Here are a list of other tutorials in the series:
Chapter 1 - Introduction to building/building philosophy
Chapter 2 - Familiarity with common commands/usages
Chapter 3 - Basic geometries and build styles COMING SOON!
Chapter 4 - Detailing your builds COMING SOON!
Chapter 5 - Creating and landscaping terrain COMING SOON!
Chapter 2 - Familiarity with common commands/usages
Now that we've set up our building environment and we have an idea on what we want to build, we can utilize some common building commands to make our builds look a lot nicer, faster. Do keep in mind that the software I am using throughout this tutorial series is MCGalaxy as it is the most predominant server software. As such, other server softwares may have different names for these commands or perhaps not even have them at all.
Before we start, here is a key for command syntaxes:
[ ] = Required.
< > = Optional.
( ) = Common shortcut/alias.
/ReachDistance [distance] (/reach)
I started building in around early 2010 when building was a very difficult task. We had to get very close to place blocks and we couldn't fly without using a client or the /fly command. Luckily, nowadays we have the ability to fly and the ability to use /reach. I always found myself cramped or even confined to the restrictions of the default reach distance (5 blocks). What /reach essentially does, is allow you to place and delete blocks from further away. The ideal range for the majority of people is around 7-15 however myself and a few others prefer to have /reach over 128+. There is no perfect distance as it is entirely subjective to your own build style, so play around with it until you find a distance that you are most comfortable with.
This command isn't the most useful command on the list but it is still a big help for build calculations and geometries. The command will place a gold block in the centre of your selection. We will discuss this command more in chapter 3.
/Hold [block name or ID] <locked>
/hold is a pretty simple command. It basically allows us to hold a block from the block list without having to dig through and select it manually. I'd recommend trying to memorize the IDs as some block names are extremely long. For instance 'Dark Wood Slab-D' could easily be replaced to something like /hold 100 for short. /Place [block name or ID] <x> <y> <z> (/pl)
From what I've seen, there are a lot of you that still build pillars to place a block. Whilst there's nothing really wrong with doing this, it takes so long and can easily be shortened to about 2 seconds. Instead of doing pillars, we can place a block under your feet using the /place command. It works in the air and you can finally stop pillaring to mark a point.
Arguably, one of the most useful commands when building larger maps. You can use /Static to repeat a drawing operation without having to type it. Just make sure to type /a to cancel it when you are finished.
This command is super useful for drawing commands which you will learn about shortly. If you type /Abort, it will cancel your current drawing operation.
Basic drawing commands
/Mark <x> <y> <z> (/m)
The next couple of commands are called drawing operations and will require you to either place/delete a block or use /mark to mark out positions for the operation. In the following examples, we could left click to delete/place the block or we could stand where the red/yellow blocks are and use /mark. I'll cover more about /mark and show more examples in the following commands as it is hard to show the command, without requiring a draw operation. The best part about /mark is that you can use it anywhere inside the map, meaning you could be standing in the air and it will still work.
It is also worth adding that you can use /ma to mark the whole map.
Some might say that this is the most crucial command for building, and they wouldn't be wrong. /cuboid allows us to make a rectangular shape which fills in everything inside of the bounds. As I mentioned above, you can also use /mark to specify the bounds of the draw operation so instead of clicking on the red/yellow blocks, you could just stand there instead. This works for all drawing commands.
/Replace [block] <new> (/r)
/Replace is a must-have command in your arsenal. What this command does is replaces all blocks of the same type within your selection. In this example, I am replacing white with blue. As mentioned above, you can also use /ma for this if you want to replace [type] blocks in your map. If you want to make it even easier, MCGalaxy has the command /ReplaceAll (/ra) which does exactly that.
/ReplaceNot [block] <new> (/rn)
/ReplaceNot does the exact opposite of /Replace and replaces all blocks except the ones you mention. In this example, I did /ReplaceNot white and as you can see, all of the blocks except the white were replaced.
/ReplaceBrush [block] [brush name] <percentages> (/rb)
/ReplaceBrush is arguably one of the hardest commands to learn and it is recommended that you practice this a bunch before applying it into your builds. Do not be intimidated by this command, however. Yes, it is a difficult command to learn but the results are a masterpiece and it is by far, one of my favourite commands to use when building. There are a lot of ways this command can be used but I will only be showing you the ones I use the most.
Here are some examples of common brushes. You can see all brushes available using /Brushes. Play around with them and see which ones you like.
/rb white random
/rb white cloudy
Now is where things get pretty tricky. We can use percentages with these brushes to control how much of each block we want to cover. To do this, we can add [block/percentage] to the end of the command. For example, if I wanted 50% stone, I could do stone/50. You can do this for as many blocks as you want and the percentages don't even need to add up to 100, though you should try for the best result.
/rb white random red/25 yellow/25 blue/25 lime/25
This might look like a mouthful and it might be scary but it is actually simpler than you think!
/Fill is similar to /Replace but it has some differences. /Fill essentially replaces all blocks of the same type that are connected to the mark you set. In this example, I am clicking on a white block whilst holding a red block in my hotbar. This will make it so all white blocks that are touching the block I clicked will be replaced with red blocks. Do note how the dark gray blocks have not been affected because they are not of the same type.
You may also find yourself wondering "How can I fill only one layer?" and there is a simple answer to that: /Fill 2d (/f2d). Keep in mind though that you need to be looking directly at the surface you wish to fill, see below.
How many of us have had to deal with grass blocks turning into dirt blocks and messing up our builds? With /FixGrass, this command will turn all dirt blocks into grass blocks again, if there is no block on top of it. Do note that on Not Awesome 2, this command does not take a selection and instead applies the operation to the whole map.
/Outline is a pretty slept-upon command. If used in the right way, it can be a powerful tool. You can use it to outline certain blocks and you can even use it in some advanced methods such as grass/foliage for terrain. We will cover this more in chapter 5. In this example, I replaced the dark gray blocks with white blocks to give it a white outline.
These commands will help you to create shapes of various different styles and sizes. A large number of these commands will also be useful to you in chapter 3 so I suggest learning these in particular if you haven't already.
/Line essentially draws a line between two points. Nothing more, nothing less. You can use /Line connected to connect all lines to give some sort of polygon tool effect.
Similarly to /Line, /Bezier also creates a line between two points. The key difference between the two is that /Bezier takes a third argument which bends/curves the line.
There are a lot of subsections of /Sphere that should probably be their own commands so I'm not going to cover all of them, only the ones that are the most useful.
/Sphere (/sphereh or /sph)
Pretty much does the same thing as /Sphere but makes it hollow on the inside.
/Sphere circle (/circle)
Makes a circle instead of a sphere.
/Sphere circleh (/circleh)
Pretty much does the same thing as /Circle but makes it hollow. Very useful for creating rings and outlines of circles.
/Torus (/tor or /donut)
I don't particularly use this command too much but I have found it to be super unique and interesting because of all of the different shapes you can make with it. For instance if you have a layout like this, you can make a diamond or egg shape.
And if you have a layout like this, you can make a donut shape.
/Triangle is a pretty rad command, especially if you are looking at making diagonal buildings. It takes three arguments (as that makes sense for a triangle).
The following commands are all super useful and a great builder should be using these consistently. They store things into the server's memory so you can retrieve it later on.
/Copy is a huge help when you want to make multiple of the same thing, think of it as a cloning command. What I like to do is use gold blocks in the corners of the things I want to copy and then click on them, but you are more than welcome to use /mark here as well.
A super useful thing about this command that very few people know about is that you can actually save copies between sessions! Once you have copied your build, you can type /Copy save [name] which will save it into the server's memory and you can retrieve it whenever you want by typing /Copy load [name]. For example, let's say I wanted to save this tree as "pine", I could do /Copy save pine and then to retrieve it again, /Copy load pine. I cannot tell you how useful this is, especially when you are working on bigger worlds and need to copy/paste lots of different things.
/Paste <block> <block 2> (/v)
Now that we have our build copied, we need to use /paste to finish the process. Wherever you click, the build will be loaded from the server's memory and applied into your world. The reason I like to keep the gold blocks is so I can visually see where I want my paste to go.
You may have noticed the optional <block> argument in the title there, all this does is makes it so these are the only blocks that are pasted. If not specified, all blocks will be pasted. You can also use /PasteNot [block] to paste all but the blocks specified.
/Spin <axis> <degrees> (/rotate)
Before using /Paste, you can choose whether or not to rotate your build. In this example, I rotated my build 180 degrees and then executed /Paste. We will learn more about axes and the mathematical aspect of building in chapter 3.
/Mirror is super useful command to mirror your builds. There isn't a whole lot of explaining that needs to be done here but do note that this command is relatively new and used to be a subsection of /Spin. If you are playing on a newer version of MCGalaxy, you don't need to worry about this.
/Undo <time> (/u)
Made a mistake and want to get rid of it? You can use /undo to revert the build and try again. By default, this does your last operation only but if you specify a time period (e.g, 5m for 5 minutes), then all operations performed in the last 5 minutes will be undone.
Made a mistake of your fixing of the first mistake? You can use /redo to bring back your build. Do note though, that this command is known to have issues when used too frequently such as build overlaps. It is recommended that you only use this command where needed and not immediately after each use.
You may have known about a good deal of these commands but hopefully you were able to learn something new or some newer applications on how to use them. If you have any building commands that you are unsure about, feel free to comment below and I will update the thread.