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Praise Builds!

All hail HeavensGift’s trio of brilliant builds!

Take a deep breath before staring at HeavensGift’s Minecraft builds. Though he doesn’t exclusively work with oceanic vistas, a couple of the pieces here are of a nautical nature, and they just might entice you to plunge deeper into his work. Then again, Minecraft’s oceans are full of zombies these days, so let’s dip our toes with caution.

HeavensGift, also known as Ishmael, is a Belgian art student who’s used Minecraft as an art tool for several years, after they spotted the work of ace builder Dr_bond and were blown away by it (as were we). With that one glance he was hooked, and has since then spent his time not only building, but learning and sharing his work among Minecraft’s community. With Midnight Thoughts, for example, he’s channelling a few moments of his life into a build. As abstract as it is, each piece has a meaning that can be read as a story.

“The idea came to me when I was lying down one night and thinking of my favorite things in life,” Ishmael tells me. “The first thing I thought about was times when my mother would read fantasy stories to me before I went to bed. I combined this fantasy element with one of my favorite animals, the jellyfish. I decided to go with a burning candle as a symbol for burning passion. Out of the flames comes my creativity in the shape of a big jellyfish in my favorite colors i.e. purple with yellow golden highlights.”

The result comes together beautifully. Particularly the trailing tendrils, crafted out of a single colour to keep things feeling light, capturing the sense of movement that’s just exploded into life.  

Midnight Thoughts isn’t Ishmael’s only great build. There’s also The Pumpkin King, a piece built for a Halloween competition last year, that needed a couple of very specific skills to get it just right. The twisted, gnarled vines that make up the King’s body could easily have become amorphous blobs under the cursor of a lesser builder, but they’re perfectly clear here while still looking wild and organic.

“Building in Minecraft relies a lot on knowledge of plugin commands, like World Edit and VoxelSniper,” Ishmael says, explaining his attitude to how he approaches building in our little crafting game. “Mastering these plugins in combination with having a large database of designs you can recall that you have made in the past is very helpful. The hardest part of making it look organic is to smooth the roots so they don't look blocky.” You’re trying to make Minecraft look less blocky? Best of luck!

(Psst! Not familiar with plugins? Try this handy guide).

Easily my favourite part of this build is that the pumpkins glow, but the effect requires complex post-creation rendering to be done. “I take colour and composition into consideration when I'm building my organics,” Ishmael tells me. “If a render or gif is made by someone good at what they do it will always be better. Having your builds rendered is for presentation and if done well it will always enhance the work.” I think we can all agree that render artist Joebricksy knocked it out of the park!

Let’s return to Minecraft’s oceans now, because Ishmael’s fascination for life under the sea can also be seen in his build Facing Reality, a piece that showcases his talent for capturing a moment. The gorgeous organic work surrounding the queen of the sea really captures the frenzy of being surrounded by a shoal of fish (trust me, I speak from experience here - being surrounded by a shoal of fish is something that happens to me all the time). Though, in this case, they’re a precursor to a grim fate for the queen, according to Ishmael.  

“I designed her to be royal and sitting proudly on her throne while touching the tip of the hook that will be her death in the end. To accentuate her royalty, I placed a chest with gold and jewelry.” Well, er, at least she’ll go out in style?

Crafting organic builds is such a passion that Ishmael hopes to one day host a masterclass on it for Buildcon, an online event for Minecraft creators. If he does achieve that goal, I’ll definitely sign up for that class to learn more about his breathtaking builds.  I’ll be the one at the back yelling “TELL US HOW YOU MADE THE PUMPKINS GLOW!!!” What’s that? I’m expelled? That’s fair.

Renders by joebricksy

Escrito por
Craig Pearson

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