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 [WIP] A Guide to Architecture

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XanderKingoLight
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PostSubject: [WIP] A Guide to Architecture   Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:35 am

XanderKingoLight's official tutorial to Architecture.

Now with any tutorial that you might have seen just about anywhere, this is my opinion so I do not expect everyone to agree with my points. I'm not the master of Architecture, these are just my tips. If you have something to add or if you want to modify something, ask me about it!

Alright, time to start the topic of Architecture in Minecraft.

Chapter 1: Shape

Whenever you create a building you don't want to use a shape that's too predictable. That's hard to do since everything in Minecraft is built using a three dimensional grid so most if not all of the time you will see square or rectangular shapes in designs. This is exceptionally easy to do and is sometimes aesthetically pleasing to the eye, however it can be difficult to pull off due to the sheer amount of those types of builds. Even I cannot say that I completely stopped building designs that are square or rectangular. Instead of doing something that is probably done over and over again, challenge yourself to create a design that is a shape you've never seen before! More complex shapes in essence are created from those very blocks or pixels! Try a triangle, a circle, even an octagon! The more complex the shape is, the harder it is to create aesthetically pleasing work, however it allows the creator to be original and surprising to any onlookers. Whenever I look at work I expect to see either a square, cube, or a rectangle! Surprise me and even yourself with the possibilities! If you cannot think of a shape that you can do with ease, try taking off a corner of a square or a rectangle, add something new to it to make it a composite shape. With the right tweaks, you can create something absolutely marvelous.

Chapter 2: Design

Onto the next topic of architecture, design. If you have an idea in mind, it's finally time to start making it, but before you place that first block down on the ground, think! Think about how the design is going to be in your head, whenever I think of something I always strive for realism, ask good questions! Is it going to work out in real life? Would that support that much weight? Is there enough lighting? Enough windows? Enough doors? Enough headroom? Where are the washrooms? Where do people eat? All of these questions are good and they allow you to re-evaluate your design plans before you realize, "Oh how do I put this here now!?" Remember, criticism is important whenever you consider an idea, ask around, think about it for a while, don't just jump in without any forethought! I personally don't like thinking an idea over too well because I occasionally over-think things and I just ruin an idea but that's my personal preference.

Once you've decided on a design, you have to then decide on the proper dimensions for your build. Deciding on dimensions is definitely an important issue whenever I make something in Minecraft. You don't want a strange dimension, think about how you're going to add things and then modify your dimensions based on that. It wouldn't look too nice if you have a gigantic empty space in your build! I'll cover floor plans in the next chapter!

In my personal opinion a building is excellent if it has the right things in the right amount. Most people tend to put things wherever they feel like it and it usually makes it sloppy and disorganized. Limit your building, don't try to make it difficult to move around, if you have to twist and turn inside a building like a maze, you probably put way too many things in it. If you're going to add things into a location, think about the functionality. If you think it doesn't look right or feel right, people will probably get that feeling too when they look at it. Change your design before it turns into a problem!

I forgot to mention this but don't forget to evaluate location. Location is extremely important to a design as it can decide the mood, the feel, and everything. Find a good location, don't just build it on a flat plane (although I have been known to do that on occasions) and work around that. Don't try to pave something to one level, try to keep the surroundings the way they are and shape your designs based on that. If you can create the perfect mix your build will look absolutely amazing. Remember, location is absolutely critical! I usually get ideas when I wander throughout the world of Minecraft and say, "Hey! That mountain looks cool... I wonder what it would look like with a structure on top with water pouring down?!" So if you're reading this and you're looking for ideas, try and look around a Minecraft world and search for amazing generated terrain! Your next build could be right there, waiting!

Chapter 3: Building

If you're building something, don't limit yourself to one material! Anyone can make a house out of wood, but not everyone can add stone into it and make it look better. Think of materials that could match with the feel of the building or maybe make it a completely new feeling to give it that nice pleasant feeling of difference. Now is the time to decide the mood of your work, if you want your building to have a nice pleasant mood then use colors that compliment that feeling, don't use colors that do the exact opposite or else you'll confuse people. Whenever I build something I always add a pillar of wood somewhere and surround that with stone or another material to give it that nice contrast. It turns into a very aesthetically pleasing build. If it doesn't look right, this is the time to change it! I usually destroy my work many, many times before I finally decide on a design! Have fun and experiment with your palette, don't build something once and decide on it forever! Try to make it better, and improve based on that! Whenever someone builds something they usually make the walls flat, and it looks plain and boring. In order to add some depth and dimension I would suggest adding more designs to make the wall stand out, walls aren't flat, they have protrusions that make them stand out!

If you're going to build something that has floors, I urge that you do not make the space between floor and ceiling to be two blocks. It's tiny, ugly, and to be completely honest, if that was a real building, I don't want to constantly smash my head into the ceiling like I'm from Mario. If you're going to make something that has floors my minimum is always four blocks, anything lower than that is just no, and anything higher than that is fine.

With floors and ceilings I typically like to create a floor design, I like to add many varieties of materials into my floors to make it stand out better. However if you make a ceiling that is the floor of the second floor you're going to find out that you can see the design on the first floor. If I'm going to create a multi-level building with a floor design I'm going to make the thickness at least two blocks, one the ceiling for the first floor, and one the floor for the second floor.

If you're finally done on the floors it's about time for you to start your floor plan for your build! Remember, add things appropriately, don't add them in places that are weird. Adding all types of rooms is critical in a building, you don't want visitors to wet their pants or starve to death! Add the right things to your build in a logical manner, if you think that one thing is too far from another then add one in! Don't be afraid to experiment until you have the perfect balance of the right things!

Once you're done with the walls and floors you would probably want to start adding windows and doors to your build. A common issue I see with builds is that people add windows on all the walls. Add windows intelligently... don't add them wherever you see a blank space, it's not going to be pretty unless you want your house to be literally Swiss cheese. When I'm building something I add windows where they fit in, not where I feel like. Adding doors in the right place is also critical, don't add a door that leads to nowhere, place them in the proper location. Sometimes it might look better if you make it a double door instead of a single door, try things out and see if it works out better!

Chapter 4: Decorating

Finally you're done with the walls, and floors of your work, your doors and windows have been placed in their appropriate locations so now you can finally start working on decorating your interiors. Whenever you are decorating something, add things in their rightful spot. Think, always think whenever you're making something whether it's in the real world or Minecraft, don't put a toilet in the middle of the kitchen for example if you're making a house. If you think that you're lacking in decoration, always think, well if I was actually in a building like this, how would I go about? You can emulate a real life building for ideas, but just ideas, do not base your entire decoration on a building because a building in real life doesn't have as much potential as it does in Minecraft.

Chapter 5: Lighting

Chapter 6: Nature

Chapter 7: Exterior

Chapter 8: Final Touches
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[WIP] A Guide to Architecture

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