Blog . Maya and Mineways
The popular game Minecraft has been around for a few years now. In that time a lot of fan art, mods, and fan animations have been made. There are group and communities dedicated to rebuilding realistic buildings in Minecraft and recreate worlds and objects from games and television shows. This takes a very long time to reproduce in Minecraft. One of the downsides of doing it like that is if you wanted to show off your work, you would have to take screenshots or take a video inside of Minecraft. That usually doesn't make for the best presentation, expecially if you wanted more control over the lighting. But there is a way to export your worlds and creations from Minecraft and bring them into a 3D program to do your lighting and rendering. Mineways is an exporter for Minecraft which allows you to select a part of your Minecraft world and open it in a 3D modeling program such as Maya, Blender, 3DS Max, etc. You can even print your models in 3D from this program. I think this program is great if you want to export something you made or use your world as a background for a Minecraft style animation.
If you want to use Mineways you can download here. Open up Minecraft and create a world. After you find an area you want to render, save your world. You then want to go into the Mineways folder and run the Mineways application. When you open it import your Minecraft world file from the .Minecraft folder on your computer.
When you open that in Mineways, a top orthographic view will show up. You can right-click and drag over the area that you want to export and CTRL + R to export. You can choose where you want to export, I usually put it in a folder on my desktop just so I know where it is. After you have it exported you can close Mineways and open up the 3D modeling software. I'm going to use Autodesk Maya and open up the .obj file that I just exported.
When you open up your .obj in your program all the textures will already be attached to your model, if not they're easy to find. Inside of Maya I added one light and placed my camera. I changed a couple of my render settings in Maya and rendered my image. Lastly, I took my file into Photoshop to do the final touches.