Temple of Brad Pitt - Minecraft edition

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by Geodesic Templars (programming by Jacob J.)

Minecraft server: blackrockprime.mcserver.us (how to connect)
Once in BlackRockPrime type this command to jump to TOBRIT: /tp 760 64 -1168

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Burning Man 2020 did not take place in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Instead, several virtual versions of Burning Man were created online based on several 3D technologies. Disorient participated in a couple of those worlds while Geodesic Temple decided to focus on the Minecraft version.

We used the 2019 model of TOBRIT so we would have a basis of comparison for what we would create online. We decided to translate the physical materials literally to Minecraft materials. A few questions came up. How do we best convey the idea of TOBRIT in the Minecraft environment? What is the appropriate scale for our Temple in Minecraft? (spoiler alert: we made it as big as the server could hand). There were also questions of efficiency and server load.

Porting the model from Sketchup to Minecraft requires about half a dozen steps. Information is often lost and/or added in translation when going from one format to another (skp > dae > obj > etc.) which eventually resulted in the emergence of added geometry to our Minecraft model. So we did like every good templar would do. We went in, rolled-up our virtual sleeves and fixed it by hand. Fine-tuning TOBRIT manually in Minecraft was a transcendental experience. Deep diving in the Minecraft world, working on a piece which we had created in the physical world a year ago was challenging and rewarding in unexpected ways.

Here is the evolution of the Temple of Brad Pitt in Minecraft.


Version 1 was a literal translation of the model of TOBRIT 2019. Jacob opened a world of possibilities by porting the .skp model into Minecraft but a lot seemed to have been lost in the drastic resolution decrease. Jacob's parti pris to visualize only odd stratas of the model was an instant success in the templars' community. Without hesitation, we engaged the machine and started lighting the sculpture "by hand" but eventually decided to cut to the chase and made it procedural.

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Increasing scale improved readability and the octahedra are now more defined but we felt that both still needed to be augmented.

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For better definition we needed to go to a larger scale but we were already reaching the limits of our test server so for v.3 we simplified the model. Since gravity was no longer a concern, we removed the 8 octahedra that stabilized the central octahedron (aka the Purgatory) in the playa version.

v.3 manifested unexpected geometric artifacts. They may have been present in earlier versions but the previous resolutions were not making them stand out so clearly.

We suspect that removing the eight supporting octahedra created unbalance in the numbers that generate the model and that were a visualization of Brad Pitt's aura which TOBRIT's geometry is based on (read more about this here). Suddenly it all made sense. Those artifacts were actually assets and necessary to restore balance between those different versions of TOBRIT.

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In v.4 we gave the Ark a darker presence to further reconcile this emulation with the playa version. We kept the new assets from v.3's geometry as they offered the opportunity to carve "manually" the final piece. We also decided to go back to lighting the piece "by hand" to clearly enunciate the participatory dimension.

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Let the bradpittization commence!!