YouTuber Christopher Slayton, 18, recently created entire planets, black holes, galaxies, and, well, the entire cosmos. And he only used Minecraft blocks.
In the more than a decade since its release, Minecraft has become a creative powerhouse, with its million-strong community working together to build a pantheon of block-based wonders, ranging from the Starship Enterprise to the gothic cityscape of Yharnam. from Bloodborne.
Recently, Christopher Slayton – who goes by the ChrisDaCow handle on YouTube – decided to take the sandbox’s creative potential to its largest scale yet, attempting to recreate the entire cosmos…or at least the elements that we know best.
Slayton began by painstakingly recreating planet Earth. It would end up being a relatively modest start compared to what was to follow, but it still took the block artist a grand total of three days to measure the continents and get the surface colors, clouds, and perfect lighting. Lighting up the globe proved particularly challenging, but by making the most of a tool that lets you “paint with light”, Slayton was able to give his creation immersive gradients and lighting effects.
After Earth was completed, Slayton went on to create the other planets in the solar system. Some of these worlds orbit with noticeable tilt, which has been recreated in the newly born digital universe by painting the planets at an angle. This added layer of complexity has been compounded by the fact that three of the planets – Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – host their own distinctive ring systems.
Finally, Slayton was able to build the block of the Sun – with an apocalyptic number of solar flares – using some of the brightest blocks in Minecraft.
From there, the scale of subjects Christopher sought to construct grew ever more ambitious, as the digital artist aimed to recreate one of the most iconic cosmic structures discovered to date: the pillars of creation.
This vast collection of interstellar dust and gas is actually a stellar nursery that is part of the Eagle Nebula. At about 4.5 light-years wide, the Pillars of Creation are drastically larger than anything he had designed so far. However, for practical reasons, Christopher decided to keep the size of his Minecraft representations comparable to his model of the solar system.
In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Slayton explained, “Each time I built a construct, the actual scale was going to stay almost exactly the same, while the size of the object in the universe was going to get exponentially larger. in the light. years”.
Impressively, when creating the pillars, he considered their real-world positions relative to each other, and even modeled the major stars that are dotted in the nebula images that were captured by Hubble and other telescopes.
I just posted a video where I BUILD THE WHOLE UNIVERSE in Minecraft! This is my best video to date! https://t.co/FWdQbVumLm
— ChrisDaCow (@Chr1sDaC0w) October 3, 2022
Christopher then sought to recreate one of the most evocative and awe-inspiring celestial objects in the universe: a black hole. These cosmic creations are quite common in one form or another throughout our universe, and their supermassive versions are thought to lurk at the core of nearly every major galaxy like the Milky Way.
Slayton decided to base his work on the black hole “Gargantua”, from the 2014 sci-fi film Interstellar. Although fictional, this singularity – and its light-bending properties – is an excellent representation of how a A real black hole would appear if we somehow observed from orbit without being brutally spaghettied by its intense gravitational influence.
Naturally, determining the curves of a black hole is a difficult business when you only have square blocks to work with. However, Slayton was able to use hundreds of lines of blocks as guides to create the singularity’s light curves, then light them up to appear like an awesome Minecraftification of Gargantua.
Then he painstakingly created a cluster of spiral galaxies resembling the Milky Way, and eventually set to work on a representation of the entire universe. Based on computer simulations, many astronomers believe that the universe, if viewed from a great distance, would appear as a vast cosmic web, in which filaments of glowing galaxies and gas clouds are punctuated with void of nothingness.
In total, it took Slayton over a month to create his digital universe, which has to be one of the most impressive and massive Minecraft builds to date. Very well spent time in our opinion.
Anthony Wood is a freelance writer at IGN
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