This is mostly notes for myself to remind myself of the complex steps. PLEASE WATCH REGMAE’S VIDEO! Minecraft 360° GIF Render Tutorial | Blender 2.8 + Photoshop – YouTube
My Chunky render tutorial: CHUNKY tutorial – start to end text-based introduction to rendering – Premium Minecraft Blog
My Replay Mod tutorial: REPLAY MOD – set up & usage (text-based timelapse tutorial) – Premium Minecraft Blog
Mineways export step
- File -> Open world -> Find your world… -> level.dat
- Set Max height to 255 and Lower to 0
- If you need a texture pack, you need the full (not minimal) version of Mineways. See instruction at File -> Download terrain files Mineways: using ChannelMixer and TileMaker – YouTube
- Drag to select build. File -> Export for rendering. Split materials into subtypes & set 100mm blocks.
Texture pack step
THIS DID NOT WORK FOR ME, BLENDER WOULDN’T LOAD MATERIALS IN THE USDA FILE!
- Mineways -> TileMaker -> Make a folder and extract pack files there.
- Open CMD and go to wherever Mineways is, e.g. “cd \users\<Your user>\downloads”
- “cd mineways” and “cd TileMaker”
- “ChannelMixer.exe -i <Your pack folder> -o <Name of a new folder>”. You might get warnings for duplicate/fancy custom model textures.
- “TileMaker.exe -d <The new folder you made> -i <Name of pack output image>.png -t 64.” You can either ignore errors or modify the textures.
- Done. In Mineways go to FIle -> Open Terrain File. If the TileMaker made multiple texture files, choose the first default PNG.
- Export for rendering -> Pick USDA file type. This will export that file alongside a materials folder.
Blender render step
IMPORTING BUILD AND ADDING LIGHT
- Delete starting cube. Then File -> Import -> Wavefront (.obj). Keep it centered and click S to scale the build down.
- To preview colors, go to top right and switch view modes (the ball icons).
- Select the floating light (or find it in the top right list of objects).
- On bottom right go to “object data properties” (lightbulb icon) and set the light to “sun”
- To position the light: Press R to rotate it. Press G + Middle click to position it along the axis.
- Use the small XYZ axis top right to rotate your entire view of everything.
- Optionally add more light objects around the whole build since the 360 render = all sides.
- You should be able to select a block and go into Materials tab on the right to edit its properties.
ADDING GRADIENT REFLECT NODES
- Add mesh plane under the build, keep it selected, and scale it up under the whole build.
- Put mouse on a bottom corner until a + appears and drag up a new Blender window. Change editor type to shader editor. In there, only keep the Material Output.
- Add: texture coordinate, mapping, gradient texture, transparent BSDF, diffuse BSDF, mix shader.
- Texture coordinate (object) into mapping (vector)
- Mapping (vector) into gradient texture (vector)
- Gradient texture (Fac) into mix shader (bar/Fac)
- Transparent BSDF (BSDF) and Diffuse BSDF (BSDF) into Mix shader (shader/shader)
- Mix shader (shader) into Output (surface)
- Change Gradient texture from linear to spherical.
- Duplicate Mix Shader and drag it between the Diffuse and Mix Shader. Connect Glossy shader (BSDF) into the new Mix Shader (shader)
- To change reflective-ness, edit Glossy shader roughness bar and the new Mix Shader Fac bar.
- Move the mesh plane up/closer to the build if desired.
- You can change Diffuse BSDF color. Optionally change the background color to blend in on the World tab on the right.
SETTING UP 360 CAMERA
- Change view mode to color-less for less lag.
- Add curve -> circle for the camera path. G + Middle click to move it up and S to scale.
- Add empty -> plain axis that the camera will stare at. Move it up and scale it to not lose it (the camera won’t be able to see it)
- Select circle, TAB to enter object edit mode. Select one of the points on the circle. Shift + S -> cursor to selected. TAB to exit, click camera, Shift + S and selection to cursor.
- Shift click camera THEN circle, right click, parent -> follow path.
- Select camera, go to object constraints tab on the right. Add a Track To constraint. Target = empty. To = -Z. Up = Y. Check Target Z.
- Press Num0 to enter/exit what the camera sees. To adjust the view:
- Move Empty element up/down, and scale the circle.
- In camera preview press N and uncheck Lock Camera To View to zoom/move camera there.
- See Camera Settings tab on the right.
- Play the bottom timeline to check the build doesn’t get cut off in the 360 spin.
SET UP RENDER SETTINGS
- Select circle, go Object Data tab on the right, under Path Animation set frames to render for the 360 video. E.g. 100-200.
- Go Output tab, set End Frame to the same number as above. Change Resolution % to like 50 if you don’t need the build to be a large size portfolio file.
- Select Output location (Blender will create the same amount of images as your set frames there). Adding \name at the end will auto-name your images. E.g. name001…name100
- Go Render properties tab and edit Sampling -> Render to change quality – how many times each single frame is “sampled”.
- At the top, Render -> Render Image to see a preview. If happy, go Render -> Render Animation.
Photoshop (or similar software) animation step
- File -> Scripts -> Load files into stack -> select all images Blender rendered and wait for import.
- At the top Window -> Timeline if none is open.
- In timeline -> Create frame animation -> top right option box -> make frames from layers.
- You can right click to change frame delay (default 0).
- You can do any post-process image editing here.
- Top right option box -> convert to video timeline. File -> save for web (export as GIF)