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Running the Overviewer

Rendering your First Map

Overviewer is a command-line application, and so it needs to be run from the command line. If you installed Overviewer from a package manager, the command is overviewer.py. If you downloaded it manually, open a terminal window and navigate to wherever you downloaded Overviewer. For pre-compiled Windows builds, the command is overviewer.exe. For other systems, it's overviewer.py.

What follows in this section is a few examples to get you started. For full usage, see the :ref:`usage` section.

So, let's render your first map! Let's say you want to render your single player world called "My World". Let's also say you want to save it c:mcmap. You would type into your command prompt the following:

overviewer.exe "My World" c:\mcmap

If you're on Linux or a Mac, you could do something like one of the following:

overviewer.py "My World" /home/username/mcmap

or

overviewer.py "My World" /Users/username/mcmap

Those will look for a single player world by that name. You can also specify the path to the world you want to render. This is useful for rendering servers.

Let's say you have a server installed in /home/username/mcserver. This command will render the default dimension (in the case of Bukkit multiworld servers, the default world is used. You can also specify the directory to the specific world you want to render).

overviewer.py /home/username/mcserver /home/username/mcmap

After you enter one of the commands, The Overviewer should start rendering your map. When the render is done, open up index.html using your web-browser of choice. Pretty cool, huh? You can even upload this map to a web server to share with others! Simply upload the entire folder to a web server and point your users to index.html!

Incremental updates are just as easy, and a lot faster. If you go and change something inside your world, run the command again and The Overviewer will automatically re-render only what's needed.

Specifying a different rendermode

There are a few built-in rendermodes for you to choose from. Each will render your map differently. For example, if you want smooth lighting (which looks really good), you would add --rendermodes=smooth-lighting to your command. e.g.

overviewer.py --rendermodes=smooth-lighting /home/username/mcserver /home/username/mcmap

The rendermodes you have to choose from are:

  • normal (the default)
  • lighting
  • smooth-lighting
  • cave

You can specify more than one. Just separate them with a comma!

Usage

For this section, we assume the executable is overviewer.py. Replace that with overviewer.exe for windows.

Overviewer usage:

overviewer.py [--rendermodes=...] [options] <World> <Output Dir>
overviewer.py --config=<config file> [options]

The first form is for basic or quick renderings without having to create a config file. It is intentionally limited because the amount of configuration was becoming unmanageable for the command line.

The second, preferred usage involves creating a configuration file which specifies all the options including what to render, where to place the output, and all the settings. See :ref:`configfile` for details on that.

For example, on Windows if your Minecraft server runs out of c:\server\ and you want to put the rendered map in c:\mcmap\, run this:

overviewer.exe c:\server\world c:\mcmap

For Mac or Linux builds from source, you would run something like this with the current directory in the top level of the source tree:

./overviewer.py /opt/minecraft/server/world /opt/minecraft/mcmap

The first render can take a while, depending on the size of your world.

Options

The following three options change the way The Overviewer determines which tiles to update, and are intended to be things you only have to use in special situations. You should not normally have to specify these options; the default is typically correct.

Installing the Textures

If Overviewer is running on a machine with the Minecraft client installed, it will automatically use the default textures from Minecraft.

If, however, you're running on a machine without the Minecraft client installed, or if you want to use different textures, you will need to provide the textures manually. This is common for servers.

If you want or need to provide your own textures, you have several options:

  • If you're running the Overviewer on a server, you can still put the minecraft.jar file (not the launcher) into the correct location and the Overviewer will find and use it, thinking the client is installed, even if the rest of the client files are missing. On Linux, try a command like this:

    wget -N http://s3.amazonaws.com/MinecraftDownload/minecraft.jar -P ~/.minecraft/bin/
    
  • You can manually extract the terrain.png from minecraft.jar or your favorite texture pack. If you've built the Overviewer from source or are using the windows exe, place the file in the same directory as overviewer.py or overviewer.exe.

  • Specify any terrain.png or texture pack you want with the :ref:`texture_pack<option_texture_pack>` option.

If you copy your world before you render it

The important thing to be careful about when copying world files to another location is file modification times, which Overviewer uses to figure out what parts of the map need updating. If you do a straight copy, usually this will update the modification times on all the copied files, causing Overviewer to re-render the entire map. To copy files on Unix, while keeping these modification times intact, use cp -p. For people who render from backups, GNU tar automatically handles modification times correctly. rsync -a --delete will handle this correctly as well. If you use some other tool, you'll have to figure out how to do this yourself.

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