Pearlescent Moon’s brilliant bee build!
There are plenty of people out there who are afraid of bees, and to those people we sincerely say “we’re really sorry about the colossal bees you’re about to see in this build.” (oh, and sorry about adding them to Minecraft earlier this week).
Everyone knows that bees are pretty dang cute lil’ pollinators (and a vital part of our ecosystem), but I can’t deny that if anything were as TRULY MASSIVE as PearlescentMoon’s Queen Bee build, that would be grounds for legitimate fear. I mean, I love puppies as much as any other person, but if that puppy is multiple stories tall and levitating in mid-air? I’m gonna freak out.
So what motivated Pearl to stare down a giant bee and conquer a totally reasonable fear or massive bugs? A java snapshot, of course!
“I made my bee-hybrid after dabbling about in one of the java snapshots.” Pearl explains. “It got me inspired to make my own organic build, as I hadn't really considered making a bee (or any insect for that matter) before. I've made a firefly in the past, but other than that, I never really gave insects much thought.” That all changed when Pearl encountered the Minecraft bee. “I now have a completely new category of organics to play around with when I build. It’s really refreshing.”
Before building the biggest bee ever seen (on Minecraft.net, at least), Pearl was into crafting more fantastical creatures.
“I usually draw inspiration from fantasy things. mages and stags, Spyro the Dragon, the Wyvern Traes from Riders of Icarus and my Wolf build. Though my typical organic-type usually stems from humanoids, four-legged friends, fish, and more. For some reason, I didn't think about insects before now.”
That’s fair. Have you seen some insects? Flies, worms (probably not insects strictly taxonomically speaking)... spiders. *shudders*
“Actually I have a certain arachnid concept that I would love to make for Halloween someday. The bee has really enlightened my view of making insect-like creatures, and I think it could be a lot of fun!”
A giant arachnid, Minecraft made or otherwise, sounds as terrifying as having a basket of bees poured over your head.
“I do know arachnophobia is quite common,” Pearl acknowledges. “I don't want to trigger that at all, but I really do want to build one! My own spider-like creature will have some unique features though, something that sets it apart from the usual corner-dwelling friend.”
To make this bee buzz to life, Pearl did an extensive amount of research. She painstakingly poured over reference after reference to make the bee look as true to life as possible with some notable embellishments.
“I grabbed a regular bee image, copied the colours within photoshop, and drew features that are typically seen on a dragon. The bee was quite centered around fantasy at the beginning, but of course things change as you realise something might not quite work out. I believe I went through 4 or 5 different sets of wings before I eventually asked the community for advice. I presented them with all the different wing iterations and they voted on their preferred design.”
I’ve already said I’m not a fan of bugs of any kind, but even I’ll admit a dragon bee sounds more rad than scary. The dragon-like wings are a community favorite according to Pearl, but her own favorite feature is something you might not expect.
“My favourite part of the build would probably have to be the fluff and texturing I used. I love adding small details to things, it gives it so much more character. I feel like if I left that stuff out, the build would feel a bit flat and steer too much into 'wasp' territory.”
Pearl’s extremely meticulous about her details. It gives her creations a more life-like feel to them evoking the kind of visceral reaction you would experience if seeing a real bee up close. That realness, that feeling, is why Pearl’s an expert organic builder.
“Organics allow me to build something that feels more alive and breathing. You can create a large, fire-breathing dragon and have it stand tall amongst a town; or even some sort of wacky alien creature that has a head shaped like an octopus and the body of a gorilla. Organics to me are like sketching out my own creatures and being able to make them 3D. There is no overall 'style' of organics that you need to follow; you just build it however it suits you. I suppose it's that sense of freedom I like when I build them!”
Renders by barbarian, immanull, and jossieboy