In the sandbox game of Minecraft players can (and often do) create just about anything they want. From Avatar: The Last Airbender stop motion animations to recreations of the Imperial Star Destroyers from Star Wars, it seems fans have done it all. That seemed like the case, anyway, until Reddit user KevinJNguy01 discovered a trick to make a giant portrait with a single bucket of water.
KevinJNguy01 has created several clever Minecraft portraits in the past, most using a unique trick like stacking thousands of colored glass blocks together so when the sun shines through them at a specific in-game time of day, an image is revealed. The trick employed in the Redditor’s latest creation is maybe the simplest one yet — knowledge of how water flows on descending blocks.
Basically, a bucket of water in the game covers seven blocks in all directions from the block where it was dumped if done on a flat surface. However, when flowing downhill, a new water spawn block is created each time the water gets to the bottom of each drop. This simple but largely unknown Minecraft trick allows players to basically extend their water supply infinitely, but KevinJNguy01 used strategically placed inclines to make the water flow through canals and paint a picture that only becomes clear when viewed from above.
Towards the end of the video posted to Reddit, the Minecraft player zooms out to show what, exactly, all that flowing water has been painting. Many comments suggested it was the perfect time to reveal a Rick Astley painting. The internet tradition of Rickrolling has made its way into Call of Duty, after all, but KevinJNguy01 opted to paint an equally amusing portrait of a cat in front of a glass of wine.
Any Minecraft players inspired by the clever tactic can easily start making their own portraits using the same techniques, although KevinJNguy01 does state that they used a little bit of coding to get every block placed in the exact spot it needed to be. Much in the same way modders import, for instance, a playable version of Zelda: Link’s Awakening into Minecraft, the Redditor used data packs to import their code into the game.
With Minecraft seeing massive playtime increases during the pandemic, many more pieces of amazing and clever fan art are likely to be seen. Many in the comments section of the post have already expressed interest in playing around with water mechanics in their own games, so it’s likely the world will be seeing a rise in cool, Minecraft water portraits as well.
Minecraft is available on Mobile, PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.