Tutorials/Creating shapes

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Blocky shapes, such as squares and rectangles, are relatively easy to make in Minecraft, because of the fact that the world is made up of square blocks. On the other hand, other shapes, such as circles and triangles, are more difficult to make. Although there can never be a perfect circle or perfect triangle in the blocky world of Minecraft, this tutorial shows the closest to a circle or triangle you can make.

Any blocks can be used when making the shapes from this tutorial, with the exception of sand, gravel, or concrete powder if the shape includes height as one of its dimensions.

Usage and Basics[edit]

Knowing how to build triangles and circles can be very beneficial if you build very often. Although knowing how to build these shapes will not help you at all with survival skills, when making statues, pixel art, house, and/or large fountains, adding triangles and circles to your building will give it much more depth.

This is a clown face consisting only of circles, as well as semi-circles for the frame. This is one of many things you can make once you know how to build triangles and circles in Minecraft.

Once you know how to build certain shapes, you can build an infinite number of things, and impress other players greatly. Some ideas include a statue made only of triangles, a mansion which looks like a giant sphere from the outside, or a giant oval arm. There are so many possibilities of things to build when you don't have to stick to building squares and rectangles - use your creativity!

The two main categories of shapes are 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional. 2-dimensional shapes consist of only 2 of the following: height, length, or width. 3-dimensional shapes consist of all 3. 3-dimensional shapes are usually either a combination of two different 2-dimensional shapes, or two 2-dimensional shapes of the same type but rotated different ways. To make specific shapes, read on.

2 Dimensional Shapes[edit]

These 2 dimensional shapes have only length and height, or only length and width. Most 3 dimensional shapes are based on one or more 2 dimensional shapes.

Note: Each of these demonstrations for the shapes only shows how the perimeter of the shape should look. If you would like, you can fill the center of the shape in. Also, remember that for the grids, the shapes will look wider than they really are.

Right Triangle[edit]

Right triangles are perhaps the easiest triangle to make, because of the fact that two of their sides are straight lines, going either vertical or horizontal. Only one side is diagonal. The following grids show how to make a right triangle with a 4 block base and height, and one with a 9 block base and height.






































Right triangle extensions[edit]

You can make right triangles with different bases and heights, but they are harder to make, because they don't use an exact line for the diagonal side. The right triangle shown before is for a 45-degree diagonal side.

For a diagonal side with a 65 - 70 degree angle, repeatedly place 2 blocks upwards for the diagonal line, before going towards the vertical line, like so:























For a diagonal side with a 20 - 25 degree angle, repeatedly place 2 blocks horizontally for the diagonal line, before going towards the vertical line, like so:























For angles in between 25 and 45, and angles between 45 and 65, you must use combinations of patterns from both of the slopes that the angle is in between.

This is a picture of the comparison between equilateral and right triangles in Minecraft. Both have a height and base of 9 blocks.

Equilateral Triangle[edit]

Equilateral triangles are a little bit more abstract than right triangles, but they still have a clear way to build them. First, build a line of blocks however long you want your triangle to be. Then, build one block up on the edges of the lines. Continue by building in sets of 2 blocks up, going 1 block inwards each time. Look at the following grids for examples:














































































Notice how the triangles look more triangular the bigger they are.

Circles[edit]

Circles are rather difficult to make in Minecraft, partially because of the fact that unlike triangles, there is not one way to make any size of circle; each size uses a completely different arrangement of blocks. As you look at the different sizes of circles, you will see that not all of them have the same shape, and none of them are a perfect circle. This is because different sizes of circles must have different arrangements of blocks, so that they can look as close to a circle as possible.

The pattern of blocks for every circle cannot be explained, because, like mentioned earlier, each size has a completely different pattern. The best way to make a circle is to just experiment with different block arrangements, or look at images made by other people who experimented with block arrangements and made a circle.

Take a look at the following image. This is an example of one way to make all the circles with a diameter of 1 - 18. Notice that the bigger the circles get, the more similar to a circle they look.

Pixel circles.png





3 Dimensional Shapes[edit]

3 dimensional shapes are composed of length, width, and height, and are usually made up of either 1 or several 2-dimensional shapes. 3-dimensional shapes are often much more complex than 2-dimensional.

Equilateral Triangular Prism[edit]

A triangular prism when steps 1 and 2 have been completed.

A triangular prism consists of 2 triangles and 3 rectangles connecting them. In an equilateral triangular prism, the triangles in it are equilateral. Triangular prisms are one of the more simple 3-dimensional shapes. Before starting, it's important to know what each dimension represents:

  • Height = The distance between the bottom and top of each triangle.
  • Width = The length of the base of each triangle. In an equilateral triangular prism, it should be the same as the height.
  • Length = The length of each rectangle, or the distance between both triangles.

These steps show how to make a triangular prism:

  1. Create an equilateral triangle, whichever size you like, and fill the middle of it. Look at the sub-section "Equilateral triangle" in the section "2-dimensional shapes" to see how to make this.
  2. Find out what length you want your rectangles to be. Then, count that many blocks from the triangle you just made, and make another equilateral triangle there, just like you made the first one. It should be exactly across from that one.
  3. Connect both triangles on all 3 sides. If you made your triangular prism in the air and visible from all sides, you will be able to see the 3 rectangles and 2 triangles. You are done.
This is an example of a completed equilateral triangular prism with a height and width of 7, and a length of 9.

Right Triangular Prism[edit]

A right triangle prism consists of 2 triangles and 3 rectangles. It is like an equilateral triangular prism, but made with right triangles instead of equilateral triangles. You could also think of it as a rectangular prism cut in half diagonally.

The dimensions for the diagonally halved rectangular prism represent the same things as for the triangular prism, so look at the height, width, and length for the triangular prism as a guide. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Create a right triangle, whichever size you like, and fill in the middle of it. Look at the sub-section "Right triangle" in the section "2-dimensional shapes" to see how to make this.
  2. Find out what length you want your rectangles to be. Then, count that many blocks from the triangle you just made, and make another right triangle there, just like you made the first one. It should be exactly across from that one.
  3. Connect both triangles on all 3 sides. If you made your diagonally halved rectangular prism in the air and visible from all sides, you will be able to see the 3 rectangles and 2 right triangles. You are done.
A fully completed right triangular prism, with a height and width of 5 blocks, and a length of 7.

Just like for the 2-dimensional right triangle, you can make the height and width of a right triangular prism bigger or smaller if you want. Make the diagonal slope of each right triangle at what ever degree of an angle you want, and just connect the triangles that same way you would for a regular right triangular prism.

Cylinder[edit]

Cylinders, like triangular prisms, are not too difficult to make, considering that they are made up of different 2 dimensional shapes. Cylinders could be thought of as vertical circular prisms.

  1. Make a circle on the ground, with whatever diameter you want. Fill the middle of it in.
  2. Place blocks higher to extend the circle upwards, however high you want. For these ones, you can fill the middle in if you want, but if you do, there will be no space inside of the cylinder.
  3. Place a final filled-in circle on top to close the cylinder. You're finished now.

Sphere[edit]

Here is the outline of the 3 connecting circles in a sphere, after steps 3 of 4 have been completed.

A sphere is rather difficult to make in Minecraft, but it looks great when it's finished. It is basically 3 circles, each rotated a different way, with blocks connecting them. Here are the steps:

  1. Design what size you want your sphere, create a circle with height and width for its dimensions.
  2. Make another circle with height and length for its dimensions. It's center top and center bottom block should share the center top and bottom block of the first circle you made.
  3. Make your last circle with length and width for its dimensions. The center block on the right side, left side, close side, and far side should be shared with one of the 2 other circles. You should now have the basic outline for your sphere.
  4. Finally, fill in everything in between to finish of the sphere. The exact blocks you fill in depends on the size of your sphere, but try to estimate what looks best for a sphere.
A fully completed sphere with a diameter of 15.

Dome or Partial Sphere[edit]

A dome is basically one half of a sphere. Usually, it's the top half, but for variations of half spheres that are not domes, it can be the right, left, or bottom half. Domes can be used to make fancy roofs, or to make "bubbles" in a wall. You can optionally use 1/4 of a sphere, or 2/3 of a sphere, for different looks, depending on what scenario you're using the partial sphere for. See this picture for an example of a half sphere, or dome:

Small half sphere.png

For more information on domes and similar variants, see Tutorials/Curved roofs.

"Oval" Tube[edit]

This shape does not have an official name, but it looks very cool to make. It's slightly difficult, as it requires several types of circles in different directions, but it's not too hard. It looks similar to a cylinder, but it has curved tops and bottoms. See the following steps:

  1. Make the bottom half of a sphere on the ground, so that the open side is facing towards the top.
  2. On the highest part of the partial sphere, extend those blocks up however high you want.
  3. Create the top half of a sphere on top of the highest circle of blocks, so that the shape is closed in.
  4. If desired, you can fill in the middle of the tube, so that there is no room on the inside.

See the following layered blueprint for an example of an oval tube with a diameter of 7 and a height of 11.



























































Rhombicuboctahedron[edit]

Rhombicuboctahedron is an Archimedean solid with squares and triangles. There are 24 identical vertices, with one triangle and three squares meeting at each.

Trivia[edit]

  • If you have the software Microsoft paint, you will have an easier job with making shapes in Minecraft. Select a shape from the tool bar and make it on the thinnest setting. Then, draw it so that the horizontal and vertical pixels are equal, and zoom in all the way. You should be able to tell how the mini-squares paint is composed of are arranged.

See also[edit]

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