Thorlar Thorlarian describes himself as a “Pixel Art King,” and that’s not an empty boast. Witness his recreation of this BlizzCon 2010 wallpaper in Minecraft: It’s made up of over 1.1 million blocks, and took him more than 23 weeks to create. Even crazier, he did the entire thing by hand, without the aid of any external software or other artists.
“Pixel art, when it comes down to it, is just like drawing with pen and paper. So with enough practice, it’s easy to know what blocks have what color, such as black being best represented by by black wool, coal blocks, etc. At that point, no matter the size of your project, all you need to do is know what block would be most suitable for what area,” he told us. Of course, you also need the time and the tenacity to see it through to the end. “It took over 1000 hours, so it’s not something you just plan to do overnight or in a week,” he added.
A video of the final moments of the image’s creation, followed by a flyover, demonstrates just how massive it really is. Even with the render distance set to maximum, we don’t come close to seeing the whole thing until he zooms out to a world map view. Thorlar claims that the 1,128,960 blocks used in the image represents an actual world record as the biggest Minecraft pixel art ever, with thousands of Twitch witnesses to confirm the legitimacy of the accomplishment.
Livestreaming the creation of the image also earned roughly $3500 for charity, including $1337 in one hour on the final day, most of which went to Make-A-Wish Ireland. In fact, he’s raised roughly $11,000 for charity since March 2014, shortly after he became a Twitch partner.
“I told myself, ‘If I ever get so much support I get partnered, we’re doing charity as much as we can.’ As we’ve kept growing, the effort has too,” he said. “The bigger we’ve grown, ever so steadily, the faster we’ve been able to raise money, and it makes me happy to see how much of a difference games can make for charity and the less fortunate… I love seeing what games can do for people. Not just cheering people up on a bad day, but giving people clean water, helping research cancer, etc.”
A closer look at what went into Thorlar’s amazing creation may be found in this Reddit AMA posted earlier today, which also includes a link to the Dynmap for those who’d like to check it out in all its humungous glory for themselves.