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how to make voxel art

How To Make Voxel Art: Step-by-Step Guide

Not so many people might want to know how to make voxel art nowadays. 

This is because voxel art has taken a severe hit with the technology going forward in recent years.

The term is a type of art form in which 3D models are constructed out of 3D cubes, known as voxels.

In simpler words, it is the art of combining and coloring voxels.

For that purpose, exceptional voxel artists understand the concept and have further elaborated the steps for the public.

Creating voxels art is like building with Legos.

You must pay attention to the placement, colors, and overall coordination.

It would be best if you had patience and imagination, but, in the end, you get a whole composition.

Quick Peek: Step-by-Step Guide to Making Voxel Art

  1. Step One: Opening the Editor
  2. Step Two: Creating Your Art
  3. Step Three: Coloring and Lighting
  4. Step Four: Saving Your Art

Voxel Editors

The first step in creating voxel art is having a good voxel editor.

As the technology moves further, you can find many voxel editors that deserve the praise they get.

Here you can find several voxel editors most frequently used and loved by their users.

Magica Voxel Editor is maybe the most famous editor in the world.

how to make voxel art

This editor is free to download, and it is simple to use with the help of their free tutorials.

Its quality and settings have won the hearts of thousands of editors.

The whole setting is clear and organized, which eases the process of learning and creating.

You can find more details about it on Mega Voxels.

Another great editor is Mega Voxels Play which generally offers the same features plus some new, eye-catching ones.

This editor also allows users to use it on their phones (iOS and Android).

This one is also free and beginner-friendly, so it is an excellent option for entering the voxel art world.

Qubicle is also on the list of most used editors, as it is also beginner-friendly and supports all kinds of formats.

how to make voxel art

A side note: Qubicle doesn’t work on the latest version of macOS.

Steam has elaborated on this editor in greater detail that would help you learn and create voxel art.

And finally, another great editor – VoxEdit.

This one is quite similar to the MagicaVoxel, so it wouldn’t be a problem to navigate through it.

It is simple, accessible, and comes with tutorials.

Whichever editor you choose, make sure it’s coordinated with your preferences and level of knowledge.

It is better to start with a beginner-friendly editor and then move on to a more complex one as you gain more knowledge and experience.

How to Make Voxel Art

Once you choose the editor that best fits your intentions and wishes, you can move further and start creating art.

Now, we can divide the process into three main steps – download the editor, open, and create the project, and save it at the end.

So, once you download the chosen editor, you’ll notice the many settings offered when you open it.

We can say that the start is easy as you need to open a blank file and follow the instructions on how to move, resize, color, and add voxels.

The final step is to export your voxel art as a model or an image, depending on your project.

These are the main steps, but we will explain them in greater detail next.

We will take MagicaVoxel as an example, but the steps usually apply to every voxel editor.

Step One: Opening the Editor

While opening the application, it is normal to feel intimidated if this is all new to you.

But with our help, you’ll manage to work through it.

As you open the editor, on your left, you’ll see a color palette and a brush; on your right, you’ll see editor and project, as well as an export tab.

Nothing new or unfamiliar.

In addition, there is also a view window (below the brush window) and edit (operations to rotate, empty, or fill the model with color, flip).

Once you feel comfortable continuing, you’ll open a new file so that you have a blank canvas and set the model dimensions to 10,10,10 (on the top right corner).

Next, click Clear under the Edit section so the model would be left with just the outlines.

At the top of the Main Editor, you’ll see a typing space where you’ll name your project and choose where to save it on your PC.

After that, turn on the Grid in the bottom left corner so you’ll know the number of voxels used.

Now, let the real magic start.

Step Two: Creating Your Art

Use your creativity and choose the color and brush and press Box Mode (B on your keyboard) and then Attach (T).

This could be the color of the base.

Then, move the cursor to the needed position and hold the left-click on your mouse while dragging it to the required position.

And voila, you have your first voxel base.

The base sets the ground for everything you’d add, which is crucial for the size and form of the creation.

Now, if you need to expand the object in height, change the brush to Face Mode (F on your keyboard) and repeat the same action with your mouse, but now move the cursor upwards.

If you need to add another box to the already completed one, follow the same steps and make sure that Attach is always selected.

If you wish to add individual voxels, press V for Voxel Mode, and click the box that turns red.

It should allow you to add a voxel to the marked space.

All the voxel editors offer unique tools and features that get your project on a higher level.

Such a fantastic tool is the mirroring feature that almost every voxel editor offers.

The idea is to mirror everything you do from one side to the other.

This feature is specially designed to help you save time and energy and help you create two equal parts of the creation.

For that, you need to turn on X under the Attach, Erase, and Paint options for that purpose.

Then, select V to go into Voxel Mode and start building the form.

As you can probably assume, the Erase button allows you to erase the voxel marked with the red square.

Step Three: Coloring and Lighting

Now, do you want to spice things up?

Let us paint the voxels.

Press V to go into Voxel Mode, but instead of Attach, now choose Paint.

Next, select the parts you want to paint in a specific color.

The rich color palette will allow you to choose the color you want and paint each part as you wish with the help of the right brush.

It gives you the freedom to bring life to your creations.

Also, there is no limitation to how many colors you could use or what parts could or couldn’t be painted.

As for the light, you can adjust the lighting in the Light Control menu, which is presented by a light bulb icon in the top right corner.

Change the setting as you wish and turn the grid floor and walls off, so there is a solid background.

This will make your model look sharp and clear.

Step Four: Saving Your Art

As you come to the end of your project, you need to think about the purpose of the project.

If you want to use it on social media, you need to save it as an image, in this case, as a PNG image.

For that purpose, click the camera button that you can find under the editor window in the bottom left corner.

The next step would be familiar to you, so choose where you want to save your art and click Save.

And you’re done.

That’s how to make voxel art!

Its that easy!

Premium Beat offers you video tutorials that would ease the process even more.

Mega Voxel Play functions similarly, just with the difference in some sections, which are clear at first glance and not complicated to use.

For example, it owns a View cube that allows you to view your model from the camera’s perspective.

It also has a Shop tab where you can browse thousands of models or a Play tab that contains several game modes you can play with your models.

These features make it different than the other editors, but the process of creating remains the same.

Qubicle is another voxel editor that offers the same features as a beginner-friendly editor.

Their site provides step-by-step tutorials and detailed descriptions of their features.

Why Start Making Voxel Art?

The main reason voxel art is so famous and interesting is creative freedom.

It allows users to think outside the box and use it to stand out from others.

It is widely used worldwide, and it is gaining even more popularity nowadays.

You can use this art for producing games and apps.

Magics Voxel is highly used for creating artwork for Instagram and Facebook.

It provides the editors with significant lighting effects, shadows, and shades or even gives the model a glass, transparent look.

You can also design animals, people, interior design, cars, food, and clothes.

It sharpens your senses and eye for details.

Crossy Road or Minecraft are examples of what you can produce and create.

Their representation is so fascinating to millions worldwide, and it is because of that voxel creation.

The creating process might be a little challenging initially, but isn’t the challenge fun?

Once you learn the basics and spend time creating, making mistakes, and creating again, you’ll feel ready to move further and maybe do it professionally.

The example above best fits MagicaVoxel, but the basic rules are the same for every editor.

Visit the official sites of Qubicle or Mega Voxels Play. 

You’ll find many detailed written and video tutorials on creating voxel art.

Final Thoughts

Voxel art is a great way to express your creativity and do something fun and different.

It can get complicated at first while navigating the tools and features. 

Still, once you understand the process, everything will become easier.

The above-elaborated steps will help you in the process of understanding and creating. 

In contrast, the links will lead you to many tutorials for more detailed explanations.

Have fun during every moment of learning and creating.

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