How-To Geek

How to Make High Quality Renders of Your Minecraft Creations

finalchunky

Do you have a really cool Minecraft world, and want to show it off? If so, Chunky will take very high quality pictures of your Minecraft worlds, which will show off your creations better than a simple in-game screenshot.

Installation

Chunky runs on Java and is cross platform. It can be downloaded from their website, or alternatively it can be compiled from source from their Github repository. Installation is fairly straightforward on most systems, especially if you only download the Java binaries — just click and run the program.

Using Chunky

Once Chunky loads up, it will ask you to select one of your Minecraft worlds. You can change the world at any time by clicking the “Change World” button.

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You can select the chunks you want to be included in your render by clicking them. If you zoom out, you can select multiple chunks at a time. Anything not inside these chunks will not be rendered, so if you have an idea of an angle you want to take a shot of, make sure to get enough chunks behind it and in the background so that your render will not be cut off.

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Once you’ve selected enough chunks, click the “New Scene” button, which will load all the chunks into memory and bring up the settings panel.

Chunky has many settings to configure, the most important of which being the angle at which Chunky will take the “picture”. Click into the preview window and use the mouse, W, A, S, and D to move around, as well as R and F to move up and down. Once you’ve got the perfect angle, you can move on to configuring Chunky’s many options.

Under the “General Tab”, the only important option is the canvas size, or resolution. Smaller canvases will render faster, but look worse. Large canvases will look great but may take hours to render.

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Under the “Lighting” tab, we’ll find options for the sun, as well as artificial emitters like Glowstone or Torches. You can set the intensity of both light sources, as well as the angle of the sun and the color.

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Under “Sky & Fog”, we find options for butts and fog density. Changing the fog density to greater than 0.1 results in a very foggy scene, and any value less than 0.01 is good for basic shots. You can also set custom skyboxes from here.

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Next up is “Water”. The main option to configure here is whether or not you want still water, which will leave a prominent reflection, and the water’s visibility and opacity. You can also change the color, which is useful is you want a lighter or darker blue, or even a black or green. It’s up to you.

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The last main tab is “Camera”, which contains many powerful options. The positional and directional values don’t really matter as we can change them from the preview editor. The “Projection” drop down changes the camera “lens”. We can do the “Standard” projection, which looks like regular Minecraft; “Parallel”, an isographic view that makes your city look like something out of The Sims; “Fisheye”, a lens that distorts your image but gets a very wide shot; and “Panoramic”, which will get a 360 degree shot of your world.

The field of view can be raised and lowered to zoom the shot in and out, and the depth of field and subject distance (focus) can be tweaked, though it’s best to leave it to autofocus if you don’t know what you’re doing.

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Once you’ve got all the settings just right, click “Start” to begin the render. You can pause it or reset it at any time after this, though if you reset it all your progress will be lost.

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Keep in mind Chunky takes a while to render high quality images. At the bottom of the settings is “Target SPP”, which stands for ‘Samples Per Pixel’. The SPP is the quality of the image; with each pass over, the image becomes more and more clear. An SPP of 1,000 is the default, and looks pretty good. An SPP of over 9,000 will translate to a very high quality render. The higher the SPP, the longer it takes to render. You can save the image at any point in the render by clicking “Save Current Frame”.

Anthony Heddings is a tech writer and student at George Mason University. When he's not playing Minecraft, he's configuring his Minecraft server. He's @anthonyheddings on Twitter.

  • Published 12/31/15

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