Plants make everything better. /U/TGxInTel on Reddit definitely feels that way as well, “Building trees and incorporating nature into builds is really fun quite fun.”
In The Beginning:
Is this a familiar sight to you? Does your base lack the lush green of trees? Before I even started, I realized that I would have to learn how to make my own trees. Even though vanilla trees have always served me well, they lacked something and were too small in comparison to the storage building.
Assembling the chests for war…
This project was the first time I had ever attempted to do anything more than place a few bushes beside a building. So I gathered the materials I thought would be necessary for the fight to restore nature to my city. I forgot to bring podzol though…
Custom trees=lots of leaves…
In a rare moment of foresight, I gathered an excessive amount of leaves. However, this chest was barely enough to do ten of the custom trees. I learned that even though vanilla Minecraft trees rarely have more than a stack of leaves, many of the custom trees I did had over four stacks of leaves.
Having gathered some provisions, I started polishing my idea of a theme for the area. Even though Minecraft is not realistic, I thought that basing my project on the flora and fauna of a real area would help me create something nice to look at. So I decided that I would make this area look somewhat like a small community on a mountain lake, with trees resembling aspens, pines, and spruces. (I’m no ecologist though :P)
The first trees – Aspens
Now, this project was the first time that I ever tried to do custom trees. But I found that the learning curve for tree-making was not as steep as I had predicted, and after a couple of quite miserable attempts, I managed to create three trees that loosely resembled the aspen. Obviously they are quite out of proportion but I thought they looked nice. After building the three trees, I removed some of the weeds and torches around the building in order to get a cleaner canvas for some more landscaping.
This is how I decided to put down the lighting back in the area. There is a block of green stained glass above the jack-o-lantern. Even though a leaf block would have been cheaper than the green glass, I found that the green glass made the light source less noticeable than the leaves did. I don’t recall where I have seen this before, because I am sure that I have seen this lighting used somewhere else.
Little spruce tree and podzol
Here’s a closer look at the small custom spruce tree which is loosely based of a blue spruce. It has a few branches as opposed to either the vanilla spruce or my custom aspens, and is about 10m tall. I found this spruce tree to be much more difficult to make than the aspens, and my first few attempts were either too bulky or too barren for my tastes. Also, I decided to add a bit of podzol below the spruce and below all of the hedges, because I thought that whatever grass would realistically be there would not be as green as the vanilla grass.
Here’s a picture of the front facade after all the progress. I decided to wait on doing the lake’s shore until I updated to 1.8/1.8 snapshot because I had something a little special in mind. Random dirt pillar count: 2
Front facade at night
A night shot of the front. All of the lighting visible in front of the building is either from glowstone in the building itself or the green glass/jack-o-lantern lighting features. The path is entirely safe from mobs though the lakeside is not, at least not yet. Random dirt pillar count: 2.5 (horizontal dirt beams are only worth half of a vertical pillar)
Queen of the forest
Well isn’t she.. Erm.. never mind. This was the only time I used ringed dirt scaffolding to build a tree because I was quite afraid that I was going to die taking fall damage from pillaring. Luckily, that never actually happened. Random dirt pillar count: 17.36 (No idea, really. I should stop with this silly counter)
Queen of the forest (cont.)
Here’s another picture of the gigantic pine after some polishing up. There’s eight stacks of leaves in that monster. Of course, she did look slightly out of proportion with only the aspens next to her, but I was going to add a few more trees anyways. Tree count: 29 (A much more useful sign of progress, don’t you think?)
And here’s the same scene after the changes. I realize now that the foliage in the rear of the building is way to extreme, and I will likely burn down some of the forest here to maintain a more consistent look. The largest trees especially need to be changed. But, I’m really happy with how the changed lakeshore looks. Also, as with any experiment, simply doing the procedure for the sake of doing the procedure isn’t worth the effort. The knowledge gained from the experience is far more important. And I have to say I have learned quite a bit from this particular trial… Though my trees are still quite crude, I know enough to incorporate in to my builds… And I learned the limits of what looks good and what looks bad… So much to learn :D
The north side…
Well, this portion of the building doesn’t look so bad after all. But as always, there’s room for improvement :D
I really do like how the place looks at night. Just have to be careful with the mobs. There ares still a couple places that are not bright enough yet…
Here’s a photo from my previous album at the end of the construction phase of the build. The land looks quite barren indeed!
Lots of change since the beginning of the project. The building looks much more snug in its dense forest surroundings. I’m glad that I could restore a bit of mother nature to my island again. 43 trees and counting!
TGxInTel says he spent over 20 hours building this and “the process of landscaping is quite long, I have to say that the result is totally worth it!” And we think it’s worth it too! These are just a few pics, check out the full Imgur album for all the pics. Share & Comment if you need some greenery!
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