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How To Make Awsome Renders ( free programs only )

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avatar jannekloeffler
Level 53 : Grandmaster Terraformer

Hey! today i will show you how to make an awesome render of your minecraft world.

In this tutorial I will concentrate on maps of islands, but this will also work for buildings and other maps.

Step 1: get the right programs. ( I will only use free programs. )

                1. Chunky: this is the program where we will make the render. You
                    can download it here: http://chunky.llbit.se/

                2. Gimp: this is an image manipulation program. We will use it to make the fine tuning of our picture. You
                     can download it here: http://www.gimp.org/ ( as an alternative you can use photoshop for this, but I
                     will only show with gimp )

Step 2: information you require to start:

                 1. How much RAM (internal memory ) do you have ? You need to know that because chunky wants to know
                     how much of it can be used to render the picture. ( if you don’t know how to find out how much ram your
                     pc has, click this here
                 2. Find out the water level of your minecraft world.

Step 3: open chunky

                 1. you should now see this.


                 2. Make sure the minecraft directory is correct,

                 3. choose your memory limit. Important: use only a maximum of 75 % of your computer’s ram. If you ignore
                     this, chunky or your pc may crash. [ if you have 4gb ram use a memory-limit of 3000, if you have 16gb
                      use 12000. my computer has 32 gb ram. So I can use the maximum of the programe. ( the more ram
                      you have the faster the render works ) ]

Step 4: load any resource pack


                   1. to load a resourcepack go to options and click on load resourcepack. Now you can choose
                       the resourcepack  you want to have from your resourcepack folder.

Step 5: select world

                 1. just click on the ‘select world’ button and choose the world you want.


Step 6: select the region

                 1. zoom out so that you can see the whole world [mouse scroll button]

                 2. now you can make a red box by pressing L-shift and dragging
.                    while pressing left click. Every red marked chunk is a region you will later see on the render.
                     Every de-selected chunk will be air in your render. Because of this I would recommend to
                     select the whole world.


                   3. Important if you have a computer with only 4 GB RAM- you will have problems if you select a
                       bigger region then 1500 x 1500 blocks. With more then 20 gb ram you can render pictures
                       without problems up to world sizes of  4k to 5k ( maybe even bigger I never tried that )

                    4. when you have selected all chunks you want, make a right click in the selected area. in the small
                         window with pop up click on “new 3D scene ...“

                      5. at the bottom of this window you can see the progress of the chunks loading. Wait until a
                           new window pops up. ( if the loading freeze for more then 1 min your selected area was to
                           big for your computer. ( if this happens go back to step 6.2 )

Step 7: find a good camera position for your render

                      1. go to the > tab general settings and set canvas size to 960x540

                      2. click in the render preview window and fly out with mouse and WASD, until you found a good
                          position. Its good  if you have some pictures where you can see the whole islands and some
                          pictures where you can see the details of a island. The first picture is for a overview picture.
                          In the second picture you see a position for a more detailed view.

                       3. I will now go on with the second type of perspective.



Step 8: water settings ( if you render a terrain without water or a building skip this step

                      1. go to the tab “water” and enable the water world setting. Set the water height to the same water
                          level of your Minecraft world. And press apply after that. ( depending on the size of your world and
                          the quality of your PC, chunky may freeze for up to 40 min. it is still working in the background, so
                          just wait and keep calm until its done. )

                       2. ( optional ) enable “still water” if you want that the water reflect very well. If you don't want this,
                            disable it 


Step 9: edit lighting

                    1. open the tab “lighting” and press “start” in the bottom of the window.
                         Now you can edit the direction where the sun is located with the “sun azimuth” adjuster,
                         and the height of the sun with the “sun altitude” adjuster

                     2. I would also recommend to make the intensity a bit higher
                          ( just try around with these settings to find the perfect position and intensity of the sun )

                     3. press the reset button


Step 10: add a sky

                     1. search for a free picture of a sky with a high resolution and download it . a good website for
                         that is :   http://www.texturex.com/Sky-Textures/

                      2. go to the tab “sky”

                      3. select Sky Mode : skymap ( panoramic )

                      4. now click on load skymap. And select the picture you downloaded at 10.1

                      5. now you need to rotate your sky so that it fits to the lighting you made before. ( not every sky
                          fits to every light situation. So you may need to flip your sky picture or download some
                          more pictures.

                      6. Disable all other options below


Step 11: set final resolution.

                     1. Go back to general settings tab

                     2. make the canvas size to 1920x 1080 ( if you have a bad computer you may skip this step
                          to save some time )

                     3. and as last thing press start and wait until its finished.

                     4. When its finished press ‘save current frame’ and save it to a place where you will find it later.


Step 12: fine tuning.

                  1. Open the picture in gimp.

                  2. Now click on “colours” in the top bar. And then click on “Brightness and Contrast”. The
                       pictures will look nicer if  you edit the contrast to a higher value. You will see if it is too much . If
                       your picture is too dark also edit the brightness. If you are satisfied click on ‘OK’



                       3. go again to colors and now click on Hue-Saturation. Here you should make saturation to a
                            higher value. ( But do not overdo it ). if you want you can also edit the hue. Sometimes this
                            looks good but most of the time it get a very unrealistic feeling. And as last you check again
                            if the brightness still is optimal, if not edit the lighting.


                     4. ( optional ) if the sun is in your picture or would be if you move around like 10 % you can add a
                          lens flair. To do that click on filters in your top bar. Then click on light and shadow. Now select
                          “lens Flair”. In the window you need to drag the hair cross to the place where your sun is. Or the
                           nearest point to the sun in your picture.


This is my final picture :


I hope you liked my tutorial and have made a very nice render. If you think some point is not well explained, please write a comment or a personal message. And I will try to fix the as fast as possible.

Would be cool if you make a link to your pictures in the comments

Comments : 56

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1 - 50 of 56

Anyone else having trouble just loading a resource pack? It seems like a stupid problem to have :p... but I try and load my pack, I can't load just the resource folder, it keeps opening the folders.  Anything in my resource pack I try and load I get an error.  Like I said, stupid problem but lagit one :p
idk if i can help you with this problem. but i can try it. add me in skype and we will se if we can fix that problem for you ( skype name : jannekloeffler )
That is very nice of you, thank you!   But I was able to figure it out.  If anyone else customizes their texture packs and is having the same problem, all you have to do is compress your pack as a zip and then load the zip.
  • jannekloeffler
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Terraformer
  • April 26, 2015, 10:10 am
ok good 
iam happy that you found a solution
  • CraftyFoxe
  • Site Moderator
  • Level 73
  • Legendary Fox
  • April 19, 2015, 7:29 am
Very nice
  • Raging Lewi
  • Level 20
  • Expert Toast
  • April 18, 2015, 7:25 pm
very helpful!
What should I do if my build is on a server and I dont have access to the world?
  • jannekloeffler
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Terraformer
  • April 17, 2015, 11:32 pm
you can ask the server owner if he gives you the world becouse you want to make a render for it. or if it is a plot you can ask to get a shematic of that. if you dont get anything of that you need to make screenshots
  • Scott
  • Level 38
  • Artisan Droid
  • April 10, 2015, 11:35 am
Thanks soooooooooooo much!
  • jannekloeffler
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Terraformer
  • April 10, 2015, 11:37 am
  • Brydayy
  • Level 20
  • Expert Geek
  • April 8, 2015, 9:57 pm
  • jannekloeffler
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Terraformer
  • April 10, 2015, 11:37 am
  • Capt_JOnes
  • Level 66
  • High Grandmaster Batman
  • April 7, 2015, 10:38 am
Wow this is great. Thanks for sharing the information :)
  • jannekloeffler
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Terraformer
  • April 10, 2015, 11:37 am
no problem
  • drnicholasb
  • Level 8
  • Apprentice Modder
  • April 7, 2015, 7:07 am
This is awesome I will use this for my builds :D
nice :)
I find that Blender works better...plus its free cx but I'll give this a try and compare the results c:
Why would you use Blender for Minecraft? This is what you should use blender for
Because Blender is a good program for beginner animations, and being a self-taught beginner, it fits me well. I also like it due to the implementation of Python scripts, as I am learning Python in school, it helps that I could maybe code a good script for it. I hope that I could learn Blender in school but animation is not a GCSE course that I could have chosen, unfortunately.
  • B_E_N_N_Y
  • Level 5
  • Apprentice Engineer
  • April 7, 2015, 5:52 pm
Blender may have better end results, but Chunky is sure as heck easier to use. I mean, Chunky is made for minecraft, while Blender can be used for other purposes also. Plus, I find camera positioning a lot easier when you are in first person and can see how it's going to turn out all the time, then when you have to constantly be switching between the preview and setting it up.
This is where you are wrong. Blender once learned is very easy to use. You can move around in first person when; put a camera in, press the number "0" on the number pad, click "Shift" and "F"; you can then move around using "W", "A", "S", "D", "E" and "Q". I'm not saying anything bad about Chunky, I'm just putting my oppinion out by saying I prefer Blender.
  • B_E_N_N_Y
  • Level 5
  • Apprentice Engineer
  • April 8, 2015, 6:06 pm
Okay thanks!
You're welcome, I'm glad I could help c:
blender is good for smaller structures and skin renders. but i prevere chunky when i render big worlds between 3000 x3000 and 5000x 5000
Oh yea, that does get quite big...but you can't make fire like this :c and when you use cycles render, you can get a much better result...granted it takes longer but its worth it c:
  • Masq
  • Forum Moderator
  • Level 35
  • Artisan Dolphin
  • April 6, 2015, 1:37 pm
A brilliantly informative, thorough and all round helpful tutorial. Well done :D
  • B_E_N_N_Y
  • Level 5
  • Apprentice Engineer
  • April 6, 2015, 6:10 am
I think I'll try this out! But also, what if I want to make a render where it's midnight?
that wont look good with chunky but  you can do that make skylight intensety to 0 and make light intensety 0 if you have no other light sources you will have a completly black screen. so make shure you hove some other light sources.
  • B_E_N_N_Y
  • Level 5
  • Apprentice Engineer
  • April 7, 2015, 4:35 pm
Ok thanks! I think I'll do rendering more often for projects.
  • Tlatoani
  • Level 24
  • Expert Architect
  • April 6, 2015, 4:31 am
Though this is not a project at all, its going to my favs, diamond of course
yeah its not a projekt becouse of that its called a blog XD
  • ParkVador
  • Level 46
  • Master Mountaineer
  • April 6, 2015, 12:10 am
Very good tutorial
  • eagoy
  • Level 48
  • Master Lava Rider
  • April 5, 2015, 11:35 pm
The GIMP part is especially helpfull for improving my renders.

And damm a 40min freeze, you sure render damm large worlds.

By the way, do you have any good suggestions for interior renders besides haveing patience for high spp in chunky?
sorry man but i not making renders of interior often. mosttime its nicer to make screenshots with nice shader. and it will be a lot faster
  • eagoy
  • Level 48
  • Master Lava Rider
  • April 6, 2015, 2:41 am
Yeah, but I don't use shaders.

Besides with chunky you have more camera control options for panoramic or fisheye camera. So you can view more stuff in one picture.
  • Zitzabis
  • Site Moderator
  • Level 70
  • Legendary Gent
  • April 5, 2015, 11:22 pm
To be honest the lighting is a bit too harsh in the render. But good basic how-to steps.
thanks for your comment. but i disagree with your opinion on the light. i think its just about what you as person like
  • leefnut
  • Level 43
  • Master Pixel Painter
  • April 5, 2015, 4:46 pm
heya, adding the resource pack does it need to be a zip file? how do you add the folder? im on a mac and doesnt seem to highlight...
  • VenomViper
  • Level 24
  • Expert Dragon
  • April 5, 2015, 8:34 pm
Yes, right click on the pack and Compress it. Then it will be selected.
I must warn you, adding a resource pack will slow down your final render like crazy.
  • VenomViper
  • Level 24
  • Expert Dragon
  • April 5, 2015, 8:34 pm
I myself play minecraft and stuff on a mac.
  • leefnut
  • Level 43
  • Master Pixel Painter
  • April 6, 2015, 4:29 am
Thanks Venom!
  • VenomViper
  • Level 24
  • Expert Dragon
  • April 6, 2015, 5:11 am
No problem.
  • 10Andrew
  • Level 40
  • Master Nether Knight
  • April 5, 2015, 4:22 pm
That looks great! I love using chunky, although my laptops cooler probably thinks I'm tourturing it...
  • Ivain
  • Level 52
  • Grandmaster Terraformer
  • April 5, 2015, 12:01 pm
thanks, needed the skymap website!
yeah no problem :)
Nice job dude!
thanks man
  • ColinJay
  • Level 48
  • Master Pegasus
  • April 5, 2015, 9:38 am
It reminds me a lot of lynchyinc's tutorial he did a while ago, but still pretty great and easy to follow nonetheless.
can you send me a link to that tutorial i would like to look at it
  • ColinJay
  • Level 48
  • Master Pegasus
  • April 5, 2015, 9:50 am
Ehh, it's not really whtat I remembered. I thought it was a render tutorial but it's just a GIMP tutorial. lol 

  • VenomViper
  • Level 24
  • Expert Dragon
  • April 5, 2015, 10:09 am
lol, I remember it as a render tutorial too xD
  • OakKodama
  • Level 43
  • Master Dragonborn
  • April 5, 2015, 9:31 am
Nice tutorial, very interesting.

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