I’m not a graphics guy so pardon me for getting excited about something so simple!
TL;DR; I made an icon.
I worked with Steven Blom almost 10 years ago when I was still in Adelaide. He is the first guy that I ever saw playing the Minecraft Beta. One night as I was leaving he was hanging around the office building a pyramid in Minecraft. This was a pretty big deal at the time because I think Minecraft at that point only had two blocks.
Anyway, I was just starting some Christmas holidays and decided to take their modding API for a spin using Steven’s hard work; when, on Twitter, Steven was looking for some icon help.
I had some time, so though about a lego brick (get it? for add-on? never. been. done. before.) and create a voxel lego brick in Blender, textured it up and sent it to Steven. Here’s the first concept which I captured with a few different perspectives:
Not bad, we agreed, but is there enough contrast, so rendered a few different textures, now with the black background they’d get:
The black was replaced with transparent as the Minecraft program displays it over a black background and Steven tried it in game. Horror! On hover, the background is replaced with white and it looked sooo ordinary.
I almost gave up and then it occurred to me that we could use a partially transparent mask to subtly change the background of the icon instead of giving it a full relief. I created the background and the following mask. The mask itself was rotated from the background so that the image somewhat appears to rotate when the background color changes from black to white.
And, this should be the final effect. Hover over the image below to see it change.
Anyway, Steven liked it enough to make it the default icon for his addon package. You know, the one that everyone deletes. Oh well, I’m not an artist, so I’ll take it.