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Creating Pixel Art in Minecraft

Minecraft is, at this point, a classic game known for its limitless possibilities to build, explore, create, and have fun. One of them is to create pixel art.

We will take a look at basically every way you can create pixel art in Minecraft. So, what are they?

  • Building pixel art from blocks (most common, and probably the easiest)
  • Map art– an excellent way to show large artworks (even not pixel art ones)
  • Banners
  • Resource Packs and Skins
  • Scoreboards
  • Armor Dyeing

In this guide, we will cover all of them!

Building Pixel Art

Building is the most straightforward and easy way to create pixel art in Minecraft. If you are playing in a single-player, all you need is a bit of land and blocks you want to build from. 

To build pixel art you’ll either need a reference image or a tutorial that explains how to build specific pixel art. You can check some of them below.

Color pallets

If you don’t want to use any external tools, you have to have a pallet of Minecraft colors. 

There is also a video with a downloadable map to help you recognize all the blocks

If you find trouble finding colors that match well, you can use this website.

Converting images into blocks

To convert an image into a block format, I recommend using online tools like Minecraft Art Editor. Once you upload your image, it will show you all the information you need.

  • An image that is converted into Minecraft blocks
  • How much blocks of a specific type you will need
  • Commands to reproduce it (You have to have required permission for it if you are playing on the server. If you are playing in single-player, your world has to have “Allow Cheats” option turned on)
  • Command block commands
  • It can also generate .mcfunction and .schematic files

Map Art

Standart map in Minecraft represents 128×128 blocks (8×8 chunks). 

Be aware that extensive use of maps, placed in item frames can cause a lot of lag for the player!

Two methods exist for creating map pixel art: flat and staircase

The flat method involves laying the pixel image across a flat surface, effectively creating a floor. The flat way is the easiest of the two methods but offers a smaller palette of only 51 colors

The staircase method gives 153 colors, but it is much more challenging to use. In the staircase approach, blocks are placed at different elevations to achieve specific color variations. A block’s color is darker if placed at a lower height than the block north of it, or brighter if located at a higher elevation than the block north.

You can find which blocks to use for all colors and more information about it here.

There is also an online toolMapartCraft, that can create maps and .schematic files from images. It can use both methods (flat and staircase) for it. It can also create them by only using carpets.

Banners

There are two ways you can create pixel art with banners. 

The first one- is by creating a whole artwork on a single banner with a loom.

The second one- is by creating multi-block pixel art from multiple banners.

Using Loom

Loom in Minecraft allows you to add different patterns and symbols to your banners.

If you are going to create banners with a loom, I recommend using this tool by Minecraft.tools.

It can be used for both survival and creative players (server staff) as it gives both crafting with a loom sequence that you can quickly reproduce on your own, and command, that you can execute for an instant result.

To create a shield with a banner pattern, combine them in crafting table.

You can check out more amazing banner designs here.

Multi-block banner art

It is done by placing multiple banners side by side to form a single artwork. 

You have to create multiple banners using a loom that create a single image when placed accordingly. 

There is also a more straightforward and more sophisticated type of multi-block banner art. In the first one, you use each banner as a 2×2 pixel canvas. If you are going for more complex pixel art, you can use any pattern that Minecraft provides.

Resource packs and Skins

One of the most obvious ways to do pixel-art in Minecraft is an actual pixel art. 

Resource packs

You can find tons of resource packs on the internet to use as a starting point for creating your own, or you can start from the original one.

While editing resource packs it is much more convenient to use an offline editor like Photoshop or Aseprite.

To get it, go to .minecraft -> versions, open version of minecraft you want to get resource pack from with programs like WinRAR or 7zip, go to assets -> minecraft -> textures, and here you go! All the textures in Minecraft are now in the hands of yours. To create a usable resource pack, you will have to extract the whole assets folder and put it into a .zip archive alongside a pack.png icon and pack.mcmeta file. A more in-depth explanation on how to do that, you can find here.

woodpecker resource pack minecraft pumpkins in woods

Skins

You are allowed to upload your skin to use in Minecraft, that you can either download or create one yourself. To create a skin, you can either use specialized software like Skindex skin editor or Nova skin Editor or download a skin base (Steve or Alex) or any other skin and edit it in software like Photoshop or Aseprite.

Scoreboards

It is a much more advanced way of doing pixel art, but it has its benefits. One of them is that it can be animated. It is supposed to be used on servers because they can run plugins that make this much more manageable. You can do this with commands and command blocks, but I strongly not recommend doing that. It is just not worth your time.

To begin with, you will need a plugin like FeatherBoard. It is a premium plugin, but if you will do an animated pixel art with scoreboards, this probably is your only right way. Other plugins can do the same, but they don’t offer that level of performance required for animations like that. The plugin creator also offers software specifically for its plugin, that is made to create animations (Link).

Your scoreboard canvas is 15 by however much your screen is going to fit pixels wide. 

If your Minecraft server is running version 1.16 and above, you can use any RGB color for your pixel art. I recommend checking out benchmark.yml (if you are using FeatherBoard) animation for reference.

Armor Dyeing

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. There is no really a point in it, but you can use armor stands and dyed leather armor to form pixel art.

Leather in Minecraft supports the full RGB spectrum, but it can only be done with commands (Link to the tool). In standard survival, you can only have 136 options by using color dyes.

One of the other downsides to it is that larger resolutions become very laggy extremely quickly.

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