Configuration File Format

To tell the Mapcrafter which maps to render, simple INI-like configuration files are used. With configuration files it is possible to render maps with multiple rotations and render modes into one output file.

A First Example

Here is a simple example of a configuration file (let’s call it render.conf):

output_dir = myworld_mapcrafter

input_dir = worlds/myworld

world = myworld

As you can see the configuration files consist of different types of sections (e.g. [section]) and containing assignments of configuration options to specific values (e.g. key = value). The sections have their names in square brackets, where the prefix with the colon shows the type of the section.

There are three types (actually four, but more about that later) of sections:

  • World sections (e.g. sections starting with world:)
  • Map sections (e.g. sections starting with map:)
  • Marker sections (e.g. sections starting with marker:, also see Markers)

Every world section represents a Minecraft world you want to render and needs a directory where it can find the Minecraft world (input_dir of the world section myworld in the example above).

Every map section represents an actual rendered map of a Minecraft world. You can specify things like rotation of the world, render view, render mode, texture pack, texture size, etc. for each map.

In this example you can see that we have a world myworld in the directory worlds/myworld/ which is rendered as the map myworld_isometric_day. The directory output/ is set as output directory. After the rendering you can open the index.html file in this directory and view your rendered map.

As you can see the configuration option output_dir is not contained in any section - it’s in the so called root section. That’s because all maps are rendered into this directory and viewable via one index.html file, so the output_dir option is the same for all maps in this configuration file.

Also keep in mind that you can choose the section names (but not the section types!) on your own, though it is recommended to use some kind of a fixed format (for example <world name>_<render view>_<render mode> for maps) to keep things consistent.

Let’s have a look at a more advanced configuration file.

A More Advanced Example

output_dir = output

world = world
render_view = isometric
render_mode = daylight
rotations = top-left bottom-right
texture_size = 12

input_dir = worlds/world

input_dir = worlds/creative

name = Normal World - Day

name = Normal World - Night
render_mode = nightlight

name = Normal World - Cave
render_mode = cave

name = Normal World - Topdown overview
render_view = topdown
texture_size = 6
texture_blur = 2
tile_width = 3

name = Creative World - Day
world = creative
render_mode = daylight
rotations = top-left top-right bottom-right bottom-left
texture_dir = textures/special_textures
texture_size = 16

name = Creative World - Night
world = creative
render_mode = nightlight
rotations = top-left top-right bottom-right bottom-left
texture_dir = textures/special_textures
texture_size = 16

Here we have some more worlds and maps defined. We have a “normal” world which is rendered with the day, night, cave render mode, and also with the top view and a lower texture size as overview map. Also we have a “creative” world which is rendered with a special texture pack, higher texture size and all available world rotations with the day and night render mode (super fancy!).

As you can see there is a new section global:map. This section is used to set default values for all map sections. Because of this in this example every map has the world world, the 3D isometric render view, the daylight render mode, the world rotations top-left and top-right and the 12px texture size as default. Of course you can overwrite these settings in every map section. There is also a global section global:world for worlds, but at the moment there is only one configuration option for worlds (input_dir), so it doesn’t make much sense setting a default value here.

Furthermore every map has as option name a name which is used in the web interface of the output HTML-File. This can be anything suitable to identify this map. In contrast to that the world and map names in the sections are used for internal representation and therefore should be unique and contain only alphanumeric chars and underscores.

When you have now your configuration file you can render your worlds with (see Command Line Options for more options and usage):

mapcrafter -c render.conf

There are tons of other options to customize your rendered maps. Before a reference of all available options, here is a quick overview of interesting things you can do:

  • Default view / zoom level / rotation in web interface
  • World cropping (only render specific parts of your world)
  • Block mask (skip rendering / render only specific types blocks)
  • Different render views, render modes, overlays
  • Use custom texture packs, texture sizes, apply a blur effect to textures
  • Custom tile widths
  • Different image formats
  • Custom lighting intensity

Available Options

General Options


These options are relevant for all worlds and maps, so you have to put them in the header before the first section starts

output_dir = <directory>


This is the directory where Mapcrafter saves the rendered map. Every time you render your map the renderer copies the template files into this directory and overwrites them, if they already exist. The renderer creates an index.html file you can open with your webbrowser. If you want to customize this HTML-File, you should do this directly in the template (see template_dir) because this file is overwritten every time you render the map.

template_dir = <directory>

Default: default template directory (see Resources and Textures)

This is the directory with the web template files. The renderer copies all files, which are in this directory, to the output directory and replaces the variables in the index.html file. The index.html file is also the file in the output directory you can open with your webbrowser after the rendering.

background_color = <hex color>

Default: #DDDDDD

This is the background color of your rendered map. You have to specify it like an HTML hex color (#rrggbb).

The background color of the map is set with a CSS option in the template. Because the JPEG image format does not support transparency and some tiles are not completely used, you have to re-render your maps which use JPEGs if you change the background color.

World Options


These options are for the worlds. You can specify them in the world sections (the ones starting with world:) or you can specify them in the global:world section. If you specify them in the global section, these options are default values and inherited into the world sections if you do not overwrite them.

input_dir = <directory>


This is the directory of your Minecraft world. The directory should contain a directory region/ with the .mca region files.

dimension = nether|overworld|end

Default: overworld

You can specify with this option the dimension of the world Mapcrafter should render. If you choose The Nether or The End, Mapcrafter will automagically detect the corresponding region directory. It will try the Bukkit region directory (for example myworld_nether/DIM-1/region) first and then the directory of a normal vanilla server/client (for example myworld/DIM-1/region).


If you want to render The Nether and want to see something, you should use the cave render mode or use the crop_max_y option to remove the top bedrock layers.

world_name = <name>

Default: <name of the world section>

This is another name of the world, the name of the world the server uses. You don’t usually need to specify this manually unless your server uses different world names and you want to use the mapcrafter-playermarkers script.

default_view = <x>,<z>,<y>

Default: Center of the map

You can specify the default center of the map with this option. Just specify a position in your Minecraft world you want as center when you open the map.

default_zoom = <zoomlevel>

Default: 0

This is the default zoom level shown when you open the map. The default zoom level is 0 (completely zoomed out) and the maximum zoom level (completely zoomed in) is the one Mapcrafter shows when rendering your map.

default_rotation = top-left|top-right|bottom-right|bottom-left

Default: First available rotation of the map

This is the default rotation shown when you open the map. You can specify one of the four available rotations. If a map doesn’t have this rotation, the first available rotation will be shown.

By using the following options you can crop your world and render only a specific part of it. With these two options you can skip blocks above or below a specific level:

crop_min_y = <number>

Default: -infinity

This is the minimum y-coordinate of blocks Mapcrafter will render.

crop_max_y = <number>

Default: infinity

This is the maximum y-coordinate of blocks Mapcrafter will render.

Furthermore there are two different types of world cropping:

  1. Rectangular cropping:
  • You can specify limits for the x- and z-coordinates. The renderer will render only blocks contained in these boundaries. You can use the following options whereas all options are optional and default to infinite (or -infinite for minimum limits):
    • crop_min_x (minimum limit of x-coordinate)
    • crop_max_x (maximum limit of x-coordinate)
    • crop_min_z (minimum limit of z-coordinate)
    • crop_max_z (maximum limit of z-coordinate)
  1. Circular cropping:
  • You can specify a block position as center and a radius. The renderer will render only blocks contained in this circle:
    • crop_center_x (required, x-coordinate of the center)
    • crop_center_z (required, z-coordinate of the center)
    • crop_radius (required, radius of the circle)


The renderer automatically centers circular cropped worlds and rectangular cropped worlds which have all four limits specified so the maximum zoom level of the rendered map does not unnecessarily become as high as the original map.

Changing the center of an already rendered map is complicated and therefore not supported by the renderer. Due to that you should completely rerender the map when you want to change the boundaries of a cropped world. This also means that you should delete the already rendered map (delete <output_dir>/<map_name>).

The provided options for world cropping are very versatile as you can see with the next two options:

crop_unpopulated_chunks = true|false

Default: false

If you are bored of the chunks with unpopulated terrain at the edges of your world, e.g. no trees, ores and other structures, you can skip rendering them with this option. If you are afraid someone might use this to find rare ores such as Diamond or Emerald, you should not enable this option.

block_mask = <block mask>

Default: show all blocks

With the block mask option it is possible to hide or shown only specific blocks. The block mask is a space separated list of block groups you want to hide/show. If a ! precedes a block group, all blocks of this block group are hidden, otherwise they are shown. Per default, all blocks are shown. Possible block groups are:

  • All blocks:
    • *
  • A single block (independent of block data):
    • [blockid]
  • A single block with specific block data:
    • [blockid]:[blockdata]
  • A range of blocks:
    • [blockid1]-[blockid2]
  • All blocks with a specific id and (block data & bitmask) == specified data:
    • [blockid]:[blockdata]b[bitmask]

For example:

  • Hide all blocks except blocks with id 1,7,8,9 or id 3 / data 2:
    • !* 1 3:2 7-9
  • Show all blocks except jungle wood and jungle leaves:
    • !17:3b3 !18:3b3
    • Jungle wood and jungle leaves have id 17 and 18 and use data value 3 for first two bits (bitmask 3 = 0b11)
    • other bits are used otherwise -> ignore all those bits

Map Options


These options are for the maps. You can specify them in the map sections (the ones starting with map:) or you can specify them in the global:map section. If you specify them in the global section, these options are default values and inherited into the map sections if you do not overwrite them.

name = <name>

Default: <name of the section>

This is the name for the rendered map. You will see this name in the output file, so you should use here an human-readable name. The belonging configuration section to this map has also a name (in square brackets). Since the name of the section is used for internal representation, the name of the section should be unique and you should only use alphanumeric chars.

render_view = isometric|topdown

Default: isometric

This is the view that your world is rendered from. You can choose from different render views:

A 3D isometric view looking at north-east, north-west, south-west or south-east (depending on the rotation of the world).
A simple 2D top view.

render_mode = plain|daylight|nightlight|cave

Default: daylight

This is the render mode to use when rendering the world. Possible render modes are:

Plain render mode without lighting or other special magic.
Renders the world with lighting.
Like daylight, but renders at night.
Renders only caves and colors blocks depending on their height to make them easier to recognize.


The old option name rendermode is still available, but deprecated. Therefore you can still use it in old configuration files, but Mapcrafter will show a warning.

overlay = slime|spawnday|spawnnight

Default: none

Additionally to a render mode, you can specify an overlay. An overlay is a special render mode that is rendered on top of your map and the selected render mode. The following overlays are used to show some interesting additional data extracted from the Minecraft world data:

Empty overlay.
Highlights the chunks where slimes can spawn.
Shows where monsters can spawn at day.
Shows where monsters can spawn at night.

At the moment there is only one overlay per map section allowed because the overlay is rendered just like a render mode on top of the world. If you want to render multiple overlays, you need multiple map sections. This behavior might change in future Mapcrafter versions so you will be able to dynamically switch multiple overlays on and off in the web interface.

rotations = [top-left] [top-right] [bottom-right] [bottom-left]

Default: top-left

This is a list of directions to render the world from. You can rotate the world by n*90 degrees. Later in the output file you can interactively rotate your world. Possible values for this space-separated list are: top-left, top-right, bottom-right, bottom-left.

Top left means that north is on the top left side on the map (same thing for other directions).

texture_dir = <directory>

Default: default texture directory (see Resources and Textures)

This is the directory with the Minecraft Texture files. The renderer works with the Minecraft 1.6 resource pack file format. You need here:

  • directory chest/ with normal.png, normal_double.png and ender.png
  • directory colormap/ with foliage.png and grass.png
  • directory blocks/ from your texture pack
  • endportal.png

See also Resources and Textures to see how to get these files.

texture_size = <number>

Default: 12

This is the size (in pixels) of the block textures. The default texture size is 12px (16px is the size of the default Minecraft Textures).

The size of a tile is 32 * texture_size, so the higher the texture size, the more image data the renderer has to process. If you want a high detail, use texture size 16, but texture size 12 looks still good and is faster to render.

texture_blur = <number>

Default: 0

You can apply a simple blur filter with a radius of <number> pixels to the texture images. This might be useful if you are using a very low texture size because areas with their blocks sometimes look a bit “tiled”.

water_opacity = <number>

Default: 1.0

With a factor from 0.0 to 1.0 you can modify the opacity of the used water texture before your map is rendered. 0 means that it is completely transparent and 1 means that the original opacity of the texture is kept. Also have a look at the lighting_water_intensity option.


Don’t actually set the water opacity to 0.0, that’s a bad idea regarding performance. If you don’t want to render water, have a look at the block_mask option.

tile_width = <number>

Default: 1

This is a factor that is applied to the tile size. Every (square) tile is usually one chunk wide, but you can increase that size. The wider a tile is, the more blocks it contains and the longer it takes to render a tile, but the less tiles are to render overall and the less overhead there is when writing the tile images. Use this if your texture size is small and you want to prevent that a lot of very small tiles are rendered.

image_format = png|jpeg

Default: png

This is the image format the renderer uses for the tile images. You can render your maps to PNGs or to JPEGs. PNGs are losless, JPEGs are faster to write and need less disk space. Also consider the png_indexed and jpeg_quality options.

png_indexed = true|false

Default: false

With this option you can make the renderer write indexed PNGs. Indexed PNGs are using a color table with 256 colors (which is usually enough for this kind of images) instead of writing the RGBA values for every pixel. Like using JPEGs, this is another way of drastically reducing the needed disk space of the rendered images.

jpeg_quality = <number between 0 and 100>

Default: 85

This is the quality to use for the JPEGs. It should be a number between 0 and 100, where 0 is the worst quality which needs the least disk space and 100 is the best quality which needs the most disk space.

lighting_intensity = <number>

Default: 1.0

This is the lighting intensity, i.e. the strength the renderer applies the lighting to the rendered map. You can specify a value from 0.0 to 1.0, where 1.0 means full lighting and 0.0 means no lighting.

lighting_water_intensity = <number>

Default: 1.0

This is like the normal lighting intensity option, but used for blocks that are under water. Usually the effect of opaque looking deep water is created by rendering just the top water layer and then applying the lighting effect on the (dark) floor of the water. By decreasing the lighting intensity for blocks under water you can make the water look “more transparent”. Use this option together with the water_opacity option. You might have to play around with this to find a configuration that you like. For me water_opacity=0.75 and lighting_water_intensity=0.6 didn’t look bad.

render_unknown_blocks = true|false

Default: false

With this option the renderer renders unknown blocks as red blocks (for debugging purposes).

render_leaves_transparent = true|false

Default: true

You can specifiy this to use the transparent leaf textures instead of the opaque textures. Using transparent leaf textures can make the renderer a bit slower because the renderer also has to scan the blocks after the leaves to the ground.

render_biomes = true|false

Default: true

This setting makes the renderer to use the original biome colors for blocks like grass and leaves.

use_image_mtimes = true|false

Default: true

This setting specifies the way the renderer should check if tiles are required when rendering incremental. Different behaviors are:

Use the tile image modification times (true):
The renderer checks the modification times of the already rendered tile images. All tiles whoose chunk timestamps are newer than this modification time are required.
Use the time of the last rendering (false):
The renderer saves the time of the last rendering. All tiles whoose chunk timestamps are newer than this last-render-time are required.

Marker Options


These options are for the marker groups. You can specify them in the marker sections (the ones starting with marker:) or you can specify them in the global:marker section. If you specify them in the global section, these options are default values and inherited into the marker sections if you do not overwrite them.

name = <name>

Default: Name of the section

This is the name of the marker group. You can use a human-readable name since this name is displayed in the webinterface.

prefix = <prefix>

Default: Empty

This is the prefix a sign must have to be recognized as marker of this marker group. Example: If you choose [home] as prefix, all signs whose text starts with [home] are displayed as markers of this group.

postfix = <postfix>

Default: Empty

This is the postfix a sign must have to be recognized as marker of this marker group.


Note that prefix and postfix may not overlap in the text sign to be matched. Example: If you have prefix foo and postfix oo bar and your sign text says foo bar, it won’t be matched. A sign with text foo ooaoo bar would be matched.

title_format = <format>

Default: %(text)

You can change the title used for markers (the name shown when you hover over a marker) by using different placeholders:

Placeholder Meaning
%(text) Complete text of the sign without the prefix/postfix.
%(prefix) Configured prefix of this marker group.
%(postfix) Configured postfix of this marker group.
%(textp) Complete text of the sign with the prefix/postfix.
%(line1) First line of the sign.
%(line2) Second line of the sign.
%(line3) Third line of the sign.
%(line4) Fourth line of the sign.
%(x) X coordinate of the sign position.
%(z) Z coordinate of the sign position.
%(y) Y coordinate of the sign position.

The title of markers defaults to the text (without the prefix/postfix) of the belonging sign, e.g. the placeholder %(text).

You can use different placeholders and other text in this format string as well, for example Marker at x=%(x), y=%(y), z=%(z): %(text).

text_format = <format>

Default: Format of the title

You can change the text shown in the marker popup windows as well. You can use the same placeholders you can use for the marker title.

icon = <icon>

Default: Default Leaflet marker icon

This is the icon used for the markers of this marker group. You do not necessarily need to specify a custom icon, you can also use the default icon.

You can put your own icons into the static/markers/ directory of your template directory. Then you only need to specify the filename of the icon, the path static/markers/ is automatically prepended. You should also specify the size of your custom icon.

icon_size = <size>

Default: [24, 24]

This is the size of your icon. Specify it like [width, height]. The icon size defaults to 24x24 pixels.

match_empty = true|false

Default: false

This option specifies whether empty signs can be matched as markers. You have to set this to true if you set the prefix to an empty string to show all remaining unmatched signs as markers and if you want to show even empty signs as markers.

show_default = true|false

Default: true

With this option you can hide a marker group in the web interface by default.