Minecraft Modding For Kids For Dummies
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You can make art in many ways in Minecraft, but one of the most fun is making Pixel art. Pixel art is a great way to expand your game and make it more exciting for players who visit your world (server).

What is pixel art in Minecraft?

Pixel art is a new phenomenon that has become very popular in Minecraft. A player can create basically anything by placing enough blocks in the correct pattern. Since the world of Minecraft is made of only cubes, anything you create has an old arcade game look to it. Minecraft players from all over the world have taken the challenge of creating both two-dimensional and three-dimensional structures of their favorite characters or superheroes in the video game.

It might be tedious to create a huge statue one block at a time, but you have the advantage of programming drones in LearnToMod, which really speeds up the process…or you can simply use Creative Mode. If you decide to use programming drones, you will need to know how to trace the drone very accurately, so if you haven’t already, make sure you earn all of the drone badges in LearnToMod.

Making Pixel Art In-Game

Anyone can take part in making pixel art, even if you are a beginner programmer or have little artistic experience. Creating Minecraft pixel art requires creativity, imagination, and most importantly – careful planning. Since you are working with three-dimensional blocks in an open world, the possibilities are endless. Learn how to make pixel art in Minecraft by following this common process below:

  1. Decide on an image to create. Browse the web for ideas or start drawing out your own creation.
  2. Plan your work of art. Understand what type of colors you will need to be and what type of Minecraft materials will be required to build out your image. Using graphing paper or computer programs like Paint (with grid lines) makes planning and scaling the size of your artwork much simpler.
  3. Obtain your resources or use Creative mode. Collect the appropriate blocks. However, most Minecraft artists will use Creative mode as you have unlimited resources, can fly, and your artwork typically can’t be harmed by enemies or world events. This makes crafting a piece of artwork much easier and faster. An alternative solution would be to use drones, as described in the next section.
  4. Start building. Place blocks in the appropriate locations to start building your artwork. Zoom out to get an overview of your creation!

Example: Making an Art Statue

To create a simple artistic statue (that somewhat resembles a Minecraft zombie), follow the steps outlined here. Start with a simple two-dimensional creation of the head, like the one below. Start this by planning out how many green blocks and black blocks you will need to recreate the face.

Pixel art for head of statue in minecraft
Simple pixel art is easy.

Once comfortable with this type of art design and build, add detail and depth like this:

minecraft art green statue
Your creation can be simple or complicated.

You now have a basic, green 3D statue in your Minecraft world. You can go even further by creating arms for the structure and changing the color of the middle blocks to add the appearance of clothing (blue shirt and purple pants). The possibilities are endless!

Drafting your pixel art

The position of every block is very important in this type of project, which is why it’s such a great idea to make a draft before starting to code.

Graph paper can be very helpful for making custom drafts. You can treat each square as a block in Minecraft. They can draw the image they like and then fill in the square around it to give it the shape it will take in Minecraft. Start simple, then add detail.

Graph paper for pixel art
Graph paper is a handy tool for pixel art.

Drafting on a website often goes more quickly. Editing color and deleting blocks is much easier when you do it online. Many websites are available that provide a canvas to create pixel art. Piskel is a good choice.

Piskel at work.
Piskel at work.

Making the art

Once the draft is done, you can start building directly in your Minecraft code (in Creative mode, as mentioned earlier) or use programming drones. If programming drones, it’s time to start writing the code. Choose a block as a starting point in the draft. Usually one of the bottom edges is the best starting point.

The next step is to program the Drone to place blocks where needed.

For simple two-dimensional creations, a single Drone can be programmed to place all the blocks in the right place one row at a time using a printer type pattern. The Drone would only move in horizontal or vertical lines placing a block where needed.

For large projects, it is a good idea to break up the part of your creation and use different drones to put them together. This way, a single Drone doesn’t have to be traced through hundreds of commands, and the code will be easier to debug.

Practice makes perfect

Pixel art can be simple or it can be taken into an intense level of complexity. It is important to start simple then add details in the end. As more blocks are used and the structure increases in size, the art piece will begin to lose its pixelated effect. Take a previous a project idea and make it your own!

minecraft art
Practice and your creations will quickly improve.

Finding Inspiration & Ideas

Pixel art is a great activity for practicing using drones, and it can be a fun way to decorate your Minecraft world. You can create your favorite characters in pixel art or design your own characters!

You can also find pixel art on the internet and recreate it on LearnToMod using drones. There are many websites that provide templates and ideas for pixel art creations, such as Minecraft Pixel Art Templates.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Sarah Guthals, Ph.D. is the CTO of ThoughtSTEM and has dedicated her life to coding education.

Stephen Foster, Ph.D. is the CEO of ThoughtSTEM, a company that teaches computer science to kids across America.

Lindsey Handley, Ph.D. is the COO of ThoughtSTEM and has hundreds of hours of experience as a classroom instructor for Minecraft based science and computer science classes.

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