Vokselia with Chunky

These are renderings of Vokselia, our little Minecraft world. The free Chunky path-tracing renderer was used, version 1.1.0 or earlier (mostly earlier). Visit the Vokselia website for more information about our world. All images are wallpaper-sized (circa 2012), 1920 x 1200.

To download all JPEGs in a bundle, click here. To go to the PNG directory, click here.

To download single images, click on the thumbnail to load it and then right-click to save. Click on PNG link to get the high-quality PNG version (about 10x larger to download, and personally I can't tell the difference).

One cool project is to make a calendar from Fedex (which are often on sale for as low as $13.24, plus tax, includes shipping - no I don't work for them, I just think it's a great deal). Here's one I made and photographed (reddit thread here, FWIW).

Adobe Abode
png png - Adobe Abode with high-resolution texture packs. I used the Soartex Fanver texture pack for the first one. I used Misa's texture pack for the second. I couldn't use high-res texture packs for most shots because these don't have lava or water textures (they don't need these for Minecraft itself). I purposely didn't load the hills behind the dome so that the "monorails of the future" look was enhanced. Note you can see the pagoda through the window. Pick out the various backface culling problems in this one: the torches have no backfaces, for example.

Anatomy Of A Mountain
png - Lava really is red and so gives a sameness to these sorts of scenes.

png - Often it's the fringes of these images where the fun bits are. Bits of pmin's crazy lake construction are in the upper left.

Art Park
png png png - Variants on the sky and angle of the shot, to see the effect on refraction (not much, is the answer). I made the skymap (found in this directory) for the third one, by making a video and sending it through Microsoft ICE. Note the crazy stuff in the Wild West - I had to load a lot of chunks for the red ribbon fusty built that goes off far into the north. Pro tip: to select a lot of stuff, use the Zoom slider in the View tab dialog in the main window of Chunky to zoom out to a zoom level of 1 and then do selection. Don't be like me and discover this feature just today, then regret the minutes spents scrolling/selecting/scrolling/selecting.

Big Dig At Noon
png - The beams o' light effect worked great here. Added a hint of depth of field (which is a bit tricky to dial down in Chunky - you want to set the focus nearby, then set the far distance almost to infinity). It's unfortunate that the torches don't quite attach to the blocks, and that they're tilted too much. Geez, I keep pointing out the artifacts.

Borromean Rings
png - Borromean Rings behind the Community Station. Some hi-res texture pack, I forget which one.

Bottom of Sphere
png - I love the light seeping in through the edges, the reflections off the floor, and the generally unworldly feel. A little too little contrast for the calendar (and I didn't want too many dome shots).

Cascade Hollow
png png - Done twice, once with the HerrSommer texture pack. I haven't quite figured out how to control water color and clarity.

Community Station
png - Definitely needs an air filtration system installed. I like the lava to the left giving a red glow to the far left cliff face outside.

Compass Tower
png png png - A few variants, playing with the emitter settings, etc. The second is not much different than the first, it just has the local emitters (torches, etc.) turned down. I like the last one the best, because of the glowing sun and the strange light it casts at a shallow angle, along with the HDR-like effect of the torches. Things to note: L'Effie tower's top in the distance, as well as pmin's strange excavation project. The Parthecube's lighting is particularly nice, and you can see a redstone lamp clearly inside CrazyCake's bedroom. Also note the waterfall nearby. Finally, check out the sky: the skymap I made for twilight has a rather bad seam artifact where Microsoft ICE didn't work properly. I hid this with the tower, but notice how the right half of the sky doesn't orient with the left.

png - The lighting doesn't come out that great for most interiors; lights seem to be dimmed a fair bit and if you crank them up it just washes out. Takes forever to converge to a solution, too - this is probably 4000 rays per pixel of rendering, and you can still see the noise. I pulled the plug on this one since it wasn't all that interesting lighting-wise.

CrazyCakes' Lock
png - You've got to have at least one giant redstone contraption. Note the hole on the floor down to more circuitry.

png - Pleasant reflections, L'Effie's tip again in the distance, and gotta love that one floating block.

Deep Woods
png - Not all that interesting, but it's a shot. The number one bug I wish the Chunky programmer would fix is the blue portal color.

Deep Woods Tower
png png - Note in each, if you look really carefully, you can see a little red light in the walls of the shaft down the inside of the tower. Two versions, one with the Misa or Soartex Fanver texture pack, I forget. I like the standard texture version better, as there's more contrast.

Deku Tree Inside
png - High-res texture pack, and why am I lying on the floor?

Deku Tree
png - Yup. I couldn't figure out a more dramatic shot for this one - it deserves more attention (by someone else...).

Diamond Mountain
png png - With still vs. perturbed water. I like the various reflections off the blocks themselves. Chunky supports reflections off the "pure ore" blocks and similar, but since these are pretty rare (except in the Wild West, where WorldEdit is permitted) you don't notice the effect in most images.

Dino Fossil
png - Man, I really should have made this project larger, it's not that easy to figure out those are ribs on the right.

Eric's Projects
png - Lots of little details to pick out. I don't like the non-reflective and non-transparent ice, though. This was made a bit better in a later release of Chunky.

Fire and Ice
png - One of my first renders, and one of the best. I like to use the "nearly sunset" lighting, you'll notice it in a number of shots. Note how I snuck The Guardian in, in the distance there. I tried a shot or two of The Guardian itself - not that interesting. So he's in the distance in a number of shots.

From the Dome
png - Again, the details are on the fringes. You can see the Deep Woods tower, the tower above Heaven's Teardrop, the two legs of the ancient temple (I should have moved the camera up a squidge), etc. I felt the haze was a bit too much (and something you can't turn down in Chunky - a pity!) and so didn't include this as a calendar shot. Also, shots from above like this mean loading a ton of chunks, thousands of them. If you think about it, you can see forever if you get far enough above the plane and look towards the horizon. This means you have to carefully load more and more chunks so you don't get strange cutoffs at the horizon.

Heaven's Teardrop
png - Between the lava and the redstone lamps, stuff inside certainly looks red and orange a lot. Again, this is a place that could deserve some more attention, but the overwhelming red lighting makes it tough.

Hollow Mountain
png png - I hadn't actually realized there was a hole in the roof until I started playing with the lighting. Sadly, some art thief has stolen all the paintings, again (Chunky doesn't support these). Note that with the darker version, on the right you can see where the blocks actually join (those light vertical lines) - some precision error, I guess, as the outdoor light is sneaking in.

png png png - The first one made the draft version of the calendar, but I decided the Teapot was a nicer shot. This first shot tries to sneak in everything: the teapot, the Art Park, the Dome, Sentinel Castle, etc. Note that I purposely cut off how much data I loaded, so that L'Effie, Spawn, etc. etc. etc. wouldn't show up - I liked Sentinel Castle showing up on the horizon as it does.

Ice House
png - I like the subtle reflections in the glass, the shadows from the glass frame itself, and the light from the "fireplace". This was rendered with a newer version of Chunky, which had better ice rendering.

Inside the Dome
png - I happened to make this image on a whim after creating the first draft of the calendar. I liked the look of it so much I had to kick something out of the final calendar - sorry Loaf Island, you had some interesting tracks but not as much richness.

Isthmus of Blissness
png png png png - I like the calm symmetry, and lots of great details to pick out on the horizon line. The first three have the emitters becoming stronger and stronger. The last shot includes the newly-built lighthouse along with a more dramatic sky. More important, notice the evidence of global cooling in Voxelia: the ice sheet is considerably further out than in the earlier shots, taken less than a month before. I suspect building the lighthouse caused this, as while building it snowed and so froze more water.

Jet Set Willy
png - Man that's a lot of blocks. Kind of a busy picture, but it'd be good for a jigsaw puzzle. And yes, I considered jigsaw puzzles as possible gifts, but I like you guys < $20 worth, not > $50 worth.

png png - I've always loved this feature, far to the west (used to be north) on the Hopper Highway. Each shot has its charms (and weaknesses).

png - This shot should really be a portrait, not landscape, but I'm making wallpapers here. Note the background chunks are not loaded for Sentinel Castle, as I wanted this to be all about L'Effie and nothing else. Felt it was too straightforward (and not the right aspect ratio) for the calendar; I wanted shots in the calendar you normally don't see in the game.

L'Effie and All at Night
png png - I love the night shots in that the lighting does peculiar things along the edges.

Legged Thing
png - By Khelvig, I believe, made with WorldEdit in the Wild West, on the western (was northern) border of this area.

Loaf Island
png - Lots of details, but no animals! So sad... Note the glass lighthouse at the far corner of the island.

LodeRunner Park
png - Yes, I'm addicted to the "sun at a shallow angle" effect, it gives the block faces each a different shade.

Lost Empire
png png png - This shot had to be for October and Halloween. I love how the lava flows from the mouth and lights up that area. The water in the still pool at the bottom is less interesting; not much to reflect. Oh well.

The Maze
png png - I varied the emitter strength here. Lots of fun stuff to look at in the distance.

Maze Entrance
png - Less interesting than I had hoped. There's also something funny going on with the brick tiling (I forget which texture pack).

Mount Doom
png - Along the way to New Spawn. This was a popular tourist spot for pictures, right up until the point the Nazgul returned.

Museum of the Stuff
png - Inside the teapot. Cue dramatic music; I like the beam of light on the crafting table.

Mushroom Island
png png - In the first image I like the subtle darkening at the top of the stem of the brown mushroom on the right, proof that path tracing is being done. Please ignore the fact that the sun is both in the sky to the right and appears to be setting in the west (actually, it's easy enough to rotate the skymap in Chunky, I just didn't want to restart the render once I realized this). The second has this fixed (are you happy now? are you?!) and uses Misa's texture pack, which has some peculiar-looking small mushrooms - there's only so much you can do with billboard geometry.

png png - The first render I ran for awhile but didn't like it; you can see what you get when you don't run an indoor scene for "only" a few thousand steps. Note that in the second image, the torches in the distance look bluish, not yellow (at least they do for me). This is because the eye is gathering so much red that it compensates and yellow looks bluish. One hunk of lightstone down low, on the left, casts light on the lava pool - hmmm... Also, mushrooms!

Nether Station
png - The main station in the Nether. Not all that fascinating, but one of the few Nether shots I attempted. Man it's red in the Nether.

New Spawn
png png - Ice really was pretty boring and could be a lot better. Part of the problem is saturation: there's some reflection going on with the ice, but it's overwhelmed by the brightness. The second version of this image is with the new and improved Chunky, which makes the ice a fair bit better. Also note the difference of the water level where it meets the ice - it was bizarre in the earlier version of Chunky, and that's now fixed.

png - With the Hollywool sign edge-on, off to the left.

Ore Bridge
png png - I've never been out here "for real" (whatever that means), I just noticed this construction on the map in the Wild West and decided to make some pictures.

png png - The interior's lovely; I like the ancient temple on the hill yet again, on the left, and the antenna on the right. The exterior shot is there just to have it - very simple.

pmin Square
png png - It's interesting to note that the ice came after the building of the rails (the great Biome redo). You can see this in the ice patterns: ice doesn't form under the rails because snow never falls there. The first shot is with the old Chunky, you can see how the water is "pushed in" where it meets the ice. The second shot is with the fixed Chunky - not a lot different, but better. Note I had to run this one for quite a lot of steps so that the small bit of red light visible down the tunnel at the bottom converged and wasn't noisy.

pmin Square at Dusk
png - A bit dark, but the blinding blue ice effect is then hidden. Here the ice does pick up reflection.

png png - Visually rich! I like that the ancient temple is framed on the the hill. Note the reflection happening in the antenna.

png - My very first Chunky render. It was so easy to make that I got inspired to create way too many more shots. Very simple render, though the depth of field makes things look a bit small and tilt-shifty. The indirect lighting is subtly great: the bottom of Morgan's Manor tower is greenish from light from the ground below, and the lava offscreen on the left lights up the side of Community Station. Note the pumpkin on top of the Compass Tower.

The Sphere
png - Visit the City of the Future! We'll all be living in domes once we've destroyed the environment!

png - I like this shot for some reason. I think it's the sense of the solidity of the building. I replaced the Hopper shot with this one in the final calendar.

Three Hills Nature Preserve
png - A simple tourist photo, I forget which texture pack.

png - Khelvig's torii to the Obsidian Tower (which is pagoda-ish).

png - Uncle Bob's World O' Fun, the tower of falling-a-lot-and-maybe-dying-because-of-the-weird-momentum-rules-in-Minecraft.

Waterfall Vale
png - The streaking water is nice, though not that convincing.

X the Unknown
png - Too busy! Um, no, wait: "This image captures the sense of the rapturous chaos in the perturbed scientist's experiment area." Yeah, that's the ticket.

contact Eric Haines
Last updated 11/21/2012