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Landscaping Guide - Minecraft Tutorial

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OliverFrenchie avatar OliverFrenchie
Retired Moderator
Level 72 : Legendary Scribe


Welcome one and all to my first ever written tutorial. Today I'm going to be talking to you about landscaping in Minecraft. A lot of map-makers love making wide expanses of mountainous terrain intertwined with white-frothed rivers combined with fresh pines and frolicking animals. You get the idea. Without further ado, lets get on with it.


The core element to any project or any creation of any sort (even blogs) is planning. You must plan what you are going to do. In the case of landscaping, its good to get a general idea of the land that you'll be doing. Separate the area into sections and then work on each one.


Here is a simple diagram made with the Brush tool illustrating the project I want to make. I've got a semi-circular mountain range which will increase in height at certain points. I've got a singular waterfall that falls into a pool and then goes onto becoming an increasingly widening river. I've also put dense foliage along the banks of the river gradually turning into light foliage.

I've got my plan and my vague map of how I want the project so lets get onto building it.


When it comes to building your terrain, there are many tools available. Some of the most famous ones are WorldEdit and the Voxel Sniper. Both tools are incredibly powerful and can be used to an almost professional level. I always recommend another tool however for getting the general gist of the land, that tool is WorldPainter.

There are many tutorials on using WorldPainter but it is pretty simple to use.

WorldEdit is a much more simpler terraforming tool than Voxel Sniper but practically as powerful. It comes default with Single Player Commands but as a server mod, you'll need to specifically download it. Whatever the tool you use for this part, the terraforming process remains the same.

Start with a rough design of the terrain using voxels (cubes) or large spheres and as you escalate the mountain range, decrease the brush size. Once thats done, use an eroding brush to melt and shape the mountain range to your heart's content. Using geographical knowledge, most of you will know that the more eroded a mountain is, the more sharper the surface will be. Keep things like that in mind when doing the initial terraforming.

The best thing to do is to make the whole mountain structure out of stone and then use anOverlay brush to add grass (making it scarcer the higher you go up the mountain).

Once you have your mountain range done, you can move on to the second largest part of the build, the river (or whatever yours may be). Again, following geographical knowledge you'll know that wherever the water will fall, the pool will be very deep due to erosion over time, this'll add an invisible but impressive amount of detail to your build. Continue the river (shallower than the pool) trying to follow a non-linear path (usually meanders) and gradually widen the river as it goes on.

Geographical knowledge is key to a good landscape.

Over time, rivers erode the inner side of the bend (when they meander) due to centrifugal force. Try and make the inner side of the bend made of gravel or make it a bit more smooth than the outer side. Keep in mind that over time the river might also erode into the following bend (but you shouldn't need to worry about that).


Once the general shape of your terrain is there, its time to move onto the dirty details. Start off by adding your waterfall. Make sure that it emerges quite subtly from the mountain top, don't make it come from randomly placed source blocks. In theory, it should flow over the edge and then go down into the pool. A good idea then is to fill the pool with water as well as the river. WorldEdit has a /fill command that allows you to do this. You can then use the /fixwater command afterwards if there are any irregularities.

Once the water is all done and dusted its time to move onto the foliage. In theory, trees and grass should be denser and greener (you can make the area into a jungle biome using MCEdit if you want to make the colours more vivid) next to the river because of the increased water intake. Try and shape off the tree-line the further away it gets from the river by making them more scarce until eventually you enter the plains biome.


Once all of that is done, the best thing to do is to fly over your map adding little touches. These include bonemealing grass so that tall grass and flowers appear, manually adding some mobs here and there, maybe building a small hut or two. Another great thing is to add somesnow on the caps of the mountains. You should end up with a pretty darn awesome landscape by the end of this that is geographically accurate, full of detail and just flipping crazy.


That is it for this superfluously paramountly tumultuously psychotically awesome blog post showing you the ropes (Vicar of Dibley reference) of landscaping in Minecraft. I hope this has been of use to a lot of you!

If you enjoyed this guide and it has helped you then please leave a Diamond. If you want to come back to this then Favourite it and if you'd like to see more of my content then click Subscribe!

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04/16/2017 2:14 pm
Level 6 : Apprentice Skinner
Blazeslayer avatar
cool blog :D
09/30/2012 7:05 pm
Level 9 : Apprentice Miner
MinecrafterZB avatar
another great blog by OliverFrenchie)

like it)

adds diaomnd to pile)

says wicked)

adds a heat for good luck and love)

nods aproviall )

thinks the best )

peace out oliver
09/30/2012 7:03 pm
Level 9 : Apprentice Miner
MinecrafterZB avatar
cool stil the best blog poster ever well ye
09/30/2012 6:53 pm
Level 9 : Apprentice Miner
MinecrafterZB avatar
the best blog poster diamond
09/04/2012 3:59 pm
Level 18 : Journeyman Dragon
hornet5517 avatar
Gimme dat font!
08/27/2012 12:38 pm
Level 43 : Master Nerd
kenniks avatar
You're becoming one of the best bloggers I've ever seen on PMC.

Very high quality blog and well-written! Great job. :D
08/27/2012 12:41 pm
Level 72 : Legendary Scribe
OliverFrenchie avatar
That means so much :) I've just been accepted into two elite blogging groups so I'm pretty happy. Thanks :D
08/27/2012 1:47 am
Level 53 : Grandmaster Lad
NubNoobNewb avatar
didnt read anything but it sure does deserve a diamond and fav
08/27/2012 1:49 am
Level 72 : Legendary Scribe
OliverFrenchie avatar
Thanks NNNMC :)
08/27/2012 12:41 am
This reply was removed by the poster or a moderator.
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