DMA How-To: Modify Minecraft™ Game Objects

By Shane White

Interested in learning how to modify Minecraft™ game objects? This How-To develops skills in image editing and graphical design for games. If you’re not familiar with the process, this How-To will give you a new appreciation of game design, graphic design and programming.

Minecraft_swordsmanYou can modify any item or block in the game the same way you do in this exercise. You can even do it for Armor and Entities, but it’s more complex.

Project Steps
In this How-To we’re going to transform the Minecraft™ sword into a lightsaber. There are 6 major steps to this project, as well as a number of smaller steps:

Before Starting: Gather the project materials you will need

a) Minecraft

b) An image editor like Photoshop®

c) The default resource files of Minecraft

Step 1: Locate and save the files you need

DMA_How-To_Minecraft_sword_resource_pack

a) Download the Minecraft resource file pack.

b) Save the resource files to your Desktop.

c) Copy the resource files.

d) Paste the resource files anywhere on the Desktop. (Make sure you rename the files so you can locate them.)

How-To Modify Minecraft™ Game Objects Video Tutorial:

Step 2: Use Photoshop® to resize the sword image

DMA_How-To_Minecraft_sword_directories

a) Open Photoshop®.

b) Click File > Open and locate the item to edit. (We’re using a gold sword.)

c) Start at the Desktop and open the folder you copied.

d) Zoom in on the image. (Once you have the file open, you’ll see the image is probably very small.)

e) Zoom way in. Hold down Option (Mac) or Control (Windows) and press the mouse wheel and scroll forward/backward to zoom in or zoom out.

DMA_How-To_Minecraft_sword_step_2
Keep on zooming in on your sword graphic (Before) until you get something like this (After).

Step 3: Modify the image with the Pencil and Eraser tools

DMA_How-To_Minecraft_sword_step_3

a) Use the Pencil tool to make additions to your sword.

b) Use the Eraser tool to eliminate any unwanted portions of your sword.

Step 4: Adjust the Pencil and Eraser size

DMA_How-To_Minecraft_sword_step_4

a) First, select the Pencil tool.

b) Click the number field in the top toolbar next to the Pencil icon to display the drop-down size and hardness menu.

c) Set the size to 1 and hardness to 100.

d) Repeat the same step for the Eraser.

Step 5: Add color to your sword

Use the Color Picker to select your favorite color.

Step 6: Work on the sword handle

DMA_How-To_Minecraft_sword_step_6

The bottom-left portion of the image is the sword’s “handle,” or the end of the object the player will hold.

a) Modify the look of your sword by using the Pencil and Eraser tools.

b) Save the file back to the same place and name as you got it.

Step 7: Import your new sword into Minecraft

a) Open Minecraft™.

b) Select Options.

c) Select Resource Packs.

d) Open the Resource Pack folder.

e) Drag your folder from the Desktop into the Finder or Explorer folder that the game opens.

f) Return to Minecraft™.

g) Activate the resource pack by clicking the icon in Available Resource Packs.

h) Click Done.

Step 8: Start using your new Minecraft™ sword

a) Log in to your chosen world.

b) Use Creative mode (Type /gamemode 1, hit Enter, then hit “E”) to pull out your newly created lightsaber.

Congratulations! You’ve made a lightsaber.

May the Force be with You

Digital Media Academy uses Minecraft™ in its tech camps and courses as a learning platform to interest kids and teens in graphic design, game design and programming. By making a full resource pack (and editing some or all of the game textures) and creating a new “theme,” students learn attention to detail and creative problem solving.

Check out each of DMA’s Minecraft™ courses:

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And these are just a few of the more than 70 camps and courses offered through Digital Media Academy summer tech camps. Register now!