Minecraft Modelling & Texturing Tips

This is a guide written by @MasterianoX (with slight edits and additions by Esron/Fred) and is the go to guide for all beginners of Minecraft modelling & texturing using BlockBench.

Use the navigation below or just scroll and see all of them.

1. UV Proportions

Stretched/skewed UV

Consisitent UV aspect ratio


  1. Use BlockBench’s Auto UV feature (bonus: can take up less space)
  2. Switch Box UV on file->project (bonus: works across all formats)

2. Texture Shading

Grainy texture:

  • Adds no information to the model
  • Material is indistinguishable without context
  • Looks random and sloppy

Clearly defined texture:

  • Purposefully selected color scheme
  • Material properties immediately recognizable
  • Clean look

3. Element count and shape depiction

  • 13 elements, less optimized
  • Jaggy look (slopes and curves presented as stairs)
  • Inconvenient style to follow
  • doesn’t fit in with the rest of the game
  • Only 3 elements
  • simple, yet accurate depiction
  • Most of the information comes from the texture
  • The model only shows the general shape
  • Uses rotations to its advantage
  • A single cuboid can also represent a sphere or a cylinder.

4. Common texturing mistakes

Pancake Shading
Shading applied to the outer edges

Pillow Shading
Gradient spreading outward from the middle; no light source

Shades in continuous rows

Juxtaposed different pixels as a transition between two shades

Elements of clashing resolutions

5. Flipping

1. Create all the bones on one side, parent, set origins and rotate them.

2. Select bone, duplicate Transform > Flip > Flip X

3. Do the same for the other bones

4. Change/add details to differentiate the two sides.

6. Saturation and hue shifting

  • A color ramp is a sequence of shades arranged in order of brightness.
  • When adding new shades to your color ramp, changing the brightness is not enough.
  • For a new shade, it is usually also necessary to change the saturation (color intensity) and/or hue (color family determined by wavelength).
  • Ignoring this method altogether will result in a straight ramp, as seen on the left.
  • Straight ramps have an unnatural, dull look.

7. Z-Fighting

An error that occurs on coplanar elements (when two faces occupy the same space)

Solution 1: Move one of the elements away from the face it’s clashing with (by less then 1 if needed).

Solution 2: If both elements have the same dimensions, you can inflate one of them.

8. Item design study

Sketch the general look of the object in a 16×16 field

Light source
An 8×8 arrow from the top left corner toward the middle in most cases accurately describes the lighting on Minecraft Items.

Shading and outline
Create a palette with the right number of shades.
The outline should be distinctly darker on the bottom right edges.

Material Definition
Add in surface properties such as roughness, cracks, distiness…

9. Parenting

The method of attaching bones to each other in a hierarchical order, where the child bones move along with their parents, but can also be manipulated on their own.

  • Consider the best option for animationm, e.g. if the torso moves, the arms should move with it.
  • Always parent outward, from the proximal to the distal bones.
  • After parenting, you should set the pivot points (centers of rotation) and apply rotations.
  • Use a consistent naming system for the bones.

10. Entity texture design study

BlockBench template

  • Blockbench generates a template and automatically maps the elements’ UV
  • N – north (normally the front), S – south, W – west, E – east, U – up, D – down.

Basic colors and shades

  • Sketch color distribution, add shadows and highlights
  • The edges are darker then the middle, getting darker toward the corners.
  • The highlights go upward and slightly to the front.

Full palette

  • Add more shades following the same principles
  • Apply color transition tones where necessary
  • Banding/pillow shading will be fixed in material definition

Material Definition

  • Interchange the different shades so that they resemble the desired surface properties.
  • Get rid of shading mistakes from the previous steps.

11. Vertex snapping

The method of moving vertices to coincide exactly with the vertices of other elements.


  • On your Toolbar, select the Vertex Snap tool
  • Select the element you wish to move/scale
  • Click on the vertex that needs to be snapped
  • Select the element you will be snapping it to
  • Click on the vertex on this element that you will direct the first vertex to

Note that you can sometimes proactively avoid this issue by planning your element positions, pivot points and rotations

12. Seamless block textures

Textures designed with the property of being compatible on their opposing edges when arranged next to each other (tiled).

  • Be sure to check this before applying too many shades; doing it on the first sketch is advisable.
  • First see weather it tiles properly vertically and horizontally
  • Afterwards, make a field of at least 2×2 textures and analyze it for mistakes.
  • If a portion of the texture evidently repeats, revealing the tiling pattern, it is called a tiling artifact and is to be corrected.

13. Animated java models

  • Create a copy of the element(s) for every frame in which they will change.
  • Each frame needs a new UV location for its element(s).
  • Create a texture file that is x (number of frames) times the height of the original.
  • Stack the original texture vertically x times.
  • In every frame, delete parts of the texture for elements that won’t be shown in that frame.
  • Create a .mcmeta file (in the same folder) called texturename.png.mcmeta
  • use this format (the frames are numbered starting with 0; frame time is expressed in ticks).
  "animation": {
    "interpolate": false, # If true, Minecraft generates additional frames between frames with a frame time greater than 1 between them. Defaults to false.
    "width": 1, #The width of the tile, as a direct ratio rather than in pixels. This is unused in vanilla's files but can be used by resource packs to have frames that are not perfect squares.
    "height": 7, #The height of the tile as a ratio rather than in pixels. This is unused in vanilla's files but can be used by resource packs to have frames that are not perfect squares.
    "frametime": 1, #Sets the default time for each frame in increments of one game tick. Defaults to 1.
    "frames": [ #Contains a list of frames. Defaults to displaying all the frames from top to bottom.
        "index": 0, # A number corresponding to position of a frame from the top, with the top frame being 0.
        "time": 0 #The time in ticks to show this frame, overriding "frametime" above.
      0, 1, 2

Or a simplified version without all the fields

  "animation": {
    "frametime": 2,
    "frames": [ 0, 1, 2 ]

14. Creating a color palette

  • Hue is the color family determined by wavelength (e.g. brown falls into red or orange, aquamarine falls into blue…), saturation is the color intensity and value is the brightness.
  • It’s good to start with a mid-tone and add darker and brighter shades based on it.
  • Up to seven total shades per color are enough in most cases.
  • If there are two or more almost identical shades being used for the same purpose, they should be reduced to one.
  • To achieve the default Minecraft style, hue shifting should be done within a small range (usually up to about 10°).
  • Hue doesn’t have to be changed evenly or in one direction.
  • Saturation shouldn’t be shifted strictly linearly or diagonally (as seen in the graph).

If you wish to download pre-made palettes a great place to do that is Lospec.

15. Line depiction on textures

  • Jaggies are shapes (unintentional corners) in pixel art that appear due to the lack of anti-aliasing.
  • To avoid jaggies, you must depict shapes carefully, with this restriction in mind.
  • Straight lines need to have a consistent step, so that they wouldn’t look unpolished (this has to do with the basic geometric properties of diagonals).
  • Round shapes can also contain jaggies if the curve is not smooth (either depicted as a corner or as an almost straight, often inconsistent, line).

16. Pivot points

A pivot point is the center of rotation of the bone.

  • Placing the pivot point in a random spot is bad practice that can lead to issues with animation and later edits.
  • The center of rotation is often not supposed to be at the center of geometry.
  • Set the pivot point manually using the Pivot Tool.
  • Place it in the middle of the bone’s join (point of attachment).

17. Common modeling mistakes

Thick Bits

  • Requires more elements
  • Creates a chunky look
  • Isn’t any more accurate

Utilized transparency

  • A lot is shown with just one element
  • Thin parts depicted without width
  • Amount of detail is evenly distributed


  • Small parts are more detailed
  • Lack of stylistic consistency

Consistent ratio

  • Amount of details is evenly distributed

18. Painted textures

Scaled down photo

  • Not tilable
  • Either too grainy or too blurry
  • Can contain differently lit parts
  • Wasn’t created purposefully

Rough/Random painting

  • Is a result of a single brush, usually with simply decreased opacity and no anti-aliasing.
  • Random strokes do not define a material.
  • Often characterized by pillow shading and grain.
  • Made from single layer.

Proper Painting

  • Utilizes multiple brushes’ properties.
  • The material is well defined while maintaining a smooth look.
  • Seamless tiling without artifacts.
  • Created on separate layers for easy editing.

*note that this is by no means the only way to create good painted textures. It merely highlights some desirable practices to achieve this goal.

19. Modeling round shapes

  • In Minecraft modeling, a single cube/cuboid is the best representation even for a cilinder- or sphere-like object
  • Using either of the cross shapes like the left barrel and pumpkin) produces the 30 equivalent of Jaggies in that they are unintentional corners) which arguably makes the depiction less accurate.
  • The cross shape also clashes with Minecraft’s aesthetic and poses a problem with texturing the additional faces it contains.
  • Examples of this principle can be found throughout the game: barrel, pumpkin, melon, log, cake, cocoa pod, grindstone, beehive…
  • This is not to say every shape can be depicted with a single element (as seen below).

20. Proportions

The dimensions of a minecraft block are 16x16x16 pixels, which represents 1 cubic meter, meaning that a single pixel is 6.25cm long. This ratio should be taken into account, but it does not always apply.

  • For small objects/creatures, it’s more important to be recognizable then perfectly to scale.
  • A bee would be smaller then 1px if it were proportionate.
  • Functionality can also take priority over real-life dimensions.
  • For example, something that a player will sit on should be created with the player size in mind because the player model is fairly bulkier then a regular human would be at the same scale.
  • Changing the proportions of certain parts of the geometry can influence what is being depicted and what it’s function is.
  • A large head on a small body makes for a cute character, while an exaggerated torso and arms depict a strong character.