Water and Sky

A build featuring holograms projected into the big blue

Here’s a build that makes striking use of a part of Minecraft space which is often overlooked.

Called Hydro, it features two islands in a never-ending sea with high-rise buildings huddled on them. But its real attractions are the transparent coloured forms that cluster in the air above. They’re holograms, beamed up from the city, and they’re a fantastic way of drawing the eye up and giving empty space a sense of volume.

Hydro was built by Josh “Donut” Fernandez, who created the holographic effect with transparent blocks, using just blue and red so they contrast with the rich and earthy detail of the buildings below.

This view from the city streets, rendered by Dordsor21, shows off the hefty architecture.

They’ve become something of a signature for Donut. “What I am most proud of is how I managed to make the holograms you see in the sky actually look like something, rather than peculiar blobs,” he tells me.

They represent planets, buildings and geometry, reflecting the advanced nature of the society that lives in the city below. His concept was a place enjoying a flowering of scientific discovery. “I wanted to make it feel like the hub or the epicentre of the progression of scientific research.”

Again rendered by Dordsor21, this aerial view shows the contrasting palette of hologram and city.

But while the exciting stuff is in the air, don’t forget to look down. There’s a good deal of subtlety in the buildings, too. “I like to use solid-looking blocks, such as the anvil, the cauldron and the hopper, when building cities to add a more industrial feeling,” Donut says. But some of Minecraft’s most commonplace blocks, such as wood and stone bricks, are his favourite to play with. “It seems like such a simple palette, there are endless possibilities with them.”

Hydro is a great example of how simple detail and careful colour and shape-making can create stunning effect. But his next project might not be quite so fantastical, since he says he’s intending on exploring a more realistic style and up-close scale. We can’t wait to see it.

Lead image rendered by Kryiin