Getting Started

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This guide needs to be updated with instructions for Linux users


Basic guide

Selecting a world in Chunky
This is a basic guide, using just the default settings of Chunky, to get you familiar with rendering with Chunky. To get started with Chunky quickly, just download the installer file for your platform (see Main Page for link to the latest version) and go through the default installation process. Then, start up the program.

Loading a World

Chunky will try to locate the Minecraft saves folder, the default location for Minecraft worlds. Here, you can select the world in which you wish to render an image. Note that older worlds cannot be used with Chunky, and any new blocks from weekly snapshots may not work. See Supported Minecraft Worlds for more information. Just click once on a world to open it.

Preparing to Render

The top-down world view
Chunky will now display a top-down view of the Overworld. The view is centered on the player's location, which is indicated by a little Steve icon. If the player was not in the Overworld when they logged out, Chunky will still use this view, but it will show the northwest corner of the map.

Now you can select an area to render:

Single left click
Single chunk is selected
Shift + Left click and drag
Rectangular area is selected
Selecting an area, and the 3D Render tab
You may notice Chunky selects more than the area you dragged, and it will select a small square around where you single clicked. This is because Chunky selects only full chunks, as used internally in Minecraft to store world data. You will also notice the panel on the right of the window changes to the 3D Render tab. Here, you can click the Clear Selection button to deselect all chunks at once.

For your first render, selecting only a few chunks to test with is a good idea. Afterwards, you can select more.

Choosing the scene directory
When you've selected a number of chunks, simply right click anywhere in the 2D map area, or click the New Scene button. Chunky will ask you now for a directory in which to save scene files and renders. You can change to whichever directory you desire. Remember which folder you choose, as it is where you will find your render images once Chunky is done rendering. Chunky saves a dump (a backup of the rendering progress) every 500 frames by default. When a dump is saved, you get the current rendered image and a text file with some stats saved to this directory. If the renderer crashes or halts for some reason, or you just want to pause the render, you can resume the render later using the saved .cvf file.
Setting the scene's name
Click OK to continue.

Chunky will now ask you to enter a name for the scene you are about to set up. You can create multiple renders of one world. Giving each a unique name will make sure Chunky doesn't overwrite previous renders. Click OK again to continue. At this point, Chunky will load all the selected chunks. If you only loaded a few chunks, this will not take a long time. The more chunks you select, the longer the load time will be.


The Render Preview window
When Chunky has loaded all chunks, you will see the Render Controls and Render Preview windows. The latter displays a 3D view of your world. Click and drag in this window to rotate the camera and use WASD to move forward, backward, left, and right. Additionally, use F to move the camera down and R to move it up. To move large distances at once, use J to move forward 100 blocks and K to move backwards 100 blocks. For finer control, hold Shift while pressing WASD, F, or R to move 1/10th of a block.
The view we will render as an example
The Render Controls window

Navigate your way in the world until you have the view you want to render.

Going back to the Render Controls window, now simply click the Start button at the bottom.

You will now see the view in the Render Preview window change to reflect the actual state of the render. In the Render Control' window, you see some extra information at the bottom, see Render Information for more information on what these numbers mean. For now, we are only interested in the ETA, which is an estimate of how much longer Chunky will take until it reaches the Target SPP, and the render is finished.

Because of the path tracing render method Chunky uses, there is no moment when Chunky is completely done rendering an image. You decide when an image looks good enough and free of noise to call a render done. The default SPP Target of 1000 is usually enough for scenes in sunlight, but for interior renders or scenes with a lot of emitters (torches, lava, glowstone, pumpkins, etc.) much higher values are often needed.

This is just a basic guide, using all default settings. When you understand these basics, you can find more information on the Render Controls and how to achieve more advanced renders.


Memory Setup

Chunky eats a lot of memory. In order to grant it extra memory to work with it is recommended to launch it using either of the methods listed below.

Troubleshooting: If you get the following error when starting Chunky:

Error occurred during initialization of VM
Could not reserve enough space for object heap
Could not create the Java virtual machine.

Then you are trying to allocate too much memory for Chunky. The default is -Xmx2g (2 gigabytes). You can try setting it to something lower such as -Xmx1g (1 gigabyte) or -Xmx512 (512 megabytes).

Windows - Start Menu Shortcut

Editing the Start Menu shortcut
If you installed Chunky using the Windows installer, and you chose to install the start menu shortcuts, you will have a folder named Chunky on your Windows start menu. In this folder are two shortcuts named "Chunky" and "Chunky (more memory)". You can edit the properties of the "(more memory)" shortcut to launch Chunky with more memory allocated. Just edit the -Xmx2g argument in the Target: field in the shortcut properties.

If you for some reason want to revert the change you can delete the shortcut and re-install. This will restore the default shortcut.

Windows - .bat File

Since 1.1.4 Release, there is no longer a .bat file included along with Chunky. You'll need to create your own using the sample code below.

java -Xms512m -Xmx2g -jar Chunky.jar

Save the .bat next to the Chunky.jar file. To allocate more memory use for example -Xmx4g for large scenes (that's 4 GiB of maximum heap space). You can edit the .bat file to adjust the setting.


To make a simple boot-up script to start it quickly, follow these instructions:

1. Make a new text file in TextEdit.

2. Type or copy and paste the following:

Note: make sure there’s a space after “cd”

3. Locate your Chunky folder.

4. Drag the folder into TextEdit to get its directory. It should come out like this:

cd /Users/(your name)/Downloads/Chunky  

5. Press return and type or copy-paste the following:

java -Xms512m -Xmx2g -jar Chunky.jar  
Note: You can change “2g” in “-Xmx2g” to how much RAM you have so more RAM can be allocated.

6. Save it as “Chunky.command” inside the Chunky folder.

7. Double-click the file. It should open Terminal, which will, in turn, open Chunky.

8. Render to your heart’s content.

'If that didn't work'

1. Download the "Cross-Platform Binaries" version of Chunky

2. Extract to desired folder.

3. Type or copy and paste the following into a new TextEdit document:


4. Locate the folder that contains Chunky.jar (By default this is the Chunky-#.#.# folder you extracted)

5. Type the location of the file. If you extracted to the desktop, it should be

cd /Users/(your name)/Desktop/Chunky-#.#.#   

6. Press return and type or copy-paste the following:

java -Xms512m -Xmx2g -jar Chunky.jar   
Note: You can change “2g” in “-Xmx2g” to how much RAM you have so more RAM can be allocated.

7. Save this TextEdit document in the Chunky-#.#.# folder as an rtf.

8. When you want to launch Chunky with this amount of RAM, open the TextEdit document and copy the contents. Then launch Terminal (Applications/Utilities/Terminal) and paste it in. Press enter. This should now launch Chunky with the desired amount of RAM


To make a simple boot-up script to start it quickly on Linux, follow these instructions:

On Ubuntu:

1. Make a new file in your favourite text editor (Gedit is fine)

2. Type or copy and paste the following

java -Xms512m -Xmx2g -jar Chunky.jar
Note: You can change “2g” to how much RAM you want so more RAM can be allocated.

3. Save it as "" inside the Chunky folder

Note: You may have to give the right permissions to the file to be able to execute it.

4. Double-click the file. If you are prompted something choose "Open in terminal". It should open Terminal, which will, in turn, open Chunky.

5. Render to your heart’s content.

Loading a Texture Pack

Chunky tries to load the default Minecraft textures from your local Minecraft install. If this fails, it will use it's own set of textures which is incomplete and will cause many blocks to render as black boxes with white borders and a red cross.

You can load a custom texture pack by clicking the Options tab in the main window and then "Load Texture Pack". When loading a texture pack you must load the texture pack Zip file.

You can also specify the texture pack to be used on the command line, with the -texture option. For example (assuming you have the file in the current working directory):

java -jar Chunky.jar -texture

Loading a Skymap

You'll also want a panoramic skymap - that's a texture the renderer uses to simulate a nice sky. Low resolution sky textures can end up looking pixelated, but a huge sky texture will decrease the performance of the renderer slightly. Chunky has a default, simple gradient as skymap. This works, but renders will look much better with a good skymap.

It is also possible to let Chunky use Minecraft style clouds, in the Render Controls window, on the Sky tab, check 'enable clouds'.

Look at the Skymap page for more information and links to nice skymaps.

See Also

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