I came across a 7 year old thread on Reddit that still holds up. Two commenters very clearly and concisely explains how to get and use the default textures for ANY Minecraft version. Perfect for making your own custom texture pack. Source: Where can I find the default texture pack to edit? : Minecraft (reddit.com)
Default Textures /u/thiscommentisboring
- Go to your .minecraft folder and open the Versions file
- Select the most recent version and open the .jar in any kind of file explorer. Do not open it as a Java thing, because it won’t do anything.
- Copy the folder named “assets” elsewhere.
- Create a folder in the .minecraft\resourcepacks directory with any name you choose.
- Place “assets” into this file. Copy the two files “pack.png” and “pack.mcmeta” from any other existing resource pack and put them in .minecraft\resourcepacks\MyPackName
- Relaunch Minecraft and make sure your pack is there. It will have the same thumbnail image and description as whatever pack you copied the two other files from.
- If it’s there, just jump in and edit whatever you please.
Useful Further Info /u/insomniac_lemon
Something you should always mention is that the way Minecraft handles resources, you only need to include files in your pack that you edit… and that’s all you should include.
The only mandatory stuff here is the pack.mcmeta and assets folder. If you want to, you could have packs that only edit the dirt texture, a mod texture, sounds etc.
If you only include assets that differ from default, it opens up new possibilities:
- Pack stacking. If you only have redone block/item textures, people using your pack can put another pack they like under yours in the pack stack, so anything you haven’t done is filled in by it. If you include vanilla assets this won’t work because they will stay as vanilla.
- Compatibility. If you include any files, specifically GUIs, there is a chance their usage will change in the future rendering your version broken… while if you don’t include them, they use the default one which will always be proper.
- Size. The less files you have, the smaller the pack will be and the more quickly/likely people are to download your pack. If you include 100MBs of junk you don’t need to include, many people likely won’t want to use your pack. Especially in 16x packs, including things like sounds and lang/font files can take up much more space than all of the textures you’ve included. A 16x with no special features should most likely be under 2MB.
- Ease of work. If you don’t include files you haven’t done, it’s clear that you haven’t done them. For instance, if you don’t include an items folder it’s obvious you haven’t done them and you don’t even need to look through files (or even open a folder) to find that out… in other words, it’s better than needing to compare your file to the default file to see if you actually edited it.