Crafting A Creature
Organic builder PearlescentMoon talks character building
If there’s one thing I hate in Minecraft, it’s skeletons. I’m just minding my own business and, sure enough, the horrible sound of rattling bones comes before an inevitable arrow to the elbow. The sad irony is that the one thing I love is wolves, and I’ll just never be able to tame one until I conquer the clanking corpses. Sigh.
Thankfully, the brilliant PearlescentMoon has made this Slightly Surreal Wolf to keep me company instead. It’s quite intimidating but I’m sure after a few games of fetch we’ll be best buds…?
Compared to the regular Minecraft wolf with its blocky body and tiny snoot, PearlescentMoon’s wolf seems quite ferocious. Thick, rough fur and furrowed brow, this guy seems less like an adorable companion and more like a wild animal.
How did she manage to make something with such an aura? Well, she’s had a lot of practice.
“I’ve always loved animals,” she explains, “particularly mythology.” As such, she once received a black Pegasus statue as a gift, and this became the inspiration for her first organic Minecraft build. “It was a complete fail, but it was my first taste [of] the organic world,” she says.
A year later, and PearlescentMoon was starting to get into video creation. “That started my weekly attempt at all sorts of organics,” she says, “helping me improve my skill little by little.” Now she’s something of a specialist in organics - arguably one of the most difficult disciplines in art and construction.
“A lot of people try making organics,” she says, “but then come to me later and say they ‘can’t do it’. Keep at it! Learn from others and have passion.”
Even PearlescentMoon herself struggles, but keeping at it is what makes her stand out. “It’s not common for me to settle on a finished project and be completely happy with it,” she tells me. “There’s always something I want to change and improve.”
So what does a master creature creator recommend to us skeleton-fearing amateurs? Well, she says the first thing you need to get down is anatomy.
“The most important part about making organics is understanding the structure and bones of what you’re creating,” she says. “If you’re new to organics, the first step would be to research what you intend to make so you get a good idea of what it looks like in 3D. After that, it’s like sculpting; start with a blob in Minecraft, and add to it.
“My building strategy is to essentially to rough-out the body shape, then add the limbs, head and tail one by one. Get that down and the colouring just works once a proper gradient and palette is defined.”
She continues: “When making organics, exploring with movement and positioning can really make the difference in the aesthetic of the overall build.”
This wolf took PearlescentMoon approximately nine hours to make over three days. “He has a relatively simple structure compared to something more fantasy-like, so build time wasn’t extensive,” she explains. For her more ambitious builds, like ‘Worthless’, it can take more than 20 hours. Yikes!
Sounds like you really do need a lot of persistence - something I definitely don’t have, especially when it comes to taming canine companions. Thankfully, I know PearlescentMoon has me covered. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to play tug-of-war with my new best friend!
Header image render by Eonli/Nico
- Emily Richardson