me), you need to do this with MCEdit or SinglePlayerCommands (SPC)
A pool itself is a nice thing, but you need to fill it with water - using buckets is to much of work (trust me), you have to use SPC or MCEdit again, but there are some tricks like filling the pool up to the second-highest layer with blocks, then do only the highest layer of water and then remove the pool volume, water won't be flowing with this technique.
The pool of Axebow Estate is 655 qm large and contains 2695 blocks of water.
Custom made trees are also nice to view, especially for avenues, but you have to place them every time when you need one. I recommend using SPC for this
Axebow Estate has 110 custom made trees in two different shapes - one with glowstone inside, the other one is part of the redstone engineering.

And after you've done the whole exterior, you need to do the interior things - and Interior is mostly more work then the exterior building.
You have to do a room layout, have to decide which materials to use and in which style you will build, I'm building in modern style using much slabs, stairs and different types of Wool and Wood
And for doing interior, you need to have ideas - OliverFrenchie has made an awesome tutorial for Indoor Furniture, many additional ideas you'll find on eminently respectable servers like World Of Keralis.
Pics of my Interior ideas you can see at the PMC Post of Axebow Estate.

Finishing and posting
Often you see a featured video coming with these projects, videos are really lots of work and you should appreciate this., and take your time to watch.
Most of the builders are using a rendered image as title (and often also as exterior pics) - rendering takes lots of time, and the editing of it with Photoshop or GIMP is also taking time.
Doing interior pics is also a hard job due to the fact that you've only 20 Images for every project, may it be a shack or a megabuild.
And so you have to decide, of which room you're taking a photo, but most you've more rooms of which pictures should be taken than you may upload...
Writing the description is also a nice job - but this is in my opinion one of the easiest parts of doing a megabuild due to the fact that you've done this project and you want to show what you've made. You know your work and you know its features best.
And Posting itself isn't that hard...

I hope I've showed you what work it is to do a large project and i hope that you as a reader of this will appreciate the builds of those guys in a way the deserve - by supporting them as much as you can.
Thank you for reading, maybe appreciate this by supporting me aswell :)

If you liked it, then diamond, favorite and maybe subscribe.
If you would like to see something or want me to link one of your projects (Megabuild), then comment pls

Thanks everyone again
Hope it helped

Piano Creeper

I've to thank xraiunion4000x who've showed me his megabuild of the Forerunner Ark from Halo 3, made in a similar style!

Thank all of you for bringing this on the Popular reel!
CreditKielbasa, OliverFrenchie

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05/02/2013 3:48 am
Level 12 : Journeyman Dragon
huang avatar
11/12/2012 1:12 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
footballheadmask avatar
I diamond this because I am the footballheadmask guy and I love you all <3
10/22/2012 7:48 am
Level 53 : Grandmaster Skinner
GeXile avatar
okay really a whole resort :O godlike work :O
10/22/2012 7:53 am
Level 48 : Master Architect
Piano_Creeper avatar
yes, a complete one...
complete but not finished...
10/20/2012 8:04 am
Level 48 : Master Architect
- Reign -
- Reign - avatar
10/20/2012 8:14 am
Level 48 : Master Architect
Piano_Creeper avatar
i linked it, thank you for commenting, btw it's a really great project!
10/21/2012 2:52 pm
Level 48 : Master Architect
- Reign -
- Reign - avatar
Thanks :D with a sketch it works fine just need some fine work in MCedit ^^
10/21/2012 2:53 pm
Level 48 : Master Architect
Piano_Creeper avatar
no problem man, its an awesome project you have!
10/21/2012 3:00 pm
Level 48 : Master Architect
- Reign -
- Reign - avatar
you see i need worldpainter for the terraforming and mcedit is for the scale ... is there a way to make an existing map even bigger? i need it 18.000blocks from one arm to the other (big ones) if yes please tell me how.
10/21/2012 3:02 pm
Level 48 : Master Architect
Piano_Creeper avatar
Idk if SinglePlayerCommands aka WorldEdit is able to handle the creation of new chunks...
Otherwise you've only the possibility to explore... a lot (i think)
10/19/2012 6:56 pm
Level 5 : Apprentice Miner
ben112001 avatar
Planet Minecraft


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